Granulated sugar and sugar cubes in a bowl and sugar in a jar on the table.

Why do people crave sugar?

5 Reasons You Have Sugar Cravings

You didn’t eat enough, or you ate the wrong things

When you don’t eat enough calories (or satiating calories from the right sources), your body starts looking for fast fuel as a way to catch up. So what happens? You crave sugar! Sugar gives you quick energy, even though it’s not necessarily quality energy.

A spoonful of Sugar with sugar cubes

You’re not eating a balanced breakfast

Recent studies have revealed that skipping breakfast can lead to sugar cravings throughout the day, contributing to weight gain and overeating. Eating a balanced breakfast with protein, carbs, healthy fats, and fiber will boost dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine levels are crucial in controlling impulses related to cravings for sweets and excessive food consumption.

Dopamine acts as a signal to inform our body when our appetite is satisfied, regulating our food intake. As less people eat breakfast, there has been an increase in obesity rates, prompting researchers to explore the potential link between skipping breakfast and weight gain.

You picked up a bad habit

Some people smack their gum without even realizing it. Some people have picked their fingernails their entire lives. And, sigh, some people eat a chocolate bar every day at 3 p.m., because, well, they eat a chocolate bar every day at 3 p.m. Yep, bad habits.

cropped view of woman eating delicious chocolate

When you’re really hungry and you haven’t eaten enough throughout the day, breaking a 3 p.m. vending machine run is going to be tough. But if you start to eat more consistently throughout the day and get in enough (and the right types) of calories, then your defenses are up and it’s easier to change that habit.

You ate too much starch and not enough fat and/or protein

When you eat a heavy, starchy meal, like a giant bowl of grandma’s spaghetti, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for a guaranteed gelato craving. All that pasta with no fiber or protein (and depending upon the sauce, perhaps not enough fat, either) is like a big bowl of sugar that will lead to a blood sugar spike and crash, leaving you yearning for more sugar!

Young woman eating spaghetti

Those calories in that bowl of spaghetti are absorbed fast and don’t keep you feeling full or satisfied.

You chowed down on salty foods

When you dine out or eat highly processed, packaged foods, your probably consuming more sodium than you realize. This usually remains true even when you’re eating something healthy, such as grilled salmon and sautéed or steamed spinach, from your fave “healthy” restaurant.

Salty egg

Here’s the kicker: Oftentimes, the saltier your food, the bigger your sweet craving.


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