Are you battling with sugar cravings night after night? Then consider this underlying cause and how you can easily fix it.
For years I’ve been struggling with sugar cravings, particularly at night. This inner drive to reach for chocolate seemed so overpowering at times, I actually considered sugar additction.
I had given up dieting as dieting is one of THE main causes of binge eating episodes. I fully embraced intuitive, hunger directed eating. Yet those frequent cravings and resulting binges simply wouldn’t go away.
It seemed that no amount of reasoning or willpower was able to conquer this powerful drive. Then I found out why – and it made so much sense!
In this article, I’m going to show you an unexpected cause for sugar cravings at night. And how to solve it quickly and easily.
It was more than a lucky coincidence that I stumbled across the book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, MD. I was so desperate for a solution – any solution – that I followed her advice instantly. And I couldn’t believe the impact it had on my life. It’s been three years since – and I still consider this day one of the pivotal moments of my life.
Sugar cravings caused by nutrient deficiency
In her book, the author explains how our hormones for sleep, mood, focus, calmness, and appetite are made of proteins. The building blocks of proteins, amino acids, come from our food. Now, the human body stores extra amino acids as a buffer supply. Yet external factors like stress can eat into those reserves more quickly than they get replenished.
On that basis, you don’t need to be Einstein to realize: Our fast-paced everyday life can mean trouble.
Craving chocolate as a safety measure
Dr Julia Ross goes into great detail, naming the four most prominent mood influencing hormones. Or groups of hormones which affect our everyday life – and our sugar cravings.
Maybe you’re familiar with serotonin, the happy hormone? It’s just one of many. There’s also
- the group of stimulating catecholamines
A deficiency in any or all of the required amino acids often shows in a variety of symptoms. At least some of them will sound familiar:
- depressive thoughts
- sleep issues
- sugar cravings, particularly in the afternoon and evening
- trouble focusing
- lack of motivation
- cold hands and feet
- weight gain
- low blood pressure
- sudden mood swings
- addictive behaviour (like gambling) or substance abuse (alcohol, nicotine)
Why is your body craving chocolate?
It knows intuitively that chocolate and other high carb foods quickly help with the production of serotonin. And during the afternoon and evening, serotonin is the stepping stone for building melatonin, the sleep hormone.
So what seems like a major nuisance, is your body’s way of crying for help and protecting you.
The solution to this, according to Dr Julia Ross, is fairly simple:
- exposure to sunlight
- healthy food
- supplementation of certain amino acids
To find out if this might be at the cause of your sugar cravings, go and do the free online test.
How to reduce sugar cravings with supplements
As a nurse, I scoffed at the notion of using supplements: They are too expensive, completely unnecessary and no replacement for healthy food. Other than folic acid, I refused to take any of the highly advertised pregnancy supplements.
To this day, I believe that supplemental vitamins are mostly a way to create expensive pee. With the exception of Vitamin D, that is. There’s even evidence suggesting that synthetic vitamins might do more harm than good.
However, supplementing minerals (like iron or magnesium) as well as missing amino acids has become something I highly recommend.
Amino acid doesn’t sound very natural, though, does it? But there’s no need to worry. Every single protein in our body is made of amino acids. And thankfully, they’re in ample supply in nature. So, it is easy to use concentrated forms to replenish our reserves in times of need – and end sugar cravings.
What about healthy food?
In the book, you’ll find a wealth of dietary advice to ensure an ample supply of amino acids.
However, for anyone recovering from dieting, this can be triggering. Furthermore, it requires
- special planning for meals outside the home
- more time for shopping and preparation
- extra effort, particularly in family life
- a lot of patience before results are noticeable
Since producing more stress is counter-productive, the author recommends jump-starting the recovery with supplements.
Exercise and sunlight
Exercise is well known for its mood improving properties. Just be sure you move your body in a way that you enjoy. Any kind of physical activity is beneficial, particularly if it’s stress-relieving.
The final piece of this puzzle is plenty of sunlight for vitamin D production. However, do you live north or south of 40° latitude? Then getting enough exposure to sunlight is near impossible, particularly during the winter months. And even more so with darker skin.
Even during the summer, it can be challenging to catch enough sunlight to produce vitamin D naturally. Think that can’t be right? Then simply check the requirements:
You need to expose the bare skin of your face and arms for 30 minutes – without using sunscreen and between 11 am and 3 pm.
Fight sugar cravings – with caution
Amino acids are freely available for over the counter purchase. So if that’s the case even in Europe, I consider them generally safe.
However, if you are suffering from any medical conditions, you should, of course, consult with your physician before adding any supplements to your diet. And as with anything else: Too much of a good thing is still too much. So stick to the recommended dosage and don’t exceed the maximum daily intake.
If you are on anti-depressants, it is of utmost importance that you steer clear of the amino acid marked with a *. It causes interaction with some medication and could have a harmful effect!
Try and see what happens
Do you recognize yourself in some or even all of the above-mentioned symptoms? Then I highly recommend you take the online test ASAP! If your results come back positive, go buy the book for more details.
Looking for a quick solution to your evening cravings? Here is an overview of the most commonly recommended supplements to help with:
- sugar cravings, particularly in the afternoon and evening
- trouble sleeping
- mild depression
If this is you, the following supplements are very likely to help you.
- 5-HTP* 200 mg (1-2x/afternoon-evening) – reduces sugar cravings, creates calm
- Vitamin D3 1.000 mg (1x/day) – check the full list of symptoms here
- GABA 750 mg (1x/at night) – promotes better sleep
- DLPA 500 mg (2-3x/morning-noon) – reduces anxiety
You find a more thorough schedule and dosage recommendations in the book and on the package of each supplement. There is also a variety of other amino acids that may be useful for certain symptoms. You’ll find more details in the book.
My personal experience
During the winter months, our entire family is supplementing vitamin D. It’s just really hard to get through natural sources in mid-north Europe. Milk is not fortified in Germany. And we don’t regularly feast on cod liver oil or lard from happy pigs…
Here are the changes I experienced with the help of the above-listed supplements. I know, the almost sound too good to be true:
- I am calm and anchored
- have more energy
- much less anxiety
- more joy in everyday life
- and no more insatiable sugar cravings
Coupled with intuitive eating, this alone allows me to slowly lose the weight I gained because of my deficiency.
For my husband, it looked slightly different:
- improved quality of sleep
- being more relaxed throughout the day
- less self-doubt in his job
- no more driven evening cravings
Sugar cravings and dieting
There is one caveat: Are you restricting the types of foods you allow yourself to eat? Then no amount of amino acids will be able to fix the resulting psychological effects. Unless you allow your body to guide you in your food choices, your willpower is likely to crash frequently. With or without supplements.
But there’s one thing I can assure you: If you are deficient in amino acids, supplementing amino acids will be a game changer.
You’ll feel like you get to be your true self for the first time years.
You no longer have to struggle your way through each and every day, fighting an uphill battle.
If this is you, then don’t wait and give this a shot. I’m not exaggerating if I’m saying that this could be life-changing.
Ready to get more balance into your life? Sign up for my newsletter and gain access to my soon-to-be growing VIP area!
Disclaimer: Being a trained nurse doesn’t give me the right to make medical recommendations without knowing you. You know best what to do with this or any other information on the internet. And only you can decide which steps to take at your own risk. If in doubt, consult with your physician. Therefore, under no circumstances shall I be responsible for damages arising from the use of this article. I am no affiliate for any of the supplement companies nor have I been paid to write this article. I simply relay my experience with The Mood Cure and how it changed my life for the better.
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.