Physical signals for thirst can sometimes mimic hunger, leading you to erroneously reach for a sugary snack when a glass of water might have sufficed. Additionally, maintaining a regular exercise routine can offset these cravings by reducing stress and helping regulate your hormones. Exercise also stimulates brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed, which might also reduce cravings for sweets. Please, feel free to contact us today and let our teams know how we can best help you defeat addiction.

Both substances cause dopamine release and feelings of happiness and pleasure. Some studies have even found a genetic link between people addicted to sugar and those who abuse alcohol. A person in recovery is susceptible to replacing their use of alcohol with sugar to receive the same “high” experience. In addition, alcohol addiction comes with an array of underlying psychological effects and foundations. These tend to not be the main reason why recovering alcoholics crave sugar, as we’ll see next, but they are crucial in this discussion. Strive to incorporate a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet to replenish the essential vitamins and minerals that may have been depleted during alcohol abuse.

How To Overcome Sugar Cravings When In Recovery

When alcohol is removed from the equation, the body may crave sugar to help stabilize blood sugar levels, creating a cycle of sugar cravings among recovering alcoholics. Additionally, alcohol consumption can damage the liver, impairing its ability to regulate do alcoholics crave sugar blood sugar levels. As a result, the body may turn to sugar consumption to compensate for the liver’s reduced functionality in maintaining stable glucose levels. Managing sugar cravings is an essential aspect of recovery from alcohol addiction.

  • Sugar stimulates the pleasure center in the brain in a similar way as alcohol and drugs, impacting the same brain region and creating a rewarding feeling comparable to drugs such as cocaine.
  • Here’s a compilation of strategies that can help you navigate through the sugar cravings.
  • Sugar stimulates the pleasure center in the brain in a similar way to alcohol and drugs, impacting the same brain region and creating a rewarding feeling comparable to drugs such as cocaine.

To start with, the practice of mindful eating might be the tool you need to manage sugar cravings. This entails pausing before eating and acknowledging the reasons for your cravings. Often, it’s not hunger that drives the craving, but boredom, stress, or other triggers. Physiologically speaking, when we consume alcohol, the body converts it to sugar. This leads to a subsequent spike in blood sugar levels, so when we engage in Dry January (or any break from alcohol) our blood sugar levels will drop. In essence, it is shown that sweets are a known side effect of quitting alcohol – but certainly not one of the worst ones.

Why Do People Get Sugar Cravings After Quitting Drinking?

So no, sugar cravings aren’t bad on their own, but they can lead to negative consequences, and other snacking options provide more benefits while recovering. Silver Pines and Steps to Recovery have provided addiction recovery programs in Pennsylvania for over a decade with detox, residential, outpatient, and sober living services. Last year, we expanded our services to include robust mental health treatment, a new outpatient location, and specialized programming for our nation’s veterans, with more to come this year! When alcohol is removed from the equation during the recovery process, the brain undergoes a period of adjustment. The brain’s reward system, which is accustomed to the release of dopamine triggered by alcohol, seeks alternative sources of pleasure and reward. This can become especially apparent when alcohol is removed from the equation.

Consequently, this leads to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and may cause further sugar cravings. In addition, alcohol can impair the function of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision-making, impulse control, and self-regulation. This impairment can lead to a diminished ability to resist cravings and make rational choices, further fueling the cycle of alcoholism and sugar cravings. If you’re someone who has engaged in frequent dieting, you’ve likely experienced the symptoms of sugar withdrawal.

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