Published On: February 11, 2019248 words1.2 min read

Question:

Dear Doc

I have not been drinking and have an intense sugar craving, particularly late afternoon and into the evening. I would guess its my body used to the sugar from a glass of wine?

I want to stop the sugar and carb intake and craving – would it be best to go cold turkey or have a block of dark chocolate? I do exercise and am active throughout the day but I feel tired / lethargic in the afternoons – maybe a natural ‘pick me up’ would help ?

I also have a history of diabetes in the family and had gestational diabetes a few years ago, so I have to be really strict with myself to hopefully prevent getting diabetes one day.

Any assistance please!

Answer:

Alcohol stimulates the release of a neurotransmitter (dopamine). Dopamine is a chemical which has a feel good effect on people. Sugar also has the same effect of releasing dopamine, thus leaving you feeling good. When you stop drinking alcohol, sugar cravings may increase as you seek the feel good effect that alcohol used to give you.

There are healthier ways to get a dopamine “fix”. Some ideas include exercise, yoga, good quality sleep or massages. You may want to try some of these. Stopping your sugar intake cold turkey or slowly decreasing will depend on your self-will. You may want to cut it down and eat sugary feed on the weekend. Having dark chocolate as an alternative could also help with the cravings.

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