Have you suddenly started to crave sweet foods? Is it normal or a sign of approaching prediabetes?
Do you often find yourself craving munchies even though you just finished a full course meal a while back?
Having insulin resistance could throw you in a constant battle between having to choose carb-control vs. an insatiable appetite. The aftermath of eating too much can be detrimental to your health. It can lead to weight gain which can worsen your prediabetes.
What can be done to improve prediabetes and control this constant feeling of hunger?
Let’s find out!
Insulin resistance and increased appetite
Insulin is needed to bind to the glucose in the bloodstream and transfer it to the cells for energy production. In prediabetes, your body develops insulin resistance due to which the glucose utilization is slowed down. This is why you feel tired most of the time.
Even when you have eaten sugary food, the glucose does not enter cells and you feel a lack of energy. In response to this, your brain signals you to eat more often but it only leads to rapid accumulation of sugar in your blood.
Quick Check: If you have started craving sugary foods a lot lately, this could be a symptom of prediabetes.
When this hunger occurs too frequently even when after you have eaten sufficiently, this could be the sign of a condition called polyphagia (excessive hunger) which is seen in people with type-2 diabetes along with other two common symptoms-
- Excessive thirst (polyuria)
- Excessive urination (polydipsia)
Other reasons behind excessive hunger
You may feel like eating very frequently even though you do not have prediabetes or type-2 diabetes. This reasons for that could be-
Having an overactive thyroid gland means that you have your body consumes too much energy even at a resting state. This makes you want to keep eating multiple times even without gaining weight.
Though it may seem like a blessing in disguise, having a thyroid dysfunction can increase your risk of other endocrine disorders like PCOS, Graves’ disease, and digestive problems like IBS.
Stress & anxiety
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are linked with an increase in appetite. This motivates you to eat sugary food for emergency energy requirements as stress triggers your fight-or-flight response.
This is why you eat too much when you’re stressed and this can lead to eating disorders.
Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or just stressed?” Mindful practices like yoga and pranayama can help you in reducing stress levels.
When you are pregnant your body goes through a huge hormonal change and your energy demand increases as it supports another life in you.
Women may also develop insulin resistance and obesity during later pregnancy stages which can increase their eating frequency.
Managing cravings with prediabetes lifestyle changes
Having prediabetes increases your risk of fat deposition as the unused blood sugar is getting converted into body mass in absence of proper physical activity.
It is very important to manage your insulin resistance to keep blood sugar low in order to avoid the urge to binge eat.
Be on the move
Don’t waste more time planning about which gym to join and what workouts to do. Even simple things like dancing, walking, and doing home chores also count as great ways of exercising. They will help you melt your body fat in a fun way and also improve insulin sensitivity.
When your body is active it effectively utilizes the blood sugar and you will not have to eat so voraciously like before.
If you want simple yoga asanas for beginners, you can try these 5 easy weight loss poses.
Limit alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol puts your brain in a hungry mode and increases energy intake.
Moreover, you can not resist the temptation to eat certain food when drunk which leads to high sugar levels and weight gain if you do it habitually.
Moreover, binge drinking is associated with whole-body insulin resistance which is very dangerous for prediabetic people. Occasional drinking of red wine is permitted but avoid too much of it.
If you feel hungry between meals you can eat foods that are low in carbs but rich in protein. Such snacks include nuts and seeds, and sprouts.
Protein will keep you feeling full for a long time and cut down your number of visits to the kitchen.
Avoid simple sugars
Simple sugars are your biggest enemies.
Firstly, they provide no nutritional value and they are just empty calories.
Secondly, simple sugars are broken down very quickly which leads to a rapid release of glucose in the bloodstream which puts too much pressure on your pancreas’s insulin-producing cells. All of these extra calories only make you put on unhealthy weight,
Lack of hydration can cause elevated blood sugar levels. A very simple and no-brainer remedy to remove extra sugar from your body is to drink plenty of water and flush it down the toilet.
If you have a habit of quenching thirst with sodas or other unnatural drinks, stop it immediately. They only lead to further dehydration. Nothing beats sipping down a glass of plain water.
At least 1.6-2 liters of water is recommended for daily consumption, but it may vary depending on the climate and your body requirements.
To sum up
While excessive hunger can be caused by a lot of factors like stress or just the delicious taste of some food items, it is a cause of concern if you have prediabetes. If you do not watch your calorie intake you may have to soon deal with some serious metabolic disorders.
So, avoid unhealthy habits that could deteriorate your prediabetes condition and try to reduce weight to solve most of your problems.
What are signs of being pre diabetic?
- Excessive hunger
- Frequent urination
- Lack of energy
- Unquenchable thirst
All these symptoms indicate a rise in blood sugar level and suggest a possibility of prediabetes.
How can I reverse my prediabetes fast?
The fastest and the most reliable way of reversing prediabetes naturally is to –
- Cut down unhealthy carbs
- Add healthy carbs
- Exercise daily
- Drink plenty of water
- Do not sleep too much
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Manage stress and stay happy
With all these interventions you will surely improve your insulin sensitivity and become prediabetes-free.
What foods to avoid if you are prediabetic?
- Fruit juice
- White sugar
- Dry Coconut and its oil
- Sweet fruits like watermelon, ripe banana, kiwi, etc.
- Potatoes, yams, white rice, refined grains, etc.
Here are the details about what foods to eat and avoid in prediabetes.
How long does it take for prediabetes to turn into diabetes?
Over the short term (3-5 years ), about 25% of people with prediabetes. Over a duration of years, without any healthy interventions in the lifestyle, people with prediabetes will eventually develop full-blown diabetes which is very difficult to reverse and manage.