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Why do Sweet Cravings Occur During Menopause?

Sweet Cravings and Menopause: The Hormonal Connection.
October 19, 2023

Sugar cravings during menopause can feel like a constant battle. But before you reach for the candy bar, understanding the why behind these cravings can empower you to make healthier choices.

The Hormonal Imbalance During Menopause

Menopause brings a significant decline in estrogen production. This drop can impact serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Since sweets can provide a temporary serotonin boost, your body might crave them to feel better.

Metabolic Shifts

Menopause can also affect your metabolism. Reduced insulin sensitivity can lead to higher blood sugar levels, triggering cravings for sugary foods that offer a quick energy rush (and subsequent crash).

Stress and Lifestyle

Chronic stress, poor sleep, and lack of exercise can all worsen sugar cravings during menopause. These factors can disrupt blood sugar regulation and increase your desire for sugary comfort foods.

Other Causes of Cravings

While common during menopause, persistent cravings can also indicate underlying health concerns like insulin resistance or diabetes. Consulting your doctor can help rule these out.

How to Curb Your Sweet Cravings During Menopause?

Don't worry! Here are ways to manage sugar cravings and reach for healthier options:

  • Balance Your Blood Sugar: Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Focus on complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.
  • Fiber is Your Friend: Include fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Fiber helps you feel fuller for longer, reducing cravings.
  • Spice Up Your Life: Add cinnamon or nutmeg to your diet. These spices can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce sugar cravings.
  • Don't Skip Sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can disrupt hormones and worsen cravings.
  • Manage Stress: Practice stress-relieving techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. Stress reduction can help regulate your appetite and cravings.
  • Healthy Swaps: If you crave sweets, opt for naturally sweet fruits, dark chocolate (in moderation), or yogurt with berries.

Remember: Menopause is a natural transition. By understanding the reasons behind sugar cravings and implementing these tips, you can navigate this phase with a healthier and happier you!