Most Easy Ways to Overcome Your Sugar Addiction
You may think that you can’t live without sugar and biologically speaking, your body does not need refined sugar. Type 2 Diabetes is becoming an epidemic in the U.S., not to mention China and India, due to unnecessarily high amounts of refined sugar in our diets. Here are some easy ways to overcome the sugar bug:
Eat Fruit and Sweet Veggies
Not only will this help you get your five to eight servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, but it will curb your sweet tooth! Most importantly, you’ll be amazed at how your cravings for sweets decreases when you indulge in luscious fruits.
Everything you eat and drink over time matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. Start with small changes to make healthier choices you can enjoy.
Find your healthy eating style and maintain it for a lifetime. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Choose fruits you love: strawberries, pineapple, peaches, bananas, cherries, blueberries – the list goes on and on.
There are plenty of sweet veggies to snack on, too, such as sugar snap peas or baby carrots. And the great thing about eating fruit and veggies is that you can eat as many as you want, whenever you want!
Drink Plenty of Water
Sometimes having a sweet tooth is a sign of dehydration. When the sugar bug bites you, drink an entire glass of water. But don’t count on soft drinks to re-hydrate you. They’re the number one dietary source of added sugar in the U.S.
Just one can of soda contains a whopping 40 grams of sugar! That’s about 10-12 teaspoons per can. No wonder diabetes is becoming an epidemic.
Use Natural Sweeteners
Experiment with natural sweeteners if they are new to you. Choose one that you enjoy and swap it for the white sugar you’ve been consuming.
- Pure Maple syrup
- Raw unfiltered honey
- Barley malt
- Date sugar
- Brown rice syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Agave nectar
- Yacon Syrup
Try maple syrup in your baked goods instead of refined sugar. Natural sweeteners still contain the minerals and nutrients from the plant that they came from, unlike white, refined sugar which has been highly processed.
The body likes nutrients and can better process a natural sweetener. Your blood sugar won’t spike like it does with white sugar. They are so sweet, yet entirely natural, that it’s mind blowing!
Enjoy Exercise Every Day
Start with 10 minutes a day of an easy activity, such as gentle yoga or going for a walk. Work up to 45 minutes a day. Mix it up and try other activities you enjoy – maybe it’s kayaking, playing volleyball or cross-country skiing.
Exercise balances blood sugar levels and provides a very necessary outlet for everyday stress, thereby reducing your need to “medicate” with refined sugar.
Sweeten your foods naturally with wonderful spices such as:
- Mace and nutmeg
- Vanilla beans
They will help reduce your sugar cravings.
Reduce or Eliminate Caffeine Intake
Caffeine dehydrates the body and spikes blood sugar, which then forces it to plummet. This significant drop, along with dehydration, instigates sugar cravings.
Get Plenty of Sleep and Relaxation
Adjust the Amount of Animal Foods In Your Diet
Eliminate Low-Fat or Fat-Free Packaged Foods
These processed foods may be low in fat, but they’re high in sugar. They may also be high in refined sugar’s evil twin: high-fructose corn syrup. Besides, they taste awful. Read labels very carefully.
Sweeten Your Life
Life is short, so you should regularly indulge in its sweet moments! Get plenty of hugs from family and friends, treat yourself to a massage or watch the sunset. When you regularly enjoy life’s sweet moments, you’ll naturally reduce your need to “medicate” with refined sugar.
Disembarking From the Sugar Train
Do you eats lots of sugar? There’s nothing wrong with occasionally indulging in sweet treats. Let’s face it, we as humans can’t be 100% eating healthy all of the time. But your body may be rebelling with symptoms like the common cold, extra pounds or energy highs and lows.
Aside from colds, weight gain, and energy issues, sugar carries a hefty price for long-term health: Type 2 Diabetes. It is becoming an epidemic in the U.S., with approximately 18 million Americans afflicted – 5 million of whom are completely unaware of it. Type 2 Diabetes affects your body’s ability to utilize blood sugar.
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form, with onset typically being age 40 or later. With Type 2 Diabetes, the body develops insulin resistance or cannot produce adequate amounts of insulin to break down sugar. Diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
The good news is, preventing diabetes can be fairly simple….if only you could stop those sugar cravings and eat healthier, right?
Cravings: How to Listen to Your Body
There is something much deeper than just being bored. Oftentimes, cravings are a sign that your body needs a particular nutrient, or that your overall diet needs balance. After all, your body is a miraculous system. It was designed to heal itself given the right tools.
When you experience a craving, it may come out of the blue, and it’s as if you can smell and taste the particular food you’re craving. You may also think of your cravings as a sign of weakness. But you should do a mental turnaround when it comes to your attitude about cravings. Here are some very important reasons why you experience cravings:
You don’t experience the sensation of thirst until your body is already on the verge of being dehydrated. Oftentimes, dehydration is even experienced as mild hunger. So when you’re thirsty or you’ve already got the munchies at 9:30 a.m., drink an entire glass of water. Drinking quality water is key.
Alkaline water has so many health benefits:
- Helps shed toxins from the body
- Acts as a liver tonic
- Improves skin tone and quality
- Works as a natural diuretic
- Breaks down phlegm
- Relieves nausea
- Is a digestive aid
- Alkalizes the body
- Improves immunity
If your body isn’t getting enough minerals, you may crave salt. If your overall diet is devoid of nutrients, you may crave unnatural energy sources such as caffeine.
PMS, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause are accompanied by fluctuating estrogen and testosterone levels-and some very odd cravings such as pickles with ice cream. One reason that women crave chocolate before and during menstruation, for example, is due to magnesium depletion that occurs during menstruation.
There’s a very good reason why you crave certain foods in certain seasons. When you crave a lot of leafy green salads in the spring, it’s your body’s way of detoxifying after winter.
On hot summer days, you may crave cooling foods such as watermelon or cucumber.
In fall, you crave hot apple pie with cinnamon because cinnamon is a spice that increases body temperature.
In winter, you crave mashed potatoes because they’re a healthy form of carbohydrate that provides fuel and warmth – plus, potatoes keep depression at bay, especially during the darkest months of the year.
Imbalance of Yin and Yang
Yin foods possess expanding qualities, such as sugar or raw foods. Yang foods possess contracting qualities, such as meat. If you’re eating too many yin foods, you’ll crave yang foods and vice versa.
For example, if you’re eating too many raw foods, yin, you may crave overcooked foods, yang. Or if you’re eating too much sugar, yin, you may crave a hunk of meat, yang.
Lack of Spiritual Nourishment
If you’re lonely, bored, hate your job, are nervous, are grieving, haven’t healed your emotional wounds, have a spiritual void or are uninspired by your exercise routine, you may eat simply as a psychological attempt to fill the void in your life. No amount of ice cream will ever soothe the sting of your parents’ hard words. But journaling or counseling will!
If this is why you experience cravings, take a good, long look at your life and make the appropriate changes to fulfill your soul. Happiness does not come from food – it comes from within.
When you eat sucrose – the white sugar next to your coffee pot – it’s been stripped of all the fiber, minerals and nutrients that were in the sugar cane plant it came from. And this highly processed, unnatural state causes an imbalance in your body when you consume too much.
We’re not just talking about candy and cookies, either. When it comes to carbohydrates, one must remember that sugar is the basis for them. But different kinds of carbohydrates have different effects on our bodies. Complex carbs like beans, legumes, vegetables and whole grains absorb at a slower rate, giving us longer lasting energy. Sounds simple, right?
The confusing part is where many complex carbs have been turned into simple carbs, right before our very eyes, and we may not even realize it. Some examples of these are:
- White pasta
- White rice
- White bread
At one time, their ingredients came from a complex whole grain, but they have been processed so much that they act like a simple carb when you them – which means they take your blood sugar for a ride.
If this is what makes up the majority of your diet, you will be riding this roller coaster all day long. It’s that 10:00 a.m. sugar craving or the 3 p.m. blues when we reach for a candy bar that tells us we aren’t eating the right kinds of foods to give us sustained energy.
The good news is that there solutions for decreasing the amount of refined sugar you are eating and at the same time, satisfying your palate. Here are a few simple steps:
1. Don’t substitute with artificial sweeteners
While they may not be sugar, they certainly aren’t natural. They will not give you lasting energy and you will wind up craving more sugar because they are chemically 300-500 times sweeter than sugar.
2. Substitute natural sweeteners for sugars
Unrefined, natural sweeteners are much lower on the glycemic index which means they will be less of an impact on your blood sugar.
Because they are minimally processed, they still contain nutrients and fiber. Natural sweeteners still contain the minerals and nutrients from the plant they came from which allows your body to recognize them as “natural” and absorb them slowly.
It’s important to note that organic sugar (aka “organic evaporated can juice”) is still sugar.
Are you doing something else while you’re eating? Are you watching TV, standing over the sink, talking on the phone? It can be strange, you may not even be hungry, but every time you do a certain activity, you are looking for something to munch on.
This happens because the mind begins to associate the two activities. For example, whenever you watch TV, you may feel like you want to eat something. The TV also helps to disconnect your mind and your hunger from one another. And suddenly, before you know it, you’ve eaten the whole bag of cookies.
Your body want to be present with the food and really experience it. This process is called Mindful Eating. You actually digest the food more efficiently when you are focused on eating. How can you gain more presence when eating?
Sugar In Your Food – Label Reading
To be more aware of the ingredients of the foods you buy at the grocery store and to detect if there are “hidden sugars”, knowing what to look for will help you decrease the amount of processed sugars.
Rule of them: if any of these listed are within the first seven (7) ingredients, put the package back on the shelf.
Here’s a list of common names for sugar:
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice crystals
- Can sugar
- Carob syrup
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Date sugar
- Diastatic malt
- Ethyl maltol
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Grape sugar
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Raw sugar
- Refiners syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
If you’ve struggled or are currently struggling to cut out sugar, but just can’t seem to do it on your own – working with a wellness coach is very beneficial.
Your coach will guide you through an easy step-by-step, adaptable process. This allows you to create life-long transformation of developing good habits and promotes health and wellness.
Living a healthy life you love is right around the corner!