Lose your sugar addiction!
Does sugar really hurt your health? Even if you are a super healthy eater, chances are you consume added sugars… you might add sugar to your coffee, have the occasional dessert or have the occasional soda. All of this is okay in moderation, right? The one thing I’ve learned over time for myself personally is that the more I have sugar equates to me craving more sugar. When I do not consume sugar, I feel so much better and much more energetic, with no mid-day slump. I have a funny feeling that it works like that for most of us!
Any time that I have ever taken a poll on my Facebook Page and asked what was the #1 struggle with weight loss, almost 100% of the time I would receive several people saying that SUGAR was a culprit. I get asked frequently, “Whitney, how did you manage to lose your sugar addiction?” and I’ve got a few strategies to share today.
1. Incorporate some fruit into your diet.
After not eating refined sugar for a while, fruit tastes like candy to me now. If it doesn’t feel that way to you yet, just know that it WILL! It may take time, but it will if you stick to this. Trust me on this one. Before you go to bed, cut up some fresh fruit for the following day. This will give you fresh fruit available when you start feeling a craving for sugar coming the next day. Since fruit also has fiber, it will satisfy you. If just a piece of fruit doesn’t satisfy you fully, grab an ounce of nuts or seeds to go with it to give yourself a dose of healthy fats.
2. Get moving.
When you feel a sugar craving coming on, stand up and walk around. If you’re at the office, perhaps take a walk to the water dispenser, restroom, or take a walk outside around the building (that’s what I do!); if you’re at home, step outside for a few minutes if you can, and walk around. If you can’t step outside, just jog in place for a minute or two. This will momentarily take your mind off of your craving. If you are still dreaming about sugar after you get up and move, eat a piece of fruit. You will feel better afterwards because you didn’t give in!
3. Eat every 2-3 hours.
I realize that eating every 2-3 hours is not easy for everyone. I know we are all super busy, so eating 3 meals a day can sometimes be a challenge! But seriously, waiting too long in between meals sets you up for a binge. Also, when you’re ravenous, what do you crave? A healthy item? My guess is that you crave JUNK – I know I do. When I’m just getting hungry after eating 2 hours before, I make wise decisions, but if I haven’t eaten in 4-5 hours, I want to eat CARBS CARBS CARBS! Eating frequently keeps your blood sugar stable. Try to have a bit of protein at each small meal.
4. Learn how to read food labels.
This one is crucial. Food manufacturers know how to “sneak” sugar into everything. Even if you do know how to read food labels, you may not know some of the ingredient names that actually are sugar in disguise! Look at the list below and study it; if you see any of these names in the first 3 ingredients on a food label, you’d be better off to not buy that particular item. The ingredients near the front of the list make up a greater percentage of that item.
– brown sugar
– cane sugar
– corn syrup
– corn sugar
– fruit juice concentrate
– high fructose corn syrup
– molasses sucrose
– raw sugar
– turbinado sugar
5. Lose the artificial sweeteners, too!
Have you ever noticed how that packet of Splenda is SO MUCH SWEETER than that same amount of real sugar? What do you think having that sweet calorie-free and sugar-free drink does to your waistline? Well, while it doesn’t have calories or sugar, artificial sweetener can make you crave sugar. Why? Well like I mentioned before, eating sugar makes you crave more sugar. Your taste buds can’t tell the difference between real and fake sugars, so the craving continues to plague you.
I know it can be hard to do any of these action steps; trust me, I’ve been there! I also hope that you trust me when I say that you will feel so much better when you lose your sugar addiction.
I did a FREE challenge this week on my Facebook page where we all committed to ditching sugar for 7 days. Yesterday was day 3, and the ladies in the group were already telling me how they felt that their tummies were flatter, they were making healthier choices, and that they had more energy. In this challenge we cut the sugar cold turkey, so of course there were some headaches the first few days, but as of day 3 everyone is feeling great and motivated. That is my only goal; to encourage and motivate you that you CAN have control over your cravings. It may seem impossible now, but believe in yourself because you are powerful!!!