Breaking the Sugar Addiction
Typically, the only person who doesn’t know they have a problem is the person with the problem. Denial and pride are great bedfellows especially when it comes to added sugar. How many times have we told ourselves that I can quit any time or that it doesn’t affect me? Naturally, most of feel we’re rather invincible and if I don’t look unhealthy then I’m most likely not. However, the damage too much added sugar inflicts on your system can take time to manifest itself.
Here are eight quick tips to break the habit.
1. Commit to It
Have you ever tried to quit? It’s not easy. It usually takes up to two weeks to “flush” your system of the cravings. If you feel like you can’t do it, that it’s just too hard that’s because you’re addicted.
Dr. Mark Hyman confirmed this in a recent Huffington Post article, “The science demonstrating that people can be biologically addicted to sugar in the same way we can be addicted to heroin, cocaine or nicotine is clear. In fact, most recovering alcoholics often switch to another easily available drug: sugar,” Hyman wrote.
2. Check Your Feelings
Do a quick gut check and think about how you feel during or even after you’ve eaten sugar compared to those times when you don’t have any at all and then use that as a catalyst for change. You’ll probably find that you felt better when you didn’t consume so much added sugar. When you don’t get your “fix” you are probably more irritable and not happy with yourself.
3. Enjoy Your Food
You are what you eat. If you eat healthy you’ll probably be healthy. If you eat a toxin like sugar you’re pretty assured to feel like crud. Enjoy food. Real food that isn’t processed and smothered in sauces and dressings actually taste good. If you’re tired of the same old stuff try eating it without all the extra fillers, etc. You’ll discover that food can actually taste good and doesn’t need added sugar.
4. Label Check
This is one of the easiest ways to moderate the amount of added sugar you consume. Simply check the label for how much added sugar you are consuming. Getting to zero grams is highly unlikely in a day (it’s possible just not completely realistic) but reducing the amount is better than doing nothing at all. Know what you are consuming and what forms added sugar takes.
Remember when in school the substitute always seemed to be better than your normal teacher (probably because you could get away with more and they really didn’t give you any homework or anything). It’s true with added sugar.
Sugar is a toxin. Try adding fruit like dates, raw honey, or raisons to your diet instead.
Recent studies have shown that a lack of sleep increases your risk for diabetes and other ailments. Lack of sleep increases your cravings and when we crave something we typically head for the sweet stuff. Do you want to lose weight and kick the sugar habit? Get 7-8 hours of sleep.
If you’re craving sugar it’s typically because you’re body needs protein. A great substitute nuts like almonds. Get the unsalted kind and have them around you. In the morning, have a healthy protein shake and add some frozen berries to it. It’s the best way to start your day and you’ll decrease your likelihood of snacking between meals.
8. Tell Your Friends
True friends really want what’s best for you. That could be a neighbor, co-worker a family member you are particularly close to. Ask them to help you. When the cravings hit (and they will) have plan. Tell, them for the next couple of weeks they may get a lot of phone calls or text messages from you. When you feel like reaching for the soda or candy bar make a quick phone call or send a text so you can hold yourself accountable and they can help talk you off the ledge.
Kick the habit today. More and more studies are revealing just how bad added sugar really is for our bodies. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.