Whatever our logical brain tells us about how bad sugar is for us, we still all have a strong emotional connection to sweet flavours. Breast milk is very sweet, so we learn at an early age to associate it with comfort, nourishment and safety. It triggers all our ‘wellbeing’ hormones so that even as adults, we reach for ‘comfort foods’ which invariably means sweet things. The food and beverage industry know this and thrive on it, so even supposedly savoury foods such as a tin of baked beans have had a lot of sugar added to make us want more. So many of us are unaware of our addiction to sugar, but anyone who has tried to cut it out knows how hard it can be! Let go of the addiction one step at a time. Here are 6 tips to help you beat sugar addiction one step at a time so you can lose weight and have more energy.
Tip 1 to help you Beat Sugar Addiction: Watch Your Morning Cup of Tea
If you are one of the many who adds a little sugar to your tea or coffee, start adding only half the amount you normally use. You’ll get used to the slight flavor change over time, and it’s an easy way to cut back on your sugar. If you want to keep going, you can slowly scale down until you drink your tea or coffee without any sugar.
Another option is to switch to agave nectar instead of sugar in your morning cup. Agave has a much lower glycemic index than sugar, so it won’t spike your blood sugar as much. Although some are wary of agave, it’s alright to use it as a stepping stone away from sugar—eventually, you’ll probably want to limit how much agave you consume as well.
If prefer to use sweeteners try stevia, although it’s much better to ween yourself off adding extra sugar or sweetness to any food. As soon as we taste a sweet taste our body produces insulin. The over production of insulin will increase your risk of type II diabetes.
Tip 2 to help you Beat Sugar Addiction: Know Your Food
You might be surprised to discover just how much sugar is in your yogurt, “wheat” bread, or salad dressing. There are lots of sneaky sources of sugar out there, so it’s important to be aware of them before you buy and indulge. Children’s favourites are typically packed full of sugar, so using the example of baked beans mentioned earlier, you may focus on the fact that giving your child beans is a healthy option, but when you read the ingredients you will see that there are a lot of not-so-good additives as well!
A word to the wise: sugar free options often contain chemicals and artificial sweeteners that give the same sweet flavour but are no less harmful. The only real answer is to change your palate to crave less sweetness. This can be done using a detox plan such as the 10-day detox programme I do each month.
Tip 3 to help you Beat Sugar Addiction: Swap the Store-Bought Treat for a Homemade Version
If you find yourself craving sweets like brownies, cookies, or cake, try making your own version of the treat from scratch. It takes more time, but is far more rewarding. Having control over how much sugar goes into the product can really help limit your sugar intake and, of course, your treat won’t have any processed ingredients either. Cooking and eating mindfully is an important but often over-looked aspect of weight management and of avoiding Type II Diabetes.
Tip 4 to help you Beat Sugar Addiction: Choose Less-Sugary Fruits
Yes, although it might seem like you’re making a healthy decision by grabbing a piece of fruit, some fruits contain much more sugar than others (especially dried fruits). When you’re looking for a snack, focus on the less-sugary options like blackberries, raspberries, and grapefruit.
It is true to say, though, that ‘not all sugars are created equal’ so it is better to have natural sugars such as those in fruit than the artificial white sugar that some people sprinkle on top of a fruit salad!
Tip 5 to help you Beat Sugar Addiction: Make Sure You Eat Filling Meals
Since sugar tends to sneak in during snack time or mindless eating, rather than during meals, make sure that your meals keep you going through the day. Choose meals that are higher in protein and fiber to keep you feeling fuller for longer, which can ward off the sugar craving in the afternoon.
Mix in Healthy Options with Your Sugar Intake
In the mood for a sugary snack? Go for it, but make half of your snack healthy and sugar-free. A great example would be to pair some chocolate with nuts, sugar-free oatmeal, or strawberries. You get the (smaller) sugar boost, without sacrificing your snack to lots of sugar. Make sure you use high coco content chocolate
Tip 6 to help you Beat Sugar Addiction: Watch Your Smoothies
Smoothies can seem like the perfect low-sugar treat, but it all depends on what goes in them. Some smoothies can be worse for you than a Big Mac, with hidden sugary ingredients like sweeteners, frozen yogurt, or sorbet—you definitely needto stay away from those if you want to beat your sugar addiction!
The best smoothies are protein-based and include things like cucumber, beetroot and kale. See super supplements and
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