How to break the sugar habit one step at a time
Firstly let's just be honest with ourselves, shall we?
We all know that sugar holds ZERO nutritional value and isn't doing anything good for our bodies.
There I said it!
You may have an addiction to the small hit of dopamine you get when you eat the sweet stuff but there are ways to break the bonds it has on you.
And please don't tell me you have a 'sweet tooth' because if that's the case you could pop down to the dentist, point out the offending tooth, pull it out and your cravings and addiction be gone!
We have all made excuses for our sugar habit but now is the time to DROP THE SUGAR!
Where do we start?
Tip #1 - Baby steps
Cold turkey or white-knuckling the withdrawals from sugar can for some be too daunting and lead to yet another failed attempt to rid yourself of the white stuff.
Try controlling the amount of sugar in your day with a few alternatives.
Taking baby steps is still steps.
If you have 3 sugars in your morning coffee just reduce by 1/2 a teaspoon a week until your taste buds change and get used to the new flavour.
If you drink 2 litres of soft drinks a day, start by reducing the amount of high-sugar liquid and replacing it with mineral or soda water mixed in until there is more substitute than a high sugar base.
Replace high-sugar sweets with low-sugar alternatives
Tip #2 - Read the Labels
Becoming a sugar detective may seem like a waste of time but the more you know the better informed you are and the better choices you can make.
Sugar is sneaky, it is many of the foods we eat without us even knowing it.
Check out the tomato sauce label if you don't believe me!
Some other names for sugar just to name a few are:
Fruit juice concentrate
If you have a lower tolerance to carbohydrates, or are diabetic it’s important to be aware of all of the different names or “synonyms” for sugar, so you can check labels and identify products where sugar might be hiding, even when, the nutrition label appear to show it’s low in carbs and added sugar.
Tip #3 - Focus on whole foods.
Including whole foods that have a mix of protein, healthy fats and fibre will keep you feeling full and reduce your cravings for something sweet.
If your habit is to finish a meal with your favourite sweet treat now is the time to have some recipes on hand that are a substitute for your regular fix!
Also adding spices and herbs to your meals gives you tonnes of flavour and helps to reduce sugar cravings.
Cookies or biscuits- try almond butter cookies. (Google is your friend for new recipes)
Milk chocolate-try dark chocolate with some cream cheese on top.
Tip #4 - Drink water
I know, I know you've been told soooo many times to 'just drink water' if you've hit the late afternoon slump and need that chocolate bar or that can of caffeinated soft drink to pick you up you very well could be dehydrated.
Grab a handful of salted nuts and seeds and wash them down with a nice refreshing glass of iced water. You could add some crushed fruit or a cold-infused tea bag to it if it's flavour you are craving.
Tip #5 - Avoid processed foods
Most if not all processed foods will raise your blood glucose and then it will come crashing down and leave you searching for another hit of sugar.
Having snacks on hand that fill the void in your tummy until your next nutrient-dense meal will give you a balance of sustained energy and reduce your cravings.
Nuts & seeds
Fruits and veggie sticks with cheese
Nut butters and seed crackers
Protein-jerky,eggs, cheese, deli meats
Watch what you say to yourself.
Keep the damaging self-talk to a minimum, too many times I hear from clients that they 'can't' stop or 'it's too hard'. Now is the time to change the internal conversation and get excited about taking back control of your health.
Keeping a journal can be very helpful when you are breaking a habit, writing down what you are grateful for and acknowledging the goals you've reached.
Saying positive things about all the new and healthy choices you are making is also a very good tool to use.
You've Got THIS!