Are you addicted to SUGAR? The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that the average woman eat a maximum of six teaspoons or 25 grams of added sugar per day and the average man, no more than nine teaspoons or 37.5 grams per day. But the reality is people are consuming closer to 20 teaspoons or 80 grams per day!
I’m sure you’re aware that sugar is linked to obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, inflammation and even depression.
1) Understand Your Attachment to Sugar
The first step to combat addictions or break bad habits is to understand why are you doing what you’re doing, in this case, eating sugar.
Is it to give you that burst of energy? Are you stress eating? Are you mindlessly eating? Or do you just like the taste? tasty?
For me, I fall under the category of “stress eating’ just to give me that temporary fix. So whenever you have the urge to grab a sugary treat, ask yourself, Do you really need it? Why do you want it? Can I just stop at one piece?
The key is to keep track of these patterns in order to understand your habit. So take notice and make a record of these patterns, for at least the 1st couple of weeks. Once you know the reason behind your sugar addition, you can better plan to break up with it.
2) Start gradually
You NEED to give your body and mind the time to adapt. Instead of saying no to all sugary foods, take a look at how you can replace that with healthier options such as eating more fruits to satisfy your sugar cravings.
You can also reduce the amount of sugar and cream you put in your coffee or tea, and gradually omitting it completely. So allow the process to be slow and gradual.
Start Reading Food Labels
Once you managed to cut out the most obvious sugars from your daily diet, you need to start reading and understanding food labels, including all the products you THINK are healthy. This is an absolutely must if you are striving towards a sugar-free diet.
Here’s a really simple guideline to follow, if SUGAR is listed in the first 3 ingredients, then choose to avoid the product! Remember sugar hides behind 60 different names! And just take note that sugar is often measured in grams on labels, 4 grams is the equivalent of 1 tsp. of sugar.
4) Focus on whole foods
If reading food labels get too complicated, then simple focus on eating whole and complete foods, such as vegetables, fish, lean meat, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. That way , You know exactly what you’re eating.
If you don’t fuel yourself properly with enough calories, the first thing you’ll crave for is sugar. Hence it’s important to eat a diet rich in fibre, protein, fat and healthy cards from whole foods.
This will reduce ghrelin, the hunger hormone that drives your body crazy and make you snack on sugar!
5) Don’t drink sugar!
Many people do not know that the drinks they consume every day contains a lot of sugar in it such as soda, flavoured coffee, flavoured yoghurt, sweetened teas, and fruit juices. These are sneaky calories, which can ruin your diet!
The best option is of course to hydrate yourself with just water. Or other healthier alternatives would be unsweetened teas, black coffee, or my favourite naturally infused water.
Just by cutting sugary drinks out of your diet, you’ll see a tremendous difference to your waistline and you will start to feel better gradually too.
6) Don’t take Sleep for Granted
If I lack sleep, I tend to eat more and get hungry quicker. That’s because sleep loss increases Ghrelin, which also means cravings for high fat and high sugar foods.
When it’s late night, but you find yourself going through the fridge and food cupboard every 5 minutes, THAT’s the sign that you SHOULD be SLEEPING not trying to keep yourself awake by snacking on sugar!
7) MOVE daily
Just like in the first tip, sugar addiction is often link to an emotional issue. And exercising can help with that, because exercise boost endorphins, the feel good hormone, which is what most of us strive to achieve from eating food high in sugar.
So if you have urges, instead of finding that temporary fix by eating that cookie, go out for a walk, get some fresh air, do something that will get your mind off your worries or stress by boosting endorphins.
Chances are, your sugar craving will be gone!
I hope that this video has helped you to understand you attachment to sugar and how you CAN break up with SUGAR. What other methods have you tried? Let me know in the comments below.