It is true that sugar can get you addicted! It produces the same effects on the brain such as drugs like cocaine or heroin. Scary, right? White sugar is chemically formulated to make us love the taste and then keep us coming back for more. This is why we do not think twice about saying no to a birthday party or stopping by that bakery on the way to work that smells oh so good!
Think about it. When you taste the cake, donuts, ice cream, whatever sweets you may choose- it sends these signals to your brain that makes you feel so happy and energetic inside (endorphins)! Let’s say you drink one soda. After an hour or so, you tend to feel worse than you did before drinking the soda. So, what do you do? You reach for another soda for that energy and happiness again. Crash. Repeat.
It is time to break that sugar tooth habit for good and although it won’t be easy, I have a few tips to help you get there, slowly, but surely.
Tips to get you headed in the right direction of breaking the sugar cycle:
Wrap your mind around the idea
Quitting an addiction is a very mental process because you must be mentally strong enough to stop giving in. Basically, you must teach yourself to break a bad habit, here. Find whatever motivates you or inspires you to quit sugar and stick with it. Educate yourself on why you want sugar out of your life and write those reasons down so you will not forget why you are doing this. I have often found that keeping a journal or blog to write down your feelings, thoughts, challenges, and successes often helps me to stay motivated to stay away from sugar and other refined foods.
Get more rest
Sleep is the divine healer of all things. No, really. When you are fatigued, you will do anything to feel better and to get your energy levels back. Before reaching for an energy drink or Frappuccino, try taking a nap and see how you feel afterwards. Sleep deprivation can cause your stress levels to rise which in turn, makes you crave sweet crap even more-not to mention it also causes weight gain. A lack of sleep can also throw off your hormones and make you feel hungrier and crankier than usual. So get your zzzz’s!
Drink lots of water
Water fills your tummy and makes you full. We all know that. However, so many of us tend to enjoy something with a little more taste or fun to it. I am guilty! I hate the boring taste of water. Instead, I love to add a few slices of fresh lemon to my waters or even infuse fresh fruits as well. This helps to give the water a more natural, fun flavour and spice things up. If you crave the carbonation or fizziness to soda, try sparkling water, this will help trick your taste buds into thinking you’re drinking soda!
Brush Your Teeth with Minty Paste or Chew Mint Gum
Other than keeping your mouth busy, studies have shown that brushing your teeth and chewing mint gum helps bust a craving. Nothing tastes worse than eating something sweet (or any food in general) after brushing your teeth or eating something with a minty flavour to it. I even hate eating food after sucking on peppermints- it gives the same effect. The stronger the mint, the more you are unlikely to reach for sweets. Another bonus…you will reduce your risk for cavities by brushing regularly and avoiding sugar.
Read the Labels
Know your nutrition! This is very important because if you are truly trying to bust your sugar habit because you do not want any sugar lurking around or hiding in your favourite foods. Always read your labels and sugar/carbohydrate contents on your food when grocery shopping.
Eat Protein at Every Meal
Though last on the list, this is perhaps the most important tip of all! One of the first signs you’re low on protein: You start craving sweets! Protein is great for satiety and may help with cravings as well.
It is recommended that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day (or 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight). Therefore regardless of what we believe, we truly do need more protein in our diets for a variety of health reasons! If you are a highly active woman, you might even need more protein in your diet to keep up with your workouts and to feed your muscles after putting them to work.
Stay fit & Strong