How to break your sugar addiction
For over 40 years we have been brainwashed into thinking that fat in our diet is what’s making is fat but what science has shown is that it is the excessive sugar content in diet that is causing obesity and so many illnesses that our society is plagued with. The question is how do we break the cycle?
Before I get into specific written recommendations I should note that there are two different philosophies out there to how to go about breaking the sugar addiction. One is, that too slowly withdraw is the best way to go about beating the sugar addiction, to avoid withdrawal symptoms and really intense cravings. On the other hand, some believe that going cold turkey is best. There is really no right or wrong answer when it comes to that. What is important is to work out what works best for your body. The following recommendations can be helpful, whichever approach you choose.
Make sure you eat protein and fat at every meal
This helps balance blood sugar levels and control cravings and it is incredibly important when it comes to fuelling the cells. It is important to choose high-quality sources of protein and fat. Grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, organic eggs and wild-caught fish are all good sources of protein. For fats, you can have avocados, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter, coconut oil and raw nuts and seeds.
It is important to manage stress levels because when stress is high, cortisol levels increase, which is likely to cause cravings and promotes storage of belly fat. There are many ways to manage stress but one of the easiest ways is deep breathing. It stimulates the vagus nerve which can help shift the body out of a stress state and also shift the body from storing fat into burning fat. There are many other things that you can do to reduce stress, like regular meditation, but deep breathing is very simple and accessible at the time when you are experiencing cravings.
Substitute whole fruits for sweets
Fruits do contain sugar, a very particular type called fructose, which is metabolised very differently from other sugars. You don’t want to eat too much fruit, no more than one small portion per day. Try to stick to low-sugar fruits, like berries, kiwi, grapefruit and avoid high-sugar fruits like pineapple, mango, banana and grapes. Avoid fruit juice because it doesn’t contain much fibre and this will cause blood sugar spikes.
Avoid artificial sweeteners
The problem with artificial sweeteners, apart from the fact that they are known to increase cravings, is that they are also linked to weight gain, brain tumours, migraines, cancer and they are very toxic. If you absolutely have to use sweetener, use stevia, xylitol or monk fruit.
Manage your magnesium levels
Craving can be linked to nutritional shortages. Chocolate craving in particular is linked to low magnesium levels. Increase intake of magnesium-rich foods like green leafy vegetables and walnuts.
Read food labels to look for hidden sugars
Ideally you don’t et food out of packages, but when you do it’s important to read the label. Avoid any added sugar. Sugar is often called something different, like corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, anything ending in -ose (like dextrose) or -ol (like malitol).
Prepare for emergencies
When you’re blood sugar is low and your body is still adapting to a low-sugar diet, you may have the urge to grab any food available. The best thing you can do is to keep snacks that are high in fat and protein at the ready, like nuts and seeds, jerky, hard boiled eggs.
I hope you found this helpful. If you are struggling to change your habits and would like to find out how health coaching can give you the support that you need, book a free 30-minute discovery call here.