Sugar is so addictive. I know because once I eat a bit of it, even a tiny weeny bit of it, this ping goes off in my brain and I’m hooked. Sugar is the food drug. Just because it is not illegal does not mean it doesn’t do us any harm. We get hooked on it because it makes chemical changes to our brain. Chemicals like dopamine get released that feel so good that we just want more of it. Firstly, know if you are eating it, don’t beat yourself up or get down on yourself. The substance is just doing it’s job and it’s working. Depending on how much and how hooked you are, it can be hard to beat. You are working against your brains natural wiring. Though know that it can be changed and you can get back in control and break your sugar addiction.
Add in healthier food
The first thing we naturally think about doing is cutting things out. Now that is only natural. Though by doing the opposite we replace the sugar with what our bodies need. Whenever we leave a hole, it needs to be replaced. Instead we are going to focus on what we can add in to our diets. This needs to be healthier energy giving food so you are craving that energy spike less. Foods like healthy fats and long lasting carbs. In other words, avocado’s, fruits, sweet potatoes, root vegetables and where you can green food. I like to sneak in wheatgrass powder into my smoothies and spirulina tablets. Adding in green food helps to stabilise your blood sugar which stops the cravings and helps to break your sugar addiction.
Don’t skip meals
In a bid to lose weight, we often go and start skipping meals. What that leaves us though is hungry where we want to eat the first thing that we see. When we are hungry we get irritable so we want something that will make us feel better, will fill us up quickly and a sugary food normally hits that spot. The more we can keep ourselves content, the less we want to fill that gap. Keep your meals regular and lots of veg. Always lots of veg. Eat fulfilling meals and keep your protein high. Fish and vegetables is a good combination.
Add in colours
The more colourful your diet, the more exciting to the eye. Colourful foods are more nutritious for us with those anti-oxidants. Also, what we want to eat less of is those sugary filled white foods, the quick carbs. This is bread, pasta, white potatoes. They fill us up quickly, are stodgy and often then leave us feeling bloated. Once it’s been digested we get that slump, the food coma, so naturally we want to perk ourselves up. The white foods are sugary so leave us wanting more. We might turn to more sugar to give ourselves the hit. Then we get low from that and crave more sugar. This makes it harder to break your sugar addiction. If we can fill ourselves up instead with rainbow food. Peppers, cucumbers, bananas, pomegranates, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sweetcorn, peas, red onions. Instagram and pinterest is a good place to find ideas.
Find the cause
What is the sugar doing for you? Why are you really eating sugar? If you were to stop and answer that, what would you say? If sugar is giving you energy, why do you need energy? If it is giving you comfort, where in your life are you not getting the comfort? Is it replacing an emotion? Love for instance. What are you missing in your life that sugar is replacing? When we can find our reasons for eating it, we can work on that. Next time you go to eat sugar, ask yourself why and have a quick check in on the emotions you are feeling. This might sound strange, but don’t stop eating it for the moment, instead really hone into that feeling and work out what it is about or what you need. This may not cut out sugar for good or break your sugar addiction, but it can help you to massively cut back or get wise with your sugar. In other words, eat it when you really need it, not just eating it needlessly because you always have done or it is a habit. Read my post on tips to stop yo yo dieting.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep makes us feel tired and irritable and guess what to wake us up in the morning? Yes we have coffee which is a stimulant. We add in sugar to spark us up. It’s a false high we have to give ourselves. We then have the slump and we grab a bagel, croissant, toast or cereal for breakfast. White carby food that again is a quick high. The same for lunch with sandwiches. That is a lot of sugar. By making sure we get enough sleep, drink enough water we are meeting our basic needs and we don’t then need these artificial highs. If you are having trouble sleeping, that is another sign that your body is off kilter and you need to cut out the sugar.
Don’t switch to sweeteners
It can be tempting for us to break our sugar addiction by turning to sweeteners. This is a big no no. The thing is sweeteners are a man made product. This means it is hard for us to digest and expel from our bodies. They have been known to cause more harm then sugar. At least sugar is a natural product that has been condensed into the dried form we know. If you must eat sugar, eat real sugar and cut back rather then sweeteners