Almost every single day, more and more studies are proving that sugar is addictive and it plays a major role in the development of many major diseases from heart disease, diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. Sugar is very topical, everyone is talking about it, but what can we do about it?
We all need a small amount of it to function, Government has set daily adult sugar intake to a limit of 90 grams, both added and natural sugars included, but it has been estimated that an average Brit is eating sugar by pounds,over 100 lbs of sugar per year, and given health implications, we must kick the sugar habit, like our life depended on it – because it does! The science shows that eating sugar emits the same signals in our brain that drugs, such as cocaine, activate. It is easy to give a solution to a healthy, active lifestyle, but, given the nature of sugar, my experience tells me that it is easier said than done. Here are some tips how you can start kicking the sugar addiction:
- Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
- Eating a good breakfast is essential to prevent sugar cravings. I recommend a very special Healthy Breakfast to all my clients that my whole family use that is easy, quick and nutritious and gives body all it needs in a perfect balance. The typical breakfast full of carbs and sugary or starchy foods is the worst option since you’ll have cravings all day (cereals/ bread etc.).
- Try to incorporate protein, fibre & fat with each meal. This helps control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each. Example: Tofu or oily Fish combined with large salad made out of courgettes, carrots, tomato & pepper in a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
- Take a Pharmaceutical Grade multivitamin and mineral supplement, Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D3. Nutrient deficiencies can make cravings worse and the fewer nutrient deficiencies, the fewer cravings. Certain nutrients seem to improve blood sugar control including Chromium, Vitamin B3 and Magnesium. Rather than buying them separately, Good quality Multivitamin & Mineral is preferable.
- Add naturally sweet foods to every meal: Use a little bit of raw honey rather than sugar is far better alternative. Squash & sweet potato instead of potatoes. In the evenings have plain yoghurt with some berries or some warm honey water. Have a piece of fruit instead of a cake!
- Cleanse Your Colon. There are parasites that live in the colon and feed on sugar, making us crave refined sugars and carbs even more. I recommend an amazing programme that helps cleanse colon – Your skin will clear up, you’ll have more energy and retain less water, and pretty much everything in your body will feel and look better than ever, not to mention your sugar cravings disappearing.
- Spice It Up. Spices such as cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves & cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
- Analyse. Write down when and why you are craving sugar to help you come up with what triggers are and a plan to break the cycle.
- Explore the emotional issues around your sugar addiction. We could be substituting an emotional need that isn’t being met with sugar.
- Get enough sleep. When tired, we often turn to sugar for energy. Also, it triggers cortisol, fat storing hormone that encourages weight gain.
- Break habits that involve sugar. Watching late TV, going for a coffee with a friend or to a party almost always involve some sugary food. Read a book instead, occupy yourself, plan your outing and commit before going out to what you will eat and drink and, of course, make a healthy choice.
- Practice Distraction. If it works with children, it works for adults too. It is said that cravings usually last for 10-20 minutes maximum. If you can distract yourself with something else, like going for a walk, it often passes. The more you do this, the easier it gets and the cravings get easier to deal with and you will develop habit how to deal with them.
- Get Active. Whatever form of exercise you do, be it yoga, walking, dance swimming – it will boost your energy & mood, relieve tension and decrease your need for a sugar high.
- No sugary snacks in the house or office. Out of sight – out of mind!
- Get Educated on food labels. Educate yourself about what you’re putting into your body.
- Watch Hidden Sugars. Sauces, dips, soups, baked beans, etc… are all loaded with sugar (and salt).
- Watch Sugars in Disguise. Most of the complex carbohydrates we consume like bread, including whole wheat, cereals, bagels and pasta aren’t really complex at all – they are highly refined & act just like sugars in the body. Same with fruit juices. It is not a substitute for fruit. 330ml of fruit juice contain over 40 grams of sugar – like eating several bananas in one go! The same sugar content as in one can of coke.
- Drink lots of water. Sometimes we are thirsty rather than hungry. Drinking water can help with the sugar cravings.
Here is to kicking the sugar habit! Because you are worth it as you are sweet already!