Sugar consumption is a hot topic today...Recently, my friend Kayrene Willis from Healthy Habits Initiative and I hosted our first Preventative Health Workshop focusing on Sugar Blues. We covered a lot of ground, including the many reasons why sugar is ruining your health. We picked 32 reasons and listed them (please see below), but trust me, there are even more. It's important to know what to do when you are craving sugar.
Overcoming your sugar cravings is crucial and your longevity here on earth may even depend on it.I’ve listed ways to kick your sugar habit below. I challenge you to implement one of the below for a week and to add in one more each week to follow. For those of you who are completely ready to kick the sugar habit, try them all and stick with it for 10 days. It won’t be easy, but once you are over the sugar blues you will feel better than ever!
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, and may cause sugar cravings to become more frequent.
- Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
- Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are naturally sweet, healthy, and delicious. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar.
- Avoid chemicalized, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia, and barley malt.
- Get physically active. Start with simple activities like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. Being active helps balance blood sugar levels, boosts energy, and reduces tension which will eliminate the need to self-medicate with sugar!
- Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, are the most readily usable forms of energy for an exhausted body and mind. If you are in a chronic state of stress and/or sleep deprivation, your body will crave the quickest form of energy there is – sugar.
- Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. According to yin-yang principles of eating (such as in Macrobiotics and Traditional Chinese Medicine), eating too much animal food (yang) can lead to cravings for sweets (yin). Imbalances can also occur with too little animal protein (for some individuals). Through experimentation and intuition, you can find which foods create balance for you as an individual.
- Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods. These foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on the roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
- Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
- Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! Every craving is not a signal that your body biologically requires sugar. Cravings often have a psychological component. By identifying the psychological causes of food cravings and substituting lifestyle and relationship adjustments accordingly, you can begin to find balance and take charge of your health.
And if you missed it during our Preventative Health Workshop, here is a 3 minute video of Mark Hyman, Director for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine on how to Break your Sugar Addiction in 10 days.
How you can calculate your sugar consumption?
One small cube of sugar is equal to four grams. Grab a box of cereal, a fruit juice, or a box of cookies from your refrigerator or pantry. Find the amount of sugar in grams in this item, and divide that number by four. The number you see is the amount of sugar cubes for just one serving of that item. Most often, we consume more than one serving and those sugar cubes quickly add up. This method will allow you to see exactly how much sugar you, or the small mouths you may feed, are consuming on a daily basis.
Sugar consumption goal:The USDA recommends we get no more than 6 - 10 teaspoons per day, yet most Americans eat about 30 teaspoons per day—that’s three times the liberal recommended daily value.
Want to learn how to kick your sugar habit and make positive choices in your own life? Want support in creating your healthiest, happiest life ever? Let’s talk! Schedule a free one-hour health evaluation with me today (email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602.722.5627)—or pass this offer on to someone you know who is ready to make health a priority in their life!