Phase : Eliminate Sugary Beverages
Time: 1 to 2 weeks
Why: There are many culprits: soft drinks, sweetened waters, coffee drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, and even apple juice. In fact, apple juice can be a combination of apple flavoring and 100% sweetener derived from concentrated fructose from the apple, so it can be called 100% apple juice.
One problem is that the size of these beverages can be deceiving they also can be a way in which more sugar and calories can sneak into your diet without your knowledge. A conventional 12-ounce serving of a typical sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage, for example, is approximately 150 calories. But people rarely drink one serving. In fast-food chains, convenience stores, and movie theaters, these beverages are offered in portions that can contain around 300 to 500 calories.
Even cutting just one serving per day has been shown to produce a weight loss of 1.1 pounds at six months, and 1.4 pounds at 18 months. That might not sound like a tremendous amount, but remember that many people are not drinking just one 12-ounce serving per day. Approximately half of Americans drink sugary beverages on a given day, and within this half, about 25% derive 200 or more calories from them.
Make a list of all the sugary beverages you drink and create a plan for substitutes so you dont feel tempted to cheat. Pour the ones you have at home down the sink, and take them off of your shopping list.
How Much Sugar Should I Eat Per Day
The real question is: How much added sugar should be consumed per day? Recent food labeling requirements have changed to help consumers better navigate their food choices. One recent change was the addition of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label. If you look on the label, you may see a section for sugar and then added sugar underneath.
Sugar is the amount of sugar that is in that food by default , and added sugar is the sugar that was added into that product. Try to limit added sugar to less than 10% of your daily calorie intake. So, if you consume about 2000 calories per day, try to limit foods with added sugars to 200 calories per day.
Ketosis A Secret Weapon Against Sugar Cravings
One of the best things we discovered as Randy and I drastically reduced our sugar and carbohydrates was that we started entering into a state of ketosis.
Ketosis is when your body begins to burn fat for fuel in the absence of glucose in the body. Being in ketosis is a great weapon we can use to reduce or eliminate the impulse to have sugar.
Therapeutic ketosis is, basically, the state of having elevated ketone levels, typically above 0.5 millimoles per liter, or mmol/L. How a person achieves ketosis and how high the ketone readings are will vary from individual to individual.
When Randy and I traded our carb-loaded diet for a low carb one, not only did our sugar craving drop significantly but our bodies began to heal.
Randy was able to reverse his diabetes even after battling this debilitating disease for over 15 years. I also began to heal and was able to put into remission the majority of my fibromyalgia symptoms.
A low-carb keto diet is rich in non-starchy vegetables, has adequate amounts of protein, and is higher in healthy fats, all of which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Because of this being in ketosis can not only help us in saying no to sugar but is an aid in the weight loss process by regulating hormones more effectively.
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Q Can You Explain More About Your Mindful Approach To Eating
Sarah: Yes, this is really important. A lot of people simply eat out of habit or addiction. Wouldnt it be better to feel you have a choice of what you eat, and that the food you choose does you good? For me, being mindful means being aware of what we eat, where we buy it from, and how we actually eat it. One thing I do differently now is make a conscious effort to chew food properly, and my digestion is so much better. So although my topline message is quitting sugar, the underlying message is about how to lose that negative attitude, where you keep eating out of addiction, and then feel guilty. I see a lot of women who feel guilty after eating a chocolate mousse for dessert, and beat themselves up after eating it. I simply dont feel like that any more. Ill happily eat lots of cheese after a meal and enjoy every mouthful!
Manage Your Stress Levels
Research shows that stress affects food preferences and increases cravings for sweet foods.
Sugar also appears to have a calming effect on stress hormones, which contributes to your desire for sugar when feeling stressed.
Keeping your stress in check will make it easier to cut sugar from your diet and help keep cravings under control.
Taking a short walk, talking to a friend, and reading a book are a few simple ways to relax.
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Phase : Drastically Reduce Carbs
Time: 3 to 4 weeks
Why: When you reach this point, pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself! You have eliminated the sugar-rich, empty calories from your diet. At this point, you should start to see and feel a change: you have fewer withdrawal symptoms and more energy, and there is a noticeable difference in the way that you look and feel about yourself.
While you have already reduced your intake of simple carbohydrates, like sugars from beverages, you still have to tackle complex carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, and rice. Both simple and complex carbohydrates affect your blood sugar in ways that can detract from your weight loss. If you eat them in excess, you will soon be craving other foods, often those that are high in sugar or largely consist of other carbohydrates.
Eating too many carbohydrates is like putting yourself on a roller coaster your blood sugar zooms up shortly after you eat, then goes crashing down after a short time. Before you know it, youre hungry because your body quickly digested the food youre craving more, and so the ups and downs continue. There is a way to get off of the roller-coaster ride and take control: reduce your intake of any carbohydrates that you abuse, and by abuse, we mean eating them not necessarily because you need them due to hunger, but because you want them to feel normal and to avoid the awful feelings associated with the withdrawal syndrome.
Increase Your Dietary Fiber Intake
Eating high fiber foods may help you stave off hunger and cravings. They take longer to digest, causing you to feel fuller for longer.
High fiber foods also contribute to healthy blood sugar regulation. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable may help prevent cravings.
Aim for high fiber vegetables, beans, and legumes.
Pairing high protein and high fiber foods is best for healthy blood sugar control. Examples include mixing high fiber veggies like broccoli into your eggs or spooning some pumpkin seeds over your oatmeal.
Quit Soda & Drink More Water
One of the best ways to kickstart your sugar detox is to quit your soda habit. Replace regular soda and diet soda with sparkling water, unsweetened herbal tea, and plain water.
Regular soda has anywhere from 20-48 grams of sugar per eight-ounce serving . Diet sodas arent necessarily a great alternative to regular sodas, though, since scientists think there are some health risks with diet sodas too.
Instead of consuming soda or any type of sugar-sweetened beverage, its probably best to switch to hydrating beverages like water. Water is essential for so many reasons, but it is also very much tied to our detoxification system.
You can make water more interesting by adding lemon slices, cucumber slices, or try sparkling mineral water. Check out this super easy Cucumber & Lemon Infused Water recipe.
How To Stop Sugar Cravings: 5 Tips For The Long Term
One of the best ways to manage sugar cravings is to stop them before they start. To help you do that:
- Skip artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners may sound like a great idea, but “they dont lessen cravings for sugar and havent demonstrated a positive effect on our obesity epidemic,” says Grotto, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.
- Reward yourself for successfully managing sugar cravings. Your reward could be large or small. Remember why youre working on it and then reward yourself for each successful step.
- Slow down. For one week, focus on your sugar cravings and think about what youre eating, suggests Chambers. Diet mayhem often results from lack of planning. So slow down, plan, “and eat what you intend to eat, instead of eating when youre desperate,” Chambers says.
- Get support. Many people turn to sweet foods when they’re stressed, depressed, or angry. But food doesn’t solve emotional issues. Consider whether emotions are involved in your sugar cravings and whether you need help to find other solutions to those emotional problems.
- Mix it up. You may need more than one strategy to thwart sugar cravings. One week you may find success with one tactic, and another week calls for an alternative approach. Whats important is to have a bag of tricks to try, Gerbstadt tells WebMD. To tame sugar cravings, you really need to “figure out what works for you,” Neville says.
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Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
How I Quit Sugar
One of the things I quickly noticed when I began to address my unhealthy relationship with high carb foods, was that I had deprived my brain of healthy fats.
Sadly, I was a victim of the low-fat trend where we swapped out fat in all its forms for a diet that was very high in carbs. I truly believe that this was the beginning of my unnatural love of foods that were loaded with sugar.
I remember how I trashed all my high-fat foods and began only eating low-fat options. As long as the label said low-fat I thought I was good. It was after all that we heard over and over back in the eighties and nineties.
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How To Get Through Sugar Withdrawal
This article was co-authored by Zora Degrandpre, ND. Dr. Degrandpre is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician in Vancouver, Washington. She is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She received her ND from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2007.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 96% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 850,845 times.
The thought of “sugar withdrawal” may seem like nothing more than an excuse for people with a sweet tooth to indulge in sweets-eating. But nutritionists and scientists are discovering that when the body is accustomed to high levels of sugar consumption, it can respond to sugar deprivation with the same kinds of withdrawal symptoms experienced by a drug abuser. The symptoms of sugar withdrawal can, in fact, be very painful and debilitating.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source Understanding the symptoms and preparing to deal with sugar withdrawal can help you permanently reduce your sugar intake.
Why Do We Crave Sugar
There are many reasons why we go for sweet things.
That appetite may be hardwired. “Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokeswoman. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Sugar is a carbohydrate, but carbohydrates come in other forms, too, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The taste of sugar also releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural “high,” says Susan Moores, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant in St. Paul, Minn.
Sweets just taste good, too. And that preference gets reinforced by rewarding ourselves with sweet treats, which can make you crave it even more. With all that going for it, why wouldnt we crave sugar?
The problem comes not when we indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but when we over-consume, something thats easy to do when sugar is added to many processed foods, including breads, yogurt, juices, and sauces. And Americans do overconsume, averaging about 22 teaspoons of added sugars per day, according to the American Heart Association, which recommends limiting added sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men.
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Embrace A Gratitude Mindset
Its very difficult to replace a bad habit with a healthier lifestyle choice if we dont enjoy it. You can retrain your palate to enjoy healthier foods you may not have liked in the past. Get excited about feeling better and taking better care of yourself!
I find meditation to be a useful tool in changing subconscious thought patterns and breaking unwanted habits.
At the height of my unhealthy relationship with food, I thought of food in a negative way. I was so obsessed with it, that I would not even eat a banana, because it had too many carbs and too much sugar.
When I changed my perspective to understanding that food is good, beautiful, nourishing, strengthening, things changed for the better. While I no longer crave or even really enjoy sugary foods, I feel no guilt about eating a few bites of cake on a birthday, or even a double scoop of gelato on vacation. I dont believe in having any foods off-limits as we often want the things we cant have. Its the forbidden fruit syndrome.
I started to think like an athlete. Rather than dieting and exercising, I started training and eating. Can you feel the difference? The former is restrictive, while the latter empowering.
Think, know, and feel this: I feel best when I nourish my body and mind with whole foods. Sugar and processed foods make me feel sick, and Im tired of feeling sick.
We Become Conditioned To Need Something Sweet To Feel Complete Or Satisfied And Continue To Self
In stark contrast to this clinical assessment is the fact that, for most of us, something sweet is a symbol of love and nurturance. As infants, our first food is lactose, or milk sugar. Later on, well-intended parents reward children with sugary snacks, giving them a treat, turning a biochemically harmful substance into a comfort food. We become conditioned to need something sweet to feel complete or satisfied, and continue to self-medicate with sugar as adults, using it to temporarily boost our mood or energy. But as any addict knows, one quick fix soon leaves you looking for anothereach hit of momentary satisfaction comes with a long-term price.
The bottom line is that sugar works the addiction and reward pathways in the brain in much the same way as many illegal drugs. And, like other drugs, it can destroy your health and lead to all sorts of ailments including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, and premature aging. Sugar is basically a socially acceptable, legal, recreational drug, with deadly consequencesand like with any drug addiction, you have to have a flexible but structured plan to beat it.
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Have A Spoonful Of Peanut Butter
After a sugar binge, you may want to swear off all calories. However, eating food with other nutrients helps ward off that undesirable sugar crash caused by quick digestion. A spoonful of peanut butter or handful of nuts gives you fat and protein to slow digestion, says Jennifer Powell Bolton, PhD, RDN, a professor of nutrition at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Or try hummus with vegetables, which have fiber that helps slow the absorption of simple sugars. Not sure if youre nearing the limit? These are the nine clear signs youre eating too much sugar.
How Can I Wean Myself Off Of Sweets
Sugar-containing foods mostly provide empty calories and offer few nutritional benefits. If you are concerned about your weight or want to prevent health problems, weaning off of sugar could help you lose inches and get healthier. Just like quitting smoking, cutting out sugar is easier said than done because of its addictive nature. When you consume sugar in cake, cookies, ice cream, sodas or yogurt, it activates the same brain regions as other addictive substances like cocaine.
Going cold turkey is the best approach to break the addiction and start improving your health.
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