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.
Twelve Steps To Break Your Sugar Addiction
You got stressed out. Your unhealthy in-laws came for a visit. Your child was hospitalized. Theres a big project due at work and youre on a deadline and working 14 hours a day. Your mother fell and broke her hip. Your adult child moved back in. You were sick. Your partner has expressed displeasure and is blaming you. A relative has passed away and you are grieving.
If this wasnt bad enough, youve found yourself back into your favorite sugary treats, youre gaining weight, and you feel even worse. You cant figure out how to get out of this horrible cycle of weight gain, self-judgment and shame.
Sometimes there is no obvious stress. You didnt even notice until your clothes started feeling tight.
There is no reason to feel ashamed.
There is a good reason why you feel powerless and out of control. Scientific research clearly shows that sugar is a powerful drug.
In the brain, sugar increases dopamine levels that control the brain’s pleasure responses, exactly like many drugs of abuse such as tobacco, cocaine and morphine. As sugar addiction progresses, the increased dopamine leads to the opposite, a reduction in dopamine levels. Then you need higher amounts of sugar to get the same level of reward.
One or 2 cookies doesnt do it anymore. You need 5 or 6 or more – before you feel satisfied enough to stop.
Sugar is so powerful, it is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. Is it any wonder people suffer daily cravings for sugar?
Hydrate The Right Way
Green juices can be deceiving. Yes, they have fruits and veggies in them, but that green drink youre grabbing from Jamba Juice may be loaded with more fruit and sugar than actual greens!
Read those nutrition labels carefully. If youre consciously consuming the fruit for the benefits of the fruit itself, why not grab a whole apple or banana instead? Whole fruits provide nutrients as well as fiber, which helps slow the digestion of natural sugars.
When it comes to hydration, I suggest carrying around a 32-ounce water bottle. Fill it up twice per day and youve hit all, if not more or close to, your hydration needs.
If plain water doesnt excite you, make your own spa water by adding fresh mint and lemon slices.
If youre having a tough time fighting the soda habit, go for bubbles, just make them chemical and calorie-free. You can also try adding frozen or fresh fruit to plain club soda for a refreshing alternative.
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Dont Mistake Tiredness Boredom Or Anxiety For Hunger
People eat for a variety of reasons, but its not always hunger that drives their decisions.
If youre tired, you should rest. If youre bored, you should find something to do with your hands other than snack on sugar, like knit, read a book, or go on a bike ride.
If youre struggling with anxiety, try some deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to calm your nerves instead of a candy bar laden with sugar.
Consuming Sugar Increases Your Risk For Diabetes And Metabolic Syndrome
With all that increased sugar and weight gain comes a higher risk for diabetes and a condition called metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome is a group of symptoms and behaviors that put you at a much higher risk of developing heart disease and Type II diabetes.
Thankfully both conditions are reversible and the first step toward better health is to cut out the sugar. Eating a low carbohydrate diet, like Keto, keeps your blood sugar normal and is far less likely to cause metabolic syndrome.
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Ask Yourself If You’re Eating Your Emotions
Understanding why you are craving sugar can be a major clue to help you overcome it. “Know your reason ‘why,'” Glassman says. “Cravings can be triggered by emotions, behaviors, or nutrient deficiencies. The next time you’re absolutely craving ice cream, ask yourself, is it pure boredom? Are you feeling happy? Sad? Stressed?,” she explains. Asking these questions and trying to get to the bottom of why you’re craving what you are can help you overcome the feeling in the future as well.
Things You Need To Break A Sugar Addiction
But first, heres what you need to get off sugar once and for all :
- An accountability buddy. Someone who is truly willing to do something difficult. Someone as motivated as you are to break the grip of sugar in their life.
- A serious, hardcore bet. One where the reward or punishment is bigger than your cravings and your fear of failure.
- Four days with no sugar at all, not even natural sugar from fruit. This will knock down 90% of your craving.
- Some positive, loving self-talk. For one, a commitment to shifting thought patterns and self-talk, loving yourself instead, when Shame starts to creep in. And two, daily affirmations that life is sweet, even without the nice girls crack cocaine.
- Some touchstones to come back to daily and, later, weekly. Journaling how youre doing, texting your “accountbilibuddy,” posting on social media. Be accountable. Dont be silent for weeks, because then its too easy, in a moment of weakness, to drop out. Write down the gains in your energy, health, cravings, control of your life.
- Celebrate your wins. When its been a week. When its been a month. When its been a year . Celebrate with something that isnt, you know, sugary.
Use tools like a journal to help keep track of your progress and changes.
When you set yourself up for success, state your intentions to the world , and hold yourself and your buddy accountable, youre going to win.
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Give Your Mouth Something To Do
Another great way to stave off sugar cravings is to give your mouth another distraction. Whether it’s chewing sugar-free gum, drinking a cup of warm herbal tea, or just doing something else, allow the craving to pass. “Allow enough time to pass while you drink or wait for the piping hot tea for you to think through the craving,” Moreno says. Most cravings last no longer than 30 minutes.
Is A Sugar Addiction As Powerful As Cocaine Addiction
I think wed all agree that cocaine is a very addictive substance. So how does sugar addication compare?
Consuming sugar sparks your nucleus accumbens , the area of the brain often referred to as the reward centre. When your nucleus accumbens is stimulated, it releases dopamine, and you begin to feel very good very quickly.
The more sugar your food contains, the more dopamine is released, and the bigger high you experience. But…
Just like cocaine and other addictive drugs, over time your brain requires more sugar in order to generate the same high. Your dopamine receptors become less sensitive to the presence of sugar, and your addiction to sugar grows stronger.
Some people even experience physiological changes within the brain when they eat sugary or highly refined foods . Their brains change and the sugar addiction gets stronger.
It is important to realize that sugar addiction is NOT just an emotional reliance on sweets and refined foods. If you cant resist sugar, dont be too hard on yourself. It has nothing to do with your willpower, or your desire to change your body has adapted to depend on sugar and, just like a cocaine addict experiences tremendous withdrawal symptoms if she were to cut out cocaine, removing sugar from your diet can feel impossible.
This can sound very depressing, but dont worry because there IS hope.There is a sugar addiction cure!
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Dont Add Sugar To Foods
Many everyday recipesincluding those for vegetables, soups, casseroles, and saucescall for sugar to add sweetness. In most cases, its just not needed. So if youre making biscuits, for instance, you probably can skip the sugar. Substitute applesauce or pureed prunes or dates for half the sugar in recipes you can also use them in place of the recipes fat. Sometimes it doesnt work, in which case, looking for or developing a lower sugar version is the best bet, says Eich. Make your own barbecue sauce, which will cut out the extra sugar in the ketchup. Learn what eating sugar does to your skin.
Breaking My Sugar Addiction: The Symptoms
I had many symptoms before I finally overcame my addiction to sugar.
- Sugar Cravings
- Feeling Foggy
Somehow it never occurred to me that it was not normal to be bloated after every meal. I would be so hungry when I would sit down to eat. Then only a few bites in, I felt so full that I couldnt eat anymore.
My digestive system was miserable every day. I tried so hard to clean up my diet and eat healthily. Even when I managed it for a few weeks at a time, something would inevitably happen that would send me right back to the sugar, and the cycle would continue again. A merry go round that I couldnt escape. It seemed fun in the beginning. But the process always led to me being sick from going round and round and round. The cycle never stopped.
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What You Can Expect When You Go Off Sugar
If you take a break from sugar, you’ll find your tastes and cravings begin to change very quickly.
Its a simple science experiment that will prove something interesting to you: that you are stronger than you think.
You are actually innately drawn to the colors, textures, and flavors of real food. That is your genetic programming, and those natural, whole foods are what your ancestors ate for thousands of years.
You cant discover this UNLESS you quit sugar for four days.
I know you can do it. My first four days off sugar were much, much harder than the subsequent 361.
Choose the days of the week you face the fewest temptations, and plan ahead with delicious, flavorful, whole-food meals that will fill you and satisfy your taste buds.
Now, if you dont find the sugar cravings completely disappearing after four days?
Whatever you do, dont let Shame grab you by the throat. It serves no one. Behaviors driven underground flourish in the darkness. Say no to Shame!
Youre no different from meand I make a living telling people how to eat healthy.
It takes some people a little bit longer, often because they have candida yeast overgrowth or they eat higher-than-average amounts of sugar or soda.
Sugar is more addictive than crack cocaine. Multiple studies have proven it.
But its actually quite amazing what four days off the nice girls crack will do for your confidence level. Sugar does not own you, and you CAN break your sugar addiction.
Additional Tips For Cutting Sugar Out Of Your Diet:
- Drink plenty of water! Its a common mistake to assume your body is craving sugar when really its just dehydrated. Stick to the 8×8 rule and see if your sugar pangs are naturally dissolved.
- Boost your serotonin. Serotonin, also known as the the happy hormone, can be increased through diet, regular exercise, and a sensible sleep schedule. When your body gets plenty of serotonin, it no longer craves sugar as a pick-me-up.
- Stabilize your blood sugar by eating several small, healthy meals throughout the day, rather than the usual overloaded breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a common method for avoiding dips in blood sugar, which tend to result in reaching for the quickest processed snack for a quick boost.
- Dont be fooled by low-fat and fat free options. New York-based nutritionist and founder of Clean Plates Jared Koch warns, Just because a product is labeled fat-free or low-fat doesnt mean its healthier or even lower in calories. In fact, most low-fat or fat-free foods will have sugar and chemicals to make up for the loss in taste, which renders them poor nutritional choices.
Lets face it, sugar is everywhere and for a good reason: its delicious. Add to that the inexpensive accessibility and its hard to give your pantry the full clean sweep.
Fortunately, more and more dining establishments and food brands are cluing in to the harmful effects of refined sugars and making it easier than ever to find healthier options.
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Break The Sugar Addiction
If you’re “hooked” on sugar, don’t try to eliminate all sugary foods at once. If you deny yourself even a single piece of candy or sliver of cake, you’ll only crave sweets more. Instead, eat a healthy diet made up of more satisfying foodswhole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils, and lean protein. “Steer yourself away from sugar and eat these foods, which are digested more slowly. They’ll help to even out your blood sugar and you won’t have spikes and crashes all the time,” Dr. Hauser says.
Here are a few suggestions to help you break the sugar habit:
Keep sugary foods away. Don’t tempt yourself by stocking candy, cookies, and other high-sugar foods in your cupboards and fridge. “As a substitute for these things, keep fruit around,” suggests Dr. Hauser.
Sweeten foods yourself. Start with unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, and unflavored oatmeal. Then add your own sweetener. No matter how much sweetener you add, you probably won’t put in as much as the manufacturer would have, according to Dr. Hauser.
Watch for hidden sugars in foods. Be wary of foods where sugar tends to hide, including reduced-fat products. “When companies take out the fat, they add back almost all the calories in sugar,” Dr. Hauser says. Read labels. Avoid products that list sugar as the first ingredient or that contain several different types of sugar it’s one way manufacturers avoid having sugar listed as the first ingredient.
How To Stop Sugar Cravings
The sweet taste of sugar from ice cream, candy, cola, and even breakfast cereals seems to dance on the tongue, oftentimes leaving one craving more.
Studies have found that sugar is addictive, and people who are addicted to sugar even experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression and mood swings when they try to cut it out of their diets completely.
This can be problematic for people with diabetes, who by definition cannot properly metabolize sugar and must manage their cravings for optimum blood sugar control.
This article will outline the ways to stop your sugar cravings and kick the habit for good!
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How To Break Your Sugar Addiction In Only 4 Days
Robyn Openshaw – Updated: February 1, 2021 – – This Post May Contain Affiliate Links
On the GreenSmoothieGirl lecture tour of 450 U.S. cities, I was asked one question, over and over:
How do I break my sugar addiction?
And I suspect that far more of us want to ask this question, relative to the few brave enough to say it out loud.
Because we all have Shame about our food addictions. Wed all love to get off sugar.
Im going to talk about how the Shame Monster is your worst enemy, if youre addicted to sugar. Worse than the chemical addiction, maybe. And then Im going to tell you the somewhat triumphant, somewhat humiliating story of my Year of No Sugar.
In this post:
Tips To Break Your Sugar Addiction
Everyone knows that eating an excess of sugar is bad for your health. Too much sugar can cause cavities and increase your risk for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity to name a few. They problem is that sugar tastes good, our bodies crave it, and it is in pretty much everything we eat. Sugar is very difficult to stay away from.
Sugar is found in obvious foods such as candy, baked goods and fruit. However it can also be found in less obvious places as an additive. Some common culprits of foods with hidden sugar include dairy products, bread, ketchup, and boxed meals. Low Fat foods tend to have more added sugar than regular fat options because sugar is added to make up for the flavor that is lost as the fat is reduced. When you eat sugar, your body releases dopamine from the reward center of your brain. Dopamine is the feel good hormone. Every time it is released it makes your body feel good and it wants more. This is the reason that sugar becomes so addictive and why we crave it when we are feeling sad or depressed. At Generations Dental, we want to help you fight this addictive cycle and help you start the New Year as a healthier you.
Here are five ways to help curb your sugar addiction:
-Your team at Generations Dental
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