Learn To Spot The Hidden Sugar
Sugar is everywhere. And I am not talking about the obvious ice cream, Frappuccino and cakes. Refined sugar is in yogurt and ketchup, dressings and bread, its even added in canned beans and applesauce!
Thats why learning how to check labels is so important! In order to keep sugar away from your plate, you need to be well aware of the numerous way sugar hides in our food, with all sorts of different names and shapes .
Here are the most common processed foods containing refined sugar:
TRY THIS: Start from your house. As a first step, remove the sugar from your pantry . Then take all the processed foods and drinks out of your cabinets and start reading. Once you identified all the refined sugars, get rid of those items and replenish your kitchen with whole, fresh ingredients instead.
Theres nothing harder than eating sugar when we dont have it! And I believe this is the most important step to ditch sugar for good.
How To Break Carb Cravings
Nutrition experts say that breaking carb cravings is not about getting rid of carbs entirely but rather cutting back on highly processed fast-acting carbs and eating more high-quality ones that are high in fiber and low in added sugars, such as beans, whole grains, fruit and vegetables. If you dont know how to get started, this plan can help:
1. Cut out all starchy carbs for one week. This includes all pasta, bread, rice, bagels and potatoes, as well as pizza, crackers, pretzels, chips, cookies and cake.
A day might include egg whites and cheese with berries for breakfast, yogurt for a snack, a grilled chicken salad with beans for lunch, an apple for a snack and a piece of fish and veggies for dinner.
2. Slash the sugary carbs too, including candy and sugar-sweetened beverages. These sugary carbs rapidly flood the bloodstream, providing lots of sugar without any added nutrition.
3. Add some fat. Many high-fat foods are luscious and do not cause an insulin release, so they keep your blood sugar much more stable, Ludwig said. Examples include nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil, dark chocolate and full-fat dairy. When you are eating them, you dont miss the processed carbs at all!
4. After the first week, you can gradually add back high-quality starchy carbs, starting with breakfast.
Swap Carbonated Drinks For Carbonated Water
Carbonated drinks such as soda are full of sugar and generally not good for you. However, it can be difficult to let go, especially if you are attending parties or in the summer when you want something to calm the heat. Luckily, carbonated water can do the trick. Just flavor it a little with any sweet spice, or add a splash of natural juice such as cranberry or cherry juice to give it color. You can also add a naturally flavored teabag.
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Limit The Portion Size
If you are giving in to your sugar cravings, then dont give up fully. Limit the portion size of your dessert. If you used to eat 2 candies in the past, then eat one this time.
If you used to grab a full-sized chocolate bar after dinner, then switch to half of it or the smaller version of it. Let the damage be the least.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Better
Artificial sweeteners, which are sugar-free and typically lower in calories than sugar, might seem like healthier options, but that idea is controversial. A 2012 scientific statement from the AHA concluded that using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame , saccharin , and sucralose can reduce the number of calories in your diet, thereby helping you lose weight.
However, there’s also evidence that eating these sweeteners, which are generally hundredsor even thousandsof times sweeter than sugar, can make you crave sweets even more. You undermine the benefit of using artificial sweeteners, for example, if you use a glass of diet soda to justify having a bowl of ice cream.
However, if artificial sweeteners can help you cut back on calories in a meaningful way, then they can be helpful in controlling weight and blood sugar. “For people who are trying to make small changes to their diet, artificial sweeteners are sometimes a good stepping stone, but they’re not a permanent fix,” Dr. Hauser says.
You may wonder which artificial sweetener is best. All of the sweeteners on the market are considered safe. There were reports during the 1970s linking saccharin to bladder cancer in rats that were fed extremely high doses of the sweetener. However, later studies didn’t find any evidence of the same effect in humans. Aspartame was also linked to cancer at one time, but that association has also been disproved.
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Get Rid Of Sugar In Your Drinks
Looking out for what we eat is not enough. A can of soft drink, on average, contains the equivalent of 7 teaspoons of sugar! But the good news is that we can have all the same hot and cold drinks we love in a healthier and tasty way. To prove it to you, I created a list of 20 healthy drinks that are paleo and AIP compliant as well. But to get you started on your transition to sugar free drinks:
TRY THIS: Switch sugar for flavor! Start by reducing the sugar you add to your hot drinks. Go from 2 to 1 teaspoons and eventually to 0, by replacing the calories with flavor.
HOW? Simply by adding fresh squeezed lemon juice to your tea, by sprinkling sweet spices into your herbal infusions, by sweetening your coffee with a splash of home made nut milk.
GET CREATIVE! When you feel like a sweet hot drink, enjoy a fruity herbal tea or prepare a delicious, all natural latte
If a cold drink is what you feel like, enjoy a fresh squeezed juice . Infused waters are also tasty and refreshing. Simply soak overnight some citrus fruit, cucumber slices and berries in a big bottle of water. The morning after youll have a refreshing beverage to sip on during the day. And dont forget about coconut water!!
Ways To Break The Sugar Cravings Cycle
Theres no scientifically proven way to retrain your brain to stop sugar cravings, but there are tactics you can take to lessen them. Some options worth exploring:
- Strive for a balanced diet. Eating amplefiber, protein, and healthy fat increases satiety, keeps blood sugar levels stable, and reduces sugar cravings. This might have to do with the physical feeling of fullness these foods provide. A 2020 study found that people who ate an average of 35g of fiber per day had better blood sugar markers than those who averaged just 19g. of fiber. High-fiber foods include beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, or whole grains. Meanwhile, additional research shows eating fat alongside carbohydrates can decrease the uptick in glucose after eating.
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Go For A Brisk Walk Outside
Another thing that can work is to go outside for a brisk walk.
If you are a runner, running will be even better.
This serves a two-fold purpose. First, you are distancing yourself from the food that you are craving.
Second, the exercise will release endorphins, or feel good chemicals in your brain, which can help turn the craving off.
If you cant go outside, do a few exhausting sets of burpees, push-ups, body weight squats or any other body-weight exercise.
Going for a brisk walk or running may help reduce cravings.
Keep Your Meals Diverse
Make sure you incorporate all food groups when you prepare a meal. According to Nutrition Stripped founder, McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN, people don’t realize they’re what they’re missing in their meals and it could be detrimental. “I’ve found in my practice that often people crave sugar because of generally imbalanced diet as a whole,” she says. “At mealtimes, they might be missing out on enough fiber to keep them physically full or can be lacking enough protein to keep them satiated, or enough healthy fats. All the macronutrients work together to keep our blood sugars stabilized and keep us satiated so we need them all.”
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Hydrate With Water And Electrolytes
On a Keto diet, your fluid and electrolyte needs go up. Thirst is a good indicator of fluid needs, but electrolytes like sodium and potassium may need more planning.
What you think is a carb craving might be a sodium craving. It makes evolutionary sense. Sodium was scarce in ancestral times, so we evolved to crave salty things. The research bears this out.
The solution? Add a few shakes of salt to your water and a few more to your food. You may find your carb cravings dissipate.
The Science On Sugar Cravings And How To Beat Them
A combination of physical, psychological, and societal factors make us eat more sugar today than ever. Learn 5 ways to break the cycle of sugar cravings.
Why are sugar cravings so powerful they often get compared to addiction? While glucose is fuelyour body cant function without itadded sugar in processed foods is hardly essential. In fact, limiting sugar intake is crucial to improving metabolic health. Yet even if you fully understand this, the allure of candy, ice cream, and sweetened drinks may seem impossible to resist. Whats happening?
Research has shown that sugar basically acts on the same reward pathways in the brain as cocaine and other street drugs, which is why so many people crave it so strongly, says Uma Naidoo, MD, director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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Keep Healthy Snacks On Hand
Its no good trying to clear your environment of sugary foods without having something tasty, healthy and convenient to replace them with. That way you are less likely to go looking for that sugar fix. A snack with a good source of protein will tide you over much better than a sugary snack, and keep you from feeling the need to snack too much throughout the afternoon. Some good examples included:
A great replacement for sweets or chocolates when you start to feel that afternoon energy slump is a handful of trail mix with nuts, seeds and dried fruit .
Its also worth remembering that sweet doesnt have to mean unhealthy. A piece of fresh fruit can make a fantastic snack when youre in the mood for something sweet. Fruit is low in fat and much less energy-dense than snack foods with added sugar. Fruit is high in many important nutrients and high in dietary fibre, which can help keep you satisfied. Were heading into summer so get ready to make the most of Australias delicious summer fruits. Try:
Tools For Curbing Sugar Cravings
The New Year has become synonymous with self-reflection and growth. Its a natural time for many of us to evaluate what we want to accomplish during the next 365 days and the steps we can take to get there. Better health and wellness are big themes, and if indulging in holiday sweets has been a trend for you, that might be one area youre looking to cut back on.
Processed sugar is not great for our health we all know this. Kaitlin Rohowetz, a certified health coach and founder of A Better Body in Madison, says studies show that excessive sugar consumption can suppress the immune system can cause chronic inflammation and also causes extreme fluctuations in your blood sugar, which can also affect your mood.
Conversely, changing your lifestyle so that you consume less processed sugars will likely lead to feeling more balanced overall, she says. Understanding how sugar impacts our body is the easy part. Changing our habits is a lot more challenging.
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Consider A Therapist To Help Break The Addictive Cycle
Having support is an important part of breaking a dependency on anything, including sugar. A therapist or a dietitian can provide strategies to manage stress and make breaking your addiction a success.
Its also important to make sure that you dont just go from one addiction to another. Working with a professional therapist is really important to help stay addiction-free.
Herbs And Natural Ways To Stop Sugar Cravings
Ginger provides many benefits when it comes to health. For sugar cravings, ginger is known to cleanse the palate so that you wont have to crave something sweet anymore. It further helps alleviate digestive issues and detoxify the organs.
How to use: Adding ginger to your teas, stir-fries, and other recipes is the best way to naturally introduce ginger to your diet.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about knowing how to stop sugar cravings naturally is probably cinnamon. The spice has a naturally sweet taste that can substitute for sugary foods. However, what makes cinnamon the best weapon against sugar cravings are the polyphenols it contains. This substance helps in controlling the blood glucose level, which in turn reduces sugar cravings.
How to use: Just like ginger, you can simply add cinnamon to your diet when you sprinkle it on foods, teas, and even fruits.
A natural detoxifier, turmeric has become one of the worlds renowned spices with its many health benefits. Adding turmeric to your diet helps remove environmental and dietary toxins that may affect your blood sugar levels. It also helps lower bad cholesterol levels and inflammation. You can make turmeric tea using turmeric powder and other helpful ingredients such as ginger.
How to use: You can add some cloves to your tea and other drinks. You may also sprinkle it on fruits, veggies, stews, and sauces.
Apple Cider Vinegar
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Try Mindful Eating Or Urge Surfing
If your sugar addiction relates to binging or emotional eating, mindful eating and urge surfing are your must-try techniques.
Research suggests that mindfulness around eating is effective for addressing these types of eating issues.
In a nutshell, mindful eating means paying more attention to your food. As a result, youll enjoy healthy meals more, and may also have an easier time avoiding sweet foods.
Heres how to do it:
On the other hand, urge surfing is more useful for dealing directly with sugar cravings whenever they come up.
Urge surfing was originally invented by the psychologist G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D, to help people deal with cravings to use addictive drugs.
Its based on the idea that cravings or urges are like waves that gradually become more intense, peak, and then crash on their own if you dont act upon them.
Heres how to surf your urges:
Stay Away From Sugar When Eating Out
In order to get rid of sugar cravings, you need to be vigilant about what you put on your plate especially when you arent the one who prepares the food. First of all, lets be specific: eating out doesnt mean fast food . That is simply a place that needs to disappear from your map. Forever.
Going to a restaurant though can still be an enjoyable experience for the sugar free eater. Your best arm is to ask a lot of questions, just like you do when you need to stay away from gluten. We know that sugar is commonly added to entrees, pasta sauces, dressings even savory barbecue foods are covered with brown sugar!!
TRY THIS: Grab your menu and spot those items that are more unlikely to contain sugar. Then ask your waiter, just to make sure. If the answer is yes ask if its possible to get a sugar free version if not, change. I am sure that if more people did this, restaurants would probably start lowering the amount of sugar they use.
Here are some MORE TIPS to get you going:
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Ways To Control Carb Cravings On Keto
8 Ways to Control Carb Cravings On Keto
Posted 2 years ago
Tony ONeill, PT, DPT, MSc, RDN
Carb cravings are inevitable on Keto. We want what we cant have.
But carb cravings arent just psychological. There are physical reasons we crave carbs, especially the sweet class of carbohydrates called sugar.
Dealing with carb cravings requires a comprehensive mind-body approach. It also requires a bit of patience.
In this article, youll learn eight tipsboth psychological and physicalfor controlling carb cravings on Keto. Before getting there, though, lets talk about what causes them.
Tip #: Eat Protein With Every Meal
We are going to emphasize this point again and again, one of the best ways to overcome an addiction to sugar is protein. Typically, we will need 24+ grams of protein, per meal, which will be made up of complete protein. Need some examples of complete protein? Lets go with:
Embrace more protein in your diet, and your blood sugar will thank you. It will also curb your desire to take in more sugars, because you will feel fuller and better able to mitigate those unhelpful cravings. Research has shown that high-protein breakfasts can have a positive effect on post-meal food cravings5.
Load up on good protein, and curb those cravings by feeling fuller throughout the day.
Key Insight: Focusing on complete proteins, like poultry, meat and fish, can help curb your sugar cravings throughout the day. Per meal, aim for 24+ grams of protein.
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