Friday, November 25, 2022

How To Stop Wanting Sugar

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I quit sugar for 30 days

It’s true what they say: Out of house, out of mouth. Seems simple enoughuntil you’re actually in the grocery store. To ensure you’ll have the restraint to stop eating sugar, have a small snack before you leave the house. Experts say that when we’re shopping hungry, we’re far more likely to lose sight of our dietary goals and load up on unhealthy, sugar-laden eats.

Sugar Cravings: 4 Reasons They Happen And How To Stop Them

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Sugar cravings are the worst.

Its like a little army of meanies grab hold of you and torture you until you feed them jellybeans, right?

Give into this craving too often and you might be setting yourself up for a slew of negative health outcomes. All that extra sugar can lead to higher caloric intake and contribute to chronic inflammation.

In a randomized controlled trialof 29 healthy young men, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption increased inflammatory blood markers in just three weeks. On the flipside, data from a national U.S. cohortstudyfound that reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption correlated with a reduction of inflammatory and chronic disease biomarkers. Given this research, its not surprising that excess sugar consumption is linked to an increased risk of conditions such asheart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Yet, sugar cravings can still be so hard to resist.

In this video, my good friend Natalie Jilland I talk about sugar cravings, especially the kind that seem to attack as soon as youve finished eating a meal.

Sugar cravings affect everyonemyself and Natalie Jill included. Clients ask both of us about this quite often, so we thought wed explain why they happen and what you can doto fight them.

The key to dealing with sugar cravings is to start with understanding why youre getting them in the first place.

Why Is Sugar Addictive

Many people simply wonder why sugar is addictive. Certainly, not many people report an addiction to broccoli, so there has to be a reason! That reason is found in the chemical release of hormones in our brain when we eat sugar.

With every sweet bite, dopamine is released from our brain into our bodies. This is the link between added sugar and addictive behavior that is also found in substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs.

The neurotransmitter dopamine is part of the reward circuit in the brain thats associated with addictive behavior. The high one feels from eating sugar makes one addicted to said behavior , creating a vicious cycle.

As you repeat the behavior more often your body adjusts to release less dopamine over time. The only way to feel the same high as before is to increase the release of dopamine, which in this case means to eat more and more sugar.

These same behaviors are found in people with drug and alcohol dependencies, but for sugar, the ingredient is much more accessible, available, and socially acceptable than illegal drugs, making it also much harder to avoid in everyday life.

On average, an average adult in the U.S. consumes around 77 grams of sugar a day, or about 60 pounds of sugar per year!

Read Also: Does Superbeets Lower Blood Sugar

Switch To Natural Zero

There are several artificial sweeteners on the market that are totally free of sugar and calories, such as sucralose and aspartame.

However, these artificial sweeteners may be linked to imbalances in gut bacteria that can lead to poorer blood sugar control, increased food cravings, and weight gain. For this reason, it may be best to avoid artificial sweeteners too (

37 ).

They are all naturally derived, although they do go through some processing before they arrive at your local grocery store. Still, research on these sugar alternatives is ongoing.

Why I Need To Avoid Sugar

Stop Sugar Cravings

Im a middle-aged woman, so Ive had time to learn a few things about myself. One of those things is that Im never going to be a skinny person. Its not that I couldnt develop the discipline to eat only steamed broccoli for the rest of my life. I just dont care enough to do it. Ive got short, dumpy Irish potato farmer written all over my genetic code, and Im fine with it.

What I DO care about is avoiding:

  • Growing too fat to fit into my clothes and have to buy a new wardrobe
  • Getting diabetes like grandma did
  • High cholesterol, so I dont have a heart attack like my dad did
  • Missing sleep because of sugar-high jitters
  • Sugar threatens to make all of these horrors come true.

    Read Also: Why Is Blood Sugar Important

    Swap Marinara Sauce For Fresh Tomatoes

    There’s really no need to add sugar to tomato sauce because, well, the fruit is naturally sweet. But that doesn’t stop food manufacturers from loading their cans to the brim with the stuff. Since store-bought tomato sauce is often made with things like dehydrated tomatoes and cheap oils, they rely on the sweet stuff to amp up the flavor. Your best bet? Switch to a no-sugar-added option like Ragu’s No Sugar Added Tomato Basil or combine chopped fresh tomatoes with olive oil and spices in a frypan to create a quick pasta topper right on your stovetop.

    Resolve Any Nutrient Deficiencies

    Nutrient deficiencies are one of the most common causes of sugar cravings.

    The three main deficiencies to look out for are chromium, magnesium and tryptophan.

    Chromium and sugar cravings

    Typical signs of low chromium are poor blood glucose control, feeling dizzy and irritable after several hours without food, needing to eat frequently, excessive thirst and sugar cravings.

    Youll find chromium in broccoli, oats, barley, green beans, tomatoes and black pepper.

    Supplementing chromium is also helpful.

    Magnesium and sugar cravings

    Its estimated that at least 90% of Australians dont get enough magnesium, partly because its deficient in the soils, as well as a typical Australian diet.

    Symptoms of low magnesium include fatigue, irritability, weakness, heart irregularities, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, mental confusion, decreased appetite and sugar cravings.

    Leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, brown rice, apples, avocados, cacao, eggs and kelp all contain magnesium, so including more of those in your diet can help, as well as supplementing.

    Tryptophan and sugar cravings

    If you have sugar cravings or binge on refined carbohydrates, have trouble sleeping, experience anxiety, mood or sleep issues, or seasonal affective disorder, low tryptophan may be the cause.

    Youll find tryptophan in chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, bananas, soy and cows milk, lentils, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and fish.

    Supplementing can also be helpful, in the form of 5HTP.

    Recommended Reading: Are Carbs Or Sugar Worse For Diabetics

    Practical Tools To Saying No To Sugar

    When I made the decision to try to get my health back after years of battling the effects of fibromyalgia, Epstein Barr virus, and Guillan Barre Syndrome, I turned to a low-carb keto diet.

    In my case, I started my journey to saying no to sugar by saying yes to a diet that was higher in healthy fats. Something very interesting happened when I made the switch from low-fat to low carb. All of a sudden my sugar cravings began to diminish.

    The more I learned how to give my brain what it needed in the form of healthy fats, the easier it was to pass up the high carb foods that I would have otherwise never been able to say no to.

    Clear Out Your Environment

    SUGAR CRAVINGS | how to stop them naturally

    Take an inventory of the food in your pantry and kitchen.

    I dont know about you, but if there are sweets in the house, I find it hard to resist them.

    Some of us are wired like that .

    Give sweets, biscuits, chocolate, soft drinks away to those who arent interested in ditching sugar give them to charity or dispose of them as you wish.

    Check all your premade sauces, snacks, yoghurts etc, and clear out anything with added sugar. Keep only packaged foods that have less than 5g per 100g of sugar in them.

    This way youre less likely to go over the 24g per day .

    If you have a top drawer in your desk full of snacks do the same.

    Read Also: How To Tell If Sugar Is Low

    How To Break A Sugar Addiction

    Those cookies you smell at the holidays, the ice cream that makes your eyes light up in the summertime and the candy jar full of tempting chocolates all have one thing in common they’re loaded with sugar.

    There’s something about sugar that speaks to your brain, evoking feelings of happiness with each bite of food or each sip of your favorite sugary drink you consume. It’s part nostalgia and part chemical reaction. The more you eat, the more you crave, which can lead you down a road of long-term health problems.

    We’re here to discuss what makes sugar so habit-inducing, how you can kick your cravings and which foods you can substitute to please your sweet tooth.

    Reducing Your Sugar Use

  • 1Cut the amount of sugar you add to things in half. If you dont want to stop using sugar cold-turkey, a good strategy is making an immediate reduction in the amount that you use. If you regularly add sugar to your coffee, food, or baked goods, cut the amount that you use in half. XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Heart AssociationLeading nonprofit that funds medical research and public educationGo to source
  • Your craving for sweet foods is part of the addition. Once you break your habit, food and drinks that are less sweet will taste just fine to you.
  • As you get used to less-sweet foods and drinks, you can reduce your sugar usage even more until you gradually cut it out entirely.
  • 2Replace sugar with other spices and flavorings. When you swear-off sugar, treat it as an opportunity to explore other flavors. You might not know what you were missing while you were adding sugar to everything! Try some sugar substitutes to introduce new flavors to your food.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Heart AssociationLeading nonprofit that funds medical research and public educationGo to source
  • Common sugar replacements are cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and apple sauce.
  • Try to avoid artificial sugar substitutes like SweetnLow as much as you can. These are sugar-free, but dont have a good effect on weight-loss or other health goals.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical School’s Educational Site for the PublicGo to source
  • Don’t Miss: How Many Carbs And Sugar Can You Have On Keto

    Change Your Sleep Habits

    Researchers at Kings College in London found subjects who slept more consumed less sugar. In the study, the heaviest sleepers cut their daily sugar intake by a whopping 10 grams. Heres the strange part. Consuming too much sugar also makes it harder to sleep. So, reprogramming your brain to crave less sugar may help you get a better nights sleep too. Strange how that works!

    One theory for how sugar interferes with sleep is blood glucose swings. When you consume sugar, especially close to bedtime, it triggers a rise in blood glucose followed by a rapid drop. The steep decline in blood sugar causes you to wake up. If you cant sleep at night, take a closer look at how much sugar youre consuming and try slowly cutting back. Monitor your sleep by keeping a sleep dairy too.

    Cover The Essential Nutrients

    stop eating sugar, reduce inflammation and regain your health

    Protein and fat are crucial to kicking a sugar habit. Unlike sugar, healthy fats and protein provide slow and steady forms of energy, more like a flat, newly paved road rather than that glucose-flavored roller coaster. When your body doesn’t find sugar for fuel, it turns to fats, so eating plenty of healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil can help your body adjust to getting its energy elsewhere. Protein helps you feel satiated, which can reduce hunger and cravings, and many of the amino acids in protein help build the brain chemicals such as dopamine that make us feel good. When we feel balanced and energized, we are less likely to seek a sugar high.

    Other important nutrients while trying to wean yourself from sugar include fiber, which slows digestion and stabilizes blood sugar iron, which when depleted can cause low energy and cravings and the energizing B vitamins, which are often depleted by sugar consumption and stress.

    Read Also: Does Melatonin Raise Blood Sugar Levels

    Opt For A Crave Less Patch

    We know cravings are something everyone deals with – and theyre tough to kick. Our Crave Less Patch is designed to help you combat cravings with brindleberry, rockweed, oarweed, and green tea extract. Feel more focused, energized, and satisfied so you can knock out cravings and make healthy choices all around.

    How To Stop Craving Sugar

    The most effective way to stop craving sugar is to get to the root cause of your sugar cravings.

    The good news is that most sugar cravings can be resolved pretty quickly, depending on the cause. Some sugar cravings can reduce within 3-6 days, others may take longer.

    That may sound unbelievable to someone who has been addicted to the sweet stuff for a while , but its true.

    Ditching sugary foods and drinks can feel as difficult as breaking up with a long term partner.

    This is because sugar stimulates the release of the same chemicals in the brain as being in love.

    And lets be honest, many of us use sugary foods as a way to comfort ourselves, much like turning to a loved one for comfort.

    Also, if you eat a lot of sweet foods, it changes your palate, making naturally sweet foods taste bland. Hence a common scenario is not finding fruits or vegetables sweet enough.

    Stick with cutting out sugar and your palate will adjust to appreciate the sweetness of fruits and veg. Palate adjustment can take just 6-10 days, although sometimes it takes a little longer.

    Ok, so when addressing the root of cravings we need to look at all factors: environmental, physical, mental and emotional.

    Heres how to stop craving sugar:

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    How To Stop Sugar Cravings: Everything You Need To Know

    Youve probably been told to avoid sugar by your parents, your dentist, and your coworkers. Though it seems like overkill, the truth is that too much sugar can affect your health. There’s a reason why everyone and their brother is talking your ear off about how they gave up sugar for New Years!

    But it’s easier said than done. Sugar is in everything. So how do you kick the silent killer without rigorously scanning the back of every cereal box for its sugar count?

    It won’t be easy, but following some of these tips might make avoiding sweeter treats come more naturally. Whether you want to curb sugar cravings for your health, weight, teeth, or something else, we have the best tips on cutting cravings and feeling better.

    Get Active & Eat Well

    10 Ways to Stop Eating Sugar – Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC

    If youre working on finding new activities to replace snacking or distract yourself from cravings, you may want to try using the opportunity to exercise. Regular physical activity stimulates feel-better endorphins, which can help improve your mood.

    As youre tuning in to your body, you may also find that there are times when you think youre hungry, but youre actually dehydrated! When you first feel a craving, reach for your water bottle or fill up a glass of water first. You may find this was just what your body needed.

    After youve rehydrated, check back in with your body. If youre still feeling hungry, the next step is to pause and think about what to eat. What youre hankering for at the moment may not be what your body really needs.

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    Ways To Reprogram Your Brain So You Will Stop Craving Sugar

    5 Ways to Reprogram Your Brain So You Will Stop Craving Sugar

    Its empty calories with no nutritional value but something people crave. Sugar is in almost every packaged food you pick up at the supermarket. Although it tastes sweet to the tongue, a high-sugar diet is linked with health issues such as obesity, insulin resistance, fatigue, and anxiety.

    Why is sugar harmful? When you eat something sweet, your blood glucose level surges and drops just as quickly. This sudden change triggers fatigue, hunger, and anxiety in some people. Plus, you arent getting nutrients when you consume sugar, just calories. The calories, in turn, lead to weight gain.

    Another problem with sugar is the immediate reward it offers. When you eat something sweet, your brain releases more dopamine, and you feel rewarded. Alcohol and drugs do the same thing. You seek this reward again, and by eating more sugar. Over time, eating sugar becomes a habit thats tough to give up.

    Heres the good news. It takes time, but you can reprogram your brain to crave less sugar. Lets look at a proven strategy for doing this.

    How To Stop Sugar Cravings For Good

    If you find yourself constantly reaching for something sweet, you probably already know you have a sugar craving problem. In this day and age, its hard not to!

    Sugar stops us from reaching our fitness goals, distracts us from daily tasks, and drives us into unhealthy food choices. Research shows that sugar alters our brain chemistry for more addictive and compulsive behaviors. Yet sugar is in f*cking

    Recommended Reading: How Much Sugar Is In Maker’s Mark

    You Might Be Wondering What About The Glucose Tolerance Test

    When it comes to the glucose tolerance test, taking a reading just 1 hour after taking the glucose drink is inadequate.

    It needs to be tested 2, 3, and 4 hours after to see how your blood sugar levels and insulin respond.

    Some people can get a normal 1 hour reading, then spike at the 2, 3 or 4 hour mark, which is an indication that their blood sugar management needs support.

    Thankfully, you neednt sit at a pathology lab to take these readings. You can do this test at home using a glucometer and strips you can purchase from the chemist pretty cheaply.

    One of the best strategies is to test your blood sugar after a typical meal that you feel may be contributing to your fatigue.

    Test 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours after your meal and write down the readings. Do this for a few days.

    You might be surprised at what meals can spike your blood sugar levels!

    Of course, your blood sugar levels can also spike due to stress, so monitoring and noting down your stress during each day will also help.

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