The average woman is slowly destroying her body daily, with a fully legal, oft-advertised drug: SUGAR.
Do you eat sugar on a regular basis, but still can’t get enough of the sweet stuff? Or what about those times when you can’t make it through your favorite TV show without a trip to the kitchen. How many times have you been moody and cranky until you could get your hands on a dark chocolate bar?
Giving up sugar doesn’t have to be as miserable as you think. It doesn’t have to mean getting the shakes, being in a bad mood, or never eating chocolate again. Your energy will be through the roof when you finally kick the sugar habit for good. So here are my eight tips to kick sugar and not hate your life!
1. Drink water.
Sometimes your sweet cravings are actually a sign of dehydration. We often mistake our thirst for hunger, leading to cravings and desire for food, when we really just need to hydrate. Choose pure sources of hydration, such as filtered water, coconut water, or decaffeinated tea.
2. Read your ingredient labels.
This is the best way to ensure that the foods you eat don’t contain sugar. Don’t just look for sugar on the label, though; sugar is often disguised as many other names. Some examples are glucose, fructose, syrup, caramel, dextrose, HFCS, and more. Remember to look for artificial sugars, too. You want to get rid of those, as they can potential do more damage to your body than sugar itself. Do this with every food you eat and not just the ones you think might contain sugar. Foods like salad dressings, tomato sauce, bacon, and even deli turkey or sausage often contain sugar.
3. Experiment with spices.
Many will add sweetness and flavor to your food without the addition of sugar. Some of my favorites are cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Certain spices, such as cinnamon, will also help to lower blood sugar naturally, which will be especially helpful in the beginning.
4. Get physically active.
Being active actually helps balance your blood sugar levels. Plus it will keep you happier and more energized, which can in turn reduce cravings.
5. Rid your kitchen of sugar and artificial sugar.
Throw out or donate any foods in your kitchen that contain added sugar. Remember to pay attention to the ingredient list and to check for hidden forms of sugar. Out of sight, out of mind. If it’s not in your kitchen, you’re a lot less likely to eat it.
6. Use mild and more natural sweeteners.
No need to cut out sugar cold turkey. Ease off of it by using natural sweeteners such as raw local honey, coconut sugar and nectar, pure maple syrup, and dried fruit.
7. Get more sleep, rest and relaxation.
When you're tired or low on energy, the first nutrient you reach for is carbohydrates, which are often loaded with sugar. The more relaxed you are, the less you'll crave sugar to energize you.
8. Slow down.
We often tend to crave sugar for reasons other than natural hunger. For many, sugar has become an emotional crutch, a way to celebrate, or simply a way to relax. Take time to slow down and decode your cravings when you absolutely need that piece of chocolate or cake. Identifying the real need behind the sugar is the key to kicking your sugar habit for good.
Sugar is only one piece of the nutrition puzzle. There are so many foundational elements of nutrition that it would be impossible to share them all with you in one article.