You've probably heard that sugar is slightly more addictive than cocaine. High-fat and high-sugar foods stimulate the brain the same way that drugs do. That's why most people have trouble resisting these foods, despite the fact that they know they are bad for them. And adding summer into the mix doesn't help, what with that creamy iced latte and over-the-top Instagram photos of ridiculously delicious ice cream cones.
But curbing your sugar cravings this season doesn't have to be a self-depriving experience. As a holistic health coach, I believe in focusing on a bunch of good stuff first—so the sweet white poison is forced to stay out naturally. Here's what I recommend:
1. Start your day with warm lemon water.
Starting the day with warm lemon water helps to keep blood sugar levels down and can aid in digestion. Consuming lemon juice can also help stimulate proper stomach acid and bile production. Lemons contain pectin fiber, which can assist in fighting cravings for sugar and processed food.
I recommend using organic fresh lemons and mineral-rich filtered water.
2. Make frozen fruit your best friend.
The taste of sugar releases endorphins that calm and relax us. I always advise substituting for fruit in moderation. Fruits rich in vitamin C help your brain convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin; low serotonin levels reduce your sense of emotional well-being and could increase sugar cravings.
Frozen fruits, berries, apple, kiwi, or grapes are great substitutes during the summer to help to satisfy you sweet tooth. Once you start adding these healthier choices, your taste buds will naturally adjust.
3. Consider L-glutamine supplements.
L-glutamine can be an instant quencher for sugar cravings. L-glutamine supports detoxification and wound healing, boosts strength, and has an important role in repairing skeletal muscles. It also helps to level out the alkaline/acid balances and diminishes lactic acid. This amazing gut-healing amino acid could help stop sugar cravings by helping the body to suppress insulin and thereby stabilizing blood sugar levels.
4. Add chlorella and spirulina to your diet.
When we bring in the good stuff, the bad guy naturally stays out. Replacing nutritionally empty foods with powerful superfoods like chlorella and spirulina helps the body naturally feel nourished and crave less junk food and sugar.
Spirulina is a natural algae and contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and B9; vitamin C; vitamin A; and vitamin E. It's an excellent source of potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc. It's also about 60 percent protein, aiding digestion and managing hunger.
In Japan, chlorella is traditionally used as a treatment for hypertension, asthma, and constipation, among other conditions. More than 20 vitamins and minerals are found in chlorella, including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamins A, C, and E, B, and folate. It's also a great source of protein.
5. Stick with xylitol and stevia instead.
Start to learn your ingredients and read nutrients labels carefully to identify the harmful sugars and sweeteners. Products that are low-fat, reduced-fat, calorie-free, or fat-free are almost always filled with sugar. The list of sneaky harmful sweeteners is long—from cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, corn solids, aspartame, glucose and maltodextrin to agave.
If your taste buds are still craving the sweet stuff, I suggest opting for organic xylitol or organic stevia instead.
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is found in plants. I recommend using xylitol derived from birch bark. Stevia comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, has a very low glycemic index, and doesn't spike your blood sugar like regular sugar does.