Cutting processed sugar out of your diet can be one of toughest things to do. I think the longest I’ve ever done it was 2 weeks, and that was brutal.
It’s highly addictive so cravings can come on very strong and are often hard to ignore. It’s not your fault though, we’re biologically designed to crave sugar and with 600,000 products on the market and added sugar in 80% of it, it’s hard to ignore.
Sugar consumption is up to 152 lbs. of sugar a year up from 40 lbs. in 1980, so it’s not just you struggling with the craving.
However, eliminating sugar from your diet can be done. I have to admit that cutting out sugar cold turkey will make you irritable, you may get headaches and other withdrawal like symptoms but it will be worth it to free yourself from the cravings and side effects (low energy, blemishes, bloating and mood swings).
If you’re not ready to go cold turkey you can start with the steps below!
Eat less salt: When you eat a lot of salt, your body naturally craves sugar to balance out the flavours. When I make a breakfast egg muffin with veggies I always feel like I need some fruit too. If you’re trying to cut out sugar quickly, it’s best to avoid overly salty food for at least a week. Once you no longer crave sugar, you can gradually add saltier foods back into your diet.
Eat sweet vegetables: Sweet vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes are great replacements for refined sugar. They soothe the internal organs of the body and energise the mind. If you’re really craving sugar, munch on some root vegetables like onions, carrots and pumpkin/squash; it could be just what you need to get your fix.
Get more exercise: Some cravings are really just a way for your body to express it’s out of balance and craving something else, sometimes it’s a craving for movement. Also, by sweating out extra salt, your sugar craving is greatly reduced. Try to start your day off with some exercise. If you do this, then you are more likely to make healthier choices when it comes to your food intake all day long.
Cut out processed food: Almost all processed foods are packed full of secret sugars that fuel your addiction. As I mentioned earlier, 80% of packaged foods are full of it! When you’re trying to quit sugar, it’s best to go back to the basics and eat only fresh foods. To eliminate processed food, try shopping just the perimeter of the grocery store where you can pick up fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and grains that are 100-percent free of hidden sugars that can sabotage your diet.
Find a buddy: As with any health and wellness goal, achieving a sugar-free lifestyle is always much easier when you have a partner. They can keep you accountable, offer you support and talk you off the ledge if you’re about to give up or want to cheat.
If you’ve considered seriously giving up sugar but don’t know how to replace it or how to fill your diet with other foods, contact me!