Tips for beating sugar problems while planning your wedding.
Millions crave and consume all sorts of sweets in large quantities every day. That’s not surprising. Processed foods, sweetened beverages, engineered sweeteners and refined grains are pervasive in the Western food supply.
The average North American consumes over 130 pounds of sugar each year! Beating sugar addiction is important for a lifetime of good health.
“If that amount seems excessive, it is,” confirms Dan DeFigio, author of Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies. “Such large amounts of sugar can spark a myriad of health problems. Such as obesity. Diabetes. Chronic fatigue. High cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome and much more.”
And to make matters worse sugar acts on your brain’s pleasure center. Just like alcohol. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine. The more sugar you eat the more you want.
Sugar is everywhere. Resisting the urge to overindulge is nott always easy. Stress, poor nutrition, dehydration and lack of sleep can all drive you to grab whatever sugar-laden junk food is handy. That is why building good food habits specifically good lifelong habits is essential for staying off sugar.
In his book DeFigio explains the science behind sugar addiction. And why it’s so harmful for your body. He also helps readers identify whether they might be sugar addicts. He gives them the tools to create a sustainable and more nutritious diet. This includes exercise recommendations and healthy recipes.
One of the first steps to beating sugar addiction is to decrease your reliance on sugar. Making healthy changes in your nutritional, mental and physical habits.
Ten healthy habits and lifestyle changes to help beating sugar addiction.
Eat small amounts of food every three to four hours.
Low blood sugar can fire up cravings for high-sugar food. When blood sugar plummets your energy drops. Your brain has trouble focusing. Making turning to sugar for a quick pick-me-up all too easy.
Eating every three or four hours throughout the day helps keep your blood sugar levels more even. It holds sugar cravings at bay. With this strategy you won’t be as hungry at night. Resisting late-night sweet fixes is easier. Every time you eat try to combine a protein and a plant to keep your body feeling satisfied.
Drink enough water throughout the day.
Even a small amount of dehydration can trigger the hypothalamus to activate the hunger and thirst centers. That’s why drinking enough water, at least 64 ounces a day, is one of the easiest ways to keep sugar cravings in check. Doing so cuts down on your desire for other less-healthy sugary beverages.
Downing a glass of cold water is one of the first things you should do when a sugar craving strikes!
Take your vitamins by pills or food.
A deficiency of one or more important vitamins or minerals in your body, can cause your brain to turn on its craving center in an attempt to take in more nutrients.
A smart nutrition supplementation program ensures that you have all the vital nutrients you need to stay healthy, vibrant and sugar-free.
Stay mindful to help beating sugar addiction.
To stay on track with a sensible nutrition plan. To avoid eating according to unconscious cues and temptations. You must remain mindful about when you eat. What you choose and how much you consume. Before you begin eating set out your portion so you’re not eating from bags or serving dishes. Chew thoroughly and pay careful attention to the whole experience of eating.
You may even want to consider learning some basic meditation techniques. They’ll help you stay more centered and present throughout your whole day. This will help make mindful eating second nature.”
Eat lots of vegetables every day.
Mom was right. You really should eat your veggies. Most of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables. Though whole grains contain some quality nutrients they’re also higher in calories. And typically have a higher glycemic load than vegetables. Fibrous vegetables like broccoli, squash and greens are low in calories and high in nutrients and fiber. They should make up the bulk of your carbohydrate intake.
When it comes to complete nutrition, variety is key. A good rule of thumb is to regularly try to eat a wide spectrum of vegetables and fruits of various colors.
Exercise helps beating sugar addiction.
Regular exercise unquestionably helps you lose weight. It improves your insulin sensitivity and increases your metabolism too. It can help you look and feel great, and give you something to do besides eat.
If you are not comfortable at a gym you can start doing some workouts at home. Or begin a modest walking program four or five days per week.
Choose a positive substitute behavior when a craving strikes.
Whenever a sugar craving strikes making a conscious decision. Do something other than eat sugar is a healthy and empowering alternative. When a craving hits you might decide to step outside. Walk a block to refocus your mind.
Positive activities like exercising, learning, creating something new, connecting with friends and helping other people give you an alternative activity to gobbling down the sweet stuff.
Avoid boredom to help beating sugar addiction.
Some people eat when they’re bored. Mindless or reactive eating is never a good idea. Especially if the convenient snacks lying around are the high-sugar or high-carb type.
Keep your mind active with planning your wedding, crossword or other brain-nourishing tasks. Getting up and doing something helps. Take a walk or practice a musical instrument to replace mindless eating. This will limit your consumption of extra empty calories.
Get enough sleep helps beating sugar addiction.
Lack of sleep has been proven to contribute to increases in both body fat and appetite. Sleep deprivation impairs problem solving. Alertness. Concentration. Reasoning and attention. When you don’t sleep well you feel tired and crave sugar to artificially generate energy. Try to get at least seven hours of solid sleep each night.
Don’t let triggers make decisions for you.
It is easy to fall into the trap of reactive behavior. Including making poor food choices when you feel stressed. The key to overcoming stress eating and reactive behavior in general, and to become very clear about what you really want. When you experience an emotional trigger force yourself to do a quick reality check to determine what you really need.
Once you have identified what you really need when you feel stressed, you will be in a much better position to make a conscious—not reactive—decision.
If you make these principles part of how you live every day soon your life as a sugar junkie will be just a distant memory. Take these changes slowly incorporating one or two at a time into your daily life. Moving away from sugar dependency is not a short-term task but an enduring lifestyle.
Tips for beating sugar addiction courtesy Dan DeFigio. He is the author of Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies (Wiley, June 2013, ISBN: 978-1-118-54645-1, $19.99).