Breaking A Sugar Addiction

Breaking a sugar addiction

Hey buddy!

When it’s rainy and yucky out, it makes it a nice day to just stay under the covers, watch trashy tv, and eat sugary things. Except that I don’t (can’t) do that anymore these days.

You see, I was a sugar addict.

I didn’t even realize it until I started studying about food for healing my arthritis. The more I read, the more I realized I had a problem.

A BIG problem.

I never thought about it because I was skinny all my life and didn’t have any known side effects from it. But, the more I researched, the more I realized that I did have effects-a lot.

In fact, sugar played a major role in making my joints hurt. That was a big surprise to me! I always just blamed heredity, since my mom suffers from it and so did my grandma. I was just told that it would be a part of my life and to deal with it.

But, I found a way to kick my sugar addiction and proud to say that I’m “sugar clean”! Yep, sugar is just as addictive as any drug. Sugar addiction” follows the same pathways in the brain that a habit-forming drug does. So, when someone tells you they dropped sugar from their diet, pat them on the back!

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that we limit our daily sugar consumption to 7% or less of our daily calorie intake—that’s about 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) for men. But when society tempts us with sugary sodas (one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains 8-10 teaspoons of sugar and 130-150 calories), delicious glazed donuts ( 6 teaspoons of sugar), and even ice cream (4 grams of added sugar!), how can we resist?

The good thing about being addicted to sugar is that it’s easier to break the habit then other drugs. It’s not easy, by all means, but your body can detox it out within about 4 weeks.

 

To combat food addictions, Julia Ross recommends abstaining from addictive substances and using amino acid therapy, which she explains further in her book, The Diet Cure.

If you want to cut that sugar craving, then a sugar “detox” is a great way to reduce your cravings. You probably will drop some pounds in the process as well from eating better.

Sounds like a win-win to me!

4 Steps To Breaking Your Sugar Habit:

Find out where sugar is hiding.

Did you know that a piece of whole wheat bread raises your blood sugar level more then a Snickers bar?

The first step in beating your sugar habit is to find all the sugar sources you are eating. Go through your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator and get rid of all sugars. This means ice cream, cookies, candy and obviously, your bag of sugar. Those are easy to find, but there are more hidden sugars lurking in your pantry as well. This step requires you to look at the labels on your food. When I was getting rid of all my sugar filled food, I thought I was doing well with my detox. I had barely any symptoms. The problem was, I didn’t know about the sugar hidden behind a different name.

Below is a list of all the hidden sugars. If you see any of the following on a label, then get rid of it, and don’t buy it at the store. Sure, it will take longer to shop, but at least you won’t be putting it in your body! Don’t forget, if it’s listed first on the ingredient label, it’s got A LOT of sugar in it.

Agave nectar
Agave syrup
Barley malt
Beet sugar
Brown rice syrup
Brown sugar
Buttered syrup
Cane sugar
Cane juice
Cane juice crystals
Carob syrup
Confectioner’s sugar
Corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup
Corn sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup solids
Crystalized fructose
Date sugar
Dextran
Dextrose
Diatase
Diastatic malt
Evaporated cane juice
Fructose
Fruit juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose
Glucose solids
Golden sugar
Golden syrup
Grape sugar
Grape juice concentrate
Honey
Invert sugar
Lactose
Malt
Maltodextrain
Maltose
Maple syrup
Molasses
Raw sugar
Refiner’s syrup
Sorghum syrup
Sucanat
Sucrose
Sugar
Turbinado sugar
Yellow sugar

Step 2: Restock Your Kitchen
I bet your kitchen is pretty bare right now. It’s amazing how much we all are dependent on sugar. Now that you’ve been schooled on how to look for every kind of sugar, it’s time to stock your pantry and fridge with better food.
Fruits
I’m not trying to take away ALL sweetness out of your diet. So, to satisfy that sweet tooth, do it naturally with fresh or frozen berries or bananas.
Nuts
Instead of reaching for a cookie or piece of candy, eat a handful of  raw nuts. Or, make or buy a nut butter (watch for that added sugar!) and put on a celery stick. The proteins and good fats  help tide an individual’s cravings until next meal.
Veggies
 Try some raw veggies and hummus when you are craving sweets. A trick I learned that helped was if you crave something sweet, suck on a lemon slice. The tartness will instantly curb your craving. IF you really need something sweet, try eating a sweet vegetable, such as a cooked sweet potato with some butter and cinnamon. Winter squash, beets, and onions also work as a sweet vegetable.
Drinks
When choosing your drinks, try choosing water with a squeeze of lemon or orange slice. Water actually “drowns” cravings as well, which can help if you are having a sugar attack.

Shopping tips:

To help avoid the sugary foods at the grocery store, the perimeter of the grocery store as much as possible. The inside aisles are stocked with cookies, chips, soda, fruit juice, cake mixes, and other processed foods. Never shop hungry as well. Have a list and stick to it! Planning out your meals ahead of time helps cut out temptations to eat badly and can save money as well.

Step 3: Stop the Cravings
 Your kitchen is set up now with healthy sugar alternatives. You now know how to play “sugar detective” at the store and you are all set. Now, what happens if you still get the urge to run to your nearest candy store?

This step’s focus is about making a conscious effort to avoid sugary foods.

Exercise

When a craving strikes, try doing some cardio or simply take a walk.  Typically any craving will pass soon.

Drink water

As I mentioned earlier, water has a “drowning” effect for cravings. Stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid any potential cravings.

Are you actually just hungry?

It’s important to understanding the difference between hunger and food cravings. Try eating something healthy when a craving arises. You might just be hungry and your old mindset of just grabbing something bad for you might be kicking in.

Step 4: Game Plan for Life
In today’s society, sugar can’t always be avoided and if a little sneaks into your life, it should be fine and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. This is a hard journey to take and I’ve been there, so I know!

You won’t believe me in the beginning, but it does get better.

If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up over it. Decide to make a better decision next time and move on. Continue to experiment with your new, healthy foods and recipes. You’d be surprised at how many ways you can make treats healthier and use far less sugar than a recipe suggests.

Some last minute advice: It generally takes about 3-4 weeks for a new behavior to become habit. Just stick with it!

 

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