It’s 2020 and all the world knows that sugar is addictive and its wreaking havoc on your health.
It’s time to get off the sugar roller coaster and go sugar free.
If you suffer from cravings, and the ups and downs of the sugar roller coaster, you’re not alone.
But just because you have plenty of company doesn’t mean you should stay on the ride.
Just because something is ‘normal’ doesn’t mean it is healthy.
By now, most of you know that sugar is as addictive. More addictive than cocaine and heroin according to research.
It may tickle your taste buds and make you feel happy in the short term but this is one habit you want to kick to the curb.
Why? Because fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar makes you fat.
Sugar makes you fat – and sugar is a source of countless other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, dementia and depression. Basically, it ages you before your time.
Are you ready to get off the ride?
If you are ready to feel better from the inside out then follow these top tips for breaking the addiction and getting off the roller coaster once and for all.
1. Get enough sleep.
Research has shown, time and time again, that those people who sleep less, eat more. And they aren’t eating more salads, they’re reaching for refined carbs and caffeinated beverages. This lack of healthy sleep and the resulting eating habits that go with it results in extra weight, less energy and depressed moods.
Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep. While there is no magic number for everyone, science says 7 – 9 hours is the Goldilocks Zone for most people (children and pregnant women need more!).
2. Drink enough water.
We like to think we are smart, but frankly, our intelligence falls short when it comes to knowing our own bodies! Too often we are confused as to what signals our body is sending us, so we eat when we are tired, we eat when we are depressed and we eat when we are actually thirsty. The key here is that you are only masking the problem…you eat and you feel better in the short term but you are still tired, depressed or thirsty and so the cycle continues. The only solution is to solve the problem and staying hydrated solves the problem…not to re-hydrate once your’re dehydrated.
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Start each day with 8 – 16 ounces of water immediately upon rising. Continue to drink throughout the day.
3. Eat enough protein.
Protein is a satiating food that not only keeps you full for longer, it stimulates fat burning and muscle building. And as much as many people seem to lose their taste for protein as they get older the need for it actually increases as we fight age related sarcopenia or muscle loss.
Start your day with 20 – 30 grams of protein at breakfast and then continue to include it in each of your meals after that.
4. Exercise regularly.
Cravings are driven by your brain’s need for a “reward” — not your body’s need for food. By reward, I mean an endorphin or dopamine rush… You can pre-empt this by giving your body the reward of exercise. Once you are moving, your body is able to balance blood sugar better and your cravings are diminished and your feel good hormones are increased.
Start your day with some form of exercise and move as much as possible throughout the day. Aim for at least 5000 steps throughout the day and throw in some high intensity cardio where and when you can (just climbing a flight of stairs is enough for lots of people).
What should you do when you have a sugar craving?
First it’s important to realize that a craving is not the same as hunger.
It’s not your body calling for energy, it’s your brain calling for something that releases a lot of dopamine in the reward system. If you give into the craving, all you are doing is reinforcing that craving/reward cycle.
Instead of giving in, ask yourself these questions first:
- Am I thirsty?
- Am I hungry?
- Am I emotional or bored or do I just need a hug?
- Have I had my fill of protein, fibre and fat today?
- Did I get enough exercise?
If you answer yes to any of those then the solution should be obvious. If you have a craving and you don’t know why, you will need to find something to distract yourself until the craving subsides.
Giving in to a craving will just feed the addiction.
If you manage to resist, the cravings will get weaker over time and eventually disappear.
Are you ready to give sugar free a try? Trust me, your body will thank you!