It’s widely known that sugar should not be a staple in order to have a healthy diet. It’s an easy decision to cut sugar out of your diet as a step towards a healthier lifestyle. However, it’s much easier said than done. This is, in part, due to the fact that sugar is hidden in food products that you would not expect to find it in. Not to mention the fact that even if you have strong willpower and are extremely attentive to the whereabouts of sugar, it is extremely addictive. According to holistic psychiatrist Dr. Ellen Vora, it’s 20 times more addictive than cocaine. Step one in the process of giving up sugar is to accept the fact it’s a real struggle and to forgive yourself if you are unable to easily give it up. Once you accept this, try these seven easy steps to keep yourself aware of your sugar consumption and help you kick your sweet cravings to the curb.
Limit Artificial Sweeteners
Cutting back on sugar has to do with resetting your taste buds. Artificial sweeteners don’t only raise red flags from health concerns, they also have a powerfully sweet flavor that your palate adjusts to. Although these sweeteners say they have no sugar, the fact that they taste as sweet as sugar makes it hard to give up the addiction. Cutting back on sweetener will allow your palate to warm up to other flavors. You will be thankful in the at the end of the day when you don’t crave sweetness!
If you take the time to pay attention to the ingredients in the food you’re eating you will find that sugar lurks in a lot more products than you would expect. Even food that looks healthy and organic can pack a whopping amount of sugar. Pick the food products that have the shortest ingredient lists. The shorter the better. This will make it easier to avoid hidden sugars and know exactly what you’re getting.
Eat More Fermented Food
This might not be the first thing you think of in your quest to avoid sugar consumption. However, Fermented food not only helps balance your gut bacteria (ultimately helping you crave less sugar in the long run), it’s tangy flavor also resets your taste buds in a way that quickly eliminates cravings. Go for low-sugar, simple ingredient yogurts, or keep a stash of your own fermented vegetables in the fridge. If you feel a sugar craving coming on, eat a tablespoon or two of a fermented food, wait 10 to 15 minutes and notice the craving vanish.
Add More Fat
Thankfully, in recent years, fat has kicked its reputation for being something to avoid. It is now widely known to be a health food. It is also a powerful ally in the fight against sugar. Fat fills you up and satisfies your appetite so that you’ll be able to say no to a plate of cookies in front of you. If you have the option, go for full-fat foods. Avoid the low-fat options because they are often packed with sugar. Add healthy fats like avocado and hemp seeds to your smoothie. There are tons of options!
Drink More Tea
Often, our cravings hit simply due to the fact that we are bored. If you appease your boredom with something else, you won’t even think about sugar. Avoid mindless snacking by sipping on tea or sparkling water. Entertain your mouth with bubbly water with a splash of bitters. This will also boost digestion! Also, teas are offered in many different flavors and varieties that will keep your mind entertained as well as your mouth.
Think in Terms of Adding; Don’t Take Away
Make yourself so satisfied with healthy fats and fiber-packed veggies, that you’re too full to ask for dessert. Get creative with it by thinking of new ways to mix in fats, fibers, and protein to each meal. You can try adding cauliflower or zucchini to your green smoothies, filling your plate with a huge pile of leafy greens drizzled with olive oil at lunch, or blending up a veggie-filled (aka highly fibrous!) soup to sip on throughout the day.
Put an End to Your Regular Habits
Sugar is an addictive habit that you can kick! Try switching up your regular routine to, in turn, switch up what you eat and when you eat it. Try intermittent fasting for a week, change where you sit at work, and if you normally go out, cook and vice versa. By doing so, you will slowly push sugar out of your life.