[Need more evidence? Check out some of these studies 1, 2, 3, 4]
In moderation, fruits, root vegetables and grains can give your body all the natural sugar that converts into energy that it needs. With so much processed and packaged foods cleverly marketed to satisfy our need for convenience, it's easy to consume too much sugar each day and why we have put together 12 ways to help you curb your sugar cravings and addiction once and for all.
- Take your fridge and pantry seriously. We're always going to crave things more intensely when they're closer to us, so if you've got a freezer full of ice cream or a pantry full of cookies, you're going to have a much, much harder time with cravings than someone who doesn't. So set yourself up for success. Get rid of the sweet things filling your home so you can crave eating more natural and nutrient rich foods. (If you've got a spouse who refuses to abandon the sweets, then just ask them politely to hide the sweets in a secret location where you won't be able to sniff them out)
- Know if you're an "all-or-nothing" type. Some people can have a single bite of a cookie or a dessert and be fine to pass on the rest of it. Others can have a single bite of something which then leads to another bite and another and until they've eaten the whole thing! If you're the latter and really committed to get that sugar intake down, you need to be aware that you're going to have to pass on a lot more "bites" than other people - but that's okay. Knowing what triggers you that will leads to bad choices like binge eating and the guilt that follows and avoiding it all together is the safest bet.
- If you're really new to this 'giving up sugar' thing, ditch the sugary drinks first. Coffee with a ton of creamer and sweetener/sugar. A nice Coke mid-way through the day. A giant "healthy" smoothie that really just loaded in sugar. Say no to drinking all that sugar - it's even worse than eating it because it gets into your blood stream faster and causes that insulin to spike more quickly (which leads to fat retention and weight gain). So pass on the sugary drinks first and then start to pass on the rest of it, too.
- Eat more of the good stuff. it can be easy to mistake a sugar craving for what's actually just plain and simple hunger! Healthy fats, fiber, lean proteins and vegetables are what your body really wants, and if you give it what it really wants, it'll start to treat you better in return. If you're really, really craving sugar one day, just bake up a sweet potato and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. Just as good and still satisfying.
- If you've got kids, avoid the easy, go-to sugar traps. It can be really convenient to just run to the grocery store and grab some pre-packaged cookies to have for your kids to bring to their school event. But I'm telling you, some of those cookies are going to be coming home with them, and then who's going to be eating them? People WILL eat healthy food if you put it in front of them - even kids. Try grabbing a veggie tray instead and if leftovers come home? Guilt-free snacking.
- Get more sleep. Research has shown that not getting enough sleep increases our sense of hunger, so don't skip out of the sleep if you can.
- Buy the dark stuff. If chocolate is just a non-negotiable for you, then buy the darkest stuff you can find. I'm talking 85% and up. "But the dark stuff doesn't taste as good!" you say. Well, here's the thing - you can condition yourself to like it. Tell yourself it's better for you and still chocolate, and you'll be surprised how much better it'll taste just from that little self talk. We're not saying eat an entire bar of this stuff, but have a square of it every now and again for a little chocolate fix.
- Tell your family and friends. That way, even when the cravings come, you'll have people to hold you accountable, and people who (hopefully) won't try and sabotage what you're trying to do by bringing over fresh-baked cookies every other day! Be honest about why you're avoiding sugar, and don't judge them for not viewing things in the same way. Just ask them to help you in the process, and I think you'll be surprised at how eager people are to help keep you on track.
- Keep drinking water. This is a big one. A lot of times, we think we're "hungry" when we actually need hydration. Add in some cut up fruit into your water if you need to make it a little more appealing. I personally love drinking sparkling water (nothing else added in there, just the water and carbonation) and then squeezing some fresh lemon or lime juice in there. So good!
- If cutting out the sugar is a goal, then write it down. This might not seem like it'll help with your cravings, but I'm telling you, writing things down can be so powerful and motivating. Grab a small note card and write down why you're ditching sugar and then tape it on your fridge or bathroom mirror. Slightly weird when guests come over? Maybe, but if you're more concerned with what people think then your sugar-related/health goals, you're going to have a hard time accomplishing them anyway.
- Know where you're weak. If you're going to a party and you KNOW there's going to be a ton of desserts there, eat before hand (or bring a square of your dark chocolate with you). If you're going grocery shopping, maybe don't walk down the dessert aisle. If you drive past a Krispy Creme donuts every day on your way home from work and you just can't resist, then start driving a different way home. That sounds extreme, but we're talking about your health here (and potentially, a few extra years of life!).
- Accept that, for the first 2-12 days, you're not going to be feeling great. No withdrawal is pretty, and sugar withdrawals are no different. You take the alcohol away from an alcoholic and it's going to be a painful, detox process - but one that is ultimately so beneficial for your body! Know going in that reducing/cutting your sugar intake isn't going to feel great at first, but the benefit - a healthier, possibly longer and more active life - is so worth the short-term struggle.
So you have to ask yourself - do I only care about the scale or do I care about my long term health and learning how to sustain it?
Here’s the difference between Faithful Workouts and many other diet plans: we don’t try to provide you with another quick-fix or fad diet. If you look up the word diet, it actually comes from the Latin word diaeta which means “way of life”. A “diet” should not be a quick fix but a way of life! We can’t continue to approach our eating habits as something that we can change for a few weeks, then revert back to old habits and expect to maintain our results.
That’s why our nutritional plans and recipes are all based on one simple fact- God created our bodies and God created food, so eat what God created in its most natural state.
Majority of our recipes are gluten free, dairy free, and low carb, but they are also sustainable. You won’t leave this meal plan feeling hungry, irritable, or frustrated when you choose to break free from the diet fads promising quick results and approach your health journey differently to nourish your body with real, whole foods together and our 14 Day Starting Point is a great place to begin!
To learn more Faithful Workouts and gain immediate access to our online cookbook, check out our FREE resources TODAY. Your road to better, life long health is just a click away!