5 ways to
quit sugar for good.
As a Nutritional Therapist there is one thing above all else that I try to get my patients to do: Eat a diet that’s lower in sugar. All of my patient population are chronically tired and worn out. Yes, most of them are suffering from some sort of imbalance or chronic illness, but I’d actually happily bet a good amount of money that these days nearly everyone is tired nearly all of the time. Groggy when you wake up? Post lunch slump? Needing a coffee to get through the day?
That’s because our lifestyles are so out of sync these days with the way that our bodies have evolved to live over hundreds of years. It might sound ‘woo-woo’ to you (if it does, I encourage you to go and read the research) but living in a world that’s constantly bombarded by EMF radiation (more on that here), artificial blue light, eating non-organic food and dealing with copious amounts of stress is all weighing us down on a significant level, it’s no wonder we feel sluggish a lot of the time.
When it comes to sugar we’re, unfortunately for us, hard-wired to crave it when we’re energy poor. Our brain sends out an almost-impossible-to-ignore signal that says “need carbs.” It takes a huge amount of will-power to say no, but here’s why you should:
We can deal with a certain amount of sugar, our bodies have mechanisms (namely the secretion of insulin) in place to deal with a sugar dose and bring our blood sugar level back down to normal. The problem for our health comes when we repeatedly stimulate this reflex multiple times a day, because we’re just not evolved to 1) eat as frequently as we do and 2) have easy access to sugary foods whenever we want.
If you can stabilise your blood sugar throughout the day and not have these crazy highs and lows then your energy levels will be better (no 3pm slump), your risk of Type 2 Diabetes drastically diminishes, and your body becomes a much more efficient fat-burning machine.
Now before I delve into some practical tips for reducing your sugar cravings I just want to briefly talk about the difference between natural and refined sugar. Of course natural sugar is better than refined sugar, but the effect on blood sugar levels is pretty much exactly the same, the only significant difference is the net loss of nutrients when consuming natural sugars is lower. Let me explain…
In order to metabolise food our body has to put in nutrients. When we eat fruit, for example, it already comes with a lot of those nutrients to help it’s breakdown, therefore the net loss of nutrients from the body is less. Refined sugar, on the other hand, is basically just empty calories that leave the body lacking. So, yes, natural sugars all the way, but don’t over do it!
Great for a Lock Down reset!
"Sugar detox - Juices were delicious and filling. Almost struggled to finish the 8th juice! Stopped all my sugar cravings! Perfect for a lockdown cleanse! I will be doing the gut cleanse in a few weeks."
THE SUGAR DETOX CLEANSE
Five simple ways to stop sugar cravings
1. Go cold turkey…
But don’t give yourself an unrealistic goal of no sugar for a month, start with three days and see where you’re at. Chances are if you manage 3 days with no sugar, you’ll find it much, much easier to continue with a low sugar lifestyle thereafter.
2. Remove the temptation!
Commit to cooking all your meals from scratch at home, and you’ll not only avoid hidden sugars in packaged food, but if you can clear out your kitchen cupboards of all the naughtly snacks then there simply won't be anything to tempt you when you do crave sugar. Try a square of 90% dark chocolate dipped in almond butter when the need arises!
3. Increase your intake of quality protein and fat sources
Protein and fat help slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, and they also keep us fuller for longer. If you can make one really significant change to your current lifestyle it would be to swap the sugary bowl of oats or granola in the morning and replace it with a protein packed savoury breakfast. Eggs, avocado and greens drizzled in olive with some kimchi on the side is the most fantastic way to start your day!
4. Buddy up!
If you haven’t read our last post on juicing with a friend then have a read of that one here. Studies show that you are 65% more likely to achieve a goal if you commit to someone, so tell your nearest and dearest that you’re trying to ditch the sugar to boost your energy levels, mood and improve your overall health and then stay accountable to them! Or, even better, get them to take the challenge with you!
5. Add cinnamon to everything!
Cinnamon has been shown to have a balancing effect on blood sugar levels, so add it to your smoothies (if you simply can’t avoid them), and anything else that’s vaguely sugary. It’s not a way to simply keep eating sugar and avoid the negative consequences, more of a useful hack to help you maintain that balance!
So what do you think? Ready to take your health to the next level?!