I can’t believe we are in the last week of January! Like OMG how did the time go so fast?!?!
I think it’s time to say the holidays are officially behind us, right?
When the New Year started you may have decided, “I’m gonna eat clean and cut out all the crap in my diet and go HARD!” I mean your intention was good, but let me guess you couldn’t stay off the sugar more than a few days, right? I mean you tried giving it all up, but by day 2 you just needed it. You needed some sugar now or you would have literally lost your mind. That’s because similar to addictive drugs, sugar has been shown to have an effect on our brains.
Those cakes, cookies, squares, chocolates, alcohol beverages, you name it were pretty great (hey, I’m not one to tell you to not enjoy because I enjoy a treat here and there too) but the more sugary treats you consumed over the holiday season may still be having an effect on you.
In fact, removing sugar abruptly can leave you with withdrawal symptoms like headaches, depression and fatigue making it harder to quit. Sugar addiction is real let me tell you, I’ve been there and know how hard it is to kick it. I struggled for years until I was finally able to wean myself off it with these 6 Tips:
1.Protein: Having protein rich meals will not only leave you full longer, but the addition is a great way to help stabilize your blood sugar levels. This is because protein helps to decrease the rate of sugar absorption which will prevent spikes in your glucose levels. If you’re thinking about breakfast, have eggs with a piece of toast instead of only a bagel because the protein in the eggs will help with fullness and keeping those cravings at bay during the day. A great snack option would be yogurt (protein) and add some fruits (healthy sugars) and nuts (healthy fat), keeping you away from that chocolate bar you might normally go for. So, get that protein in!
2. Plan your snacks: Are you someone that when hunger strikes, you’re going through a drive-thru or running into a convenience store because you don’t have something on hand? Those options make it hard to find something that’s both healthy and satisfying, that won’t leave your blood sugar spiked an hour later. This is where planning comes into play. It might not be easy at first but taking the time to ensure that you have healthy snacks packed in your purse and/or work bag will be a game changer and help you control those sugar cravings with a satisfying option that will leave your energy level high and you feeling good. An option that I love is celery sticks and hummus (you can have other veggies if you prefer like peppers or carrots). The celery sticks are rich in vitamins A, K & C and have lots of water (see the benefits of hydration below), while the hummus is a great source of healthy fats and is a plant-based protein! Just because you are cutting back on sugar doesn’t mean that your meals and snacks have to be boring and taste bland!
3. Fruit!: I know you’re thinking, wait, fruits while I’m trying to kick sugar?” Doesn’t fruit have sugar? Well yes, it does, however it’s the healthy natural sugars, and those fruits are loaded with fiber, water, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They help your body metabolize at a slower rate (not spiking your blood sugar like that chocolate bar would), which helps you achieve that full feeling. Fruits like bananas, apples, oranges etc. are easy to throw in your bag, so when I’m you’re driving between meetings or clients and that hunger hits me, you’ve got a great snack!
4. Eat Regularly: Let’s discuss what happens when you don’t eat regularly, you get hungry then reach for the quick stuff to fill you up, which is usually something packed with sugar. How many of you can relate? I know I sure can! Days get crazy, but you want to try and be conscious of eating regular meals and having healthy snacks, because it will help stabilize your blood sugar, can help balance your metabolism, maintain muscle (You know I don’t want to lose mine), and control your hunger. A great food to try (add to a meal or eat as a snack in its variety of forms) is Sweet Potatoes. The name might throw you off (“Sweet”), but they are a great source of Vitamins C & A, have anti-inflammatory properties and best of all, won’t cause you’re blood sugar levels to spike! This is because sweet potatoes are so high in fiber they help balance insulin levels not spike them, as well they are a healthy carb that will keep you full longer. Sounds pretty yummy right!?
5. Read labels: Check the first 5 ingredients on the label, does it include sugar? If it does, then you may want to refrain from having it. Speaking of checking the label for sugar, can you believe that there are 56 different names for “Sugar”? That’s right 56, so it’s no surprise that you might not realize that sugar is in some of your food. When reading labels, the 7 most common names to look out for are: 1. Dextrose 2. Fructose 3. Galactose 4. Glucose 5. Lactose 6. Maltose and 7. Sucrose. Another part of the label you should check is the amount of sugar per serving. Each serving should be lower than 10g, of course the lower the better. Take for example a bag of M&M’s. That 1 bag has 31g of sugar! Your blood sugar levels will definitely be sky rocketing after eating a bunch of those. Therefore, we need to find alternatives!
6. Hydrate: If you’ve read some of my blogs in the past, you will know that hydration is key! Not only will it help maintain your energy and brain function, keep your skin looking great and help with digestion, it can also help keep you fill and reduce cravings! Water is considered a natural appetite suppressor in that when consumed the stomach will sense that it is full and signal to the brain to stop eating. If you are dehydrated, you might be feeling hungry or have a headache and feel the need for a pick me up of sugar, when you should actually grab that glass of water instead. Hydrate first thing in the morning and throughout the day so keep those cravings away!
7. Get Moving: You all knew this one was coming!! I might be bias but hey a good workout never hurt anyone. This is a great one though because a lot of times people eat out of boredom or habit. Have you ever been sitting at your desk for hours and reached for that sweet treat cause you just NEEDED it to get through the rest of the day? Next time this happens, instead of reaching for that treat, take 5-10 minutes and go for a walk or climb the stairs. By getting your heart rate up and moving, you are refocusing yourself and taking your mind off of work and food. If you have flexibility in your job another great way might be to get in a workout at lunch or mid-afternoon when you know that you need that boost of energy. You’ll be getting natural endorphins from your workout giving you energy instead of that peak then crash from those sugary treats!
These are just some of the ways that have helped me kick my sugary addiction. It’s not easy, especially around holidays or major milestones, but you are all strong and motivated woman that can do this! Let me know if you have any other great ways that have worked for you. I would love to hear!
If you’re ready to kick that sugar addiction but are looking for some guidance, then HIT ME UP! CLICK HERE for your FREE 15-Minute phone call with me! I would love to help you start hitting your goals and I’m just a quick phone call away.