Hey Sugar…. Do you have sugar cravings? Are your sugar cravings holding you back from feeling good about yourself?
For some people sugar is just as addictive as caffeine, alcohol or drugs. Sugar also wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels, creates an emotional roller coaster from sugar induced highs and lows and destroys our self-esteem.
It’s difficult to deny our love for sweet treats and sweet drinks.
Think about this. The foods you eat or drink 90% of the time will make a significant difference in curbing your cravings. So….if you are eating food and drinking beverages with sugar more than 10% of the time, you are literally feeding your cravings.
Often my clients think eating or drinking foods with artificial sweeteners are a healthy alternative to sugar. That is just not so. Artificial sweeteners are plain old bad for you. They are extremely sweet, as a matter of fact they are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than table sugar. So people who habitually consume them wind up desensitized to sweetness.
And they are just as addictive as sugar. So don’t think you can give up foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners whenever you want. Animal studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may be addictive. In studies of rats who were exposed to cocaine, then given a choice between intravenous cocaine or oral saccharine, most chose saccharin.
There is a simple solution to those sugar cravings. All you have to do is shift your priorities a bit….
First, become your own advocate. Become an advocate for yourself with the same passion that you would do for someone else.
Next, become an informed, educated consumer. Start by reading labels on food products.
Sugar is not just found in the usual suspects like cakes, cookies and candy, but also in canned vegetables, cereals, peanut butter, bread, juice, tomato sauce and processed meats. It is often disguised as corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, glucose or fructose. This can be confusing even the most health-conscious person! So, read your labels and do your research.
Lastly, start to listen to your body when it’s sending you physical and emotional cues. It is ever so smart! Why wouldn’t it be….it belongs to YOU! If you crave sugar it means your body is missing some nutrient and it is probably not sugar because sugar isn’t a nutrient.
So if you tend to crave sugar ask yourself these questions:
- How do I feel 15-30 minutes after I eat or drink something sugary or artificially sweetened?
- Am I eating foods that have more than four ingredients on the package?
- Is even one ingredient some derivative of sugar?
- Can I pronounce all of the ingredients?
- Do I eat healthy combinations of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins and fats throughout the day?
- Do I eat a variety of veggies and fruits throughout the day?
- Did I eat any whole grain foods today?
- Is my plate mostly whole foods?
- Is two-thirds of my plate vegetables and fruit?
- Am I chewing each mouthful of food at least 20-30 times?
Switch your food priorities up a little bit at a time. Make it your goal to start eating delicious, healthy, whole foods 90% of the time. Then 10% of the time give yourself a treat. And when you do give yourself that treat, try experimenting by adding in treats made with whole food sugar alternatives (see the list below). These whole food sugar alternatives are derived from natural, minimally processed ingredients. Treating yourself that way will probably eliminate your cravings for sweets and it will get rid of the high and low spikes in your blood sugar. You won’t experience the “sugar blues” and you might give yourself some lasting energy while enjoying good healthy treats made from nourishing whole foods.
Here are some natural, minimally processed sugar alternatives:
- Honey– One of the oldest natural sweeteners, honey is sweeter than sugar. Raw honey contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins. It’s also great for baking, adding to sauces, smoothies or your cup of tea.
- Maple Syrup– Maple syrup is made from boiled down maple tree sap and contains minerals like magnesium and zinc. It adds a tasty flavor to your morning oatmeal and is great for baking. Be sure to buy 100% pure maple syrup, and not maple flavored corn syrup.
- Molasses– Organic molasses is probably the most nutritious sweetener. It is derived from sugar cane or sugar beet and is made by a process of clarifying and bending the extracted juices. Blackstrap molasses, the most nutritious variety, is a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
- Stevia– The extract from stevia is 100 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar. It can be used in cooking, baking and beverages, does not affect blood sugar levels and has zero calories. Be sure to get the green or brown liquids or powders, as the white and clear versions are highly refined.
- Date Sugar– Date sugar consists of finely ground, dehydrated dates, utilizing this fruit’s vitamin, mineral, and fiber content. It can be used as direct replacement for sugar, and comes in a granulated form.
If you would like to curb your cravings, I hope you consider trying some of these ideas. When you add in lots of good healthy whole foods 90% of the time, it will be easy to enjoy special treats 10% of the time…..guilt FREE! Hope this helps….
Well that’s it for today….may your day be full of blessings!
P.S. If you would like to learn more about my nutrition coaching, fitness coaching, fascia blasting or massage fill out the contact form below or contact me here. I’ve helped thousands of women take back their power and change their life.