It happens every year around the holidays. Okay. Maybe it really just happens all year. We start eating just one little bite or piece. Then it is two bites, then we JUST.CAN'T. STOP.
I am talking about the crazy hold that sugar can place on your mind and your appetite. It can take over an otherwise healthy diet and leave you feeling like you need a good daily dose of sugar to survive.
There have been recent studies that link these sugar cravings to specific brain function that causes these reward pathways to be activated, much like with drug use. When we eat foods like sugar in excess these neurological patterns are established and it creates an addiction.
Not only does sugar lead to an increase in weight (one study showed
that kids who drink even one sugary drink per day had a 60% increase in obesity risk), it also increases our risk of heart disease and diabetes. So, how do we stop
this addictive food?
Here are some tips for getting rid of the sugar in your diet:
1. Stop eating ALL sugar. If you are sensitive to sugar and you have even small amounts in your diet, you will continue to have the cravings. Stopping all sugars for three weeks will resolve the hankerings.
2. Find foods to replace sugar. Having healthy snacks that you love like nuts, hardboiled eggs, berries or celery w/hummus can help to keep the cravings at bay.
3. Monitor your cravings. Find out what triggers you to eat -- such as boredom, anxiety and stress -- and take a moment to find out if you are hungry or just responding to other cues.
4. Exercise. It helps to control your blood sugar, gives you energy and can help
to reduce your cravings.
5. Start a detox. Just cutting sugar out of the diet may be too difficult without guidelines. Doing a detox can help you stick to sugar-free with specific goals and planning that aid in stopping those cravings and getting your whole health in check.
It may be one of the most difficult tasks to undertake but ridding your diet of sugar can benefit your health now and in the future.
Need a little more guidance? Call (805) 770-2607 to learn about our Detox program.