The following post was written about giving up sugar. If you are interested in giving up sugar for good you might want to check out the following books because they are truly helpful in learning how to stop eating sugar.
After last week’s sugar addiction I’ve decided to get off the stuff and try an experiment giving up sugar. Not eating sugar is hard, but possible. Seriously, I never knew how much sugar and eating all the sweet stuff I loved could affect me. After eating it every day for over two weeks, even in moderation, I’ve been craving it like never before. Or at least I’ve been craving it like I used to and only now am I realizing the effect it has on the body.
Apparently the more sugar and flour and yummy things I eat the more my body wants to eat those things. My mind can’t stray far from thinking about them and it’s painful to tell myself no. I’m lucky enough to be in a location where nothing is readily available and I would have to go out and buy anything to fulfill that desire. But that doesn’t stop the cravings or the desire to eat sugar. Oh no. The only thing that is stopping it is willpower.
For once, I’m saying no to myself. I’m saying goodbye to sugar this week. While I know I could still have things in moderation and lose weight, I’m choosing to give up the added sugar I’ve been eating. This morning I finished the jam I have for breakfast and for the rest of the week I will be avoiding anything with added sugar. Goodbye ice cream and cookies and delicious hot chocolate.
Why give up added sugar?
If you want to know why I’m giving up sugar – or why you should, check out these reasons:
- Cravings suck. For me at least sugar causes me to want to eat more sugar. When I don’t the cravings are intense and I think about food way too much, even when I’m not hungry.
- Blood sugar spikes that leave you feeling hyper or extremely tired after eating sugary or enriched grains.
- Extra money spent on unnecessary sweet food items bought for sugar addiction induced consumption.
- The American Heart Association recommends people reduce sugar consumption, which is about 22 teaspoons a day for an average person.
There are other reasons, but those are the main ones for me personally. Those are definitely enough to make me rethink all this sugar I’m putting in my body. I need at least a few days without added sugar to get my body back to a good place where it’s not craving the stuff anymore.
Ways to stop sugar cravings
If you are going to do it, you might as well do it right. Here are some ways to help (source):
- Get rid of anything sugary in your house: For most of us this is the best way to do it – eliminate all the sugary foods around. That way you won’t be able to eat what isn’t available when the cravings occur.
- Look for Sugar Free & No Sugar Added Products: Many foods now have sugar free, diet, or no sugar added versions. Artificial sweeteners aren’t exactly the best thing for you but they can be helpful in weaning you off sugar. Example: chewing sugar free gum instead of eating candy bars.
- Drink More Water: If you are a sugar addict, it’s possible you do not drink enough water. Drink at least 3 glasses of water each day with no sweeteners or flavorings. Just plain delicious water!
- Eat More Vegetables: The more veggies you eat, the less likely you will be tempted to go to sugary foods. It will also occupy you long enough to hopefully get through the sugar craving.
- Find replacement habits: Eating sugar can be as much about a habit as an actual desire to eat it. If you chew on candy to calm nerves, try chewing gum or something else. If you stir sugar into your coffee, try just stirring your coffee to keep the habit. If sugar is the point then try doing something completely unrelated to eating – go for a walk or do something active.
- Get enough rest: Sugar affects your blood sugar levels, which affect your energy levels. If you aren’t sleeping enough then you might be tired and craving sugar that will give you a quick energy boost. Get enough sleep in order to stop cravings caused by lack of sleep.
- Identify and avoid triggers: Figuring out what triggers sugar cravings can help you avoid them. When you find out whether lack of sleep, boredom, depression, habit, stress, etc. is causing your cravings you can then fix the triggers so that you can stop the cravings.
This is not going to be easy. Yesterday all I could think about was cookies. Instead we went for a walk and I bought some sugarfree gum to chew on. At least I can listen to my own advice. Now I just have to go a few more days with Operation SugarLess, which feels almost like a challenge.
Anyone done this before? Have any tips on giving up the extra sugar? Want to do it with me?