5 Ways to Kick Sugar to the Curb (#2 may surprise you!)
By Heather DeGeorge
I know, I know, I know… you don’t really WANT to kick sugar to the curb because we LOVE it, right? Secretly, you know it’s bad, but you think, “it’s ONLY in my coffee”, or “it’s just a little bit”. But it adds up and more often than not, you’re consuming more than you should be on a daily basis. And while you know it’s bad for you, you can’t seem to learn to like food that isn’t sweet, which is slowly killing you! If you were in the hospital and the doctor said, “If you ingest another gram of sugar, you’ll die!”, would you quit? Honestly.
Sugar is addictive and wreaks havoc on every part of your body, including your skin, brain, immune system, thyroid, hormones and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Here are 5 things you can do to kick the sugar habit and reclaim your health!
1. Take probiotics. What we crave is partly driven by the little bacteria in your intestines. If too many of these guys want sugar, you in turn, will also want sugar. Taking daily probiotics help to balance the good bacteria in your intestines and encourage the growth of bacteria that supports healthier food options. They also helps to increase your immunity, balance your digestion, improve your skin and so much more! Opt for at least 10 strains of bacteria per capsule and 10 billion CFU’s (colony forming units) each day. Best taken on an empty stomach, preferably first thing in the morning with a glass of water, or an hour or more after dinner if that’s more convenient. Best taken away from other supplements or medications.
2. Eat more healthy fats. Avocado, nuts, full-fat coconut milk and yogurt, olive oil… there is a long list of healthy fats. We often turn to sugar when we are hungry and if you don’t have enough healthy fats in your diet, you’ll find that those cravings happen often. Fats keep you sated (feeling full) and you will be less apt to want to grab a candy bar an hour after lunch or when you’re bored.
3. Have a clear self-soothing mechanism. Sugar often feels good when we are feeling stressed, bored, or emotional. Stress and upset in our lives will change our body chemistry in ways that make some of us crave sweets. Instead, create a self-love kit to help you feel better when you’re down. Make sure it includes things you can use “on the go”, like a playlist on your phone or iPod that will change your mood. Schedule an indulgent bath once in a while. Love yourself, from the inside out and reduce your stress to reduce your sweet cravings.
4. Get better (and more) sleep. The connections between lack of quality sleep and how it leads to sugar ingestion are multi-faceted. Suffice it to say that if you’re not sleeping well at night, or you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going to be looking for the sugar as fuel to keep you going, which ultimately leads to crashes leaving you tired and wired.
5. Switch to natural sweets. Start looking at naturally sweet foods. Fruits are an obvious choice, but there are plenty of sweet vegetables too and eating these on occasion are a good way to help transition your taste buds off of refined sugar and onto healthier (but still sweet) foods. Carrots, beets, non-gmo corn, sweet potatoes and peas are all sweeter than most other vegetables and provide some great nutrients to boot!
Ease into it. This is a transition worth doing on many levels and benefits both your physical and your emotional health. If you find yourself unable to break the habit, seek help from a Health Coach or Nutritionist that can provide you the tools for success. The negative effects of this seemingly harmless indulgence are big!!! Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer are on the list of health woes that can be fed by sugar. But the list doesn’t end there. You’re worth the effort to make a change and trust me when I say, it can be done!
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and FirstLine Therapy Certified Lifestyle Educator
at Heather DeGeorge
Heather DeGeorge is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and FirstLine Therapy Certified Lifestyle Educator. In addition to general health and weight loss, she specializes in dietary intervention for behavior and development problems of children. She also helps her clients to adjust to specialized or restricted diets based on medical diagnoses, like diabetes or gluten intolerance, with an end-goal of healing the body and moving towards a less restrictive diet.
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