Are you tired of battling the daily urge to eat sugar? You wake up with great intentions for the day to “stay on track” eating healthy and staying away from the sweets, but it seems an ongoing battle. Well, there is a solution. Learn the 4 ways to control sugar cravings and not be miserable doing so.
While coaching hundreds of women in weight loss and wellness over the past decade, I’ve gotten proof that the battle with the scale isn’t so much from not preparing a healthy, low-carb meal to enjoy. That is the easy part.
For some of us, regular meals are easy. It's the snacking that gets in the way!
I think most of us can admit it’s not difficult to eat an egg or healthy smoothie for breakfast, a nice big salad with protein for lunch and know that a decent low-carb, healthy fat and protein dinner is waiting for us at home. The problem, and I mean the BIG problem for most is battling ways to control sugar cravings and not coming out feeling like the winner.
I get it! I have a huge sweet tooth and I will admit, I eat a sweet treat every single day!
I couldn’t imagine not enjoying a slice of low-carb chocolate loaf, a moist chocolate chip banana bread or a few of my peanut butter chocolate dipped cookies on a regular basis. This is a friendly reminder that don’t have to give up some delicious treats you enjoy.
Before we touch on the 4 ways to control sugar cravings and not be miserable doing so, let’s look at many of the reasons sugar is thought to be bad for the body.
Some health professionals agree it’s one of the worst things you can introduce to your system, even above fat.
- Your Immune System – consuming too much processed sugar can make your white blood cells sluggish reducing your ability to kill germs inside your body. It doesn’t take much, either. Just two sodas can stop the ability to fight off that flu bug and lead to falling ill.
I've actually seen this happen LIVE with a blood test and high powered microscopy! This was back in 2003. Watching my white blood cells acting very sleepy was amazing and very disturbing!!
- Empty Calories – The fact is, processed sugar has no health benefits whatsoever. Therefore, when you eat sugary meals, you’re eating empty calories.
- Elevated Insulin Responses – When your insulin response is healthy, your cells will release the right amount of insulin. But, if you regularly consume sugar, especially in “overdose” amounts, your body will become confused about when to release insulin and when not to.
- Damages Cells and Tissues – The tissue in your eyes, kidneys, nerves and more seem to carry sugar a lot longer than other organs. This means that the body can suffer damage from that remaining sugar because it damages small blood vessels.
- Anxiety – Refined sugars enter the blood stream quickly, and leave the blood stream quickly. This process can manifest in more anxiety overall. Even though often people who are addicted to sugar eat to suppress anxiety, it’s just making the problem much worse. It’s best to avoid added sugars in the first place.
- Feeds Some Cancers – The fact is, cancer cells love sugar and thrive on it! But not all sugars are created equal. Cancer cells love white sugar, white flour, and high fructose corn syrup. The good thing is that if you simply reduce your consumption of processed sugar, you can cut your cancer risks.
Each person is affected differently. But as you can see, sugar wreaks havoc on the body and it’s time to tame that sugar addiction!
Here are the 4 ways to control your sugar cravings and not be miserable in the meantime!
1. Be more mindful
When you become more mindful of what you put in your body, you become aware of what the foods you consume are doing to your body on the outside and more importantly, on the inside.
The Benefits of Mindful Eating
The Huffington Post published a good blog post on the surprising benefits of mindful eating in 2012. They point to multiple studies that show being mindfully aware of what and how you are eating can help you…
- Lose weight
- Improved type 2 diabetes symptoms
- Conquer eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and binge eating
- Reduce overeating
- Make healthy food choices, as opposed to eating unhealthy foods
- Lower your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes and brain-based disorders
- Improve overall health and immune system
When you become aware of what sugar does to your immune system and overall health, you start to make better decisions.
2. Take a quality probiotic
It’s important to have a healthy gut that is teeming with good bacteria, and this can be done through a diet that includes a lot of plants and healthy fiber. A healthy gut is balanced and has a big impact on your physical and mental health.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system, keeping your gut flora balanced. They’re often called often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
Probiotics can be increased through diet and supplements. Some foods are probiotic-rich, while others help to feed the probiotics in your gut.
There are foods you can find in a grocery store, and of course, online, that are probiotic-rich.
- Yogurt and Kefir
- Sauerkraut and Fermented Vegetables
While the probiotics in food form are best for your gut health, they are available in supplement form. Quality supplements can be pricey, but if you want to take them, they are available.
There are some things you need to consider when buying a probiotic supplement:
Strain diversity — Search for a probiotic supplement that has 10–30 different strains. * Recommended brand – Vitamin Bounty Probiotics
Survivability — Look for strains like bacillus coagulans, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and other cultures or formulas that ensure probiotics make it to the gut and are able to colonize.
Research — Do your homework and look for brands that have strains that support your specific needs.
3. Plan ahead with healthy sweet treat alternatives
Here’s where the fun begins! There is no reason you cannot enjoy a daily treat. And, yes, I did say DAILY! All you need to do is prepare ahead with some simple to make healthy treat recipes.
How are they healthy?
Great question. By swapping the bad sugar and “full-of-gluten” wheat flour with healthier, delicious alternatives like applesauce, pure maple syrup or honey and gluten-free flours of choice, you can make the tastiest, most satisfying treats that will leave you guilt-FREE!
And planning ahead does not take up time. It will SAVE you time!
And here is a List of Healthy Baking Ingredients to Keep on Hand
4. Join the community
Having a community of like-minded people to surround yourself with is a very important component to successfully staying on track.