If you are like me, you love sugar. I love doughnuts, chocolate, pies, cakes, ice cream – practically anything with a high amount of sugar. I had a sugar addiction. Everyone knows you can’t really lose weight and eat the loads of sugar you’ve been eating, so here’s how to beat your sugar addiction.
I dramatically reduced my sugar intake and will never look back. Sure, I have the occasional sugar loaded item, but I am ever so careful as I do not want to awake the sleeping giant, the sugar addiction. I will give you my tips for enjoying the occasional sugar treat AFTER you have the addiction under control.
When I decided to change my eating habits, sugar was the hardest. I had made significant progress in my weight loss and fitness level but had hit a plateau. After thinking about my habits, I realized the sugar I continued to eat was defeating my healthy lifestyle efforts. It was then I made the decision to work harder to reduce the sugar.
Who wants to workout for an hour, only to realize it was basically for nothing because of the candy bar just eaten. All because…
Sugar aids in the storage of fat!
Sugar feeds the fat.
I am not going to bore you with the details of the science behind how sugar is stored as fat, but simply put, when we consume a lot of sugar (more than 6 teaspoons daily) the liver metabolizes the sugar into fat.
In case that’s not enough of a reason for you, there are the other dreadful things sugar does to your body:
- High blood pressure
- Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Decreased heart function, can lead to chronic heart disease
- Decreases HDL (that’s your good cholesterol that you want, it “eats” the bad cholesterol)
- Decreases brain function – inability to form new memories & store new information
- Increases risk for depression
- Increases risk for dementia
- Ages skin prematurely causing wrinkles
- Exacerbates arthritis
- Non-Alcoholic Liver disease (cirrhosis)
- Increases risk of cancer
In fact, investigations have found that the sugar industry paid to have the harmful affects sugar causes hidden.
There are many sugar substitutes available, some are better than others, but be careful in choosing the right one. On the rare occasion when I need to use sugar in a recipe, I choose Stevia. (Read more about stevia here)
What helped me break the sugar addiction
Breaking the sugar addiction really was the hardest habit I had to change. When I say I was a sugar addict, I truly lived off of sugar. There were and are still things I do to help me avoid eating more than I should.
- Increased protein
- Made sure to eat planned snacks every 2-3 hours preventing snack attacks
- Brush teeth often – you can trick your brain by brushing your teeth when you are fighting the craving!
One of my favorite snacks to eat when I crave my evening ice cream is light yogurt or greek yogurt, a little grape nuts or granola and fruit – my favorite is blueberries.
Once you are able to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet regularly, your taste will adjust. Now, if I eat something with an excessive amount of sugar it is too sweet for me. I recently ate some regular peanut butter and it tasted like I had just put a spoonful of sugar into my mouth – it was awful! I could have jumped for joy! I knew I had crossed a threshold!
You too can beat the sugar habit! Keep your goal in mind so…