We know that eating too much sugar causes inflammation in your body and can also lead to weight gain, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and even dental decay.
Further more, over time, the inflammation caused by poor dietary habits may lead to several health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and cancer.
Knowing all of this it can still be so hard to resist because when you’re addicted to sugar it’s a biological disorder, driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that fuel sugar and carb cravings — leading to uncontrolled overeating.
When you eat sugar, it triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These hormones are responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Over time, the brain can become desensitized to the effects of sugar, which means that you need to eat more and more sugar to get the same level of pleasure. This can lead to sugar addiction.
The good news, we can combat the sugar addiction by trying a few Registered Dietitian approved quick tips to kick the sugar:
1. Clean out the cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer
Get rid of all of the candy, cookies, and leftover processed foods from your house right now. Serious. Do it, now! Give it away or throw it out. If it is in your house, you will probably eat it, so the first step is to clean house.
2. Decide what kind of snack foods you DO want to have around
Fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grain crackers, and finger food veggies like pea pods, mini cucumbers, bell peppers or carrots are nourishing, filling, and tasty whole foods to have on hand. Go to the grocery store and fill your fridge and cupboards with real food that you enjoy eating.
3. What time of day do you start the sugar cravings?
Knowing this gives you clues and helps you get to the root of the craving.
- Morning sugar cravings may be due to coffee consumption. Caffeine reduces your ability to taste sweet foods and may increase cravings.
- Afternoon sugar cravings may be due to not eating a substantial lunch that is high in PROTEIN. Make sure you eat a balanced lunch of at least 2 cups of vegetables and at least 4 oz. of beans, tofu, meat, fish, or eggs.
- Evening sugar cravings may be due to loneliness, boredom, or skipping meals earlier in the day and then making up for the calorie loss at night.
4. Replace refined sugar treats like cookies or ice cream with a piece of fresh fruit.
You will get more nutrients, fewer calories, more fiber.
- A tangerine, a handful of berries or slices of mango will hit the spot. How about making “Nice Cream”?
- In a food processor or blender, puree one frozen banana with a few frozen berries and a splash of almond milk.
- Want something warmer? How about cooked apples or pears with a dash of cinnamon? Cut the apple or pear into a small pot and cook it on low heat to the desired texture and sprinkle with cinnamon.
5. When you get a sugar craving, immediately drink 8 oz. of water
Often cravings for food is really just thirst and will go away after hydrating. Give it a try!
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