Get Off the Sugar Roller-Coaster – 5 Easy Tips

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replace sugar with fruit!

Would you like to rid yourself of sugar cravings once and for all? Sugar is a very addictive substance and is found in many processed foods. Before we get to the simple and practical steps, let’s determine if your body might be suffering from a sugar overload.

There are at least 44 documented adverse reactions to sugar consumption. Below, find just 14 of them. Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions?

Negative responses to sugar consumption

• Mood swings
• Drowsiness
• Overwhelming fatigue
• Sweet cravings
• Headaches
• Difficulty concentrating
• Depression
• Dizziness and vertigo
• Nightmares
• Severe PMS
• Cold hands and feet
• Ravenous hunger between meals
• Joint pains
• Muscle pains

Sugar is an addiction

Studies have shown that that sugar qualifies as an addictive substance. This is for two reasons.

One:  When you have some, you crave more. If you’ve been staying away from sugar and then indulge, your cravings will come right back.

Two:  When you take it away you experience withdrawal symptoms. You may experience fatigue, anger, depression… or a variety of other symptoms.

Luckily, there are lots of ways to get rid of sugar cravings. The first step is to recognize the cravings. The next step is to recognize all the ways your body feels when you eat sugar (see symptom list above).

At this point you should feel inspired to do something about it!  Start by experimenting with adding healthier foods into your diet. A healthy, well-balanced diet that is high in minerals will give you enough sweetness from fruits and vegetables to satisfy your cravings. The sugar roller-coaster that most of us are on is caused by imbalances in our nutrient intake. There are other reasons too.

5 solutions to help break your sugar habit

1. Drink more water

Dehydration manifests in the body as hunger before the body realizes you are actually just thirsty. Keep your daily water intake at 1/2 your body weight in ounces, and you’ll notice many positive effects including a reduction in sweet cravings.

2. Minimize or reduce caffeine intake

Caffeine causes blood sugar swings and can directly contribute to sugar cravings, so if you are consuming caffeine, either consider quitting the habit, minimizing intake, or consuming your caffeinated beverages with food to minimize the effect on your blood sugar.

3. Eat more sweet fruits and veggies

What a glorious time to increase your consumption of fruits and veggies! The farmer’s markets in my area are just bursting with dark-red sweet cherries, delicious blueberries, melt-in-your-mouth peaches, and sweet corn. Forgo the pastries and increase your consumption of these delicious and nutritious fruits and veggies, and you’ll notice those sweet cravings start to dissipate right away.

4. Examine your consumption of the grounding foods like salt, red meat, eggs and heavy proteins

When you eat too many foods that have a grounding effect on the body, your body automatically strives to balance with a lighter food. Sugar is a “light” food. It makes us feel happy and energetic (at least initially) and provides the perfect balance to something like salt. (Caffeine is also a “light” food, and frequently these grounding foods will cause caffeine cravings too.) Try it and see. Eat a few handfuls of potato chips. Do you automatically reach for a soda? Or a beer? Or a sweet fruit or baked good? Or perhaps a sweetened iced-coffee?

Pay attention to how your sweet cravings are linked to your consumption of the foods mentioned above, and if there is a link, either consider limiting these foods, or pairing them with a more gentle sweet food, something like a piece of fruit. For instance, if you’re having salty eggs for breakfast, have a piece of fruit with the eggs to deter any cravings for a harsher sweet (candy, cookie, etc.) that you otherwise would have later that morning.

5. Find sweetness in non-food ways

Last, but certainly not least, we can all use more hugs, kind words, massages and time spent relaxing with loved ones (as best we can with the restrictions these days, due to social distancing recommendations). Slow down and make time for these things in your life, and you will find you are not reaching into that candy bowl quite as often.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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February 2023