Hey there fellow Sweet Tooth!
Today I wanted to share this quick article on how to stop your sugar cravings.
If you’re like me, you get as excited as a kid when you’re eating something sweet. Our taste buds are designed to love sugar, but, as you know, sugar has a LOT of hidden costs associated with it.
Let’s take a moment and refresh why it’s not healthy…
- Sugar has no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, no enzymes, and pulls healthy minerals away from your body.
- It’s been shown to feed/promote cancer cell growth, and lead to diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease & Liver Disease
- Sugar is a form of simple carbohydrates, which means it spikes your energy for a very short period of time, but then you crash down afterwards – often times even lower than you were before.
Weak Immune System
- Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut, and kills off the good. Good bacteria is needed for fighting off illnesses. Cold and flu season is starting, so be weary of the amount of sugar you’re eating.
- Whenever you eat sugar, and it’s not used as fuel, your body immediately stores it in fat cells. The problem is, once your body stores it this way, it’s even harder for your body to access it and use it as energy.
Rots Your Teeth
- I know you’ve heard this one, but it’s true. 92% of the US population has experienced some form of tooth decay. The big offenders are soda, juice, and candy.
Fuels Bad Bacteria / Candida
- When you eat too much sugar, and your body cannot fully process it, bad bacteria is able to then use it as fuel – multiplying its cells. This is how candida grows as a fungus, and can continue to grow for years until it’s a big enough problem that your doctor can identify it.
Here are 9 things that happen to your body when you stop eating sugar from Fitness Crest.
Into our mid-twenties, Sarah and I knew how challenging it was to pass on the sweets.
I used to work in an office where vendors would stop by and bribe us with donuts, pastries, cookies & candy. And I never hesitated to go back for 2nds and 3rds – eventually asking my coworkers if they minded that I ate what was still left. After a couple of years working there, my metabolism started to slow down (sound familiar?) When I decided to clean up my diet, I gradually built up my willpower to say no to all of the junk I was presented with. It was hard, but I knew if I gave in, I would be taking a step back with my progress in my health – which became something I refused to do.
Sarah, on the other-hand, worked in the bakery department at Whole Foods Market. She was surrounded by the stuff everyday. She couldn’t stop thinking about when & where her next sugar fix was going to come from. Eventually, she switched to dark chocolate for her sweets, and then did a cleanse to reset her taste buds.
Once we started eating a cleaner diet, with more whole foods, and exercising more – we realized the truth of how sugar really makes you feel…
Guilty, but still craving! – I hear this often. You eat sugar, and then feel guilty, and don’t even get to enjoy it. What’s the point anyways?
Sluggish + Foggy – If you rely on sugar for energy, you’re most likely tired all of the time – almost like you’re dragging through the day with a mental fog.
Like There’s Never Enough / Always Craving More – Sugar is very addictive, so even after a big chocolate chip cookie, you can’t help but want another… even if you’re full. The more sugar you eat, the more you crave it. Next time you have sugar, see how long it takes before you’re wanting more – I’ll bet it’s not long.
Bloated Stomach & Gas – When too much sugar is consumed, like cookies, pastries, soda, candy, etc. – your stomach may feel bloated. As mentioned before, sugar fuels the bad bacteria in your body, especially in your stomach. Stomach cramps and excess gas is a result of this.
Weak (physically/ emotionally) – This goes along with cravings, but you might start to lose confidence in yourself, like you’ll never be able to give up the sugar, cut out that food, lose the weight. You’re probably thinking “What’s the point in trying?”
If you’re still reading at this point, I think it’s safe to say you’re ready to reduce your sugar as well.
There are 2 things you’ll need to work on simultaneously. The first will be to control your cravings for sugar in the moment. The second will be to retrain your taste buds, so you don’t crave sweets as much to begin with.
5 Tips to Stop Your Sugar Cravings
Here’s what you need to do…
1). Eat Leafy Greens 3x Per Day
Consume dark leafy greens throughout your day, ideally in the morning, afternoon & evening. The most important time, however, is in the morning, before you eat breakfast.
Examples of greens would be kale, chard, spinach, collard greens, lettuce, etc. They’re highly nutrient packed, so you’ll see added health benefits on top of those which come with eating less sugar (more energy, clearer skin, better digestion), so you’re more likely to continue with it.
Ideas for incorporating more greens:
Green Juice Before Breakfast – if you have a juicer, making a green juice first thing in the morning is super smart – especially when retraining your taste buds. When you begin your day with healthy food, you’re more likely to continue doing so the rest of the day.
Green Smoothie for Breakfast – I don’t eat a typical American breakfast. Usually just a green smoothie is more than enough to hold me over until lunch time (I eat a really big lunch). A classic smoothie I like, consists of: orange juice, kale, frozen strawberries, vanilla protein powder, stevia, chia seeds, coconut flakes and water.
Big Salad for Lunch – I’ve found it’s easiest for most people to get their salad in around lunch-time, even if it’s just a side salad using 1/3 head of lettuce, with dressing in a small container.
OR a Big Salad for Dinner – if you’re going to have salad for a whole meal, plan on making it really filling. For dinner in particular, if you don’t eat enough at mealtime, you’re probably going to be craving sweets before bed. Making an entree salad with vegetables, beans, grains, seeds and nuts will help to fill your stomach enough to 1) not be hungry before going to sleep, and 2) not leave you with a block of food that’s hard to digest while sleeping.
2). Drink 1/2 Your Body Weight
Most of my cravings come from dehydration. So instead of reaching for food, I ask myself if I’m thirsty, because if I am, drinking a glass full of water often times takes the edge off. Because of this, water can actually treat & prevent sugar cravings.
So how much to drink? A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water. I weigh 180 pounds, so I need to drink 90 ounces of water every day. And by staying hydrated, I’m less likely to crave sweets or food unless I’m actually hungry.
3). Take a 20 Minute Mid-Day Nap
It’s common knowledge that sugar gives you a quick burst of energy – but it doesn’t last very long. If you use caffeine & sugar to stay awake during the day, what your body really needs is rest.
The 20 minute nap is perfect after lunch; just before your afternoon. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a mid-day nap, then your best bet for lowering your dependence on sugar will be to ease yourself off of caffeine. The less coffee & stimulation you need, the more natural energy your body will have – which means you won’t need rely on sugar as much either.
4). Eat a Big Plant-Based Dinner
Many people crave sweets after dinner, but before bedtime. If you can relate, try eating a bigger dinner, but exclude meat, dairy & gluten from it. These foods are much more difficult to digest, and may not allow for the best night’s sleep.
More food in your stomach, means less craving/desire for sugar. And, if you STILL crave sugar, even after a big meal, loaded with tons of fiber, try Step #5…
5). Make Yourself A Tasty Beverage
If I’m still craving sugar after Tips #1-4, I’ll make myself a tasty beverage. When you drink something that pleases your taste buds, you can avoid consuming unnecessary sweets.
Here are a few tasty beverage ideas:
16oz Water with 1 Drop Peppermint Essential Oil – good in the afternoon if you’re craving junk, but know you shouldn’t be hungry.
Yogi Bedtime Tea – this is my personal favorite for after dinner cravings, it has a touch of stevia to help fill that void.
In fact, because Sarah & I beat sugar cravings with beverages every day, we created a free gift for you…
10 OF THE BEST BEVERAGES TO BEAT SUGAR CRAVINGS
In this free guide we’ll show you our favorite beverages to make, that 1) help to control crazy sugar cravings, and 2) retrain your taste buds so your future cravings are less & less powerful, so you reach for healthier alternatives.
[BONUS] I also want to share with you what a day of eating less sugar looks like for us, along with links to the recipes we mention. Click here to get this free download >>