Ways To Break Your Sugar Addiction
Your challenge for the next 21 days is to cut out all sugar from your diet. I know for most of you this will be very difficult but if you can make it you will feel better and you will lose weight. Sugar is one of the worst substance you can eat and is a food that the diet solution program want you to avoid.
Does that white, powdery substance call you all the time? Is it hard to get it off your mind? Do you keep coming back for more and more sugar? The problem with sugar is the more you eat, the more you want it! Even when you work at staying away from it, it will sneak back into your lifestyle.
I know that is may be hard for you to kick the sugar habit and craving, but if you could do it for 21 days as part of an easy weight loss program you will be well on your way to kicking the sugar craving habit and start feeling better.
Beside the bulge of fat around the waistline, diets high in sugar have been linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, elevated triglycerides, and heart disease. Sugar consumption has also been linked to depression, poor eyesight, gout, migraines, and osteoporosis.
Did you know that consuming high levels of carbohydrates as well as sugar releases a chemical in the brain called serotonin that makes you feel good, almost a euphoric feeling. The problem with this high is that it is temporary. Within a few hours your body begins a crash that will make you feel tired, lethargic, and fatigued.
According to the USDA, an average American in 1999 consumed 151 pounds of sugar. With more and more Americans involved with easy weight loss programs the consumption of sugar dropped to 132 pounds per person in 2010. The estimate of sugar consumption in the year 1700 was about 4 pounds per person.
At least half of our consumed sugar comes through drinks such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, and sports drinks. The rest come from foods such as ketchup, teriyaki sauce, chocolate milk, milk shakes, and the obvious sweets like candy bars, cookies, cakes, ice cream, yogurt, and even breakfast cereal. Surprisingly, yogurt and instant oatmeal can contain as much as 20-30 grams (5-7 teaspoons) of added sugar! It seems like we are drowning in our sugar intake.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that we limit our daily sugar consumption to 7% or less of our daily calorie intake. That works out to be about 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) for men per day. Be careful with your intake because sugar consumption can add up fast. For example, one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains 8-10 teaspoons of sugar (130-150 calories). One glazed donut contains 6 teaspoons of sugar, and a half cup ice cream contains 4 grams of added sugar!
So What Can You Do Reverse Your Sugar Consumption?
Although sweet foods are very delicious and tempting for most people, the more you eat, the higher your tolerance becomes.
Fortunately, if you accept the 21 day challenge you can reverse this tolerance and craving by cutting out sugar. Yes, I am recommending that you cut out all sugar from your diet. Once you have decreased your threshold, something that tasted perfectly sweet a few weeks ago, will begin to taste too sweet to eat, and that can help you reduce your intake of the sweet stuff.
Follow this 21 days plan to break your sugar addiction and cravings!
Start By Identifying Sugar and What Foods Contains Sugar
The first step over the next four days in beating your sugar habit is to get rid of all those items in your cabinets and refrigerator that contains added sugar. Your action is to read the label of every food package and determine which contains sugar.
If you see any of the following terms listed in the ingredients label then sugar has been added to the product and you should leave it on the shelf at the store in the future.
Brown rice syrup
Cane juice crystals
High fructose corn syrup
|Corn syrup solids
Evaporated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
|Grape juice concentrate
Once you have identified the sugar sources in your diet, remove those items from your home. You can simply throw the items out or donate the products that contain hidden or added sugars, including any juice, soda, candy, sweets and those “healthy” snacks like granola bars, fruit and grain bars, instant oatmeal and sports drinks. This may sound drastic, but it is a must to break your habit and craving!
Remember, you don’t have to throw away natural sugar, like the kind you find in whole fruit. Milk also contains natural sugars but it provides calcium, vitamin D and protein. So unlike soda, fruit juices and other processed foods, whole fruit and dairy products are OK because they provide you essential vitamins and minerals that your bodies needs.
Stock Your Your Cabinets and Refrigerator With Sugar-Free Items
In the first couple of day, I bet you found a lot of items that contains sugar. Some of it may have been obvious, like those frozen waffles, ice cream, energy bars, and processed foods. But others might not have been obvious, as sugar tends to be part of many “diet” foods and lower-fat foods because the sugar make those low-cal offerings taste better.
Now that you know what foods to avoid, it’s time to find sugar-free foods to replace those you tossed. Over the next few days you want to replace for example those sugared cereals with a whole grain cereal that contains little to no added sugar. You can sweeten the whole grain cereals naturally with fresh berries or a diced banana. When you want a snack eat a handful of nuts or some raw veggies. Look for an oatmeal without sugar. A healthier snack is a whole piece of fruit.
When choosing a refreshing beverage choose ice cold water flavored with a squeeze of fresh lemon or an orange slice. Or drink some flavored unsweetened iced tea with crushed raspberries or a squeeze of lemon.
Never shop on an empty stomach and always shop with a list. Shopping while hungry can lead you to adding all kinds of snacks and impulse buys to your cart.
Stop those Sugar Cravings
Over the next 10 days it is time to put your plan into action. You have identified foods with sugar in your diet and replaced those foods with more healthier alternatives. Your cabinets and refrigerator is now set up for success!
Now your focus should be on making a conscious effort to avoid sugary foods. When a sugar craving strikes you, try going for a walk or some other activity to take your mind off the sugar. Try drinking a glass of water that will give you a feeling of fullness. Typically the craving will pass if you wait long enough. Your action is to gain an understanding of the difference between true hunger and food cravings. If you are truly hungry, a handful of nuts or some raw veggies will satisfy you. But if is a sugar craving use a distraction technique.
These 14 days saying no to sugar will be the hardest, but the more you stick to your action plan, the sooner you will beat the sugar cravings. Be careful because just a small taste of sugar during this time period could lead you to a setback.
After a couple sugar-free weeks, your sugar threshold will start to decrease and you will find that you no longer crave sugar or sweets as you once did.
Your Life Time Action Plan
As you set your plan for life you should consider that generally it takes about 3-4 weeks for a new behavior to become habit, the most important thing is to stick with it and never give up.
As you devise your plan to prevent a sugar relapse remember sugar is not necessary for health and it’s OK if you want to continue to avoid it. But if you want a little sweetness back into your life, that’s OK. The key is moderation. Do not let sugar become a daily habit once again. Instead, consider it to be a special occasion treat.
If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up over it. Accept that it happen and decide to make a better decision next time.