I can almost feel your sugar cravings right now.
Trust me, I get it!
I used to have sugar cravings 100% of the time.
It was horrible.
I felt like I needed it so much that it started making it’s way into all my meals.
All of them had to have some form of sugar in it, because the sugar cravings were just too strong for me to stand up against.
I’m going to tell you why we crave it and then how we can stop them for good.
Addicted To Sugar
Did you know sugar has been compared to some of the most addictive drugs?
It is because sugar has been shown to actually affect your brain, and not in a good way.
And the cravings are out of control.
Which is why so many of us feel we have to have something sweet daily. And if you look at the labels on what you are eating, this is added to EVERYTHING!
No wonder why we can’t get away from it! It’s in bread, cereal, ketchup, peanut butter, frozen meals, processed meals,and many, many more items. They even add it to some meats like sausage and bacon!
Want to know something even more shocking?
Like addictive drugs, sugar is killing us.
I’m not going to get into the politics behind why big sugar companies are legally allowed to put so much sugar in our foods and market it to adults and kids. Because it is enough to write an entire book on it.
Since many people already have, I will recommend a couple that I found informative and easy to read: Dr. Mark Hyman’s books “The Blood Sugar Solution” and “Food Fix“. He describes in great detail why sugar is dangerous, how it is addictive, and why it is still legal, despite evidence proving it is harming us.
Psst…..(my whisper voice) It has to do with money.
Our Sugar Habit is Killing Us!
If you read my Probiotic Ranch Dressing recipe, I touched on this, but this is a perfect spot to talk about this again.
Sugar is destroying our entire body in one go. I’m going to try to break this down as simply without getting too science-y.
Our small intestine (our gut), is where our food gets absorbed in the body.
Good bacteria (probiotics) lines the small intestine and this is what keeps toxins and other bad things you absorb from getting into your blood stream and immune system (Like the pesticides on your food)
When you eat sugar, it FEEDS the BAD bacteria in your body. The bad bacteria destroys the probiotics.
Think of yeast in bread. When you mix it with sugar, the yeast feeds off the sugar, causing the yeast to make the bread bigger.
Same thing in your gut. The sugar is feeding the bad bacteria and allowing it to get bigger and overpower the probiotics.
Once this happens, you have no protection from anything bad entering your body. You are susceptible to a TON of different illnesses, many autoimmune conditions, and weird things happening to your body.
What happens when pesticides and chemicals in your food and environment are able to get in your blood stream?
Everybody run, we are going to die!!! (Well maybe not that dramatic, but you get the point)
Ever heard the term Leaky Gut? This is it.
And sugar just helped it happen.
What Illnesses Can Sugar Lead To?
- Heart Disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Liver Disease
How Do I Get Rid Of The Cravings?
It is possible because I have done it. Twice.
I will tell you two different ways I have done this that worked each time, so you can try the best way for you.
The Cold Turkey Route
After reading Dr. Mark Hyman’s book “The Blood Sugar Solution: 10 Day Detox“, I went ahead and tried his method of eliminating most carbs and sugars for the 10 days and slowly adding the good carbs back in after that (he specifies which ones to eliminate and which ones to keep during those 10 days, as well as what foods you can eat to help reboot your body).
I decided to do this because the book scares the crap out of you to where you WANT to avoid sugar.
If you read my article 20 Ways to Get Healthier With Zero Motivation, you know being scared of bad food is a great motivator.
So of course, I highly recommend the book if you like horror stories and want to get off sugar.
Yes, this method works. Very well. I lost 18 lbs in 10 days. And felt amazing once day 5 hit and after that. My cravings went away completely. I didn’t want sugar at all and the very thought of it didn’t appeal to me.
But days 1-4 were miserable if I was being honest.
The cravings were insane. I had the worst headaches I ever had and could not produce bowel movements for those 4 days. (He says this is normal. I also didn’t take any of the recommended supplements, so don’t know if that would have made a difference or not in how I felt).
And I was super GRUMPY.
Poor Aaron. He made it through like a champ though. (Cheers to Aaron!)
I believe I was going through sugar withdrawal because sugar was my LIFE until that point.
But I was super happy when day 5 came.
I had energy, I was happy, I had lost weight, and I felt confident.
It was worth it. And it was easy to keep going.
Why I Got Off That Plan
Around Day 22, it was my birthday and my family wanted to go out to eat.
My favorite restaurant was IHOP, because their pancakes are amazing.
Out of habit, I ordered my favorite pancakes, even though they didn’t appeal to me at that time. I just knew they were my favorite so thought I would enjoy them.
I didn’t enjoy them as much as I thought I would.
Then I had cake later that day because you have to eat cake on your birthday, right?
I craved neither of these things and they didn’t appeal to me that day, but I ate them because they were something I normally liked.
The sugar cravings came back full force after that and I gave in.
I REALLY wish I didn’t test the waters then.
Keep Eating Healthy Sugars
The method I started over a year ago and seems to be working great for me is to limit my processed sugars.
I started out eliminating High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Then I stopped buying sugar from the store and substituted coconut sugar in my baking (it acts like brown sugar in recipes).
I would read ingredients and if it contained corn syrup or sugar, I didn’t eat it.
I still ate sugar, but only if it was naturally in the food and had health benefits. Like fruit, coconut, and honey.
It helped me beat the addiction. And I had to stop eating cereal and flavored oatmeal (do you know how much sugar is in those?!).
I still bought candy, but only if it was naturally sweetened. When I wanted cookies, I made them myself with whole wheat flour and honey, with fruit, or sweetened with Stevia (a natural sweetener).
It satisfied my sweet cravings and it allowed me to have control over how much sugar I was putting in my body.
My sugar cravings went away for the most part. I can go weeks without sugar with no problem.
And when I do crave it periodically, I only crave it in the natural forms now and am satisfied after a couple bites.
And guess what? I haven’t been sick in over a year. I feel so much better and more energized. My anxiety has pretty much went away. I CAN SLEEP!
So for this one, I didn’t pay attention to the sugar content on the nutrition label other than to see if it had ADDED sugars. If it did, I put it back.
If it didn’t specify added sugars, I would look at the ingredients and find out from there what it means by “sugar”.
Some of My Favorite Natural Low Sugar Snacks
High Key Keto Mini Cookies (Holy cow, these are absolutely amazing! The snickerdoodle version is awesome too! And you guys, both of these are so good that my picky husband keeps finishing them off when I’m not around without telling me)
This following one is not completely natural sugar, but this baby right here helped me and Aaron kick our M&M addiction. No dyes, no artificial flavors, and MUCH less sugar than M&Ms, so is a great starting point. It tastes almost as good as regular M&Ms and they have peanut flavored too (which I prefer).
This Can Help You Go Sugar Free
You may be wanting to go completely sugar free.
I understand that. Eventually I may do that too because I am finding I don’t have my sweet tooth much anymore.
This method is a way of weaning you off the sugar to where you don’t need it or crave it anymore.
Once you get to that point, it will be so much easier to make the switch to no sugars at all.
Without going through any withdrawal symptoms.
It will feel so much more natural to take that next step.
So Which Way is Better?
Both ways are amazing.
With Dr. Hyman’s plan, your sugar cravings go completely away in less than a week and don’t come back (unless you make the mistake I did).
Your cravings are gone. And you feel absolutely nothing when you look at sugary stuff.
The bad part of that is you may go through withdrawals and not be a pleasant person for a few days.
With my plan of switching to natural sugars, allows you to wean yourself off the sugars, to where over time, you will stop craving it. You also don’t have any withdrawal symptoms.
My favorite part is if you have a day that you do eat junk, it is super easy to just pick up and start your natural sugar plan again.
The bad part is it will take a little longer to stop the cravings, so you may find yourself making all natural cookies a lot the first month or so while your body is getting used to the new way of eating.
I found both ways great. Eating natural sugars is the one that has allowed me to sustain it the longest.
I am grateful that I used both of these methods because it allowed me to find the best one for me.
So you will have to figure out which one is right for you.
I was addicted to sugar. I didn’t think I could kick this habit. But I did.
I know you can too.
So let’s do this!
Do you have any other ways to kick sugar addiction, or have tried one of these methods? Let me know in the comments!
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