Day 5 - Kicking the Sugar Monster: Getting Rid of Sugar Cravings

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Did you know that sugar is as addictive as morphine?  If you ate sugar and they did a CAT scan of your brain, the same centers would light up as do when a person takes morphine.

Sugar has no nutritional value and is high in calories.

It is also in almost every packaged food you buy at the store.  When I did my Whole30 this summer and had to eliminate sugar for 30 days, I was shocked to find how many products contain sugar.

Sugar can have a negative impact on your fertility. 

When we consume sugar in a candy bar or soft drink, especially on an empty stomach, our blood sugar increases rapidly.   Your pancreas reacts by producing the hormone insulin.  Insulin quickly lowers the blood sugar by allowing glucose to enter into your body cells.  If this cycle is repeated again and again, your body can become insulin resistant.

The overproduction of insulin can lead to PMS symptoms, irregular cycles and ovarian dysfunction as seen in PCOS.

Sugar also depletes the body of much needed vitamins and minerals.   Refined sugar, especially sugar found in processed foods should always be avoided.

Sugar that occurs naturally in natures such as coconut sugar, honey and molasses can be used in small amounts.  Marilyn Shannon of Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition recommends these sugars in combination with healthy foods such as yogurt. 

She also says that eating small amounts of sugar on a full stomach can slow down its absorption because of the proteins and fats from the meal.

How to Kick that Sugar Monster

  • Eat lots of protein

By making sure you have protein in your snacks and meals, you will feel full longer and so are less likely to splurge on sweets.

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners may actually increase your craving for sugar and may even cause your pancreas to produce extra insulin. Some have been known to cause serious health problems.  I know how addicting Diet Coke can be.  Trust me when I say it is worth it to give it up.

  • Avoid processed & pre-packaged foods

As I stated earlier, these foods can be loaded with sugar to make them more palatable.  They contain way more sugar than you would ever put into your own home-cooked meals.  The amount of sugar can be disguised as “high fructose corn syrup”, “corn syrup” and “fructose”

  • Drink lots of water

Keep yourself hydrated.  Sometimes when you think you are craving sugar, your body is telling you it needs water.

  • Eat lots of fruits & vegetables

I know I have talked about this before, but incorporating healthier foods into your diet will actually decrease your cravings for sugar.  When we consume a lot of sugar, we do not feel full and end up craving more sugar and consuming more sugar.

Fruits have natural occurring sugars and also vitamins and minerals making them a great choice to satisfy that craving for sweets.

  • Move Your Body

Exercise can give you more energy and decrease the need for a sugar lift.  A simple walk outside could boost your mood and can take care of your sugar craving.

  • Try a Detox if you are super addicted

If you are used to consuming junk food on a daily basis, I highly recommend doing the Whole30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox.  If that is too much time, do a Nutritional 3 Day Reset.  You need to break the cycle and it won’t be easy.You will feel bad for a couple of days to a week or even a month, but I promise it is worth it.

After you have detoxed off of sugar, you will have more energy and have your sugar cravings under control.

I have to be honest, breaking my addiction to sugar was hard. But, I am so glad that I did.  I no longer have an afternoon sugar crash where I want to run and take a nap.  I have steady energy all day long. 

I am not completely sugar free.  I do have an occasional treat now and then.  Life is about moderation, right?  But, because I have broken my addiction to the sugar monster, I can have an occasional treat and walk away. 

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