This is probably one of the hardest habits for me to quit. I never realized just how much sugar I was consuming daily until I started reading labels and getting serious about my health. Sugar is in everything, apparently. Even your barbecue sauce and yogurt isn’t safe. But cutting down drastically was something that I had to do and I have never felt better.
Here are a few good reasons you need to ditch it too!
- Sugar creates an addictive cycle of hunger, fatigue and moodiness. It initially spikes blood sugar, causing us to feel energized and happy. But since it’s devoid of real nutrition, blood sugar quickly plummets, leaving us tired, hungry and moody. So we reach for more sugar
- Sugar causes excess storage of fat: It triggers the body to produce insulin, which tells fat cells to store more. Yikes!
- Sugar causes inflammation. This causes pain and is seen as a precursor to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Here are some ways to cut back
1. Define Sugar
What exactly are you quitting. Sugar is everywhere. Are you getting off candy, baked goods, anything packaged, anything white (milk, processed carbs etc.)? We call sugar lots of different things. Outline exactly what’s off limits and what you CAN have.
2. Look for Hidden Culprits
- Some yogurts (even those labelled low-fat)
- Cereal bars and granola
- Cereals (even those labelled whole-grain)
- Fruit-flavoured water
- Certain condiments, like ketchup, BBQ sauce and plum sauce
3. Drink Lots of Water
When you are having a really bad hankering for sugar, one of your best helps is a big glass of cold water. Water is great for your body to cleanse and detox but it will also refresh your system and it helps with cravings. Add some lemon or lime wedges.
Here’s what to eat to detox from sugar and stay satisfied & sane:
1. High protein, fat and fiber foods
Here’s why they’re great: These are highly satisfying and keep the body full for longer. Make sure every meal and snack contains them. Aim for about 25% of your meal to come from protein with good fats, like Omega 3s. Contrary to popular belief, real saturated fat actually reduces cholesterol.
Good options: eggs, nuts, avocados, olive oil, hummus, salmon or antibiotic free chicken.
2. Green leafy vegetables instead of bread, pasta and refined carbohydrates
Here’s why they’re great: Bread is quickly converted to sugar, creating the same cycle, but vegetables are complex carbohydrates, which keep you satiated for hours. They take longer to digest – expect to feel full 30 minutes after eating a salad.
Good options: Arugula and kale are great for detoxing.