It’s been a while since I’ve written on this topic.
But, I figured with barbecues galore coming up this summer, it’s probably a good idea to issue a friendly reminder about sugar consumption.
That’s right, I know you don’t need/want to hear it, but sugar is bad.
Not entirely, but for the most part.
In fact, sugar can even be considered a drug in a sense. It’s addictive properties and harmful effects have earned it the title, “the new tobacco.”
Surprising it’s being demonized since, as recently as the 1980s, it was assumed the only negative health effects associated with sugar was related to it causing cavities.
Nonetheless, excess sugar can lead to some serious health problems, and if you need to read more on this please follow this link to get your fill on research proving this statement to be true.
My job here isn’t to lecture you on something you probably already know.
I’m just here to give you a few ways to help manage sugar cravings this summer if you’re really trying to cut it out of your diet.
4 Steps to Breaking a Sugar Habit
1. Stop Drinking Sweetened Beverages:
This is probably one of the most dramatic ways to cut down on sugar. Beverages in America are loaded with added sugar. Most of it comes from GMO High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which can absolutely devastate your health.
If you see a “natural” label on a product and it talks about how it uses natural cane sugar, well that doesn’t mean it’s any better.
Both cane sugar and HFCS disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. HFCS affects your brain’s neurochemistry and makes it so your stomach doesn’t relay messages to your brain telling it you don’t need to eat anymore.
And, cane sugar, no matter what the form, when ingested quickly and in high doses, will spike insulin levels which also affects cravings and.
So, instead of drinking sugary beverages, drink things like spring water with a spritz of lemon or a slice of cucumber to satisfy a craving.
And, remember, if you don’t feel like you can control yourself, prepare low-sugar beverages well in advance so you don’t have to worry about giving in to the pressure when you find yourself around them.
2. Get More Fiber In Your Diet:
The reason fiber is so important is way more than its ability to keep you regular (although that is important).
Fiber works inside of your body so it slows down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.
Because of this effect, your blood sugar won’t spike and you won’t have the subsequent crash which contributes to a super-charged sugar craving later. Fiber helps to keep your blood sugar levels normal and even. And, when this happens, it means your mind isn’t wondering when it’s going to get its next fix.
I’m going to recommend you get your fiber from vegetables as well as fruits which are low in sugar (think berries, firm stone fruits, greenish bananas etc.) By building your diet around these healthy foods, not only will you help kick your sugar habit, you’ll also be working to feed your body the food it needs.
By the way, don’t try and justify more fiber by eating more gluten. Gluten and breads which are high in fiber can still keep sugar cravings going since those carbs are metabolized and turned into sugar.
I know, not fun to hear, but I’m attempting to help you stay healthy.
3. Follow Dr Hyman’s Advice: Dr. Mark Hyman literally wrote the book on overcoming sugar addition.
I’ve always liked how he says things, and this gem is worth passing on.
Be a turkey (a cold one).
There is no way to handle a true physiological addiction except to stop it completely. Addicts can’t have just one line of cocaine or just one drink. Go cold turkey. But you won’t have to white-knuckle it because if you follow these 10 Big Ideas you will automatically reset your body’s neurotransmitters and hormones.
Stop all forms of sugar, all flour products and all artificial sweeteners — which cause increased cravings and slow metabolism, and lead to fat storage.
Also get rid of anything with trans or hydrogenated fats and MSG (watch for hidden names).
Ideally, for 10 days you avoid any foods that come in box, package or a can or that have a label, and stick to real, whole, fresh food. And the best way to really detox is to give up ALL grains for 10 days, too.
4. Supplement For Success:
I’m not going to say if you take these supplements then your sugar craving is going to go the way of the dodo. I’d be putting my reputation on the line if I did that.
However, I do think supplements can help balance out hormones as well as the body’s chemistry for some positive benefits.
I would start by recommending adding the following to your diet to aid you:
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (250 mg daily)
- Tri-Chromium (500mcg-1000 mcg daily)
- L-glutamine (500, 1,500mg twice daily)
- Vitamin D3 (1,500 – 5,000 IUs daily)
- Fish Oil (1,000 – 4,000 mg daily)
- Magnesium Malate
All of these supplements can work synergistically to help normalize blood sugar levels, especially if you’re already deficient in any of them.
You might also want to add a Vitamin B complex to the regimen, but make sure any B vitamins you get include methylcobalamin and not cyanocobalamin.
I could write a lot more on how to tackle a sugar addiction.
But, I think if you start here and use these recommendations, you’ll find the steps you’ll want to take later will be a a heck of a lot easier.
Here’s to overcoming America’s most common and most harmful addiction!