Do you ever find yourself craving sugar in the middle of the afternoon or right after a meal?
Do you experience an afternoon crash and are looking for energy?
These are signs of sugar addiction. Sugar is so prevalent in our culture and in processed foods. It's hard to even know where it lurks! But there are some easy ways to reduce sugar in your diet, lose weight along the way, and get rid of those cravings!
1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, causing sugar cravings to be more frequent.
2. Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and then wait a few minutes to see what happens. Caution: soft drinks are now America’s number one source of added sugar.
3. Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are sweet, healthy and delicious. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar.
4. Use gentle sweets. Avoid chemicalized, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia, barley malt and agave nectar.
5. Get physically active. Start with simple activities, like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. It will help balance your blood sugar levels, boost your energy, and reduce tension without medicating yourself with sugar!
6. Get more sleep, rest and relaxation. When you are tired or stressed, your body will crave energy—in the form of sugar. These cravings are often a result of being sleep-deprived, going to bed late or waking up early, sometimes for months and years on end.
7. Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Eating too much can lead to cravings for sweets. So can eating too little! A good health counselor will help you sort this out. Experiment. Respect your body’s individuality.
8. Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack-foods. These foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on the roller-coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
9. Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
10. Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! You body does not biologically need sugar, but it does long for hugs, time with friends, outside time, workouts, massages, etc. When life becomes sweet enough itself, no additives are needed!
Have a happy, healthy day!
From Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman.