How to Stop Sugar Cravings Starting TODAY!
Hello, my name is Emily and I am a sugar addict!
I am a mom of three busy girls, one who still wakes up several times a night for feedings. I wake up at 5 am to work out, because it is the only way I can squeeze in any me time or a legitimate shower. Half the time I feel like I am running on fumes. Mindless eating and sugary treats snarfed down while hiding in the pantry from my children are my weakness.
However, I know that neither of these give me what I need to actually function through the day and typically leave me feeling crappy! One of the most important things I can do for myself as a mom, wife and just plain worn out woman is to prioritize myself and find small ways to take care of me.Making the choice kick my sugar addiction has been one of the hardest and most rewarding ways I have learned to take better care of myself.
Choosing to opt for real, whole, unprocessed foods becomes crucial to ditch the sugary junk food habit, but so do emotional triggers and emotional health. Whenever I get a strong desire for an entire bag of red licorice or chocolate in any form I try to ask myself two questions:
1 What am I feeling?
2 What do I need?
More often than not I am feeling exhausted, stressed or as true introvert who is the mom of three young girls… I can get just plain overstimulated. These are all normal parts of life. Part of self-care is taking the time to identify what you are feeling and what you need to/ can do to bring yourself back to center. Sugar is like any other drug ( scientific studies have shown the same brain activity is elicit from sugar as cocaine) it is a quick and easy pleasure fix. However it doesn’t eliminate the source of the trigger.
Finding small ways to take care of ourselves, breaking the addiction and rewiring your brain is easier than you might think. It doesn’t take weeks or months.
These eight strategies have helped me:
1 Eat real food. You need to eat fat and protein for each of your meals. Whole food carbohydrates like veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds are perfectly healthy and will give you the energy you need to get through your day. Processed, sugary junk foods are not real foods, they spike your blood sugar levels and then crash leaving you feeling more exhausted and on edge than before.
2 Steady blood sugar levels will help you make more mindful choices thought the day. Eat a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shakes, or nut butters. Studies repeatedly show that eating a healthy high-protein breakfast helps people maintain mental acuity and.. BONUS: weight loss!
3 Ditch sugar. Just do it, go cold turkey: I know I know you are thinking I am nuts right now. Trust me, I am being honest with you when I say the fastest way to curb the sugar addiction is to Cut it all. I promise you by day 3 you will find yourself thinking of sweets less often and by day 5 it wont even sound appealing. You need eliminate refined sugars, sodas, fruit juices, and artificial sweeteners from your diet. These are all drugs that fuel sugar addiction.
4 Reduce stress. Easier said then done, I know! Stress eating and junk food go together. When you’re feeling stressed, you’re more likely to reach for that bag of chocolate chip cookies or whatever your vice might be. Learn to address the root cause of your stress and address it with something like deep breathing, making a list of ways to take what ever has you stressed out, or better yet go for a walk.
5 Exercise, the next time you get a hankering for something sweet, walk it off… Literally! Besides creating a healthy distraction to avoid nose diving into a pint of butter pecan ice cream. Exercise tapers cravings and raises feel-good endorphin levels. So, get up and move! Not only will you avoid the guilt of overindulging, you will have extra energy from the endorphin release.
6 Determine whether you are craving sweets, or if you are dehydrated. Often our bodies will try to signal us with thirst. If you have neglected you water intake for long enough your body may be sending you any signal it thinks you will respond to. before eating down a glass of water. commit to keeping a water bottle with you at all times and taking 10 chugs of it every time your lips touch the bottle. You will find that you have less cravings and your energy level are higher when you are hydrated.
7 Sleep well. I bring to even top this as I find myself running on 3-4 hrs a day if I am lucky. However it is true! Ever notice you’re hungrier for something sugary after a terrible night’s sleep? Studies show lack of sleep increases cravings. Aim for between 7 – 9 hours a night. Life and family play a big role in sleep I know. Do your best to make yourself a priority. Set an alarm to remind yourself it is time to go to bed to set yourself up for success.
8 Implement crave-cutting substitutes. If you are craving sweet find it in natural whole food sources like a piece of fruit or adding honey to a cup of tea.
I hope these will help. If you have any other tips or tricks for tackling sugar cravings please leave them in the comments!!
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