Curb Your Sugar Cravings For Good
Written by Kait Fowlie | @kaitfowlie
You’ve probably heard the findings from scads of health studies out there – refined sugar is majorly addictive – and it’s not doing anything to benefit our health. Whether you choose to believe that or not, you’ve probably felt the depleting slump of a sugar crash, and you’d rather do without it.
You don’t have to feel gloomy, tired and unsatisfied after a treat. In fact, life can be even sweeter without the white stuff. (That’s what we’re here for!) Break the not-so-sweet sugar habit and welcome in some healthier alternatives by following these 5 steps.
Tackle one fix at a time
Whether it’s your 3 PM trip to the vending machine or a post-dinner fro-yo trip, start with one fix and begin to integrate an alternate routine or healthier snack gradually. One week, make it sugar-proofing your coffee, for example. The next, sugar-proof your evening Netflix sessions. Next, sugar-proof your office desk. Create your own weekly goal to tackle one specific sugar habit, and you’ll build up the momentum and confidence to take on another bigger one.
Stock up on sensible swaps
You don’t have to turn off your desire for sweets altogether. Simply prepare to handle cravings in a healthier way. Stock up on some more natural, just-as-tasty sugar alternatives and treats made with them. Here are 3 of our favourites to get acquainted with:
Raw agave nectar:
Made from the agave plant, raw agave has much lower glycemic index than white sugar and corn syrup, meaning it prevents the blood sugar from spiking. Our agave-sweetened raw cookie dough bites or carrot cake and cashew cream cheese frosting won’t leave you missing refined sugar for a minute.
Pure maple syrup:
While pure maple syrup still contains fructose, it’s got much less than refined sugar, and also contains antioxidants and high levels of zinc and manganese. Although pure maple syrup is not raw, it’s okay to use in small doses. Load up on this fall favourite to keep your heart and immune system healthy as the weather gets cooler.
Needing almost no processing, this vitamin-rich superfood promotes digestive health and is high in antioxidants, which fight the buildup of harmful free radicals in the bod. It’s also said to help strengthen the immune system.
Create subtle shifts in your routine
Often, we end up eating many of the same foods automatically simply because that’s what we’ve always done. Quit the eating habits you want to change by tuning into mindfulness. Are you choosing indulgences carefully and savoring them, or simply because it’s what you always do? If you tend to raid your chocolate stash when it hits 3 PM for example, adjust your routine. A subtle shift can help your brain adapt before your body does. Go for a walk. Stock your office fridge with flavoured soda water. Bring your own healthier treats to work.
Examine your emotional triggers
If you tend to turn to sugar when you’re stressed or gloomy, take note. What is it you’re really needing? When you’re clear on why you’re being triggered to grab a sugar high, and what you really need to do to fix the issue beyond just the quick-fix, everything shifts. Maybe you need to call a pal and laugh or vent, to move your body to shake the day off, or destress with a book on your back patio. Forget the sugar and get right to the heart of the issue.
According to Tara Stiles, creator of Make Your Own Rules Diet, “once you start to become sensitized to how your body feels in relation to day-to-day life, it really is quite easy to take care of yourself.” That is, when you go a few days without caving to a sugar craving, you’ll start to connect with how your body feels without it. When you have it again, it’ll be a shock – to your taste buds, blood sugar, and your mood. Soon enough, the decision will be a no-brainer. Sugar-free takes the cake.
Loosening your ties with sugar is one step in the journey to eat more consciously. The more you practice, the better your body and mood will feel, and the easier it will be to live without. Stay tuned on the blog to see just how delightful and decadent the sugar-free life can be.