I’m a Nutrition Coach….and man do I LOVE sugar…
Just moments after every single beautifully-prepped-macro-balanced-healthy meal I devour, the thought pops into my head and it goes something like this…”that was good, now I just need a LIIIIIITTLE something sweet!” Sound familiar?! I get so desperate I sometimes eat my kids fruit snacks to get my sugar fix. And the worst part is I am a Nutrition Coach and everyone things I’m perfect when it comes to nutrition but let me be the first to tell you, I’M NOT.
My husband Rob likes to tell anyone who will listen “my wife’s an awesome nutrition coach, and a complete sugar addict!” (Thanks love!)
Let’s dive in to this hot topic. Did you know that sugar is the most damaging ingredient in of our modern food landscape? The evidence is mounting that sugar is tied to most of the chronic diseases we suffer from as a society: obesity, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, fatty liver disease and even Alzheimer’s.
It seems the combination of processed carbohydrates and sugar is slowly killing us over time. According to this study 74% of packaged food products contain some form of sugar in it. It may not flat out say “sugar” in the ingredients list, but it could be disguised using one of the added sugars. Flip over some of the packaged/processed stuff in your house right now and check out the sugar content. Scary stuff!
FACT: Sugar is as addicting as some hard core drugs.
The only difference is it’s legal. And a lot cheaper than drugs. When I give in and eat ALL the sugar I almost immediately feel it’s effects. I get edgy and moody, my face breaks out, my stomach gets bloated and my pants are suddenly tight, and my digestion become irregular. All lovely side effects of excessive sugar consumption. Essentially I send my hormones on a rollercoaster ride, and I don’t know about you but I hate rollercoasters.
Ok Em, I get it…sugar is absolutely terrible for us, SO NOW WHAT?
How do you get this toxic, waist-expanding, disease-promoting crap out of your diet? Here are my top 5 ways of coping…from one addict to another:
1) Go cold turkey.
If you truly are addicted you can expect to feel literal withdrawal symptoms and potentially get the ‘sugar flu’ as your body adjusts. Programs like Signum’s Nutrition program are a great place to start in weeding this crap out…#justsayin. It usually takes me 3 days to stop thinking about sugar after I cut it out of my diet and after that I’m pretty good-to-go.
2) Allow yourself a treat every once in awhile.
I personally allow myself a high cacao treat after either my lunch or dinner. I find that the individually wrapped 86% Cacao Ghirardelli Squares do the trick for me. They are so bitter that they satisfy my sweet tooth, but don’t leave me wanting more. Plus the fact that they come in a tiny package promotes my having 1 and moving on with my day instead of going back for seconds.
3) Get more sleep and drink more water.
These two simple acts can help your health in more ways than you’ll ever know. Sleep and water will help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and give you more energy while you reduce sugar. When we’re tired, our hormones get out of whack, and we naturally crave sugar. The same goes for being thirsty. So create a great bedtime routine and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep and get a water bottle you love and carry it around with you everywhere!
4) Eat more healthy fats!
Incorporate more healthy fats in to your diet like avocado, olive oil, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised eggs and wild-caught and fatty fish. Fats are satiating and keep energy levels stable longer which helps you avoid cravings. Cravings are strongest and willpower weakest when we’re hungry. Throw some coconut oil, natural peanut butter or chia seeds in your smoothie and see if that helps. I incorporate healthy fats in to every single meal and snack I eat.
5) Minimize alcohol + caffeine.
This is a tough one for many of us. But the fact is they can cause the same type of blood sugar swings you’ll want to avoid.
Give a few of these things a try and let me know how it goes! Have you found a way to help with your sugar addiction? Don’t be a stranger, hit “reply” and let me know what works for you!
Cheers to your health,