Are you someone who craves for sugar and can’t stop eating once you start? Can you connect yourself as being plagued with constant food cravings, specifically for sweets or refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or potato chips? If yes, then you could be suffering from sugar and starch addiction.
Owing to the sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, such as reaching out for sweet treats and consuming sugar-laden processed foods have become a regular part of the normal routine of people. So much so, that if they miss their daily sugar intake, it triggers a feeling that they are suddenly deprived of something very essential.
The rationale behind it is that sugar stimulates the brain to produce certain “feel good” hormones such as serotonin, which relieve stress and anxiety. Although it provides a temporary relief, but eating large amounts of sugar is linked to myriad health problems, including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and other disorders.
Since now you have discovered that you are already on the “sugar wheel,” caught up in the vicious cycle of cravings, resolve today that you’ll get rid of this addiction to lead a healthier life. This article would help you begin with the journey.
Know All About Sugars
Sugar Recommendations: The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that we should limit our daily sugar consumption to 7 percent or less of our daily calorie intake—that’s about 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) for men.
Scout Out “Hidden Sugar”: Sugar can hide in foods where you least expect it. It is present in huge quantities in processed foods and most people aren’t even aware of how much they’re consuming. Even if the word sugar isn’t mentioned on the label, it can be present inside by some other name. Generally, the ingredients ending with “ose” contain sugar. Try to cut down on “hidden” sugar found in canned fruits in syrup, condiments such as ketchup and salad dressing and sweetened yogurt products.
Some sugar names:
- Agave nectar
- Brown rice syrup
- Evaporated cane juice
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Malt syrup
The Truth about ‘Healthy’ Sugars
Irrespective of the type of source it comes from, sugar is unhealthy for our body. Although, honey and unrefined sugars are slightly higher in nutrients, they still contain high calories. People try to replace sugar with artificial sweeteners, but research suggests that artificial sweeteners can leave you craving for more sugar.
Beat your Sugar Addiction by Adopting the Following Changes in your Lifestyle and Diet
Modify Your Diet
The primary step to get control of blood sugar levels in your body is to cut out on processed sugars, refined foods, and starches. Work out on menus that include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. When you feel like munching, choose snacks that contain healthy fats and proteins. Have water at regular times, which give you a feeling of fullness when you crave for something sweet. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet should keep you satiated and help eliminate sugar cravings.
Eat Small Regular Meals
To keep the blood glucose levels under control, have small meals four or five times a day instead of two big ones. By this you can avoid a ravenous hunger that makes you crave for something sweet. Also, start your day with a healthy breakfast and start your meals with healthy salads.
Exercise in any form helps release certain chemicals that create the same feeling of well being received from consumption of sugar. Go out for a walk, swim, jog, do yoga or aerobics or as a matter of choice do anything you feel like. This helps keep the blood sugar levels under control and serves as a distraction from sweet cravings.
Maintain a Food Journal
While you are making all the efforts to break the sugar addiction, don’t forget to keep a note of everything you intake. You can also use many of the smart phone apps that are available today. This will help you keep track of the deviations in your diet.
Get High on Fiber
High fiber foods give you more energy and keep you full. Soluble fiber is obtained from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Cut Down on Unnecessary Sugar
To break the sugar addiction, try making small changes in the daily routine such as skipping the desert after dinner. Slowly reduce the sugar in your tea and coffee. This way you’ll train your taste buds to enjoy things that aren’t as sweet.
You can get rid of this habit by taking baby steps and tame your mind for sugar withdrawal. You might feel uneasy for the first few days, but remember any new habit generally takes a few days to get settled.
Once you have overcome your addiction, you can allow a little sweetness back into your life but always remember that “moderation is the key”. Don’t let your indulgence become a regular habit and consider sweets for special occasions only. If you slip at times, bounce back to the healthy options again. Continue to experiment with healthy foods and recipes so that you can make treats healthier.