Do you currently consume mostly sugary drinks throughout the day? Those sugary drinks along with the foods you consume on a daily basis is slowly killing us. The New York times published an article called “Is Sugar Toxic?” and it states that Robert Lustig posted a video on Youtube called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth“. He explained that sugar is not just about empty calories but it also stated that sugar is like a “poison” to our bodies. Many health experts like Lustig have come to the conclusion that sugar is the primary reason that people today including children are obese, have diabetes, and other chronic health ailments.
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Many people assume that sugar refers to the sweet white substance that is usually kept in the pantry. But what most people don’t realize is that sugar often hides under other names such as fructose, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, dextrose, glucose, lactose, and many more. For the complete list, please click here. In order to get away from sugar, you have to know their hidden names.
Is sugar hiding in any of your favorite foods? Use these 9 ways to help you kick the sugar habit forever.
Start Reading the Labels on the Foods You Eat
In order to kick the sugar habit, you’re going to have to start reading labels to find where sugar is hiding. Like I mentioned above sugar has a bunch of alternative names and as you start reading the labels more closely you will start to see these names show up on food labels.
Sugar is hidden in most food to make it taste better even the so-called foods that manufactures want you to think is healthy. The nutrition labels will list the sugar content per serving so that you can easily identify where some of the sugar is hiding. Once you learn where the sugar is in your diet, you can learn how to avoid it.
Keep a Food Journal
Use a food journal to help you identify where most of your sugar sources are coming from especially if you aren’t good at reading labels yet. MyFitnessPal is a great app that you can put on your smartphone. It will help you track all of your food intake and it also will help you manage your sugar intake. Once you determine, which foods or drinks are major sugar contributors in your diet you can begin cutting them from your diet. Fruits and some vegetables have natural sugars which are better for you so do not mistake those sugars as harmful in your diet. You want to eliminate the processed sugars.
Clean Out Your Pantry
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As you are using your food journal to document which foods contain sugar, you should use that as a guide to help clean out your pantry. Purge all of the foods that contain sugar. If they aren’t in your home, it will make it harder for you to be tempted by these foods. It is best to get rid of all of the sugar from your home and not try to wean yourself off of it. Weaning yourself off sugar can cause you to backslide easier.
Research the Foods that You Can Have
When you decide to kick the sugar habit for good, you need to start researching the types of foods that you can eat. You will need to remove all sugar and starches from your diet so that you can reset your body. This isn’t a diet. It is important to abstain from the sugar and starches so that you can detox and get all of it out of your system. During this time, you will need to find foods to eat.
Plan your Meals
I realize that this is going to take a bit of work on your part but it is totally worth it. You will need to plan all of your meals in advance especially while you are relearning what you can and can’t eat. I highly suggest using a meal planning tool to help you plan ALL your meals. Once you plan your meals, list out all of the ingredients that you will need to make these meals. Then take the list with you to the store and stick to buying items on the list only. At first, it might be tempting to buy additional items that aren’t on your list. Unless you have thoroughly researched the item, don’t be tempted to toss it in your cart. Then you will need to follow your meal plan exactly as planned. Straying from your meal plan especially during lunch time can derail you from your detox progress.
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As you begin to kick the sugar habit, you will probably notice some serious withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are normal but can be frightening. The withdrawal symptoms include: irritability, fatigue, moodiness, anxiety, strong cravings, and lack of interest in things that you usually enjoy. Instead, try not to give into your sugar addiction. It might be tough for a few days/weeks but in the end, you will feel so much better.
Find a Support Group or Accountability Partner
When you decide to give up sugar, it is important that you find a support group or accountability partner who will be there to help you when things get tough. Sugar addictions are very powerful and you are going to need some help to kick the habit. You don’t have to go through this alone. Having a support group or an accountability partner will help you when you want to indulge in your addiction. Instead of reaching for that soda or sugar-laden food, pick up the phone and call someone in your support group. They can help encourage, support, and gently remind you that you can overcome your addiction.
Be Prepared for Cravings
After you have gone through the withdrawal period or detox period, you will need to be aware that your cravings will come back and the urge will be super strong. However, if you are prepared for those cravings to return it will be so much easier to resist them. So next time your craving a soda, try reaching for a glass of fruit infused water (use a fruit infuser water bottle) or satisfy your sweet tooth with foods that are good for you like fruit or vegetables.
Set Realistic Goals for Kicking the Sugar Habit
When giving up sugar, you should set realistic goals for yourself. Sugar is a powerful drug and it is highly addictive. You may not realize how addictive it is until you try kicking the habit. To help you kick the habit come up with several mini goals to help keep you on track. Don’t forget to celebrate your miles stones too!
Use these 9 ways to help you kick the sugar habit forever. Sugar is a powerful drug and the addiction is real. If you are struggling with your addiction, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional to help you overcome your addiction. Once you kick the sugar habit, you will feel better.
Are you ready to kick the sugar addiction? What is your biggest fear?