Oh sugar, sugar…
Diet Coke is my “thing.” I have a love/hate relationship with it – I hate being without it but I know I need to end our affair. I like to think that it helps me stay awake, but in reality it gives me headaches and an upset stomach. I don’t even love the taste, but I’m still drawn to it. Why?
Because sugar and artificial sweeteners can dramatically impact your mood. Studies show that they’re also addicting – in fact, sugar has been shown to be as addictive as cocaine. We crave it, especially when we feel tired and want a quick pick-me-up. Sugar (in any form) raises our blood sugar level, and too much raises it too quickly (which causes other problems that I’ll write more about in my next post). Shortly after that, we crash and start looking for our next fix. And on and on it goes.
These days, sugar is in 80% of the packaged items you buy in the store – if you’ve been to my Sugar Workshops then you’ve heard me refer to supermarkets as “sugar dealers.” And just try finding something remotely healthy at a corner store or rest stop – the options are lousy.
So how can we minimize sugar in our diets? That’s the million-dollar question.
- Clean House – Get rid of items with more than 5g of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume 30g of sugar per day, and men 45g per day (both currently consume closer to 110g daily).
- Shop Smart – Read labels! There are over 50 different names for sugar, but once you learn what to buy, shopping will get easier.
- Distract Yourself –When you feel a craving coming on, grab your dog or your child and head out for a walk; curl up with a great book; call a friend for a heart to heart conversation or enjoy a luxurious bath. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your craving will fade.
- Let It Go – Just like the song! When you indulge, don’t beat yourself up about it. Take a breath and move on to the next moment and the next day.
Give your taste buds a rest – after only two weeks of reducing sugar, everything, including vegetables, will begin to taste different. I’ve done it and it works. Your whole life will be sweeter.
Do you struggle with sugar cravings? Tell me what you do about it…
Ready to kick your sugar habit? Click over to my site for a free download! http://www.healthelissa.com.
Elissa is a holistic Health Coach and founder of Health/E, LLC. She works with individuals to help them find energy, strength and balance through nutrition, exercise and self-care. Elissa gives workshops throughout the NY area, and runs support groups for the National MS Society, in addition to working one-on-one with clients.