You know sugar is bad for you.
Or so you’ve heard.
You know it will keep you from reaching your fitness goals.
At the same time, you love sugar because let’s face it; sugar is delicious.
But it doesn’t mean that you can’t control your sugar cravings.
Today you will learn how to take back control and show your sugar cravings who is the boss once and for all, without feeling overwhelmed or deprived.
Did you know that 80% of food items in U.S. grocery stores are spiked with added sugar?
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends having no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, however, in the United States, the average woman consumes about 15 teaspoons of added sugar each day. That’s more than double the recommended amount. Most of the sugar we consume comes from ice cream, yogurt, sugar-sweetened drinks, sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and juice drinks.
Is sugar bad for you?
It is not so much about sugar being “good” or “bad.”
Things can get a little confusing, so let’s break it down.
First, you should understand that there are different types of sugars. To keep things simple, you should focus on natural sugars and added/processed/refined sugars.
Natural sugars are found in whole, unprocessed foods, like fruits, vegetables, and dairy. These are the sugars in your apples, oranges, bananas and cheese. Two names you should become familiar with: Fructose and Lactose. Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruit. Lactose is a natural sugar found in animal dairy products.
Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. Cakes, cookies, pies and ice cream all have added sugars. Eating and drinking too much added sugar could lead to tooth decay, obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease and weight gain just to name a few.
The most important thing you need to know is that your body breaks down natural sugars and added sugars in different ways. Natural sugars have “good stuff” like vitamins, antioxidants, and water. Whole fruits have a lot of fiber, which slows down your body’s digestion of sugar and helps you avoid a sugar crash. Added sugars in the other hand, have little to no nutritional value.
What does this mean to you?
You have to understand that not all sugar is bad sugar. Remember the “good stuff” in fruits I mentioned earlier? The vitamins, antioxidants, water and fiber? They will be your best allies in curbing your sugar cravings.
You see, I am a sugar addict/stress eater. Seriously I am. That was my biggest challenge when I decided to start eating healthier. Cookies, ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, you name it! My favorite ice-cream is Dulce De Leche by Häagen-Dazs. I could eat a 14 oz pint in one sitting. Don’t judge me. But just like you, I knew I had to cut back, the question was how?
It turns out that when you start paying attention to the kinds of sugars you eat, it gets easier to eat less of them, and you get better at making healthier substitutions. That’s how I was able to cut back on the Häagen-Dazs ice cream I love so much.
Despite what some people say, the answer to controlling your sugar cravings is not going cold turkey because it is not sustainable. Trust me; I’ve tried it. Some people can do that, but if you are anything like me, you need a little more work. You have to slowly cut back on your added sugar intake and replace them with healthier natural sugar substitutes.
The best part about this method is that you make all the decisions. You determine how much you want to cut back and how fast you want to do it. If you notice that you are moving too fast, you can adjust to stay in the right direction and not overwhelm yourself. It is perfectly ok to take your time. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
What if your body has to have it?
Then, have it, and enjoy it. The worst thing you can do is deprive yourself and feel ashamed for eating something you want. If you’ve tried your best and you still feel that you need it, then eat it or drink it.
If you do not eat it, you might end up binging. It is better that you enjoy one cupcake than eating a dozen because you deprived yourself. I am pretty sure, that’s how I finished some of those Dulce De Leche ice creams. I felt that I earned them. Even though in the end, I did not feel better, and usually hated myself for eating it.
If you cut back on added sugars, if you focus on eating more natural sugars from fruits and veggies, your cravings will become easier to manage. The goal should not be to stop all cravings. As you get started, you should focus on being more in control.
After being on this journey for almost a decade, I still have to remind my cravings I am the boss. Some days are harder than others, but it has become easier to do. As you start making healthier adjustments, your body will naturally crave less sugar. All you have to do is get started, take your time and be patient.
Are you ready?
I’ve put together a helpful guide to teach you how to spot added sugars in the products you feed yourself and your family. I’ve also included a list of over 50 code names for sugar you need to know.
The guide is titled 5 Simple THINGS You Can Do TODAY To Eat Healthier (without feeling deprived) and you can get instant access below.
If you already have the guide, please share this post with your family and friends!
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