Kicking Sugar

NPP TIP Blog kick sugar1

Rarely do we experience obsessive cravings for chicken, broccoli, or green juice, so why sugar? It may be due to a habit, a blood sugar or hormone imbalance, poor sleep, stress, depression, anxiety, insufficient protein, nutrient deficiencies, food allergies, dehydration, or fatigue. Sugar can change your physiology. Giving into this craving or addiction can actually raise the dopamine levels in your brain, giving you a temporary feeling of well-being. A particular food may even trigger a pleasant memory, like the day your Dad took you for donuts to celebrate your fifth birthday. Continually giving into every sugar craving can foster an unhealthy relationship with food, leading to binge eating and a feeling of being out of control.

 

So, how do you kick your sugar cravings? Start your day with a high protein breakfast, followed by a protein at every meal. Increase your daily intake of healthy carbs, like vegetables, and decrease or, preferably, eliminate the starchy carbs, like white potatoes, pasta, and bread. Choose high fibre foods, like almonds, chia seeds, avocados, and berries, which will slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, therefore preventing blood sugar spikes. Stay hydrated throughout the day with 8-10 glasses of water. When the craving does rear its ugly head, drink a glass of water and then distract yourself. Try knitting, needlepoint, or a 1000 piece puzzle. Grab your sneakers and go for a walk. Sink into a warm, soothing bath, prepared by dissolving one or two cups of epsom salts and/or 4 or 5 drops of compatible essential oils. EFT tapping can work wonders to stop a craving in its tracks. My favourite instructional videos are by Jessica Ortner on YouTube. Or, if all else fails, take a nap.

 

Thinking about weaning slowly off sugar? This is rarely the solution. Kicking sugar is one issue that requires going cold turkey. Your first few days may see withdrawal symptoms, like headaches, anxiety, or irritability. Each of these symptoms may be accompanied by a strong craving for something sweet that is hard to resist. Take heart and persevere! The results will definitely be worth it. Remember, it takes 21 days to create a new habit although you should begin to feel better after 5 days. The cravings will diminish, the hunger will disappear, and your feelings of well-being will grow.

 

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