Recently I have found myself in a real sugar 'situation'. I eat doughnuts, cake, cookies, pastries, candy, you name it, like its going out of style. I have mentally hacked this sugar cycle and I know why I am doing it and why it's so hard to stop. It's only a matter of time before I take the steps to make the change. I am an advocate of balance, I believe in eating cake at a birthday party, having cookies every now and again, or treats during holidays. Taking the steps and making the change means detoxing the sugar, getting back to balance so treats are treats rather than breakfast (or lunch, or anytime foods) ;)
Do you think you have a sweet tooth? If you answered no then consider this; do you crave salty/starchy snacks like bread, chips or fries? Whether you are craving sweets or starchy/salty foods, you have a sweet tooth! Both sugary treats and starches create a similar response in blood sugar levels, surge and crash. The crash sets your up for more bad eating later. When starches break down they become simple sugars and just like when simple sugars are ingested the brain receives a message of reward, and it wants more. The more that reward center is triggered the harder it can be to break the habit. Thus the vicious cycle begins. Here are some simple tools to beat the sugar cycle, set yourself up for successful healthy eating and balancing blood sugars!
1. Begin to cut down on sugars. You don't actually need as much sugar as you think. Slowly begin putting less sugar in your coffee, and cutting down in other areas and you will find that you adjust quite easily.
2. Replace simple, refined sugars with more healthful sweets. Fresh berries, apples, dried fruits, or using stevia in place of sugar or honey are all great ways to give yourself the sweetness you may be craving but without eliciting the unhealthy blood sugar responses that sugars do.
3. Start today with just one thing. If sugar is a massive part of your diet quitting cold turkey will often be unsuccessful. Try taking small steps each day to decrease and replace simple sugars and processed starches. Start eating more fruits and veggies, drink plenty of water, read food labels checking for sneaky added sugars Continue to eliminate and replace slowly so your body has time to adjust and you begin to establish new habits naturally.
4. Eat more proteins. Protein are digested slowly, which make you feel satiated/satisfied for longer periods of time. Try nut butter (no sugar added) with an apple or carrot sticks with hummus the next time you are having an unhealthy craving, pay attention and notice how it makes you feel. Did your sugar craving go away?
5. Learn to identify your craving triggers. The next time you have a sudden desire for a sweet treat or salty starchy snack think about these variables; did this craving come on very quickly? have your eaten nutrient rich foods in the last 24 hours? What is going on in your emotional world? If you can slow down and resolve that you are about to indulge in a food item for the wrong reasons try and switch gears instead. Go outside and talk a walk, identify the emotional pain that may be lurking around creating that craving and face it by simply allowing yourself to feel it or call a friend and talk, or seek out a snack high in nutrition!
Taking great care of yourself is what it's all about! I truly beleive it all comes back to self care and self love. Success in fitness begins with being with and loving oneself. Sometimes that means we have to slow down and make some hard changes. It is always worth it once we have followed through!!!
November is Cleanse month with Well.Fit. If you are looking to change your eating habits, balance your body, and establish healthier habits then join us move through a 21 day cleanse!! Working with the group and with the support of a coach can be the push and accountability factor you are missing. Email email@example.com for more information about Clean November.
As Always, In Health~