Break the Sugar Blues
If you think you might be addicted to sugar, you probably are. There are subtle signs that many of us experience and then there are some POW – right in your face signs. Verywell mind wrote a recent blog about the signs and symptoms of addiction. While the article references substance abuse and you may not think it applies to you, if you read my last blog, you know that sugar can impact your brain in the same fashion as a drug.
As you evaluate these questions – be honest with yourself. They come from a place of personal familiarity as I have walked in this place. Recognizing a need for a change is often the biggest catalyst in making a permanent transformation.
Hiding sweets and snacks
Do you stash sugary food in secret places so others can’t find it or so you never run out?
Do you hide eating sugary food from your significant other, friends or family?
Do you hide evidence of sugary food so nobody knows you’ve eaten something? (i.e. you throw out the candy wrapper in a public trash can rather than your home)
Do you get in the car and drive to get sugary food and satisfy your cravings?
Do you eat sugary food, feel full and yet continue to eat more sugary food?
Do you “take breaks” from sugary food in an attempt to cut back but simply revert back your old ways of eating?
Constant Need for Food
Do you need to eat every few hours to prevent a sugar crash?
Do you get irritable when you miss a meal or snack?
Do you carry sugary snacks with you everywhere you go?
Do you have peaks and dips in energy throughout the day?
Have you gained weight and can’t loose it no matter what you do?
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, irritable bowel, etc?
Perhaps you have said yes to a few of the questions, or maybe, all of them – you are not alone. It is possible to permanently change your relationship with sugar. As promised in my last blog, here are some solutions:
Go Cold Turkey
Eliminating ALL sugar is solution that takes the most will power. It may be the one you’ve already tried, without success. You may go through withdrawal symptoms and feel shaky, irritable and possibly anxious. Your body will be making adjustments to the reduction in glucose and your brain will respond by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. For some people, this may be the best option.
Take the Sugar Challenge
If you are not up for going cold turkey and want to start more slowly – use my sugar challenge method. Focus on keeping your added sugar intake to between 6 and 10 teaspoons of sugar per day. (24 to 40 grams respectively) Keep a food log and track all of your natural sugars, including table sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, etc, as well as any “added sugars” in your food.
With more than 56 names of sugar, many foods hide sugar in plain sight. These sneaky sugars can appear in yogurt, barbecue sauces, peanut butter, dried fruit, granola bars, salad dressing. So, make it a habit to read the nutrition labels or use a food or sugar tracking app.
Either option you choose will change your life but you may need some additional support as you transition. Here are some quick suggestions:
Focus on crowding out sugar cravings by selecting foods that keep you satiated and reduce the urge for sugar. Select high protein foods (lean cuts of meat, eggs, poultry, fish, legumes, beans and yogurt), good fat foods (avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil) and high fiber foods (whole grains, vegetables, greens, fruit, beans).
Use essential oils like fennel, cinnamon, ginger and grapefruit to help balance blood sugar, assist in digestion, and reduce cravings.
Find a great low/no sugar cookbook.
For additional information and support, meet me for coffee and a free consultation or join me for an interactive lecture on Break the Sugar Blues, where will define sugar and discuss the effects of this all-pervasive, white stuff, from cravings, energy imbalances, weight imbalances, fatigue, and mood swings to PMS, diabetes and heart disease.
Take the first step and don't let another day go by with the Sugar Blues.