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Sugar Addiction: 10 Tips On How To Stop Sugar Cravings
Are you a slave to sugar and all things sweet? Do you crave sugar on a daily basis? What does it do for you? How does it make you feel? What are your energy levels like?
Findings in a study (South African
National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey) of more than 25,000 people in South Africa showed that 19.7% of South Africans were consuming an excessive amount of sugar. Almost 21% reported a family history of high blood sugar as well.
Sugar comes in many forms: soft drinks, candy, desserts, fast food and so on. Because sugar is inexpensive, tastes good and is habit-forming, food companies and fast-food restaurants add sugar to their meals whenever possible.
Using sugar for energy is very limited in that it will boost your energy levels for short periods only. You will find your energy levels will come crashing down causing you to need more.
Sugar, like any addictive substance, makes you crave more sugar. For example, a piece of chocolate gives you a little extra energy for an hour or so. As soon as the effect wears off, you feel tired and maybe a little depressed. So to feel perky again, you want another piece of chocolate. You use sugar to solve problems caused by sugar and your sugar addiction becomes worse.
Hundreds of scientific studies prove that sugar makes your body store fat. Excessive fat increases your chance of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and death.
Imagine your body like a car. If you fed your car with something other than fuel and oil it wouldn’t work properly, have no energy and break down. Your car needs the correct “foods” to run well as like your body. Your body needs to be fed the correct foods including protein to run well. So leaving out the sugary drinks, cakes and chocolates you will begin to build more energy.
The Benefits of Not Eating Sugar
When you stop eating your three pounds of sugar each week, you lose weight. Other foods smell and taste better. You feel more energy.
Sugar alters your digestion fluids so the good food cannot digest properly. You can get heartburn, gas or stomach pain. Without sugar, your stomach quickly recovers. Your body also needs less food because you digest it better.
Without sugar, you get longer lasting energy. You no longer have brief peaks of energy that require a constant flow of sugar to maintain.
Hyperactive children, who are candidates for psychiatric drugs such as Ritalin or Prozac, are often calmer and saner when they no longer eat sugar. After you cut off their sugar supply, they will probably demand sweet snacks for a few days, but they eventually relax. They may also lose their mood swings, tantrums and craziness.
What Natural Sugar Alternatives Are There?
Known as a sugar alcohol, Xylitol is a natural carbohydrate found in certain fibrous plant material. It is also created naturally in the body during normal metabolism.
This natural sweetener has between 1.9 and 2.4 calories per gram – which is 40% less calaries than sugar. Its taste has the same amount of sweetness as sugar.
Isomalt is a sugar substitute, a type of sugar alcohol, used primarily for its sugar-like physical properties. It has only a small impact on blood sugar levels and does not promote tooth decay, i.e. is toothfriendly. Its about half as sweet as sugar with only 2 calories per gram.
Erythritol is another sugar alcohol and is found in pears and berries. It is made commercially by fermenting corn or sugar beets, whereby the product is filtered, crystallised and dried.
There are almost no calories and it is often labelled as having 0.2 calories per gram. It looks like sugar but is 70 per cent as sweet.
Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, which comes from South America and in particular Paraguay.
Stevia has no calories or carbohydrates with a taste that is around 250 times more sweet than sugar - one teaspoon is equal in sweetness to one cup of sugar. Stevia does have that bitter after-taste.
10 Tips For Breaking Sugar Addiction
Like children, after you stop eating sugar, you might feel irritable and tired for 3-6 days. You may have headaches and feel foggy. You will most certainly crave foods that contain sugar.
However, the sugar cravings and symptoms pass. Kicking a sugar addiction is tough, but not as tough as breaking an addiction to cigarettes, drugs or alcohol. You just control your hand so it does not put sugar in your mouth.
These suggestions may help.
1. Recognize that sugar is addicting and therefore controlling you to a degree. For example, if you cannot work or relax without eating sugar, you are addicted. Do you like being addicted to a substance? Make the decision to break the habit.You have the power to control your craving for sugar. No temptation is stronger than your personal willpower and self-determinism.
2. Find and eat sugar-free substitutes to satisfy the urge to eat food with sugar. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables can stop the sugar cravings and fresh fruit juice is a great natural sweetener.3. Prepare your own food instead of eating prepared foods that contain sugar. These foods usually contain sugar: canned soup, store bread, fast-food restaurant food, salad dressing, sauces, gravy, cough drops, sushi rice, protein bars, flavored yogurt and breakfast cereals.4. Read the ingredients label on the foods you buy. Sugar comes in many forms and is called many names including corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, fructose, lactose and glucose.5. Try healthy foods you have never tried to add variety and interest to your diet. For example, a new type of fish, exotic vegetables or tasty cheeses.6. Exercise. Heat up your muscles, stretch out your skin and fill your lungs with fresh air every day. Strengthen your ability to control your body.7. Use a gradual approach. If you make too many changes to your diet at once, the shock may force you to give up on your decision. You may get better long-term results if you make one change, get used to the change, make another change, get used to it and so on.8. Get creative with your food. For example, buy a yogurt maker, ice cream maker or a juicer to prepare your own sugar-free snacks and drinks. Explore a health-food store. Try a natural foods restaurant.
9. Try different combinations of vitamins until they help stop sugar cravings and make you feel healthier. For example, 500 milligrams of vitamin C might calm you down or might pep you up. Try these natural supplements to help with sugar cravings.
10. Work out your own sugar-free diet program and stick to it. Make a daily, weekly or 2 weekly sugar-free diet plan ensuring you have the correct replacement foods for sugary foods. You can also get the help of a dietitian or nutritionist to help you work out a plan that is best for you.
Taking control of your food is satisfying by itself. You are no longer controlled by the need for sugar. You burn off the fat and move closer to your ideal weight.
Even if you just cut your weekly sugar intake from 2-3 pounds to 1-2 ounces, you will enjoy long-lasting energy, fewer mood swings and better health.
Your success will be easier to achieve with a sugar-free life.
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