Sugar, why is it so hard to kick?!
Alright, are you like I used to be, you know, sitting on the couch and that piece of left over cake is seriously calling your name, not just like little whispers, but full out screaming at you to come eat it?! Yeah, that used to be me! And not just with cake, but cookies, pasta, rice, bread, OMG, bread...I think if I had children I would have sold one to get my hands on a loaf of bread some days! (okay parents, settle down, just joking! :) ...well, maybe ;) )
I know A LOT of people suffer and struggle from the Sugar and Carbohydrate addiction cycle, and yet don't understand WHY they have it or even HOW to stop the cycle. Struggle no more, here is your answer, you are welcome :)
If you crave SUGAR and CARBS:
1. Sugar is more addictive then cocaine. This is a fact. And because of this fact, it is hard to kick the habit because sugar is such a part of our modern diet. (the fast food/junk food makers know this!). Not only is sugar added to food to make us like the taste of it and crave more (ever tried to have a burger or fries without ketchup or BBQ sauce? meh!) it is also the main source of energy in things like fruit and vegetables. Yes, those have sugar too.
When we eat too much sugar, our body increases our insulin levels to compensate and bring our blood sugar back to normal, sometimes If the insulin brings your blood sugar level a bit too low, which happens more times then not when we eat high sugar content foods, your body craves foods that will raise it and increase your energy, this is why we crave sugar and carbs when we are tired; sugar is an immediate source of energy!
If we have a sugar-full breakfast, we will most likely get very hungry a few hours later, and this is WHY people who have carbohydrate/sugar loaded diets gain weight and cannot get off the roller coaster ride of addiction..this will blow your mind so read carefully!
When you eat something that is a simple carbohydrate/sugar food it is usually very high in calories. For example, a blueberry scone from Starbucks is 380 Calories with 22g of added sugar. Our body converts the flour into sugar (simple carb) and also has to process the added sugar of 22g, so, our Insulin level spikes up. About 2 hours later our sugar levels have dropped too low (happens most of the time with Added sugars (sugar cane) - not to be mistaken with natural sugar found in fruit, vegetables) and we become starving. (Ever notice how this happens with Sushi too?! White rice is basically sugar!) Now you are looking for something to eat...but here's the catch, your body hasn't burned off the 380 Calories from the scone you ate, you only just experienced a rise and drop in insulin levels, and if you remember from above, when our blood sugar drops too low (because of insulin) we crave SUGAR again! (carbs). Now this happens several times a day and you are over-consuming calories, sending your insulin levels on a roller coaster ride, and you slowly gain weight as the days, weeks and months go by.
THAT is why it is SO hard to kick the sugar/carbohydrate craving!
Now that you understand why, what can you do about it? Here are some things to keep in mind and implement:
1. Do not eat artificial sweeteners. Our brains actually crave sugar more because of them - ever notice you are addicted to Diet Pop/Soda?
2. SUGAR makes you fat, good FAT does not make you fat. Consume more nuts, seeds, and healthy fats like Avocado with each meal.
3. Increase your protein - protein helps you to feel satiated
4. Increase your water intake - cravings are often boredom!
5. Increase your hours of sleep - being tired signals to our bodies to eat, and the fastest source of energy is sugar
6. Eat more things like Carrots, Beets, Sweet Potato, Fruit, Coconut. These not only have multiple sources of sugar forms, but they include Fibre which helps slow the release of insulin.
7. Add spices like ginger, turmeric and cinnamon to foods, they help to prevent insulin resistance.
8. Implement things like protein smoothies with no added sugars, high in fibre and other nutrients. These feel like a treat but your bodies blood sugar level stays even. I use Isagenix for this very reason.
9. Have more protein and fat with meals then carbohydrate sources. ie: Greek yogurt, nuts and a few berries instead of a granola bar.
10. Remove simple carbs from your diet - period! They are things like: White Rice, White Potatoes, all Breads, Crackers, Flours (made from all grains), Chips, Pasta, Candies, Cakes, Cookies, Gum, Pop/Soda...you get the idea!
And last, implement super foods, these are things like a good quality Greens product, Vitamins and Minerals, Proteins from Plant Sources and healthy snacks. Not only do these help your body to feel nourished and energized, they also help you to feel satisfied, one of the many reasons I love using the Isagenix shakes, and healthy snacks...I don't get cravings or have insulin spikes, which results in being able to maintain and even lose fat I choose.
So there you have it, it's time to take back the fridge, kick the food demons that call your name to the curb and get rid of those cravings!
~ Monika xo