Sugar addiction is a real struggle for many of us. It tastes great, causes a temporary high and helps to numb emotional pain. It’s been said that sugar cravings are actually a form of chemical dependency. For me, it’s been an ongoing problem since childhood.
I’ve been following Trim Healthy Mama since the beginning of January. I did really well for about six months and lost 20 lbs. Then I feel victim to the “just a little won’t hurt” mentality and I got sucked back into the destructive cycle. For someone like me, one treat is too many and a thousand not enough.
So how can you beat sugar cravings? Some people may just need to go cold turkey and suffer through the withdrawal symptoms. This is what I typically do, but I’ve also done this before and so it isn’t new to me! I do use the stevia and Super Sweet products from Trim Healthy Mama and they really help me to abstain from sugar completely. I’ve tried products from the local store but keep coming back to them because I really think they are much better.
Whether you go cold turkey or do it gradually, believe that you can do this. You are going to feel so much better when you’ve gotten the sugar out of your system and are eating clean, whole foods. You’ll lose weight and your skin will look amazing.
Day One: Create a Plan
You’ll probably want to spent a few days beforehand researching food plans. I recommend looking at Trim Healthy Mama or Paleo plans. I’ve used both and personally prefer Trim Healthy Mama because it works better for my lifestyle, plus I still get to enjoy foods like oatmeal, lentils, low carb wraps and desserts that keep my appetite content.
However, people have definitely benefitted from the Paleo plan. Research both and do what’s right for you. The key to both of these plans is getting the processed sugar out of your life and focusing on whole foods that are low on the glycemic index.
Day Two: Get All the Junk Food Out of the House
Remove all forms of sugar and processed foods from the house. Added sugars are lurking in many prepared food products. Start getting into the habit of reading labels and avoiding things like low fat salad dressing and ketchup because those things have a loads sugar. Words like glucose, fructose, and high fructose corn syrup – pretty much anything ending in -ose will alert you to added sugar sources. Cook what you can from scratch to have control over what goes into your food. Follow this advice and youíll be free of that sugar habit in less than a week.
(Note..if you have uncooperative family members, try moving the treats to an out of the way spot or ask your spouse to hide them. Ask me how I know!)
Day Three: Begin to Increase Protein at Every Meal
Instead of grabbing a bowl of sugary cereal, breakfast bars or donuts, choose a high protein option. On the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this might be eggs, oatmeal or plan approved pancakes. For the Paleo lifestyle, it’s going to be eggs, muffins made from almond or coconut flour or possibly leftovers from another meal.
Day Four: Eat Every Three Hours
Plunging blood sugar can easily lead to a cheat or even an all out food binge that you’ll feel awful about afterwards. If you’re out and about, this will take some planning. Carry snacks like fruit, almonds or approved yogurt with you. Get to know a few local places where you can get a low carb meal option. Bunless burgers have become more available at places like Hardees and Red Robin, and you can get grilled chicken tenders or chicken salad at Chick-Fil-A. You can also find low carb friendly offerings at Chipotle.
Day Five: Watch for Emotional Triggers
Learn to expect the unexpected and roll with them as they come. Practice mindful living and you’ll be better prepared to handle life’s stresses in a positive way instead of stuffing your aggravation.
Day Six: Find Healthy Replacements For Your Favorite Treats
Both the Trim Healthy Mama and Paleo lifestyles offer yummy dessert and treat options so that you never have to feel deprived. Find a few things you enjoy. If you’re craving chocolate, grab a bar of 85% dark chocolate or a Lily’s bar and allow yourself one or two squares a day. Moderation is key with these healthy sweet treats.
Day 7: Treat Yourself and Keep on Trucking!
You’ve made it this far and the worst of the cravings have probably subsided. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Always have a plan for your day. Take it one day at a time and you’ll continue to feel better as well as watching the pounds and inches drop off.
And if you goof up? Kick the dirt off your shoes and keep walking. The folks at Trim Healthy Mama encourage us that our next healthy meal is only three hours away!
Resources to Help You Beat Sugar Cravings
Trim Healthy Mama website for books and sweeteners (I use Super Sweet Blend and Stevia..many like Gentle Sweet but since it contains Xylitol which is fatal to dogs, I don’t bring it in the house.)