Candy, chocolate, cereal, pancakes…these sweet, sugary treats tempt most of us! It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love sugar. Unfortunately, sugar is one of the most addicting substances out there, stimulating receptors in the brain similar to heroin and morphine! While a little bit of sugar in your diet is okay, consuming too much can lead to a host of problems, such as obesity, diabetes and depression.
If you’re struggling to kick your sugar habit, don’t worry. You aren’t alone, and I have some tips to help you break the habit!
Ways To Kick Your Sugar Habit
Even foods that don’t taste traditionally sweet, like salad dressings, can contain loads of sugar. Try to limit your intake to less than 40-45 grams per day. Be wary of consuming too many foods with ingredients containing “ose,” such as dextrose. Fructose from fruits is okay in moderation!
Retrain your taste buds
We tend to eat what we’re used to. Our taste buds need to be retrained to find natural and whole foods appealing. If we eat these types of foods more, our taste buds will adapt and start enjoying things we once considered bland or flavorless. Have you ever wondered how some of your healthy friends actually enjoy the taste of their salad or chicken breast? You’ll understand as soon as you kick your sugar habit and stick to a healthy pattern for a few weeks.
Reach for fruit instead
One of the easiest ways to kick your sugar habit is to opt for fruit. Fruit is sweet and contains important nutrients. While we need to keep an eye on how much we consume, it’s far better to add some blueberries to your oatmeal instead of brown sugar. You can add some strawberries to your salad, too, or put a few slices of banana in your protein shake.
Add more protein and healthy fats
When I reach for something sweet or carb-dense, it’s usually because my energy has crashed. I’m sure you can relate. We don’t usually want to eat fish or eggs when we’re feeling flat. Be wary of “crashing,” or hitting a wall midday. If you start regularly planning meals with healthy fats and add in more healthy proteins, you’ll feel fuller, enjoy a steady amount of energy throughout the day and be less likely to reach for something “sinful.”
While I’m sure you want to completely kick your sugar habit, it’s okay to occasionally live life and enjoy a sweet treat. Just measure it out and consume it at a time of day when you’re more active. This will help you burn off some of the extra calories and sugar so it doesn’t completely derail your efforts in the kitchen and gym. And avoid turning this occasional choice into a regular indulgence.