7 Sure-Fire Tips to Help Us Beat Our Sugar Habit
Are you often overcome with an urge to splurge on candy, cookies, and cake - and do you then hate yourself for caving into your cravings? Do you pop into store for paper goods but always leave with junk food, too? And do you feel like an incurable sugar addict with zero will power - especially during the holidays? Me too.
We can take heart, though. We can quit (or at least cut back on) both sweets and processed, "much-like-sugar carbs" such as white bread, white rice, and pastas, no matter WHAT time of year it is! In 1998, researcher and journalist, Connie Bennett did just that. Upon her doctor's orders, she totally kicked her sugar habit and licked a whopping 44 symptoms, including nagging headaches, unexpected mood swings, debilitating "brain fog" and severe PMS. She says she felt reborn, and she's been on a mission ever since, to help us, too, break free of our habit.
Here's her non-sugar-coated scoop. Her research shows that if we continue to over-indulge in sugared, nutrient-lacking foods, we will likely:
Pack on the pounds
Sap our energy
Undergo Jekyll-Hyde personality transformations
Jeopardize our love life
And likely develop hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or diabetes.
We know she's right - that's why I write this weekly article and you read it! We want help. And Bennett gives it in this encouraging message:
If, instead, we choose quality, fiber-filled carbs, we will likely:
Peel off excess weight
Increase our energy
Boost our moods
Maybe rev up our libido
And possibly reverse our pre-diabetes condition
This said, here are 7 tried-and-true tips and tactics to help us "just say no" to quickie carbs. (And if you like what she says, you can find more help and encouragement in her book and on her sites, www.SugarShockBlog.com and www.SugarShock.com. Her material is copyrighted, but she generously gives us permission to share it.)
1. Adjust your mindset. and pronto! Before you can begin to make better dietary decisions, you need to totally change your thoughts. Dwell on positive ideas such as: "Wow, I'll feel so great by kicking quickie carbs." Now fill your mind with pleasant, powerful images. Visualize yourself easily turning down low-quality carbs and becoming a happier, healthier, sweeter you. See yourself in charge instead of enslaved.
2. Plan a pity party. This might sound counter-productive, but before you cut out low-quality carbs, allotting a specific, short amount of time - say, a week - to feeling sorry for yourself can work wonders. But then get over it and get on with it!
3. Watch yourself like a lab rat, and face your truth by keeping a food journal. Jot down what drives you to simple carbs, when you clamor for them, where you eat them, why you want them, and how you get them (i.e., do you stealthily drive across town in the middle of night to buy a carton of ice cream because you need it?). Journaling can be potent preparation for stomping out your sugar habit!
4. Power up with PFF - pumping up the PROTEIN (such as fish, chicken, tofu, legumes and lean meats), fill up with FIBER (vegetables, fruits and whole grains), and embrace healthy FATS (olive oil, flax seeds, avocado, etc.) - consuming them all in moderation, of course. These three dietary changes alone can help moderate your blood sugar levels, take the edge off your appetite, keep you feel satisfied longer, and provide needed nourishment.
5. Relish the goodies provided by Mother Nature. Learn to savor the flavor of fresh, natural, wholesome, colorful, nutritious, preferably organic vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Next time you yearn for something sweet, enjoy a few tasty cherry tomatoes, a chunk of red pepper, or several fresh strawberries. Yum! (Nibble on some protein at the same time to keep your blood sugar stable.)
6. Begin with breakfast. Always start your day with a healthy meal - a veggie-filled omelet with a piece of orange or a small bowl of slow-cooking oatmeal. Research shows that breakfast-eaters concentrate and perform better. If you skip that vital first meal of the day, you're setting yourself up for overwhelming sugar cravings.
7. Develop a "kick-butt" attitude, abandon that woe-is-me stance and tap into your inner strength instead! Even if you're furious with yourself for having eaten nutrient-poor foods for so long, use that anger to reinforce your "I-can-do-it" attitude. Because you can! Now go for it and trust in your ability to succeed. Believe me, you can "Enjoy a Sweeter Life Without Refined Sweets."