There’s now more evidence linking sugar to weight gain, mood swings, fatigue and headaches as well as numerous diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. So why do we continue to consume huge amounts of it when it’s clearly not good for us? Well, first of all it’s hidden in so many foods under different names, and it tastes great, but most of all it’s highly addictive. Some people even liken it to a drug. When we eat foods high in sugar our blood sugar spikes and dopamine is released in our brain and this makes us feel happy, thus the sugar high. Then our body releases a massive amount of insulin to bring down our blood sugar and because there’s too much it gets stored as fat. After our blood sugar crashes, our body craves the sugar high again, so we seek out foods that will give us the fix and we repeat the process all over again. So, how do we break the cycle? I believe we begin by implementing things into our lifestyle that can help reduce or eliminate our cravings.
Sugar cravings are sometimes simply a sign of dehydration. Start your day with a full 8 ounce glass of water and then at least every 2 hours drink another glass. Even better, keep a water bottle with you at all times, and sip often. Then anytime you have a sugar craving go for the water first and wait five minutes. Increasing your water intake will also improve your energy and the appearance of your skin. You may need to visit the bathroom more often so plan accordingly so you don’t hold back on your water intake. The recommended daily amount is 8 ounces of water for every 20 pounds of body weight and more if you are out in the heat, drink coffee or exercise.
Sugar cravings can also be a sign of being too sedentary. Movement gets our blood flowing, increases our heart rate, strengthens our bones and muscles, keeps us fit and prevents disease. It also makes us feel better both mentally and physically giving us a sense of well-being, helps our mood and reduces anxiety, stress and depression. This can increase our motivation to follow through in other areas of our life like reducing the amount of sugar we eat. So, pick a away to move that’s safe, familiar and easy to do and get moving.
When you combine these two lifestyle habits with intentionally consuming less sugar you are sure to start on a joyful journey to a sugar free lifestyle, and sugar free is definitely a better me.