So you love sweets !!!
But sugar is one of the BIGGEST health problems in America. Obesity rates are on the rise and it's becoming an alarming concern how much sugar we are consuming as a country. Did you know that just 15 years ago childhood diabetes did not exist? That is a fact that should have you shaking your head and wonder how did it get this bad??
First off lets start with the food that you are consuming. Process foods, pre-packaged meals and everything "on the go" has offered convince but at the sake of your health and well-being. Eating sugar causes serotonin, dopamine and endorphins to be released, which all contribute to making us "feel good". And who doesn't want to "feel good" when you had a rough day at work? When you eat sugar and associate that with a feeling you are creating a behavior, this however is a behavior that can impact your lifestyle. Sugar actually stimulates the same brain receptors as heroin and morphine and it interferes with the hormones that let your body know that it is full.
In efforts to kick the sugar habit, it may cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and being irritable. Part of this is due to the yeast, parasites and bacteria in the digestive system and other parts of the body that are fed by sugar. However those feelings will subside over time and here are some ways to let go of that sugar issue for good!
-Eat WHOLE all natural foods in the original state they are produced. If you look at the food label and can't pronounce something OR if you don't know what it is, please don't eat it. Look for words that end in “ose” as a clue to sugars like dextrose or words that include syrup, molasses or honey. All these can be added sugar ingredients. Don't assume just because the product doesn't taste "sweet" that it doesn't have any added sugar. Items like: dressings and condiments, trail mix, yogurt, granola, crackers and bread all have hidden sugar.Spend a little extra time cooking and you’ll start to notice the difference in your satiety, which will help you stay on track.
-Eating fruit can help with sugar cravings. Fruit is naturally sweet and also full of nutrients and fiber. Try adding some blueberries or bananas into your oatmeal instead of brown sugar or a few slices of pineapple to your grilled chicken. Eating fruit post workout is a great way to add in simple sugars without crashing post wod !
-The naturally-occurring probiotics that live in your intestines not only help with digestion, but are part of the immune system. Sugar addiction causes yeast and bacteria to grow and take over the good bacteria you need as these microorganisms feed on sugar. Boosting your good bacteria by eating foods that contain probiotics - and even taking probiotic supplements - can help rebalance your body. Foods such as kefir, yogurt, and kombucha which is a fermented tea are good sources of probiotics. Read the labels though and make sure you get products that say live active cultures. You can also take supplements of high -uality acidophilus, bifidus or a full-spectrum probiotic formula to support your good bacteria growth.
-Make sure that you are consuming enough protein, carbs and fats throughout the day. If you are not eating at regular intervals of 3-4 hours you are creating too much of a time period and insulin drop between meals leaving you searching for a sugary relief ! Protein throughout the day, starting with breakfast can help provide your body with the energy it needs on a stable basis all day and help regulate your mood. This would include eating foods like meats, nuts, beans, and dairy. As your body adjusts to this stability, sugar cravings will reduce.
-Stress can cause the brain to tell the adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol, which can cause blood sugar levels and blood pressure to increase. That's why we often crave sugary and fatty foods when we are stressed. Resist the urge and go for whole grain foods with fiber instead. Complex carb foods help keep your energy levels stable throughout the day so you won’t feel the need to get the sugar rush when you start dragging. Also, make sure to get enough good quality sleep, exercise consistently, maintain a social network of friends or family and make time for relaxation activities such as yoga or meditation to help reduce stress.