Hi, Friends! How was your weekend? Mine was a bit rainy again, so I failed on the food photo…. but we did score some of this salt rich tabasco, sooooo good.
The weekend was also very sweaty! Two great workouts are coming your way very soon!
It was also hardcore relaxing thanks to Star Wars putting me to sleep.
So I’ve made it two weeks into my little caffeine plus sugar detox, and I’ve got one more to go. (PS I’d like to stick with decaf coffee for a while, but don’t like any of the ones I’ve tried. I feel like they just have an off taste. Would LOVE suggestions, especially for Keurig. ) My sugar monster cravings were out of control, I wanted Quest bars for every meal and HAD TO HAVE something sweet after every single meal. When that happens I know I need tackle four things: stress, sleep, sugar, and sugar substitutes. So every once in a while I need to take a step away from sugar to get the cravings under control.
What are the benefits of decreasing sugar intake?
Eating more real food supplies the body with more nutrients which….
- decreases cravings
- helps the body recover better
- reduces inflammation
- helps the liver function optimally
- increases energy
- leads to better sleep
- increases sensitivity to sugar (meaning less of it will be more satisfying
Slash Sugar Intake & Stop Sugar Cravings
Don’t Drink It
Soda, juice, coffee, tea, sports drinks, etc.. the list goes on and on the best thing way to start is to get rid of sugar-sweetened beverages. Research shows that consuming liquid calories does not usually lead to eating less, in other words, you end up just stacking extra calories on top of your day. Not to mention they are rapidly absorbing leading to large blood sugar swings which increase cravings and messes with your energy levels.
Know It’s Names & Look For It
Sugar has SO many names; it’s hard for anyone to keep them all straight (even a Dietitian). I feel like every time I read the list I see a new one I forgot about. The biggest thing is knowing these names so that you can look for them in ingredient lists. Remember, ingredient lists are listed in order of largest quantity to least in a food product. So, if the first ingredient on your protein bar is brown rice syrup, you might want to consider trying out another brand.
- Anything that ends in -one: dextrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, xylose
- sugar (brown, white, corn, raw, palm, coconut, beet, etc.)
- syrup (corn, maple, malt, brown rice, high-fructose, raisin, ribose rice, agave, etc..)
- sweetener (corn, fructose, etc.)
- blackstrap molasses
- fruit juice concentrates
- evaporated cane juice
- sugar alcohols in -ol: erythritol, hexitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, glucitol, carbitol,
- diglycerides, disaccharides, fructooligosaccharides
- isomalt, maltodextrin, malted barley, malt
Once you know the names of sugar if you find them in a product that you usually buy, try and look for an unsweetened version. Some common places to look:
- nondairy milks
- sauces & dressing
- processed meats (deli meat, sausage, bacon, etc.)
- nut/seed/peanut butters
- canned goods
- flavored oatmeal packs
- boxed foods
- frozen foods
Amp Up Spices
I add unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon to just about everything I think should be sweet such as smoothies oatmeal and yogurt. Not only does cinnamon help your body to be more sensitive to insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar, but it also adds a punch of flavor.
Skip The Fake Stuff Too
The words “skinny caramel latte” used to make me free great about myself, now I shutter at the thought of it. Artificial sweeteners have been associated time and time again with weight gain, not weight loss. Also, recent research shows it may be tied to an adverse change in our gut microbiome. In any case, I get it, like I said I used to live on skinny lattes and diet soda. While they may be without calories, the thing is these human-made chemicals have no nutritional value, may negatively affect our hormone status and mess with our brain as well as gut chemistry. In the long run, it just may not be worth it.
Use Stevia & Monk Fruit In Moderation
Stevia and Monk Fruit are two natural low-calorie sweeteners extracted; I regularly use both of them. The preliminary research on them is exciting. Stevia may even have the potential to help lower blood pressure. However, similar to fake sweeteners they are much sweeter than sugar and therefore may desensitize your sweet taste buds. Meaning it takes more sugar to elicit that feel good satisfied response when you do have sweets. I’ve found it helpful to take a step back from it when I have intense sugar cravings.
To Cut Cravings
Sometimes reducing your sugar intake isn’t enough, you’ve got to be sure to take steps to help decrease your cravings too!
Protein & Healthy Fat
Protein and Healthy Fat help to promote stable blood sugar and initiate satiety hormones, keeping you fuller for longer. Missing out on protein or fat is a sure step to creating an unbalanced meal leading to sugar cravings later on.
Too little sleep in general or lacking good restful quality sleep can increase stress and sugar cravings. Check out this post to get tips to make sure your sleep is the best quality it can be!
Meditation, afternoon catnaps, long walks may sound like fluffy stuff to you, but the better you manage your stress, the better you’ll be able to control cravings!
52 HEALTHY HABITS IN 52 WEEKS SERIES:
The 52 Healthy Habits Series is about ditching the diet mindset and making small changes to improve health overall naturally leading to a healthy body composition, increased energy and improved health. Please follow along and check out the past weeks!
- Week 52: Healthy Habits Wrap Up
- Week 51: Nightly Reflection
- Week 50: Limit Harmful Chemicals
- Week 49: Find Your Tribe
- Week 48: Cultivating Positivity
- Week 47: Healthy Thanksgiving Tips
- Week 46: Check In
- Week 45: Mobility – Foam Rolling
- Week 44: HIIT Training
- Week 43: LISS or Steady State Cardio
- Week 42: Limit Alcohol
- Week 41: Eat White, Wait What?
- Week 40: Eat Blue & Purple
- Week 39: Eat Green
- Week 38: Eat Yellow/Orange
- Week 37: Eat Red
- Week 36: Learn Which Foods to Purchase Organic
- Week 35: Read the Ingredient List!
- Week 34: Focus.
- Week 33: Chew Your Food!
- Week 32: Meditation
- Week 31: Gratitude Journaling
- Week 30: Plan & Revamp Dessert- 20 Healthy Ideas
- Week 29: Two fistfuls of veggies per meal
- Week 28: Get In Veggies At Breakfast
- Week 27: Healthy Veggie Snacks
- Week 26: Nourishing Fats for the Gut (Healthy Digestion Part 4)
- Week 25: Keeping Regular – The Other Fiber (Healthy Digestion Part 3)
- Week 24: Feed The Probiotics With Prebiotic Fiber (Healthy Digestion Part 2)
- Week 23: Amazing Health Benefits of Probiotics (Healthy Digestion Part 1)
- Week 22: Check In
- Week 21: What You Will Learn From Recording Your Meals (Intuitive Eating Series Part 4)
- Week 20: Eat Until 80% Full (Hara Hachi Bu) (Intuitive Eating Series Part 3)
- Week 19: Limit Distractions While Eating (Intuitive Eating Series Part 2)
- Week 18: Gaging Your Hunger Cues (Intuitive Eating Series Part 1)
- Week 17: 10,000 Steps Per Day
- Week 16: Assess Your Caffeine Intake
- Week 15: Decrease Sugar Intake
- Week 14: Healthy Coffee Creamers (upgrade yours)
- Week 13: 3 Month Check In
- Week 12: Sleep Enough & Sleep Better
- Week 11: Schedule Your Workouts
- Week 10: Pack A Healthy Lunch (5 Ways to Create Endless Combinations)
- Week 9: Prioritizing Protein
- Week 8: How and What to Meal Prep
- Week 7: Create & Stick To Your Healthy Meal Plan
- Week 6: Get Enough Omega-3’s (Fight Inflammation)
- Week 5: What Is A Healthy Fat & How To Get Enough (Include Healthy Fats)
- Week 4: How to Spot A Healthy Carbohydrate (Upgrade Your Carbs)
- Week 3: Tips to Increase Veggie Intake (Eat Veggies)
- Week 2: 15 Healthy On the Go Breakfast Ideas (Eat BF Challenge)
- Week 1: Tips to Drink More Water