We all know it to be true… getting sugar out of your diet can be one of the most difficult challenges in the world. Sugar may be addictive, and our brain and gut can send signals like, “I need it NOW!” Excessive sugar intake may result in hormone balance, infertility, heartburn, stomach issues like diarrhea, skin issues, and of course, blood sugar imbalance.
It’s important to reduce the amount of sugar in your daily diet to help you feel in control and back into balance. This is the most challenging part because sugar seems to be in EVERYTHING. For example, ketchup, sauces, baby foods, cereals, pasta sauce, and more! If it has a label and comes out of a package, then there is a very good chance that it has added sugar.
Often the easiest way to remove sugar is to reduce the amount of packaged and processed foods you are eating. Alternatively, you can look at the packaged foods you are eating and gently upgrade to better alternatives. Here are my tips to reduce sugar cravings in general.
Reducing Sugar Cravings
- Get physically active. Start with simple activities, like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. It may help balance your blood sugar levels, boost your energy, and reduce tension without medicating yourself with sugar!
- Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation. When you are tired or stressed, your body may crave energy in the form of sugar. These cravings are often a result of being sleep-deprived, going to bed late or waking up early, sometimes for months and years on end.
- When reading a product label, look for the words “added sugar” in the nutrition box. Ideally, this is zero.
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, causing sugar cravings to be more frequent. If you are going to have coffee, a smart upgrade would be Four Sigmatic and adding in some Ghee or Coconut oil.
- Stay far far away from soda. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and then wait a few minutes to see what happens. Unfortunately, soft drinks are now America’s number one source of added sugar. If you are still craving soda, grab a sparkling water. Or, I love adding high-quality electrolytes (that taste good) to your water like Nuun tablets.
- Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are sweet, healthy, and delicious. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar. Sweet vegetables include carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets. You can get some satisfying root chips like Terra’s for a quick sweet treat.
- Upgrade your sweets with treats from nature. Avoid chemical, artificial sweeteners (think Aspartame and Saccharin) and foods with added sugar. Instead, use gentle sweeteners like Maple Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, dried fruit, Stevia, Coconut Sugar, and local raw honey.
- Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Overeating can lead to cravings for sweets. However, eating too little can too! A good health coach will help you sort this out. Experiment. Then, respect your body’s individuality.
- Instead of a chocolate bar, try Hail Merry’s chocolate tart.
- If you are craving sweets and fizzy, upgrade to a Kombucha!
- Make yourself a healthy smoothie sweetened with fruit. For example, I love adding Hemp seeds and Collagen to give a little extra healthy fat and protein.
- If you are craving something like a cookie, just simply upgrade the cookie! We love recipes from NourishMint Wellness. Look for the recipes where Emily uses honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup to sweeten her treats.
- Do you just sometimes need a sour patch kid? Try these Golden Berries. We promise they will not disappoint you.
- Does it drive you crazy when you go to the bank, and they offer you a sucker? Keep these Xylitol suckers in your car for those special occasions for the kiddos!
- LOVE baked goods? Try using pumpkin or fruit to sweeten them.
- Do you crave hot cocoa on a cold winter day? EASY! Just make your own with cacao powder, cinnamon, nut milk (we love hazelnut milk!), and local raw honey.
- Chocolate chip cookies? Say no more. These Lily’s chocolate chips are sweetened with stevia!
- Love ice-cream? (So do we!!) Look for Coconut Bliss at the grocery store, which is sweetened with agave.