Updated: Nov 2, 2020
If you feel like sugar and carbs run your day, this is for you! I'm going to talk about breaking your sugar addiction to balance hormones and finally lose some inches! Whoo hoo! Who's excited?
If you feel like you’re always hunger, get hangry when you don’t eat for awhile, have cravings for carbs or tend to hit energy slumps during the day, you may have an addiction to sugar that needs to be addressed.
Don’t feel bad though, that was me 10 years ago. I lived off what I thought were fairly healthy foods like:
Whole wheat bread
...And then some not so healthy things like fruit snacks and nightly desserts.
If you’re one of those that’s saying, “but I don’t even really like sweets, how could I be addicted to sugar? Well, my friend, sugar sneaks its way into many of our foods in different forms. So, today we’re going to talk about
WHY it’s important to break this habit.
WHERE you find sugars and
HOW to stop eating it with my 3-step process to crush cravings. So, let’s dive in!
According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average American gets 270 calories of added sugars each day. That’s about 17 teaspoons of sugar!
Where instead the max recommendations for adults are only 6 teaspoons of added sugar, or about 25 grams each day.
So exactly WHY is it a big deal that we’re overcoming sugar? Well, stick with me for a quick walk through lesson….
Sugar-based or processed ingredients absorb differently in our body. Instead of being a slow process that gives us steady bursts of energy, our body breaks them down quick.
Sugar causes our blood sugar to increase, which causes our pancreas to release insulin. Now our glucose or blood sugar increases every time we eat, but it’s the amount of increase that matters.
When we increase our level of insulin, we increase our number of fat cells and inflammation. Insulin works with another hormone called Leptin, which is our hormone that helps regulate body weight by signaling to our brain that we are full from eating.
So, if our insulin is persistently higher, it causes our leptin to also be persistently high. And this leads us to always feeling hungry and not getting that full sensation of more and more food, thus overeating and gaining more fat cells.
It’s like a vicious cycle, soooo, in order to prevent this (or reverse this in some cases) from happening, you really need to focus on keeping insulin lower to begin with.
I repeat, focus on lowering your insulin and having healthy cells overall, NOT just losing weight.
So now that you know HOW sugar directly impacts our health, let’s talk about WHERE we find sugar. Sugar is in our foods in many forms beyond just the word “sugar”.
The easiest way you can educate yourself is to start reading labels. So when I look at a label, I typically don’t worry about the calories per say. I worry about the ingredients and this is where I begin.
Look for added sugars and processed ingredients. The higher up an ingredient is on the list, the more of that ingredient is in the product.
Added sugars go by a lot of different names, like around 100 different forms, but here are some easier ones to remember:
Look for words that contain the word sugar, honey, molasses, sweetener or syrup like brown sugar, corn sweetener, or malt syrup
Words that end in -ose like dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose.
And because so many processed ingredients eventually turn into sugar and fat in our body, also avoid ingredients that include:
Processed vegetable oils like: canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil and safflower oil
Beyond the ingredients, my last 2 tips when looking at a label include 2 rules of thumb:
Don’t purchase or consume products on a regular basis that have over 10g of sugar per serving.
Avoid products with little to no fiber. Although most fiber sources are carbohydrates, fiber doesn’t raise blood glucose.
Women need 25g of fiber daily, so if you eat 3 meals, that is about 8g/meal. So make sure the carbs you’re eating have a good dose of fiber.
HOW Now for the HOW of crushing these cravings. I honestly recommend you go cold turkey instead of in moderation when it comes to sugar. I promise it will make it easier in the end. However, to avoid potential headaches and fatigue of not having as much sugar as you are used to (you can have withdrawal symptoms) try to start cold turkey with specific meals or in small groups of food/drink types. If you're going to try the group route, here's a sample plan:
Start your first week by not drinking your sugar. Limit ALL sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages. Look at the label on your drinks. The sugar should = 0 grams. Easy enough, right? Well, make sure you also check those ingredients. If it has sugar, Aspartame or Sucralose, (artificial sweeteners) you should also eliminate it. Just be careful of tricky marketing too, if the product says "Sugar Free".
Soda and Diet Soda
Sweetened Coffee drinks
Sweetened teas or lemonades
2) GIVE BEIGE THE BOOT Remove any sweets, breads and sugary treats out of your home or toss them in the trash. We don't want any temptations. Think "give anything beige the boot." We'll start by focusing mainly on baked goods. It includes the following:
Candy of any kind
3) Pass Up Processed/Fried Foods
Say "I'll pass" on any processed foods that we talked about how to identify along with anything fried. This list includes eliminating the following highly processed, fortified, sugary, gluten-containing foods that will not only give you sugar crashes after you eat them, but will also find you hangry again not long after!
Packaged frozen meals or "diet foods".
Fried potatoes or food
If you are wondering what is left to eat, I’m going to give you a hint… Proteins + fibrous veggies/fruit + healthy fats.
If you need healthy swap ideas for some of these sugary carbs you’re eliminating, make sure to check out this video.
If you want extra accountability and support to put these actions into practice, check out my online coaching options. I would love to help!
To learn more, watch the YouTube below.
Let's get FIRED UPP,