Are you hooked on sugar? Do you seem to be dependent on it to feel good or have energy? Have you ever felt like it was running your life? Are you ready to slay the “Sugar Monster”?
You may have heard the same stories that I’ve heard….sugar is more addictive than cocaine. While I don’t know that this 100% true from a personal perspective, as I’ve not had a cocaine addiction, what I do know is that it can get a grip on you.
Recently I shared that I had caught a bug that was going through our family which left me not eating anything for about 24+ hours and the next day was minimal.
Prior to this, I had already been having the conversation with myself about the amount of sugar, mainly chocolate, that I’d been consuming. Typically a small piece or two a day or every couple days was sufficient.
Which then turned into doing that 2-3 times per day and then if my day was more trying or stressful, I’d want something else, like a cookie. This starting happening more around the holidays and continued beyond, with no relief in site.
That is, until I got sick.
I used this opportunity to kick the “sugar monster” to the curb. I’m happy to say that as of writing this, I’ve had no processed sugar for 6 days. Yes, that means NO chocolate.
I’ve had minimal raw yogurt, minimal fruit and minimal pasta or potatoes.
Ugh…it’s surely not easy, especially when I get to mid-afternoon and the habit of having a piece of chocolate after lunch sneaks up on me. Then I seem to want to fixate on the lack and want it more.
What I’ve realized is that while my brain chemistry is different and it wants the “make me feel good stuff”, it’s also about breaking habits. Just like a person trying to quit smoking. You associate so much of what you do with something else.
Sugar dependency is no different. While I don’t know that I’d recommend cold turkey to everyone, it was better for me. I also can’t say that I’ll do this forever, but for now, its working and I feel so much better.
Some things that help if you’re serious about kicking the habit are the following:
- Start a little at a time, drop something once a week, like the chocolate candy one week, the cookie the next, the pop after that, etc. (Or suck it up and go cold turkey like I did)
- Know that cravings will hit, be prepared. If it gets bad enough, try eating some raw fruit.
- I find that eating high fiber foods also help fill you up and stick with you longer.
- Exercise will also decrease hunger, or your brain telling you are because it hasn’t had its sugar habit.
- Nutrient-dense foods along with healthy saturated fats help the body feel satiated.
- Purge your home, office, car, gym bag or any other hiding place of the temptation foods
- Eating regular meals helps too. Don’t skip meals as this tends to let your blood sugar levels dip, leading to snacking on processed foods.
- Stay away from processed foods, as they have many hidden sugars in them, which lead to more bingeing.
- Know what other sugar names are:
- Corn syrup
- Cane sugar
- Cane crystals
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Turbinado sugar
- Sucanat sugar
- Brown sugar
- Maple syrup
While some of these are definitely better for you, your body still reacts to the sugar. Know what you’re eating and make the best choice for you. If you eat some of the sweeter foods or fruits, eat them raw, as they have fiber, and the body digests them more slowly, rather than the immediate blood sugar spike.
Also know that pasta, bagels, breads and potatoes are also culprits. Beware of how much of these you are consuming.
While this article isn’t meant to dive deep into the differences in sugar and how your body reacts to them, it is meant to just share my experiences with sugar and what I’ve found to be helpful.
Have you found some of this happening with you or your family and what have you tried to “slay the sugar monster” in your life? Be sure to share your comments below. Let’s journey together.
To your health,
Holistic Wellness Mentor