The Sugar Addiction PLUS Top 3 things to STOP sugar cravings
The Sugar Addiction
Americans eat SO much sugar! Research is showing that sugar is a very addictive substance, more addictive than cocaine.
The sweet receptors on the tongue and in our brain evolved in ancient environments that were low in sugars. We evolved to seek out sweet and fatty foods. The high stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets today, generates a super-normal reward signal in the brain. In some individuals this reward signal can override self-control and thus lead to addiction. After this 30 day challenge it will be important to avoid bringing products with sugar into the house because the sugar addiction is hard wired and can come back!
Why Care About Sugar?
86 million Americans now have pre-diabetes! 50% of Americans either have pre-diabetes or diabetes. All from blood sugar/insulin issues!
The Official Recommendations
Humans are not meant to eat the HUGE amount of sugar we eat every day and year.
World Health Organization's (WHO) recommends that ideally less than 5% of calories should come from added sugar or from natural sugars in honey, syrups and fruit juice. For a 2,000-calorie diet, 5% would be 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons. That is still a whole lot of added sugar.
Yet, the most recent info we have from 2016 says that the average American consumes 22.2 teaspoons (90 grams) every day. That translates into about 66 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person!
Top 3 things to STOP sugar cravings
1. Eat at Home
Toss all junk foods out of your house. If you keep it around it’s going to torture you and let’s be real, you will justify to yourself why it’s ok just this once or why you need it.
Cooking for yourself and your family can be so nourishing. What’s the worst that can happen? Burnt food? Have to start over? Not that tough in the grand scheme of things. So I’ll challenge you to cook meals at home during this challenge so you can see how easy it can be.
Many foods have hidden sugars. When you eat out a lot, you have less control over your sugar consumption. Cooking and eating at home as much as possible will allow you to make your meals as sugar-free as possible.
Also, if you eat enough at mealtime, and have a varied diet, you won’t get cravings nearly as often! Fat and Fiber keep you Full longer!
Another thing that can work is to go outside for a brisk walk or a run if you are a runner.
This serves a two-fold purpose. First of all, you are distancing yourself from the food that you are craving. Second, the exercise will release endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals in your brain, which can help turn the craving off by actually satisfying the chemical need the brain has for that substance.
If you can’t go outside, do a few exhausting sets of burpees, push ups, body weight squats or any other body weight exercise.
3. Bring More Sweetness into Your Life
Sweetness comes in more ways than just taste!
What brings you joy? Are you doing these things or being with these people every day? Maybe you’ve lost the ability to find the joy and sweetness in life and have turned to food. I encourage you to work with this and find someone to talk to if you need extra support.
Tests for Blood Sugar - The Tests Your Doctor Might Not Be Running
Your hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. HbA1c should be below 5.5%, if it’s elevated that indicates pre-diabetes or diabetes, depending how high it is.
When your HbA1c increases above normal your chances of having Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, cancer, weight gain, digestion issues, kidney failure, blindness, and amputation increase! So, for every 1% increase above 6% HbA1c, your likelihood of developing these disease goes up by 20%! That means when your A1c is at 10% that’s an 80% increase in likelihood you will have these diseases.
Like high blood sugar, high insulin also causes damage to nearly every organ. In fact, too-high insulin levels show up long before too-high blood sugar levels! Having a test to see how your insulin levels are doing is important for evaluating diabetes.