I was addicted to sugar. Say what?? When I’d say this, I’d get back “But you’re always eating so healthy, we never thought you ate that stuff.” Boy were they wrong. I thought about it ALL the time. I wanted it any chance I had. I would try to control it, but it would get the best of me.
I’d see it looking at me at the grocery store. Megan, just don’t put it in your cart, if you don’t have it at the house, you won’t eat it. So, I did what any normal, chocoholic does, I threw that baby right on in the cart. Telling myself I would just keep it around in case I wanted a bite. And while dining out? Oh shit, that’s a doozy for me. No matter how much I ate, I ALWAYS had dessert. I deserve this. It’s a treat. I don’t go out to eat that often. THIS, is what I would tell myself to make it ok for me to go overboard.
How do we get addicted to sugar? Habits. Lifestyle. How we grew up. We had desserts in our house ALL the time growing up. Had it after dinner. After every special event. And just had it there to eat whenever we wanted. I stuck with this even when I was on my own. I literally had a Costco sized tub of ice cream in my freezer at college at all times. Why? Comfort. Control. Habit.
All the sugar I was eating was affecting my weight, my mood, my skin, and my overall confidence. I thought I’d never be able to free myself from the cravings. The temptation. The habit. Until…I took control.
It wasn’t easy. I still have sugar. BUT, I’m no longer addicted to it. I still give in to my cravings, BUT not as often. I learned to change my habit. I learned to control my cravings. I learned to overcome my addiction to sugar.
I starting changing my mindset around sugar. I became more aware of when and why I was eating it. I became proactive in overcoming this addiction through some simple lifestyle adjustments that I’ll share with you.
DRINK MORE WATER. It sounds simple enough, but we’re often dehydrated. Dehydration leads us to crave sugar, salt and anything else we can get our hands on, even when we aren’t hungry. Try and drink at least 1/2 your body weight in oz of water EVERY DAY. So, if you’re 140 lbs, you would drink 70oz of water daily. More if you are an avid exerciser. Another simple trick with water is: if you have a craving for something, drink at least 8 oz of water and wait. That craving may just pass like a shadow in the night.
GET THOSE “SUGAR FOODS” OUT of SIGHT. That means don’t have them in your house, at work, your car or any where else you may be tempted to grab without thinking. If you think to yourself, I’ll just keep this “just in case,” DON’T. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re fighting an already uphill battle. Do yourself a favor, give yourself a break and just don’t keep it around.
SLEEP. Sleep is super important for our overall health and plays a huge role in our cravings and how we manage our thoughts. Not getting enough sleep increases cortisol, our stress hormone, which keeps us in fight or flight mode. What happens when we are in this mode? Our body thinks we are being attacked, holding on to fat in the body, driving you to stay in STRESS MODE, and stress leads directly to cravings. Especially sugar cravings. Aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep a night.
MINDFUL EATING. Lots of times we grab something because we see it. No thoughts about it. You’re talking to someone, bowl of candy in front of you, and you just feel the need to grab that piece of chocolate and snack while you’re talking. Before you know it, you’ve eaten 4 pieces. Start thinking about what you are eating. WHY you are eating it. And be aware and present while eating. If you REALLY want that candy bar. First, PAUSE. Think about why you want it. Is it because you always end your meal with something sweet? Is it because you are super stressed and that dose of chocolate will hit the spot(even just for a second)? Stop and think before grabbing. Still grabbed it? No problem! Actually think about the food while you’re eating it. Don’t do anything else while eating this food. Only focus on that food at that time. Chew slowly. When done, think about how you feel. Remember that feeling next time you want to grab something you know doesn’t make you feel good.
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SWAP THE BAD w/ the GOOD. Truly need something sweet and you just can’t take it anymore?! I feel ya. I usually have some very high % of dark chocolate on hand. It might just be a few chunks, but it helps with that craving. Super dark chocolate has a lot less sugar than regular chocolate bars and a lot less of the processed gunk. Another tip? Berries. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries. These are all high in antioxidants, and, although fruits have sugar in them, you’re eating real food without any added sugars.
There ya have it, 5 things you can try TODAY to overcome your sugar addiction and cravings. Let me know what works for you and if it helps!
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