Article written by: Kashfi Rahman
…you should, you know 😉
We’ve all been there… craving sugar during times of stress, happiness, sadness and boredom. Do you grab a candy bar without even feeling hungry? Without realizing how much carbohydrates we eat each day we tend to add more tea or coffee and also have a few extra chocolates afterwards. Sugar is definitely tasty, but it is wickedly addictive as well. We’ve all been through the phase where we tried to quit sugar but the harder we try the more we end up craving sugar and the more we are tempted to binge. So, let’s have a look at some tips…
1) Don’t try too hard
Often we fail to realize that the harder we try the greater our chances of slipping through the cracks get higher. Specially in this case, since sugar is addictive, we should take it easy and slow when it comes to quitting it. Taking baby steps is the key.
2) Stay hydrated throughout the day and get plenty of sleep
As some people believe that dehydration can cause sugar cravings. So, drink plenty of water to keep yourselves hydrated and to avoid cravings. Not getting enough sleep can deprive you of energy throughout the day, which will lead you to craving sugar since your body isn’t having enough energy and hence you take in sugary drinks or candy bars to give you the instant energy. Try and get proper 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
3) It’s okay to fail
Be easy on yourself. Yes, you’re trying and there will be times when you’ll end up cheating and having sugar, know that it’s okay. Making the effort is the what matters during the first few weeks, since your body is trying to adjust without sugar. One tip is to add sugar once a day. If you are a regular coffee or tea drinker and also add sugar to your drink each time you drink coffee or tea, make sure, you add sugar only once in your drink, while the other times you drink tea or coffee it should be sugar free. This will help you adjust to the taste of a sugar free drink and staying you away from frustration since you are allowed to drink sweetened tea or coffee once a day. Continue this for a week.
4) Time to step up
Eliminate dessert after meals. Instead try adding fresh fruit before your meals, such as having a cup of fruits in the afternoon, before having your lunch. This will help in two ways, it’ll keep you full, so you’ll eat less carbs during lunch and will also help you fight your cravings after lunch. Moreover, add more protein and fiber to your meals, reducing the intake of carbs. Avoid artificial sweeteners, as they only provide you with the sweet taste without the calories, which won’t satisfy your hunger and will lead you to crave even more sugar.
5) Realizing craving is not the same as hunger
Craving pushes you to eat even when your body doesn’t need any more fuel. A craving is more specific towards a food, taste or texture. Hunger is when your body needs fuel. You could get symptoms like growling tummy, feeling a bit weak and dizzy, that’s when you’d know you’re hungry. If you’re hungry after one or two hours of having a good meal, you’re probably experiencing cravings. It’s a good idea to stay hydrated before and after every meal. You could also experience craving if you’ve had a meal full of carbs, since carbs would give you instant energy but leave you feeling hungry after some time. It’s best to also include sufficient protein and fiber in your meals while you’re trying to quit sugar.
6) The last and final tip is to follow the steps above
Have a clear plan before starting out the journey to quitting sugar. Set a diet plan and try to follow it as much as possible. You are allowed to include a cheat meal on the weekend, provided you have followed the weekly diet plan exactly. Include exercise with your diet plan as this will not only keep you physically fit but will also mentally relax you. Know that it’s not going to be easy because you’ll face withdrawal symptoms. Yes, you’ve read that right. You’ll face withdrawal symptoms such as moodiness, cravings, low energy, headaches, depression and anxiety. But the awesome benefits of quitting sugar are enormous. Some of the most obvious benefits are clearer skin, reduced weight, a lowered risk of contracting type 2 diabetes, and feeling healthier and more energetic to enjoy a fuller and happier life.
Good luck! Stay strong and I believe you can do it.