‘Addiction’ is such a strong word. I know. I could have said ‘cravings’. But let’s get real for a minute. We are all probably in denial about our sugar ‘addiction’.
According to Merriam-webster.com an addiction is an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.
Hmmm…. now let’s think about what you say during the day.
I need just a little chocolate after each meal.
I’m fine as long as I hide the cookies – otherwise I‘ll eat them all in one sitting.
I pulled out my Lick The Sugar Habit book by Nancy Appleton, PhD. There’s a simple quiz in it you can take to help you see if you have an addiction…she calls it being a sugarholic.
True or false?
- I do not eat refined sugar every day.
- I can go for more than a day without eating some type of sugar-containing food.
- I never have cravings for sugar, coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, or alcohol.
- I’ve never hidden candy or other sweets around my home in order to find and eat them later.
- I can stop after eating one piece of candy or one bite of pastry.
- There are times when I have no sugar of any kind in my home.
- I can go for three or more hours without eating and not experience the shakes, fatigue, perspiration, irritability, depression, or anxiety.
- I can have candy and other sweets in my home and not eat them.
- I do not eat something sweet after each meal.
- I rarely drink coffee and eat donuts or sweet rolls for breakfast.
- I can go for more than an hour after waking up in the morning without eating.
- I can go from one day to the next without drinking a sweetened soft drink.
4 or more ‘Falses’ indicates a problem.
How’d you do? Do you have an addiction?
Well, if you do, all is not lost. You CAN overcome it! Here are my 5 steps to help you get your sugar addiction under control.
#1: PLAN and EAT REGULAR BALANCED MEALS
Nourishing your body with the proper nutrients is key to curbing cravings. Cravings are usually associated with a nutrient need. The healthier and more consistently you eat, the fewer cravings you will have. Planning your meals ahead of time helps you eat consistently.
#2: DON’T BUY OR HAVE YOUR FAVORITE SUGARY TREAT IN THE HOUSE.
If it’s easy to access, it will be harder to stop. This step actually starts at the grocery store. Having a detailed shopping list helps prevent your favorite cookies, chocolate bars or other sugary snacks from getting in your shopping cart. Stick to your list.
#3: HAVE HEALTHY SNACK ALTERNATIVES AT THE READY
Be prepared with substitutes. Sugary snacks won’t be in your house (#2) but you still need to eat something. Remember snacks are not necessarily a bad thing. A healthy snack may be just the thing you need to tied your over until your next meal. Stock your pantry and fridge and carry some snacks with you in your purse or car so you don’t have to think about what to eat when you are hungry.
#4: EAT FATS
Nothing will dampen your sugar cravings like good healthy quality fats. These are things like nuts, seeds, coconut oil/milk/meat, and organic butter. These make great snacks or additions to snacks. For example, drinking tea with a teaspoon to tablespoon of coconut oil is not only delicious but also helps satiate you.
#5: START SMALL
Sometimes you need to give your body and mind time to adapt, especially if you don’t like extremes or feel YOU need to be in control. Gradually decrease your sugar intake. For example, if you have a chocolate bar everyday, start by only eating ½ a bar. Then, ¼ of a bar. Then, skip every other day. You can make the small reductions daily or weekly. You decide. You can do the same with the amount of sugar you add to your coffee or tea. The idea here is to retrain your thinking and your taste buds.
#6: DO A FULL SUGAR SCRUB
Tips 1-5 are great and necessary. They are tools you need. They are conditioning your taste buds and your mind to alternative ideas and flavors. But unfortunately, they are not going to get you all the way to the results you really want. Sorry.
To break you of your addiction, you need to go sugar free for at least 4 days. This will reset the cycle of hormones and neurotransmitters that cause the cravings.
It’s not easy but if you are prepared with tips 1-5 and have a well thought out meal plan, it can be a breeze.
Why do this alone? Join me for the 5-Day Fall Detox and do it in community with other women. I have a full plan of delicious meals that will help you reset your body and your hormones so you can say goodbye to your sugar addiction.
And the best thing is that YOU DECIDE if you are ready to go for Step #6 or just want to flirt with Steps #1 – 5. It starts October 9. For more details, click here.
I know what you are thinking…”But what if I don’t want to give up sugar forever?”
The point of the detox doesn’t have to be to get you to stop eating sweets forever but to reduce your NEED to consume them. To get you to the point where YOU ARE IN CONTROL, not the other way around. You can enjoy a little and walk away, happy.