We’ve all suffered through it: that mid-afternoon urge for a chocolate bar, or the blues that make us reach for a cupcake or brownie. I know that you don’t want to give in and that’s what this blog is all about.
We’ve known for a while that sugar is a dieter’s worst nightmare, but everyday we’re learning more about how sugar is actively working against your health and wellness goals. For instance, sugar:
- Is immediately stored as fat in the body, leading to weight gain and obesity.
- Causes blood sugar spikes, increasing the presence of insulin in your blood which can lead to diabetes.
- Communicates with your brain to make you crave more of the simple sweet stuff which leads to overeating and weight gain.
Researchers have determined that the chemicals in sugar communicate with the same parts of the brain as morphine and heroin. In fact, some studies actually indicate that sugar may be more addictive than cocaine!
The reason we suffer from such strong sugar cravings comes down to a hormone called leptin, which regulates your craving for sweet foods. Basically, when sugar is metabolized and stored as fat, it releases excessive amounts of leptin into your blood. Too much leptin, and you become resistant to it. Once that happens, your body struggles to tell your brain that you aren’t hungry so you’re always battling cravings.
Now combine that with sugar telling your brain that all you want is chocolate bar, and you end up eating even MORE sugar, which is stored as MORE fat, which releases MORE leptin, and so on, and so on, and so on.
You have to stop the cycle!
Beating those strong sugar cravings is essential to living a healthy life and not only achieving your goals, but maintaining them for the long-term.
Here are a few tips to help you on your way to being sugar-free…
- Ditch the”low-fat” or “fat-free”: When trying to overcome sugar cravings, you need to read labels. Pay extra attention to the sugar content of your favorite low-fat and fat-free foods. When fat is removed from these “foods”, so is all of that good flavor! To compensate for the lost flavor, manufacturers add chemical “flavors”. If you don’t know what it is, you shouldn’t be putting it into your body.
- Eat a protein rich Breakfast – Makes you fuller, longer !
- Exercise!: The endorphins released by exercise give you a feeling of well-being, similar to what you might experience popping a handful of M&Ms in your mouth. The only difference is the high you get after exercising is real
- GO Nuts: If you are really craving sugar then choose nuts: almonds, cashews.
- Sleep and rest: Your body needs sleep to repair and burn body fat. If you are sleep deprived you will crave for carbohydrates and sugar to survive your day! Trust me, it happens to me as well if I have several consecutives bad nights!
- Channel your stress: Please refer to my previous blog on Stress and fat loss. Try Pilates, relaxation, go for a walk, breathing exercises, practise yoga…
Hope this helps! Please subscribe online to my monthly newsletter for more tips and videos!