Quitting Sugar: Why is it so difficult? 9 tips to get started!
6 reasons why sugar is bad for your health
You’ve probably heard that eating too much sugar is bad for your health. But what is the impact of eating too much sugar? Here are the reasons you should know:
- Increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
- Drains energy levels
- Contributes to stress, mood swings and depression
- Interferes with immune function
- Causes tooth decay
- Accelerates skin and cellular aging process
Many studies have shown that consuming too much sugar can affect your overall health. Research on the impact of added sugar on health is constantly evolving.
Be prepared! Cutting back sugar can be a challenge
Studies have found that sugar affects the brain’s reward system which can involve addictive behaviour. Sugar can trigger the release of dopamine and endogenous opioids in the brain – which may cause addiction and future cravings.
Therefore, reducing your sugar intake may lead to some unpleasant symptoms, both mentally and physically. But remember your health goals, it will get better and easier if you stick to it.
9 tips to help you withdraw from added sugar greater ease
1. Drink water
Replace sugary soda, fruit juice and energy drinks with plain or sparkling water. You can add some mint or slices of lemon for extra flavour.
2. Read labels
Many foods and condiments contain surprisingly high amounts of added sugar! Read labels on the products to check for added sugar.
3. Avoid blood sugar crashes
A blood sugar crash caused by your body responding to sugar and rapidly producing insuline, which causes blood glucose to decrease is also known as a sugar crash. One of the best ways to avoid it is to consume a variety of foods, especially high-fibre wholegrains as these foods release their energy more slowly.
4. Explore alternative flavours
Discovering different tastes can help to keep your mind off sweet things. Try natural nut butter instead of sweet spreads, or a handful of nuts with a bit of chlli powder for a different snack.
5. Spice up!
Spices not only can enhance the flavours, but some of the spices can also control blood sugar levels! Simply add a sprinkle of Moringa and Cinnamon to your drinks and breakfast. Replace candy with a couple of Black Garlic Cloves to help fight your sugar craving and manage your blood sugar.
6. Eat more often
You’re more likely to eat sweet things when you’re hungry. Therefore, eat every three hours and only small amounts to help you avoid blood sugar dips and to eat healthier.
7. Practice mindful eating
Take the time to focus your senses on the food and be mindful of how the food tastes and how you feel. When you pay attention to what you’re eating, you won’t have time to think of the next sweet treat. Learn more about mindful eating.
8. Focus on whole diet
A whole diet can help optimize nutrient density and improve your health, which may in turn help ease the withdrawal symptoms and reduce your sugar intake. Focus on whole(unprocessed) foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds.
A study shows even just a 15 minutes walk can reduce sugar cravings. Exercise can fight physiological disorders, which can be caused by sugar addiction. Also, regular exercise can help increase energy levels and reduce stress. Learn more about the benefits of regular exercise.
Go easy and stay motivated!
Quitting or reducing sugar can be difficult, especially if your diet was high in added sugar. Ease the transformation and keep tracking your progress. Reminding yourself of your goals by writing down the reasons can help you pass through the cravings and unpleasant symptoms. Take a step on changing your diet, exercise and sleep patterns to improve your health and create a healthier lifestyle!