We are well into 2015 and hopefully those New Years Resolutions are still going strong! If one of your resolutions was to give up sugar, you’re not alone! Giving up sugar one was even on of the predicted top Fitness and Wellness Trends for 2015. Despite the ‘trend’ label, which lends a temporary and short-lived vibe, nixing sugar from your diet altogether is good for your health, your wallet and the planet. There is no doubt about it, sugar is a tough one to quit, so if you are struggling, here are some healthy ways to sever your sugar addiction for good!
The first thing to do is to open the pantry and the fridge and get rid of any sugar in the house. Make sure to read labels (there is a lot of sneaky sugar hiding itself in seemingly harmless foodstuffs, such a breads and cereals, flavoring extracts like vanilla, even plant-based milks, and nearly everything processed). Being surrounded by temptation only makes avoiding it that much harder, so ditch the sugary stuff and make a list of great, natural, healthy sweet alternatives to stock up on at your next grocery trip! Planning ahead can also help strengthen your resolve when you find yourself nearing the cookie aisle. Make sure to grab lots of whole, plant-based, fresh foods — fueling up on these can help minimize the craving for sweets. Get inspired by our great selection of sugar-free recipes and use naturally sweet foods to curb that sugar addiction!
A lack of sleep can actually trigger your brain to crave sweet junk food, according to researchers at UC Berkeley. Using MRI to scan the brains of 23 healthy young adults, once with a good night’s sleep, once after a sleepless night. The brain imaging showed an increase of lower brain function and a decrease of upper brain function when they were sleep deprived, and results of the participant cravings test found an overwhelming preference for junk food when sleep deprived. So make sure you get those 40 winks!
It can be difficult to know if you’re really hungry or just thirsty when you crave that sugary sweet. That’s because the symptoms of dehydration masquerade as cravings for sugary or salty (or both) foods. If your cravings seems unbearable, drink down a glass or two of refreshing water first and odds are you’ll forget all about those Oreos calling you from the cupboard.
The benefits of a regular exercise routine are vast and ample, the least of which is to regulate your metabolism, and squash cravings. Exercise oxygenates the body, and the serotonin released during physical activity not only energizes us, but give us a sense of well-being. Stress and tension can have the same effects as a lack of sleep when it comes to sugar cravings, and exercise can minimize both, as well as regulate blood sugar levels. Here are 25 ways to sneak in exercise if you need some ideas.
The power of simple centered mindfulness is truly amazing and effective. This is no different with sugar cravings…the simple and direct intention to quit can sometime be all it takes to follow through. However, our lives can be hectic and crazed and stopping to simply be present can often times get pushed to the back burner. Yoga, meditation or other mindfulness practices can be an effective way to develop and make routine the art of mindfulness, so if you need some guidance, check out a class, write out your intentions, get an accountability buddy or even a self-hypnosis book to use the practice of meditation to break your sugar addiction.
Do you have any more ideas for breaking free from the clutches of sugar addiction? Comment below.
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