Do you ever feel like some outside force has overtaken your body and turned you into the cookie monster? Like, some scene out of the Exorcist where you know that what you're doing is unhealthy, but you just can't seem to help yourself?
I've totally been there. And the worst part is after a sugar binge fest, you feel so guilty and start to question if you really do want to get healthy. Because even though on the surface you really want to, you can't figure out how to get your cravings to comply with your goals.
In this 4-Part Sugar series, I'm going to walk you through how to overcome feeling out of control, without driving yourself crazy trying to quit sugar cold turkey.
Here's what you can expect from the series:
- 5 Reasons Why You Crave Sugar in the First Place
- 5 Misconceptions on the Best Way to Beat Sugar Cravings
- 4 Easy Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings (Even if You're an Addict)
- Dessert Revamp: Free downloadable guide to having the desserts you love while simultaneously overcoming sugar cravings!
But you can transition yourself out of craving sugar, without having to go cold turkey. Personally, I think this is a much simpler way to go about the process.
So even though you know it's not the best for you, the aim isn't to quit it full-stop; the aim is to make sure that you don't go on a binge fest, and start honing in on what's causing the issue.
1) Eat Less Contractive Foods
In food energetics, sugar is considered "expansive", which means that it helps you feel like you're releasing "contractive" tension in your body. So the more tense or out of balance your body is, the more likely you're going to crave sugar.
But the thing is, there are foods that create this "contractive" feeling in our bodies, and those are animal products, cured meats, and salts. The reason is because they're a concentration of a lot of nutrients and they take a very long time for our bodies to digest.
Most people recommend quitting sugar if you're craving it because they say it's unhealthy, but it's actually much easier to not crave sugar if you have less heavy animal products, cured meats, and salty foods.
Think about it...are you more likely to crave dessert after having a salty, heavy, meatball and cheese sandwich, or after having something like sweet potato? After the salty food, right?
So instead of honing in on how much sugar you're having, start honing in on how much contractive salty foods you're having and see if you can make adjustments to those to ones that aren't as heavy or salty.
2) Add in Bacteria to Balance your Gut
One of the biggest reasons why people have sugar cravings is because they have an imbalance of gut bacteria in their digestive system.
Gut bacteria might sound pretty freaky, but there are good kinds and bad kinds. The good kinds help your body break down foods and easy your digestive process.
But the bad kinds, they wreak havoc on your system and make you have uncontrollable cravings for sweets. It's hard to digest foods and avoid sugar cravings when you don't have enough good bacteria.
Some kinds of probiotics you can use are: cultured veggies, miso, kimchee, kombucha, yogurt (if you're not intolerant to dairy) or a probiotic supplement.
3) Use Natural Sugar Substitutes in Your Favorite Sweets
I don't think it's a good strategy to cut out sweets altogether when you are craving sugar (unless you have Candida).
But, what you can do is start using sweeteners that are easier on your body.
Here are the ones you want to avoid: Refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, synthetic sugars like Equal, Sweet n Low, and Splenda.
Here are the ones you can use: Maple Syrup (my fav!), Stevia, Brown Rice Syrup, Beet Sugar, Organic Apple Juice (another fav!), or even brown sugar if you don't have other options.
These sugars will have a lower "kick" to them. So that'll help you get off the rollercoaster of energy high, energy drop, followed by strong sugar cravings.
4) Add in Sweet Vegetables to Your Diet to Add Calm Into Your Body
Another great strategy is to start introducing your body to a different kind of sweetness. So at your meals, start adding in sweet veggies to help minimize cravings later on in the day.
Here are some suggestions: onions, pumpkin, cabbage, sweet potato, carrots, corn*
*Don't worry so much about carbs. These are all natural foods from the earth and they're not designed to make your weight go crazy.
Okay, now that you know some easy ways to stop sugar cravings, let's take it to the next level and apply your knowledge! Make sure you grab your free guide
See? That wasn't so hard, right? No one said you have to give up sweets cold turkey - just start changing up the ingredients, and add in some more sweet veggies and probiotics.
The change will happen over time, so go ahead and get started.