How many times have you tried giving up the three c’s (cookies, cakes and candy)? Were you up-ended by a deep and inexplicable craving for Dulce de Leche Caramel Haagen Dazs ice cream? Are you a sugar addict?
Sugar addiction is no joke. For many years, researchers and doctors did not believe that you could get hooked on an innocent piece of candy or sugar-filled cookie, but now studies that scientists have been compiling over the years are pointing to addiction.
While it is true that Chocolate Cheese Cake is not in the same league as heroin, alcohol or nicotine, it appears that some brain responses may overlap. All of these addictions produce a pleasurable response that fuel a desire for more. Can you stop at just one chocolate chip double fudge cookie supreme? I don’t think so.
Did you know that sugar addicts tend to be depleted of key vitamins and minerals, which may weaken their immune system? The average American consumes approximately 24 teaspoons of sugar each day. What’s your intake? How much of an addict are you? Do you want to get off the stuff?
Here are a few Our Lady of Weight Loss approved suggestions to help you bust your sugar habit:
Never skip breakfast. Those who eat breakfast are less likely to crave sugar. Your body wants that energy boost first thing in the morning to get all your gears in motion. If you skip your morning oatmeal, you’re likely to start craving that chocolate chip cookie come afternoon. Low sugar breakfasts include eggs, whole-grain unsweetened cereal, fruit, and unsweetened yogurt.
Never skip any meal! Skipping meals in general is a bad idea. Eating balanced meals at regular intervals keeps your brain and body fueled, so you don’t crave heavy starchy or sugary foods for energy.
Get enough sleep. Rest. Once again, the body starts to crave starchy and/or sugary food for energy – for fuel. When you feel the need to nap, do so. Listen to your body.
Excessive salt can trigger sugar cravings. Fast food restaurants and processed foods use salt to stimulate your appetite. They want you to eat more! Read labels (I did a little pantry reading this morning. They had to get out the smelling salts!). Make low-sodium choices.
Eat whole foods (not refined carbohydrates). Refined foods a.k.a. empty calorie foods such as white bread, cookies, cake and candy, don’t satisfy your body because they lack nutrients and fiber. Try eating more fruit, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, winter squash! They’re loaded with the good stuff.
And sorry to say – there’s no donut in the world that’s going to take away your emotional tugs, pulls and pain. Try yoga, walking, talking to a friend.
I know – easier said than done – but the effort is well worth it!
Kick Sugar, Kick Tush, Kick High!
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
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