Updated: Apr 20
Is sugar your go-to for....
At one time, every one of these was a check for me, let me share my story…
When I was little I remember seeking out sweets at every opportunity. Eating sugar made me feel better- I didn't realize it at the time, but I was using sugar to help with anxiety.
Indulging in candy, cake and Ice-cream was like having a special friend by my side, albeit a toxic one.
This was the start of a lifelong battle with sugar addiction.
As I headed into my early adult years, sugar and processed foods, became my norm- physical hunger wasn't why I ate. In fact, I had lost sight of what real hunger felt like years before.
I tried many times to stop eating sugar, but I wasn’t able to stick with it. Soon I’d rebound back to my old behaviors, until one day in my mid 40’s I hit the wall. I ended up pre-diabetic, developing autoimmune disease, and ulcers. My unhealthy lifestyle along with chronic stress finally took a toll on me physically and mentally. I developed depression and low self esteem along with everything else, it turned out to be a low point in my life.
My eating habits caused me to lose my health, but I was able to regain it again with hope, determination and the right game plan.
Today I am 64, I am on the other side of sugar addiction. I want to be clear, this doesn’t mean I don’t ever enjoy a cookie or a piece of cake; I do, but......
I'm in control of sugar now, not the other way around.
In the beginning of my journey, I had to take a step back from my old habits, in order to create new habits. I slowly weaned myself off of sugar using the tips that I have shared below. I also had to learn how to eat better overall- which was not as easy as it sounds! I needed direction, and a plan, so I decided to hire a Health coach.
Hiring a Health Coach years ago was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
O.K. Lets Dive in to learn what the Sugar cycle looks like.
Once you understand what happens to your body when you eat sugar, it’s easy to see how it can become so addictive.
Let's dive into my personal tips on how to get started with easing our of sugar.
#1. Clean out your environment. This means all obvious sugars or trigger foods should be out of your home or out sight. If you have others who eat these foods, just move them out of the main cupboards so you don’t see them. You might not realize that environment is one of the biggest facilitators as you start to make changes. If you are surrounded by temptations, it will be a matter of time before you give in. Set up your environment to support your new goals, make your home a safe zone for you.
#2. Increase water intake; aim for 8 cups a day and for a big bonus, add in a slice of ginger, and fresh lemon. This helps with inflammation, and if you are eating sugar, you will have inflammation. Being adequately hydrated will help with cravings, and headaches, along with moving toxins out of your body.
#3 Drink your tea! Green is the mother of all teas, but any herbal teas are great. When your drink tea you are gifting every cell in your body. Teas hydrate, give antioxidants, polyphenols (brain health and digestion), catechins (reduce free radicals and prevent cell damage) -----all of these help lower inflammation and boost your immunity. Eating too much sugar lowers your immunity.
#4. Breakfast is your best friend, especially right now. Eat protein, fiber, and healthy fat for breakfast. Here are two examples:
· 2 eggs cooked in a tablespoon of olive oil with berries.
· Low sugar yogurt with a tablespoon of chia seeds.
The combination of these foods will stabilize blood sugar and help with cravings throughout the day.
#5. Enjoy a little fruit, just stick to low sugar varieties. Aim for 2 ½ cup serving per day of berries, citrus, kiwi, pear or a small apple. Pair your fruit with a small amount of protein to slow glucose absorption, so blood sugar levels won’t spike.
#6. Move your body. Yes, yes, yes… Exercise helps your body increase dopamine and serotonin; these are your natural feel-good chemicals. The more movement the better, walking along with body resistance exercise is the perfect combination.
Lessons from a pro..
Learn to treat yourself with healthy activities. Doing activities to help relieve stress is crucial. I recommend adding in daily 10-minute meditations, along with starting a grateful practice,: Every morning start with 5 things you are grateful for. This is a simple way to come full circle into what is going well in your life and celebrating all the wins, big or small.
Remember every win is something to celebrate!
Finding ways to fill the void that sugar used to fill isn’t easy, it takes awareness and fortitude. Being free from the pull of this addictive substance is worth every effort and will reward you 10-fold. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and freedom.
It’s really the start of a whole new love affair with your body.
Remind yourself that learning a new set of behaviors is never perfect-- there will be ups and downs.
Pro tip: Know in advance there will be times that don't go as planned. It's o.k. Let it go and move forward.
Every day you have the chance for a fresh start.
Need more support?
I am here for you.
You are invited to make a complimentary “Ditch the Diet” Strategy session to find out more about how my 12-week ONLINE program works. This is a time to get to know each other and to get all your questions answered. Please hit this link to schedule your 30 minute time.