Everyone knows a diet high in sugar and refined carbs is directly linked to weight gain, diabetes, depression, cancer, and even cognitive problems, but kicking the eating habit isn’t simple at all. The holiday vacation has probably ramped up your sugar intake, made you depressed and craving carbs all the time. So how can you break up with this stuff when it’s still calling your name?
Holistic nutritionist Laura Schoenfeld, RD from Ancestralize Me, together with nutritionist Gina Hassick, RD from Eating Well with Gina have outlined the most effective way to free yourself from the frosted and sweetened maze.
#1 Plan a Diet That Fits Your Personality
People having trouble eating sweets in moderation often do really well with a cold turkey approach, according to Schoenfeld. For them, 3 – 4 weeks of nixing all added sugars and refined carbs is what they need to reset their taste buds, reduce their craving sweets, and start eating more whole foods. The benefit of this method for several weeks is that you give yourself adequate time to replace the old eating habits by the new healthy ones. After that, you can safely start reintroducing small amounts of the foods that you crossed out without going overboard, even if you want too.
If strict dietary rules make you upset and you still want food that needs to be eliminated very much, gradually lessening your sugar intake while still allowing your interests in moderation might work better. Hassick also recommends gradually diluting your sweetened drinks with more water, adding fresh fruit to less-sugar yogurts and oatmeal instead of maple syrup or honey, switching from breads and white refined grains to fiber-rich whole grains, reducing dessert portions, and only consuming dessert on special occasions.
#2: Set Up Your Meal to Banish Sugar Cravings
The way you formulate a meal can affect the way you banish sugar cravings and avoid eating sweets. Then, people who don’t eat enough can lead to sugar cravings, according to Schoenfeld. Loading up on enough healthy whole foods at all three meals including breakfast in particular, can greatly lessen sugar cravings. So it’s recommended that people should add plenty of protein at each meal, especially breakfast, since it helps keep blood sugar stable and it’s the most satiating macronutrient. Each meal should contain at least 20g of protein (about 3 ounces of animal protein or 1& 1/4 cups of beans or lentils).
#3: Satisfy Your Sweet Craving Healthily
Some people are too eager and totally eliminate fresh fruit when cutting down on sugar, but that is not necessary. Indeed, fruits can not only lessen your sweet cravings but also provide healthy nutrients to your body. Some fruits, like fiber, can keep your blood sugar stable, and are certainly healthy, compared to other sweet foods. However, dried fruit should be avoided as it contains as much sugar as candy and people are much easy to overeat.
4) Stay away from Artificial Sweeteners
If there’re some bodies considering artificial sweeteners a free pass, it’s a big mistake. Since they’re many times sweeter than sugar, and they essentially ruin your taste buds and make you crave much more sweets. If you’re seeking for something healthier than sugar to add to your coffee, avoid the Splenda and Equal and try something natural, subtly sweet and non-caloric like cinnamon.