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15 Tips To Stop Eating Sugar
01 Stop drinking any form of soda pop and other sweetened drinks The amount of sweetener in any type of soft drink is very high. A 12-ounce can contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. If you can drop the soft drinks, you will instantly reduce your sugar habit significantly. Another obvious food item to eliminate is candy. (And don’t go for the “sugar-free” options, unless it is stevia sweetened, as these sweeteners are toxic in other ways.)
02 Don’t eat or buy packaged foods Even organic packaged foods often contain significant amounts of sugar. While many of them are preferable to their non-organic counterparts, the sugar content is something to be aware of. Don’t keep these foods at home, otherwise you may find them to hard to resist. Make your own snacks at home like homemade popcorn (not microwave, but stovetop popcorn), or eat fruit or vegetables for a snack. Eat hot cereal, homemade muffins, or eggs and toast for breakfast. You will save money and be healthier!
03 Make wise choices when eating out That salad you had at the restaurant? The dressing was full of sugar as well as unhealthy fats. Sugar is hidden in many dishes at restaurants, and their desserts can be tempting. If you are eating out, make sure you stick with dishes like grilled meats and roasted vegetables that aren’t as likely to be full of sugar. I often sneak in my own homemade dressing to restaurants and enjoy a salad, sugar-free. A quick recipe for salad dressing: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2-4 teaspoons brown mustard, 1-2 finely minced garlic cloves, 3/4 teaspoon unrefined salt. Give it a shake in a jar and you are set to go.
04 Challenge yourself to go completely "sugar-free” for two weeks Sometimes when you simply try to “reduce” your sugar consumption, you end up eating only slightly less than where you started. Go completely sugar-free for two weeks and you will have started resetting your taste buds and gaining a lot of self-control. I have found it really helpful to do (especially after a holiday!).
05 Get a friend who is interested to join forces with you It could be a spouse, a walking partner, or a co-worker. If you have someone who has the same goal as you, shares healthy recipes, and exchanges food/meals, it can make it much more enjoyable and doable. If you can’t find someone in “real life,” then find an online friend.
06 Grab some gum If you want to avoid giving in to a sugar craving completely, try chewing a stick of gum, says nutrition advisor Dave Grotto, RD, LDN. "Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce food cravings," Grotto says.
07 Reach for fruit Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You'll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness. And stock up on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, says certified addiction specialist Judy Chambers, LCSW, CAS. "Have them handy so you reach for them instead of reaching for the old [sugary] something."
08 Get up and go When a sugar craving hits, walk away. "Take a walk around the block or [do] something to change the scenery," to take your mind off the food you’re craving, Neville suggests.
09 Eat regularly Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger, Moores says. Instead, eating every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you "avoid irrational eating behavior," Grotto says. Your best bets? "Choose protein, fiber-rich foods like whole grains and produce," Moores says.
10 Eat some cinnamon Tim Ferriss referred to this in his book, The Four Hour Body. Cinnamon appears to lower blood sugar levels. The two most popular forms, Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon, both seem to have effects with lowering blood sugar, though Ceylon (usually the more common one found in stores or your coffee shop) appears to be slightly safer due to toxicity levels when consumed in large amounts. So, no need to go nuts with it, but sprinkling some cinnamon in your coffee or tea prior to having sweeter foods can help keep your blood sugar levels low to avoid the spike that causes you to want more.
11 Try some lemons Like cinnamon and healthy fats, lemon juice has been shown to help keep your blood glucose levels from spiking. You can have a cup of hot tea or glass of water with fresh lemon squeezed in an hour or so before you know you’re going to be eating. This will get into your bloodstream by the time you sit down to nosh. When your blood sugar is balanced, you’ll have an easier time knowing when you’ve had “just enough.”
12 Chew…and Keep Chewing The more you chew, the better your digestion. The more you chew, the longer you get to enjoy your food. The more you chew, the easier it is to notice if you’ve had enough. The more you chew, the more you get to taste your food. The more you chew, the easier it is to be present.
13 Go have fun! As long as you have food in your stomach, life is not all about what you can and cannot eat. Take a walk and enjoy nature, go to the park with your kids, read a good book. In other words, enjoy life. Really, you can enjoy it without sugar. I promise.
14 Enjoy beautiful food without sugar Along the same lines, there is no need to mourn the loss of sweets when there is such beautiful food to eat. Make hearty stews and soups, roast a chicken, make a beautiful main dish salad, roast squash, toast nuts, and enjoy a good unsweetened yogurt. There are so many amazing foods to enjoy — so enjoy them. Don’t feel deprived, simply enjoy different foods.
15 Pass it on to the next generation Part of the reason adults find it hard to let go of sugar is because they got addicted and used to it at an early age. If you have children, start them on the right food with a low-sugar diet. They will thank you later.
To get a free mini-course and additional help with breaking sugar habits, visit http://www.bingeeatingbreakthrough.com.
Thanks to WebMD.com (http://www.webmd.com/diet/13-ways-to-fight-sugar-cravings) and MNN.com (http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/12-tips-for-kicking-the-refined-sugar-habit) for the information resources used in this presentation.