Kicking The Sugar Addiction
Know your limit. If you’re like me, your limit is one bite. Can you have a little piece and be satisfied? Or will a little piece lead to binge-like eating? Know your limit and stop before you get to that point.
Reach for whole fruit. Fruit is very sweet and is packed with vitamins, minerals and, most importantly, fiber. Fiber will help stable your blood sugar levels by slowing gastric emptying and help you feel full for longer. That being said, try to limit fruit to 2–3 servings a day.
Drink water. Dehydration causes you to feel fatigued and weak. This is commonly mistaken for the same feeling of hunger. Before reaching for a quick sugar pick-me-up, drink a 12oz. glass of water and wait 20 minutes to see how you feel.
Get some exercise. Sweets release the “feel good” hormone dopamine. Fortunately, exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good as well. Many of my clients have reported a decrease in sugar cravings after starting an exercise routine.
Catch your Zzz’s. Lack of sleep has been shown to decrease the hormone leptin (signals that you are full) and increases the hormone ghrelin (signals that you are hungry). This lopsided hormonal imbalance is a perfect storm for over-eating on sweets. Aim for 7–9 hours of sleep.
Manage stress and emotions. Stress and emotional eating is one of the most common things I hear as a certified nutritionist. Do more of what nourishes your mind, body and soul. My clients have had great success managing stress and emotions by taking part in yoga and/or meditation. Give it a try!
Eat good fats and lean protein. Both provide satiety (feeling of fullness) and, like fiber, will slow digestion helping you feel full for longer. I recommend nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, salmon and pasture raised eggs for good sources of healthy fats. Lean turkey, chicken breast, beef (flank or sirloin tip), pork tenderloin, tilapia, cod and egg whites for good sources of protein.