How to break your sugar addiction in 6 steps
As I told you in my previous post, it's been a month now that I've stopped eating sugar. I have a real addiction with it, the more I eat it the more I want it and I can't get it out of my mind! And even when I try to stay away from it, it finds a way to go against my willpower. As I'm doing a lot of effort to maintain my weight or lose some extra kgs, this addiction doesn't help me at all. Therefore I've decided to challenge myself and see how I feel if I stop eating sugar for a week. (Always begin with small goals so it makes the challenge easier and makes you want to go for an extra week and so on.. to a month or more)
I do not drink soda, energy drinks, processed soft drinks etc. and I do not add sugar in my tea or coffee, so for those two parts, it wasn't difficult for me to stop doing it. But the most difficult part was to stop eating cereals in the morning, having a sweet snack and eating dessert after a meal. So here are 6 steps on how I manage to stop craving sugar:
1. Clean your kitchen
Remove all the sugary products you have in your kitchen, from cookies, candies, chocolate, cereals etc. and give it to a friend or someone who will love to have them (naughty present I guess, but it is for your own good) By all sugary products I also mean agave nectar, maple syrup, corn syrup, white and brown sugar, stevia, sweeteners, sodas, soft drinks, lemonade, packed fruits juices, candies, chocolates, bars, cakes, pies, Nutella, jams, ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad seasoning, cereals, ice cream, yogurt, alcool...
Now that you have remove all the temptation in your house, it's time to find a strategy on how to substitute these cravings.
2. Eat more protein
If you include a source of protein in your meal, you will find yourself full for a longer period of time and therefore it may help satisfy your cravings. Eating more protein will help you stabilize your blood sugar, your mood and energy and won't make you tempted to have a bad snack between meals.
3. Eat breakfast
If you start the day, the correct way and by correct I want to say healthy, it will boost your day and help you keep a good behavior through the day. A healthy breakfast can help you stay concentrate, give you strength and help you maintain a healthy weight. Eating a healthy breakfast will reduce your hanger throughout the day and help you make better choice. I know that everyone prefers to sleep instead of eating breakfast but having breakfast is always better that finding yourself at 10am in front of a vending machine or rushing to the boulangerie because you are starving. A homemade smoothie or a small omelette are my go-to best breakfasts. Scroll down to see recipes.
4. Drink green tea and herbal infusion
Most of the time, when you feel the need to eat, you are in fact thirsty and the simple fact of making tea or drinking a glass of water can help you stop your need to eat. Green tea is a really good alternative to stop eating sugar, especially around 4pm. And I also find herbal infusions very useful at the end of a meal. When I'm done eating and when I feel the need to eat something sweet, I try to keep myself busy by cleaning the table and once done I directly make a tea or infusion and consider it as my dessert. There is now plenty of good and tasty infusions that are really good to substitute as desserts (of course choose the no sugary one and the more natural you can find)
5. Be active!
This is the best advice I could give to someone to stop eating sweet. Try to stay busy most of the time and by busy I mean doing exercise, running or going for a walk but also mean reading, meditating, blogging etc. The more you keep your mind active and busy the less you will find yourself thinking about food. Moreover, being active help your stabilize your weight and give you motivation to stay committed to your goal.
6. Find healthy substitutes
Always have some fruits and veggies in your house, those are your best friends! When craving something sweet, eat strawberries and a few almonds, eat vegan and sugar free 70% (minimum) dark chocolate (2 squares not the whole bar) or try this wonderful idea of freezing bananas! Nana ice cream is a magical substitute that will satisfy your craving for sure. (Recipes below) My go to snack is a banana and almond butter, these two combined are delicious and help to keep you full until the next meal. Frozen grapes are really good as well as you get the impression of eating candies except that eating the whole package won't make you regret it. You can also eat medjool dates (2 per day not more) as they are full of good sugar and have a really good sweet taste with almond butter, those two together are just amazing.
Here are my recipes:
- Nana ice-cream: Slice a banana and put it in the freezer for at least 3 hours. Then pour the banana is your food processor and mix until reaching the right consistency. You can add pure cacao, strawberries or almond butter to create the ice-cream of your choice.
- Energy boost smoothie: Pour in a blender one banana, chia seeds, maca powder, almond butter, shredded coconut, pure cacao and rice milk. Mix to combine everything and drink on the go to work.
- Berries smoothie: Pour in a blender 5 strawberries, 4 raspberries, 10 blueberries, chia seeds, 5 mint leaves and almond milk. Mix to combine and drink it around 4pm to help you wait until dinner.
- Almond butter: Buy organic almonds, pour them into a food processor and mix for 10 minutes until reaching a nice and smooth spread consistency (should looks like Nutella consistency but is not!) You can do this with almost every nuts of your choice.
- Eggs: Male an omelet with 3 eggs, add spinach and some fresh herbs. This will keep you full until lunch time for sure.
- Snacks: 2 medjool dates + 2 tablespoons almond butter or 1 banana cut in slices with 2 tablespoons of almond butter are also really good and will keep you full for a long time.
- Dessert: Melt a vegan and sugar-free 70% dark chocolate and dip some fruits in it.
As my own experience, I will say that the only way to break your addiction is to stop feeding the fire. The less you eat sugar the less you will need sugar. I was a complete addict and now I find myself saying no to dessert and not just because I want to stick to my goals but because I don't want to. It does not represent a need anymore and I can assure you that when you reach that point, refusing a dessert, you feel like a winner. And don't worry, reaching that point will arrive sooner than you think ;)