Cutting sugar from your diet is hard, but worth it. It increases your energy levels, prevents fatty liver and heart disease, and helps control your weight. Not only does sugar taste so damn good, it is also addictive – even when we don’t realise it. So how do you curb the addiction?
Satisfy your sweet tooth the healthy way
Natural, unrefined sugars are not as addictive and they’re not bad for your health, either. When you get that sugar craving, opt for a healthier option like fruit. Fruit sugar is good for you because the sugar is attached to fibre. This means it takes longer for it to break down in your digestive system, using up more energy. It also regulates blood sugar levels because of this which actually stops you becoming addicted to its sugars: the bigger sugar highs you have, the bigger lows you’ll have and the more you’ll crave it. If regular fruit doesn’t cut it, try dried food like dates and figs with some peanut butter. It’s sweetly indulgent and tastes like a treat (without the addiction!).
Get rid of artificial sweeteners
When on a diet, low-calorie artificial sweeteners are often a go-to. Why wouldn’t you use them if you get the sweet taste without the added calories? Well, artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking it is digesting sugar. This spikes insulin levels and pushes your metabolism into storage mode. So while you’re not ingesting calories, you’re slowly your metabolism down as if you were. This spike in insulin can also give you that sugary high and low, leaving you wanting more!
Avoid refined carbohydrates
You’ve probably heard that complex carbs are a yay, and refined carbs are a nay. This is also the case if you’re weaning yourself off sugar. Simple carbs are so easy to break down that they can be turned into sugar quickly. And yes, this disrupts your blood sugar levels! Complex carbs are hard to break down so release their energy slowly, keeping your sugar levels constant. This means no cravings! Stick to brown rice, lentils, nuts and potatoes.