There's a saying that goes something like... "nothing tastes better than skinny feels"
The person who came up with that clearly never had a fudge brownie. Or banana cream pie. Or a Starbucks muffin.
Sugar-sweetened treats taste SO GOOD. Many of us find ourselves struggling to resist these treats, even when we know they aren't doing out waistline any favors.
Not only does too much sugar lead to weight gain, it also feeds the desire for more sugar, setting up a vicious cycle.
The best way to avoid this cycle is to avoid sugar all together - or as much as possible.
But how can we be expected to kick sugar to the curb....forever?
I don't believe you have to avoid sugar forever to lose weight, keep it off and be healthy. But I do believe you need less sugar overall, and the best way to do that is by cutting it out and cutting it back so you can break that sugar addiction.
The average american adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day
The recommend amount of sugar per day is 6 teaspoons for females and 9 teaspoons for males.
STEP ONE: REMOVE
The first step in getting out of any bad relationship (and lets face it, sugar can be sweet but it isn't really the best friend) is to kick it to the curb - cold turkey
When it comes to serious sugar addiction, this is best done as a clean break. If you are the person who cannot stop at one cookie or thinks all day about those donuts in the break room, there is no moderation for you. It's time to CUT - IT - OUT.
Remove sugary foods from your diet and start reading labels. Go through the pantry and toss the items with more than 5-7g oh sugar per serving.
Bye - Bye...at least for now
STEP TWO: REFRAIN
You know what happens immediately when you tell yourself you are not allowed to have sugar anymore? Your desire DOUBLES! Tell yourself you can't have it - and you automatically want it that instant.
This is why re-framing is so important. Decide not that you can't have sugar, but that you don't want sugar. You are choosing to cut it out from your healthy diet because of it's negative effect.
Do some research on the harmful effects of sugar. Watch a documentary on the obesity crisis. This will help reinforce the belief that sugar is not something you want in your life because you want to be healthy and fit.
It's not being forced on you. It's a choice you are making. You are free to have sugar any time. However, you don't want to because your goals and health are more important.
STEP THREE: REPLACE
Although you're choosing to give up on sugar, you're going to miss it. And what I want you to know, sugar does not have to leave your life forever. You can have sugar - you just need to replace the sources of that sugar.
Once you've successfully eliminated the processed and added sugars, the white sugars like candy and sweets, start replacing them. Make homemade treads with natural sugar sources like honey and maple syrup.
Go for a little dark chocolate instead of a candy car. Load up on nature's candy like berries, bananas, pineapples and so on. You'd be amazed on how sweet that sweet potato tastes once you've removed the white and processed sugars from your diet long enough for your taste buds to appreciate natural sugars again.
The second piece of this final step is replacing the role sugar plays in our lives when it comes to emotion and celebration. Since we were a year old we have celebrated birthdays and milestones with cake. As kids we learned to soothe our sorrows with cookies or a bowl of ice cream.
Sugar gives our pleasure center an instant rush, so it is no wonder we often turn to it any time we feel negative emotions.
In order to quit sugar, you’ve got to end this co-dependent relationship. Sugar doesn’t make you happy or fulfilled. It doesn’t fix a broken heart or bruised ego.
Find other ways to lift your spirits or celebrate achievements. Go dancing, spend time with friends, take a walk outdoors.
Sugar needs to be replaced as your shoulder to cry on.
So there you have it! 3 ways to quit sugar: remove it from your diet, refrain this as a choice and not something you HAVE to do, and replace it with healthier sources and mood-boosting activities.
A little sugar is absolutely okay in a healthy diet. No one needs to avoid sugar forever. But if you’re struggling to lose weight sugar is maybe your Number One Enemy.
Once you’ve gotten to a place where sugar has less of a physical and emotional hold on you, it can still make appearances in your diet without damaging your waistline or your health.
If you are ready to make a change in the New Year and need some motivation and accountability, check out my 30 Day Virtual Bootcamp! In this camp we will FOCUS on nutrition, daily exercise and decreasing that sugar intake!