It’s no secret that sugar is basically in everything we eat. That being said, there’s a difference between the nutrients and sugar in fruit compared to ice cream or donuts. The past few months, I’ve read up on the addictive and adverse effects of too much sugar on the body. Basically, when you eat sugar, your brain gets warm and fuzzy inside- but then it wants more. And then more. And then a little bit more. You can read more about that here. Upon learning about the body’s response to sugar, I took a look at my own and came up with a few reasons I personally wanted to cut back. Getting rid of my sweet tooth wasn’t instant and I still indulge from time to time, but here are a few tips and what I did to make me feel healthy inside and out.
Tip 1: Know what you’re putting in your body
My first step was to eliminate the use of artificial sweeteners. Although they don’t have actual sugar in them, they don’t make your weight loss or health journey as easy as you think. They’re linked to overeating, which won’t help curb a late night urge for something sweet. It was an adjustment not to have anything in my tea, but using lemon or honey became a nice alternative. If you tend to use artificial sugars in baking frequently, try using honey, agave, or coconut sugar.
Tip 2: Don’t drink your calories
There’s nothing wrong with a glass of juice or wine or soda from time to time, but making these high in calorie drinks a regular thing in your kitchen won’t make kicking your cravings any easier! I eliminated soda- diet and regular. I was never a huge soda drinker, but I would get it whenever I was at a dinner eating out. Mostly I drank diet sodas, but the acids in soda do nothing for you (carbonic acid, which makes it fizz, can dissolve through rock over time) and I would feel bloated or shaky. All of this led me to drinking more water, which kept me hydrated and feeling less tired and hungry throughout the day.
Tip 3: Watch your plate
Finally, I focused on my eating habits. I’ve never eaten horribly or had a big problem with overeating, but I was an avid “dinner and then dessert” advocate, which was the first thing to go. I pretty much cut it out cold turkey at first, but then holiday season came around…there was cake…ANYWAY, my advice on dessert or at least what works for me is if I absolutely have to have it, I eat a very small portion or if I’m baking I try and find healthy alternatives, like using applesauce instead of oil. As I’ve used healthier recipes and eaten less of these treats in general, I’ve found that my desire for dessert has decreased super dramatically- but this doesn’t happen right away, so don’t get discouraged if your cravings don’t go away immediately. I also tried to reduce my carb intake, which has helped me not only lose quite a few pounds but it’s also reduced the sugar in my diet. I still eat bread (there are so many awesome thin sliced breads that are under 100 calories per slice!) and oats and pasta, but I stopped eating burger buns and rarely have a piece of bread with my dinner. If you can’t imagine your burger without a bun, try weening yourself off with a wheat bun or eating it with half of the bun only. As for healthier desserts, I’ll be posting an article on my go-to selections soon.
Overall, killing my sweet tooth took patience, dedication, and an intention. My goal here wasn’t to lose weight, but to feel good. Cutting out sodas, artificial sweeteners, and cutting down on carbs led to me trying new recipes and I found I was not as hungry as I had been previously on a day to day basis. Instead of having a taste for a brownie, now I find myself really wanting fruit or granola. While not everybody’s body is the same, I promise the extra chemicals and sugars will not be missed. If you follow my tips, don’t be surprised if your mood gets better, you feel more energized, and your gut begins to shrink! Subscribe below for future tips and tricks for a healthier you.