Do you find yourself reaching out for a cupcake every day? Or treating yourself to ice cream after dinner? It may seem like an innocent sweet tooth craving. But a not-so-sweet truth is that you may be addicted to sugar. We consume truckloads of hidden sugar every day. And the more you eat, the more you crave. This not only leads to weight gain but a host of chronic diseases. Here’s why you should seriously consider a sugar detox.
Sugar is the New Fat
While for many years it has been believed that fat (and carbs) are making you gain weight, the major culprit is actually added sugar. It is the main cause of obesity and many diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, acne, and even infertility. According to a Times of India report, the per capita consumption of sugar in India is 20.2 kg. If you are unable to get through the day without a sweet treat, then there is a high chance you are addicted.
Why You Need A Sugar Detox
Sugar addiction is real. A study has shown that sugar affects the brain in a similar way that cocaine does. Once you are hooked, the cravings are hard to kick. And cutting it out for a few days is not going to help. For real, long-term benefits, you need to cut out added sugar permanently from your diet. While it is not an easy task, the results of quitting will be visible immediately. You will feel more energetic and your skin will become clearer. And best of all, you will finally be able to maintain a healthy weight. Here’s how you can get started:
1. Replace the Bad With Good
Arm your pantry for the time when cravings hit. If you eat cereals, replace them with an unsweetened option and have them with honey. More ways to add natural sweetness to your diet is through fruits and an occasional helping of sweet potatoes. For mid-meal snacking, turn to these alternatives for a sugar-free indulgence.
2. Fight the Cravings With Nuts
Here’s a fact – fat doesn’t make you fat! In fact, it makes you feel full and helps cut cravings. Consuming nuts and seeds, especially for breakfast is the key to balancing blood sugar and insulin.
3. Swap Your Soda
Consuming sugar in liquid form is worse than its solid counterpart, as liquid doesn’t fill you up so you end up guzzling more. 1 can of coke has 39 gms of sugar (WHO recommends no more than 25 gms every day.) Even packed fruit juices have the same amount of added sugar. Water is the best alternative.
4. Eat Carbs (The Good Ones)
Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy as they are easy to break down. Unfortunately, refined carbs like maida, pasta, noodles and bread have given this nutrition group a bad reputation. If you are getting carbs from good sources such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains such as quinoa then you need not worry about the calories. Sweet carbs from banana, apples and other fruits will also satisfy your sweet tooth cravings naturally.
5. Turn Distress into De-Stress
Another time when we can’t help but eat a bar of chocolate or some cookies is when we are stressed. It releases dopamine – or the happy hormone. And with stress being a constant factor in our busy lives, your brain demands a sugar rush every day. You can fight it easily. Before you begin stress-eating, remind yourself to take 5 deep breaths. Follow this video to help curb your cravings.
6. Sleep Over It
Not getting enough sleep can cause a surge in ‘hunger-hormones’. Also, with lack of energy, you would be more likely to grab a sweet snack or drink to power through the day. Sleep is the best way to fight this craving. You can literally sleep and lose weight.