8/23/2015

How to stop sugar addiction and cravings

I Hate U Sugar
I may be addicted to sugar! I'm not kidding, and this isn't one of those "haha, that's funny" scenarios. One of my issues is overeating at night. I have a customer that also has this issue and it got me thinking. I can eat an entire plate of stir-fry and still feel hungry 30 minutes later! What!?

It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize you're full, right? Well, I've waited 20, 40, even 60 minutes and I'm still hungry. Does this sound familiar? I tried frying up some bacon (Mmmmm) to see if the high fat and calorie dense treat would do the trick.. That did not solve the issue. But, If I grab some pretzels, HotTamales, some lemon heads.... that hunger vanishes. My brain gets "happy-feely" when tasting that sweet sugar; that high calorie substance that comes in very low satiated foods.

Maybe the term hunger is incorrect. A more appropriate term or phrase could be a longing, aching, or craving for glucose. We are pre-programmed to eat high calorie foods. After all, our hunter and gatherer ancestors had to survive! But... sugar was not a common staple for them. They didn't have high-fructose corn syrup.

How can you say no when we are bombarded by advertisements every day for mouth watering treats? The advertising companies certainly have it down to a science. The textures, smells, taste, all designed to lure us in to their trap of addiction. After all, marketing food products is a multi-billion dollar industry. It's unfortunate that they are focused primarily on unhealthy foods.

I've read someplace, can't remember where, that sugar has the same effects on brain chemical properties as cocaine, or was it crack? I can't recall. Either way, sugar has always been my downfall.

It's difficult to find the willpower to resist that temptation. It's so easy to obtain unhealthy foods. Modern supermarkets have endless racks of tasty treats at our finger tips, it's easier than ever before to grab something sweet. No wonder why the US has such an obesity problem!

So how do you find the will power to say no? What I've been working on lately is a reward system. And NOT a food based reward system.

What I'm referring to, as a reward based system, is something you enjoy outside of your love/hate relationship with food. Maybe it's a new phone app, some game you like to play, new shoes, jewelry, something for a hobby, or whatever. Find a way to reward yourself, that's within your means, when you successfully complete a week without succumbing to that treat. Up the ante and the prize to a month once you get the weekly resistance down.

Keep that reward in mind every time you reach for your favorite snack. Better yet, if you are single, get it out of the house! If you have kids, like me... pray and good luck! Honestly, try to get your kids to eat healthy too. They should not be rewarded with candy or a trip to the unhealthy-restaurant-of-your-choice (why are you going to poison them for a reward?).

From a science perspective,cut out the carbs and sugar (the more you eat the more you crave it). Replace it with protein, fats, and fiber will help balance out your blood sugar levels to help reduce sugar cravings. Stevia is a good alternative as well for sugar. B vitamins will help. Chromium as well. If you want to jump start your nutrition right, check out IDLife Nutrition.

Don't have the will power to stop those sugar cravings? Try Lean.

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