Feel Refreshed This Fall: 4 Foolproof Tips for Quitting Sugar
So you’ve decided to start the fall season feeling better than ever. And the single best way to do so is by kicking sugar out of your diet for good. Whether you’re just entertaining the idea of saying goodbye to the white crystalline health sabotager, or you’ve tried several times before without lasting change, here are four foolproof tips for quitting sugar this fall and feeling refreshed and energized.
Now that summer is over and the days seem shorter, it’s the perfect time to start going to bed early. Regardless of how long your to-do list is, you’ll see a huge improvement in your productivity, energy levels, and sugar cravings if you make 8 hours of sleep a non-compromise. When you’re tired during the day, sugar’s appeal is magnified as your body knows it will receive a quick energy boost. Emphasis on the word “quick”, as refined sugar is only artificial energy that will spike and crash your blood sugar levels and mood while stripping your body of several important vitamins and minerals in the process. _When you’re well rested, your much less likely to go for that donut or sugary Starbucks drink in the middle of the afternoon.
- Get at Least 8 Hours of Sleep
- Have All 3 Macronutrients at Every Meal
To avoid cravings for sugar, you must keep your energy levels stable and your appetite satiated. You can do so easily by ensuring all of your meals are nutritionally balanced and include the three macronutrients: protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Complex carbohydrates break down into sugar to provide the body with natural energy and differ from refined sugar because they contain vitamins, minerals and fiber while white sugar does not. Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, whole grain sprouted bread, quinoa, brown rice, oats and spelt flour can help satisfy your body’s cravings for sugar while also providing a natural source of energy to your body (which is usually what your body is asking for when you get sugar cravings anyways!)
A few examples of a nutritionally balanced meal include: Sweet potato hash browns baked in coconut oil, scrambled organic eggs and turkey bacon, protein shake with organic whey protein, hemp hearts, almond milk, oats, frozen berries and banana, grilled chicken breast on whole grain sprouted toast with tomatoes and half of an avocado.
Tell us you’ve never craved that chocolate bar, mocha almond fudge ice cream or glass of red vino when you’re stressed? You’re not alone, and it’s actually not your fault that you do! In fact, research shows that sugar acts like a drug in the body, similar to the like of opioids or dopamine, which lift us up out of our low moods and relieve our stress by making us feel good. When you manage your stress levels before the onset of stress by practicing yoga or meditation and exercising throughout the week, you’re less likely to reach for the sugar when something throws your mood off.
- Manage Your Stress Levels
It’s hard to quit sugar without knowing there’s a better alternative you can replace it with. Luckily, you can find plant-based, natural sweeteners at every health food store that allow you to keep some sweet in your life- without destroying your health or upsetting your blood sugar levels. Green leaf stevia, stevia leaf powder , coconut sugar and raw, local honey or maple syrup are ideal sweeteners to replace refined sugar with as they still contain minerals and haven’t been processed.
- Experiment With Natural Sweeteners
We understand how challenging it can be to quit sugar in the beginning. In your first few days, you may want to sneak in just a little here and there. In the case that cravings or temptation do arise, use JFDI as a mantra for quitting sugar. Just freakin’ do it! Walk away from the sugar and your body will reward you tenfold. With the four tips above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming sugar-craving free and feeling like a new person with increased energy and radiance. For best results, try going sugar-free completely for two weeks. While being nutritionally balanced is all about moderation, you may not even enjoy sweet treats as much after a few weeks sans sugar.
- Bonus Tip: JFDI: Just Freakin’ Do It!