I have a yen and it’s called sugar. For about 18 months now I’ve been trying to get a handle on my inner sugar whore and so far she’s thwarted all my efforts. So it’s time to make a game plan to redeem this wayward miscreant.
I surfed the web and swam through the cobwebs of my mind to find some the most useful tips for giving up sugar and here is what I’ve come up with:
- Make sure you’re eating enough at meals. When your blood sugar dips and your belly starts knocking, sugar will be the first thing you crave because it’s fast acting. It’s like taking a match to paper; it lights quick. The bad thing about burning paper is that it flames out quickly too.
- Make sure you’re getting plenty of protein and fat in your meals. Protein and fat has staying power (liken it to burning wood). Your body won’t burn through fat and protein as quickly as it will sugar, starches, or grains. This will keep your blood sugar levels stable; preventing the sharp dips that trigger sugar cravings.Hand in hand with this, invest the time to make delicious meals that thoroughly nourish your body.
- Clear sugar out of your life. Remove the sweets and make easy access to them impossible. No more bags of chocolate. No more seasonal candy purchases (goodbye my Cadbury eggs). No more sugar bowl. Clear out cake, brownie, and muffin mixes and any other obvious sweets crowding your kitchen (or undisclosed hiding place). Let go of the honey.
- Become a label reading guru. Sort through your fridge and pantry searching for those items that have hidden sugars in it. Check the grams of sugar. See where sugar is positioned on the ingredient list. Peanut butter, jams and jellies, condiments, salad dressings, food mixes, bread, really any kind of processed food likely has added sugars (can someone explain WHY bread has sugar in it?).
- When cravings strike, have a game plan. The cravings WILL come. How will you deal with them? If you’re taking care of #1 and #2, genuine hunger shouldn’t be an issue. So when the cravings strike, it’s going to stem from the addictive quality of sugar. You need to respond like a recovering addict.Will you take a walk? Meditate? Recite self-affirmations? Open up a note of encouragement that you write to yourself (sit down and do this now)? Start journaling? Open up a daily inspirational reading or devotional?Figure out a plan of attack!
Okay, these are genius ideas if I do say so myself. I should have thought this through YEARS AGO!
Something I’ve been debating is fruit and what its place is going to be in my primal diet. I love having blueberries with coconut milk or cream drizzled over them, or dipping strawberries in freshly whipped cream. I also have a recipe that includes dates and I wonder if their sweetness is too much.
For now my approach is going to be allowing two fruits maximum per day. Dried fruit is something I’ll really need to be cautious with since it is such a concentrated sources of sweetness. They will be treated as condiments but will still count as one of my fruit allowances if I have them.
Now for the last thing. Dark chocolate. I’ll allow dark chocolate on occasion but it can’t be an everyday thing. And it has to be DARK. At least 72% or I won’t be able to stop eating it. This will be something I need to be cautious about.
So there we go. This is how I’m going to approach sugar.