Every day, more studies are proving that SUGAR plays a crucial role in the development of many of those illnesses we fear most, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and obesity to name a few. And even on a smaller scale, sugar can cause many gut issues, yeast overgrowth, and more.
And I see it. In my health coaching practice and in my detoxes, I continually find that sugar is one of the main problem causers in people, keeping them from reaching their health goals.
While small, infrequent amounts of processed sugar is not a health risk for most people, studies show that sugar (especially refined sugar) has ADDICTIVE properties, and many of us struggle with limiting our sugar intake.
The problem is that refined sugar is found in virtually every processed food on the market, and you may be consuming more than you think! Yogurt, breads (even whole grain), condiments (like ketchup, dressings) and pasta sauces all contain added sugar, as do most processed and prepackaged foods on supermarket shelves.
Even if it’s not “refined sugar”, many products have some form of added sweetener, that at the end of the day, are all forms of sugar. Brown sugars, agave, honey, maple syrup, fruit juice concentrate, and brown rice syrup, are all examples of added sugars/sweeteners. Which again, in moderation, some of these are fine (read HERE to learn which forms of sweeteners I recommend and which you should limit), but if you suspect sugar may be a problem for you, it’s time to cut these out and try a NO-SUGAR plan.
What are the BENEFITS of quitting sugar?
Sugar is known to cause inflammation in the body, and by ditching it, you can get clearer and brighter skin, a better mood (less mood swings for sure!), improved sleep, mental clarity and improved cardiovascular health. You will also have an easier time shedding any excess pounds you have to lose, and you are far less likely to develop many illnesses/diseases, including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and even many cancers.
HOW can you QUIT SUGAR?
Here are my current top 3 tips for quitting sugar:
- LOOK FOR HIDDEN SUGARS. One of the best ways to quit sugar is to get really good at learning how and where to find it. Simply looking at the grams of sugar on packages will not cut it since sugar can come naturally through dried fruit. The industry has gotten very good at masking sugar and calling it by other names. For example: 1) if it ends in "-ose," or 2) if it ends in "syrup" - it's SUGAR! Some frequent ones that appear healthy but are still sugar are brown rice sugar, date sugar, and of course, sucrose, fructose, and lactose. READ MORE HERE.
- HEALTHY FATS. The most helpful tip I know of for quitting sugar is to keep your blood sugar stable with some healthy fats at each meal. In particular, I find that a bit of almond butter or cashew butter does the trick. I have a sweet tooth particularly for dark chocolate, and like to end my meals with 2-3 squares of dark chocolate, but whenever I know it's time to set aside my sugar for a few weeks, I turn to something creamy and filled with healthy fats and magnesium to replace my chocolate craving, and have found almond butter to do wonders. Keep a jar on hand, and feed yourself a spoonful with a pinch of cinnamon after meals or as a snack. This will ensure steady blood sugar, warding off those blood sugar crashes that can make you crave sugar.
- TRAIN YOUR TASTE BUDS. Yes, it IS possible to train yourself to have things less sweet; it just requires consistency and patience. But I did it, many of my clients have done it, and so can you. If you usually add a full pack of sugar or stevia or worse, splenda (yuck) to your coffee / tea / smoothie, yogurt, etc., commit to reducing that by half for a month. The following month cut back to ¼ pack. Until you get used to no sugar at all. Additionally, add bitter and sour foods to your diet. For example: add bitter greens like arugula and watercress to your salads; add a few forkfuls of fermented sour foods like raw sauerkraut to one meal per day; add a splash of apple cider vinegar to your water. This I believe is the #1 thing that helped me balance out my sugar cravings. With more bitter foods, your body and taste buds will reset and you’ll crave less sugar.
During the Balance with Mariana detox plans, we encourage cutting out sugar for 7 or 10 days, and that helps people get started on their no-sugar plans. We eat a diet of real whole foods (nothing processed), while eliminating inflammatory and food sensitivity-causing items, such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten, and dairy. And we make it easier by proving tons of delicious recipes and healthy substitutions.
Ready to get started? CONTACT ME and I'll help you get started on your No-Sugar Plan!
Want more on this topic? Read my related blog An Effective Way to Overcome Your Sugar Addiction