Sugar is at the root-cause of pretty much every health battle, every condition, every ache, pain and waistline.
Proven to be more addictive than cocaine, it is a craving that some people never kick their whole life.
And as time goes on and society ‘develops’ and food manufacturers get better and better at making us addicted to their foods we are consuming more and more sugar.
We know it is bad for us (even if not everyone knows quite how much), and yet we succumb to it every day.
In this new guide, I give you seven easy ways to help you completely banish sugar cravings forever and move you a HUGE step closer to ditching the sugar.
Why it’s so important to break the addiction…
Giving up sugar cold-turkey will be very hard.
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!
Research has proven that sugar is more addictive to the body than cocaine (source), so simply deciding to ditch it is going to be hard.
Plus it’s everywhere. Hidden in sauces, cereals, dairy and dairy-alternative products, juices & smoothies… in fact, pretty much anything preprepared or shop-bought contains more sugar than we ever realized.
In 1820, we consumed under 10lbs of sugar per year, per person.
As at 2013, that figure stands at 150lbs of sugar per year, per person. (based on US-statistics)
That’s pretty shocking. But not surprising…
It’s added to everything. It’s combined with fats and salts and specific chemicals in such a way to make certain foods (quite literally) addictive.
The food manufacturers have gotten pretty smart at this…
Let’s Break the Habit Now!
TEN Powerful Tips to Completely Banish Sugar Cravings Forever
Here are my top ten tips for naturally and automatically reducing or removing the need for sugar in your life:
Kick Sugar Tip #1: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is incredible at destroying sugar cravings. And all you have to do is have one tablespoon of this delicious oil and you’re set!
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
As soon as you consume them your body sends them straight to your liver to use as energy.
In doing this, coconut oil gives you an energy hit that is exactly like sugar and other carbs.
However, and this is the best bit, it doesn’t cause an insulin spike in your bloodstream, meaning that it doesn’t put you into that blood-sugar spiral!
Kick Sugar Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid of Salt!
Salt? Yes, salt.
It’s not always the bad guy it’s cracked up to be.
Remember when we thought all fat was bad? And then researchers started showing us that there were ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’, and the same is now happening with salt.
According to Robert Young of the pH Miracle Research Centre, what seems like a sugar craving could often be your body’s cry for healthy salts.
Remember, healthy mineral salts such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium bicarbonates are vital to the body’s functioning. Without them, we suffer.
Put this to the test, it’s really easy: next time you have a craving for sugar or carbs, simply have half a teaspoon of pure sodium bicarbonate in 300ml of water.
See how the sugar craving simply evaporates. It’s magic!
Kick Sugar Tip #3: Bigger Brekkie
And on the subject of the blood sugar spiral…
One of the reasons why most people struggle with sugar cravings throughout the day (think mid-morning, mid-afternoon…after big meals…etc) is because they start the day wrong!
Not having a solid breakfast instantly puts you in a blood sugar catastrophe!
Sugar cravings are way more in control and easy to avoid if you don’t let your blood sugar spike and then dip too low.
Having a breakfast containing fats and protein is a great idea.
Here are some ideas:
Kick Sugar Tip #4: Use Cinnamon to Sweeten
This one is especially useful with breakfasts, and especially if you’re creating your own health and alkaline ‘cereals’ or having breakfasts like quinoa or organic oats.
In fact, even if you’re just having a nice glass of almond milk this one is a winner.
Use cinnamon to sweeten!
Numerous show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, meaning it’s perfect for maintaining stable energy levels and moods.
PLUS it’s alkaline, anti-viral, fantastic for colon health, helps prevent blood clotting and is great for controlling cholesterol.
Whenever you’d think of needing a sweetener of some sort, try cinnamon instead!
Kick Sugar Tip #5: Have Healthy Snacks Available
I have a full series on healthy snacks coming up, with loads of recipes, ideas and the like…but for now…
Having blood-sugar dips and spikes, sudden hunger, feeling tired, irritable and famished – these are all symptoms of sugar addiction and all lead to high sugar intake.
While you’re working on the sugar habit, a key ally is having healthy snacks available.
When you have healthy snacks within reach, 24/7, your chances of beating the sugar addiction go up massively.
Just think about the last 5 snacks you bought from the shops when you were running on empty.
Shop bought snacks are almost ALWAYS filled with sugar.
And as you’ll see below, you don’t necessarily want to over-consume fruit either.
So, here is my guide from a couple of years ago on the Ultimate List of Alkaline Snacks (plus recipes)
And here are a few more recipes I’ve posted just lately too:
Kick Sugar Tip #6: Get Enough Sleep!
Sleep deprivation severely affects your appetite hormones. Fact. According to the amazing Dr Mark Hyman “You literally can sleep your cravings and your weight away.”
In human studies, depriving college students of just two hours of the recommended eight hours of sleep led to a rise in hunger hormones, a decrease in appetite-suppressing hormones and big cravings for sugar and refined carbs.
It makes sense. If you don’t sleep your body defaults to it’s easiest most frequently known energy sources i.e. quickly absorbed sugars.
An additional study found that when subjects were sleep-deprived, their reward activation centers in the brain were actually greater, thereby making it more difficult to say no to sugary treats.
The bottom line? Get more sleep 🙂
Kick Sugar Tip #7: Exercise
I know, I know. You didn’t want me to bring this one up.
Getting more sleep? Easy! Thanks Ross!
Getting more exercise?! Noooo.
The fact of it is, it can be simple, easy exercise – it doesn’t have to be 60-minutes of CrossFit every day (although it can be if you like!).
Just getting moving and getting the blood pumping, oxygen flowing and lymph stimulated is what’s important.
If you’re starting from scratch, it can be something really simple like walking or light jogging (or rebounding if you have a rebounder!) – but make it something you can do every day – even if only for ten minutes.
Anyone who exercises on a regular basis will know that cardiovascular exercise is one of the best “cures” for food cravings.
It always amazes me how my appetite, especially for sweets, dramatically decreases after a good workout.
After exercise, there is a dramatic reduction in insulin levels and raised insulin levels are a big contributor to sugar and carb cravings.
So get moving, get breathing and get sweating – it will ward off the cravings and make you look and feel amazing!
Kick Sugar Tip #8: Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is a leading cause of both sugar and carb cravings.
When you’re dehydrated your body gets depleted of necessary minerals and nutrients and your body will start to crave anything and everything to replenish them.
This often leads to sugary snack binging.
As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of my blog: you should be aiming for between 2-4 liters of good quality (preferably alkaline water).
While that might sound like a lot, to begin with, start small. Just aim for 2 liters, to begin with and build up from there.
Of course, black tea (with or without milk), coffee, alcohol, etc are dehydrating and juices, cola etc…well, we’ll get onto that in just a minute.
Try swapping your black tea and coffee for herbal tea (here are some of my favorite alkaline herbal teas) and this will easily contribute a litre or more of your hydration intake (if you have 3 cups per day).
And if you want some yummy ways to make your water tastier, here is my guide to Making Water Delicious (contains five or six delicious recipes).
Kick Sugar Tip #9: Get Rid of Liquid Sugars
Any form of liquid sugar is worse than from solid food.
Sugar without the fiber and bulk is far more detrimental to the body, hits harder and more directly on your liver and it turns off the fat-storing process in your liver, leading directly to fat gain.
When you drink sugars (including fructose, in fact, fructose is absolutely the very worst type of sugar you can consume, especially when you drink it) without the fiber, your brain is not sent the message that the calories have been consumed.
Your body literally does not register those calories. As a result of this, you stay hungry and crave more sugar.
This includes sodas, juices (ANY juice containing ANY fruit), alcohol, sports drinks, sweetened tea, and coffee, etc.
This is why I am so adamant about having NO fruit in my green juices or smoothies.
When you consume liquid sugars (and more on fructose below) you don’t feel full, so you eat more all day and you crave more sugar and carbs.
I could spend all day talking about the dangers of consuming soda, but that’s for another day.
Put simply – you have to cut soda and liquid sugars (and sweeteners) from your life if you ever want to get to your true health potential.
Kick Sugar Tip #10: Don’t O.D. on Fruit
I know there is a lot of debate about fruit, fructose and how much fruit is healthy.
I’m going to very briefly give you my beliefs here and an explanation, but ultimately you have to do what works for you.
Fruit is not alkaline-forming (generally). There are some exceptions, and these are all of the very, very low sugar fruits (lemons, limes, avocado, tomato, grapefruit, etc).
The reason why these are alkaline-forming is that they contain all of the alkaline minerals that most fruits do, but almost no fructose.
(Explanation as to why lemons and limes are alkaline forming here).
As mentioned above, when you consume fructose without the fiber (i.e. when you juice it or drink a shop-bought juice) it goes straight to the liver, causes massive blood-sugar spiking and turns on the fat-storing mechanism in the liver.
Without the fiber, the brain does not register the calories from this as being consumed and therefore you still remain just as hungry as before and still have the sugar craving.
Fructose has been manipulated by the food industry over many years to be seen as the ‘healthy’ sugar, but in reality, it simply isn’t.
However, fructose in a fresh, in-season piece of fruit is different from fructose in juices (fresh or bought) and is certainly different from High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup.
BUT, I personally recommend keeping fruit intake down to one piece of in-season fruit per day (maximum two).
Mercola (who has done more research on fruit and fructose than perhaps anyone!) recommends keeping fructose intake under 15g per day as an absolute maximum.
And considering 1 medium banana on average would have around 7-8g of fructose, you can see how you can easily overdose!
If you’re struggling with sugar cravings, but eating a lot of fruit, I recommend looking into this.
Mercola has a fructose per fruit chart here which you might find useful (note: you have to scroll about halfway down the page).
Bonus Kick Sugar Tip #11: Just Start Over Whenever Your Slip Up (right away…)
If you ever slip up, have a sugar binge, or even just something you know is a bit naughty, it’s not the end of the world. Or even the end of the day. Just get back up, dust yourself off and carry on where you left off!
So many people slip up and then think “oh well, that’s it, may as well start again tomorrow/next week/after my holiday/next year” and it’s just wasted time!
There is no benefit from writing off the rest of the day, week, month or year!
Just stop for a moment, think about what led you to make the mistake, what emotions you felt, what physically happened and swear to learn from this. See it as a positive learning experience.
And as ever…
If you liked my guide please do hit the share button below, and feel free to ask me any questions either below here or on Facebook!
It’s always my pleasure to serve and I look forward to hearing your story or tips below!
Scientific Research & References:
Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults ; Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, et al. JAMA Internal Medicine. Published online Febraury 3 2014 (Link to research)
Opposing effects of fructokinase C and A isoforms on fructose-induced metabolic syndrome in mice.; Takuji Ishimoto, Miguel A. Lanaspa, MyPhuong T. Le, et al; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 27, 2012; (Link to research)
Greater Fructose Consumption Is Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Markers and Visceral Adiposity in Adolescents; N. K. Pollock, V. Bundy, W. Kanto, C. L. Davis, P. J. Bernard, H. Zhu, B. Gutin, Y. Dong; Journal of Nutrition, 2011; 142 (2): 251 (Link to research)
The internal circadian clock increases hunger and appetite in the evening independent of food intake and other behaviors; Frank A.J.L. Scheer, Christopher J. Morris and Steven A. Shea; Obesity Journal; Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 421–423, March 2013; (Link to research)
Effect of ground cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose concentration in normal-weight and obese adults; Magistrelli A, Chezem JC.; Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; 2012 Nov;112(11):1806-9.; (Link to research)
Effect of cocaine and sucrose withdrawal period on extinction behavior, cue-induced reinstatement, and protein levels of the dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase in limbic and cortical areas in rats; Grimm, J.W., et al.; Behavioral Pharmacology 2002 Sep 13(5-6):379-88; (Link to research)