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Cheryl's Casual Chatter

Is It Time to Get Healthy And Ditch The Sugar Cravings?

Lets Get Healthy And Ditch The Sugar

"I will not feel deprived when I bypass Junk food. I will feel empowered that I made the healthy choice."

I have to confess that I struggle with what can only be called a sugar addiction. I love sweets! Candy, cookies, cake, pie, and especially ice cream. Beating a sugar addiction is not an easy thing to do. But with a bit of willpower and a plan, we can be successful.

For me, it's time to get healthy and ditch the sugar cravings. How about you?

I want to share with you the things I have learned about sugar cravings and how to handle those cravings.

To be clear, I am not a nutritional expert. I research and learn what works for me as I go—sort of trial and error and some common sense.

What causes our sugar cravings-

Skipping meals or not eating enough is a disaster waiting to happen. Many of us can relate to finding ourselves starving after having skipped lunch. We think that grabbing that pretty iced donut with all those sprinkles on it will fix us right up. And as usual, that sugar fix will let us down. Shortly after consuming that pretty donut, we find out we're still starving. And any energy we had gained crashes.

Stress can cause us to crave sugar. Sadly, sugar seems to help us deal with stress, at least in the short term. This explains why so many of us reach for that cookie or donut when we start getting that frazzled feeling. Sugar helps you feel less frazzled by suppressing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in your brain, which controls your response to your stress. For a while, the stress seems better, but it doesn't last.

We are not doing ourselves any favor when we use sugar to deal with our stress. The more sugar we consume, the more we crave sugar. It creates a vicious circle.

Sugar has become a bad habit. That is what sugar has become for many of us. We have gotten into the habit of eating sugar. We are used to grabbing a couple of cookies when we get home. Maybe a dish of ice cream in front of the television. It has become just routine behavior. We don't think anything of it. Learn to swap out that bad habit for a new good habit.

Tips for stopping those sugar cravings

Don't bring those sugary treats into the house. If you don't have them, you can't eat them. Yes, it does take willpower. But it gets easier. Substitute the sugar with a piece of fruit or some nuts.

Drink some water. Distract yourself from the sugar by hydrating your body.

Go for a walk. Take your mind off those cravings. Get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and exercise.

Start a regular workout schedule. It's okay to start slow and add a little more each week.

Eat more fruit. Keep a supply of fruit on hand. Your body will thank you. The benefits of fruit far exceed the zero benefits of that sugary delight you were dreaming about shoving into your mouth. Don't do it!

Give in and treat yourself once in a while. Put something healthy together with a little something you are craving. You could slice up a banana and drizzle some chocolate syrup over it. Or make a trail mix with some chocolate chips, nuts, and some Chex cereal.

Better yet, allow yourself a real treat once in a while. That way, you won't feel so deprived Occasional treats may keep you from really going off on a major binge. Try a fun-size candy bar.

Getting enough sleep is also a strong defense against your sugar cravings. To improve your sleep:

  1. Avoid consuming caffeine late in the day.

  2. Adjust the temperature and lighting in your bedroom to comfortable levels.

  3. Don't eat late in the evening.

  4. Try taking a hot shower or bath before going to bed.

  5. Aim for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Avoid places that you know will trigger your sugar urges. I know it's hard. You just have to push that shopping cart a little faster down the candy aisle. Don't look at it. Keep moving. And do the same in the cookie aisle and the freezer section with the ice cream.

On a more serious note, do your best to prepare for those times you will be tempted. Whether it's an event, party, or grocery shopping, you need to plan ahead.

Don't let yourself get hungry. Eat healthy foods at regular intervals throughout the day. It's never good to skip meals. And always have healthy snacks available—fruit, nuts, or some cut-up vegetables. Plan out your meals and snack ahead of time.

Reasons why we need to limit our sugar intake

Weight gain is a pronounced effect of overeating sugar. Many of us go through life trying to convince ourselves that we don't consume that much sugar. And all the while, we know that we are in denial. We avoid the scale as much as possible. But one day, reality sets in, and we will realize our clothes don't fit, and the number on the scale has jumped up immensely. And that sugar we love so much doesn't fill you up; it just leaves you wanting more. And it ends up filling you out.

Sugar depletes your energy.

Yes, sugar can give you an energy boost. But you can be sure it won't last long. The truth is that too much sugar causes fatigue. So enjoy that short burst of energy that the candy bar gave you. Because you will soon feel a bit of crash, hit you. Your energy will be gone, and all you will feel is a sense of fatigue. You will want to take a nap.

Too much sugar can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity—all of which can guarantee a shorter life. Let's work on living a long healthy life.

So now that we have some insight on what causes those pesky sugar cravings, it's time to take action. Make a plan. Concentrate on eating healthy. Figure out the tips that will work for us, And remember all the reasons we need to control our sugar urges. Are you ready?

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