Cutting Out Refined Sugar for Better Health
Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingesting. Breaking sugar addiction is easier than you might think. It doesn’t take weeks or months. Here are a few tactics can help:
- Eat real food. You need to eat fat and protein for each of your meals. Whole foods carbohydrates like veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds are perfectly healthy. Broccoli is broccoli. Processed, sugary junk foods are not real foods. They set the stage for sugar addiction and all its ugly consequences.
- Steady blood sugar levels. Eat a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shakes, or nut butters. Studies repeatedly show that eating a healthy high-protein breakfast helps people maintain weight loss. Also, have smaller meals throughout the day. Eat every three to four hours and have some protein with each snack or meal (lean animal protein, nuts, seeds, beans). Avoid eating three hours before bedtime.
- Reduce stress. Stress eating and junk food go together. When you’re feeling stressed, you’re more likely to reach for that bag of chocolate chip cookies or whatever your vice might be. Learn to address the root cause of your stress and address it with something like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
- Exercise smartly. Besides creating a healthy distraction to avoid nose-diving into a pint of butter pecan ice cream, exercise tapers cravings and raises feel-good endorphin levels. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned athlete, you can find an easy-to-implement exercise plan here.
- Determine whether food sensitivities could be causing your cravings. We often crave the very foods that we have a hidden allergy to, including gluten, dairy, and sugar.
- Sleep well. Ever notice when you crave for something sugary after a terrible night’s sleep? Studies show lack of sleep increases cravings. Aim to get 8 hours of quality sleep.
- Implement crave-cutting supplements. These include vitamin D and omega-3s. Also consider taking natural supplements for cravings control. Glutamine, tyrosine, and 5-HTP are amino acids that help reduce cravings.