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Eliminating added sugar from your diet has become a popular trend in the world of nutrition, and for good reason.
Research shows that sugar is highly addictive and can lead to various health complications such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. However, cutting sugar from your diet is no easy feat as it has addictive properties that originate in the dopamine release center in the brain similar that of cocaine and heroin. Here are some suggestions to help curb sugar cravings and make the transition easier:
Eat healthy fats:
Adding healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil, to every meal actually shuts down the receptors in your brain that stimulate sugar cravings. Try a teaspoon of medium chain coconut oil every time you want something sweet, in less than 30 days you will not have sugar cravings anymore.
When coconut oil is digested by the body it sends medium chain fatty acids to the liver for use as instant energy, similar to sugar, but without the release of insulin which can start a positive feedback loop of sugar cravings.
Increase protein and fiber intake:
Eating a healthy form of protein and fiber at every meal helps balance your blood sugar and helps you stay fuller longer, naturally curbing cravings.
For example, oatmeal with almond butter or whole grain toast with eggs are all great options. The less time you go hungry the less craving you will experience.
Add more flavor:
Utilize flavors that can simulate sweetness without the sugar, such as vanilla, cinnamon and citrus zest. These flavors can trick your brain into thinking it’s having something sweet since these flavors are often associated with sweet treats. Added bonus: cinnamon naturally regulates blood sugar!
Infuse your water:
Increasing your water intake can curb your appetite and boost your metabolism, and if you infuse your water with natural sweeteners like strawberries you will get the satisfaction of a sweet drink without the blood sugar crash. Oxylent is flavored with stevia and has good nutrients as well! Fresh fruit, has natural sweeteners offset by the water and fiber in the fruit.
Establish a sleep schedule:
Research shows that adults who sleep under 4 hours and over 9 hours a night tend to have a hormonal imbalance with hormones associated with appetite. These two hormones are ghrelin and leptin. Leptin is made by adipose(fat) cells in response to fat levels in the body, more fat equals more leptin, it has an inhibiting effect on hunger.
The other hormone is ghrelin, ghrelin is made by cells of the stomach lining and other part of the gastrointestinal (GI) lining in response to an empty stomach. The presence of ghrelin stimulates appetite. Sleeping too little or too much is associated with reduced levels of leptin and elevated levels of ghrelin, which really stimulates your appetite and cravings.
Exercising can help relieve stress which often times can lead people to giving into addictive tendencies. An example of this is people who smoke cigarettes when stressed or stress eat. Exercising has the benefit of reducing stress while releasing endorphins, our body’s natural pain-killer, which can help ease the stress that comes from sugar cravings.
Changing a habit can be a big challenge and a bit overwhelming. Try making the changes small and sustainable. Start with one tip master it, and move to the next to ensure success!
Consulting a Nutritionist is always a great way to get on track FAST.