Give Up Sugar Without Giving up Sweets
You hear it every day, on commercials, online, and probably from the healthy person in your family, “Sugar is bad for you!” You might try to refrain for a bit, only to start munching on a cookie a few days—or hours—later. Sometimes you may wonder if it’s really that bad for you.
Sugar – So Good But So Bad
How can something so delicious be so wrong for you? There are a few ways. The main reason is that it makes you gain weight. Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, and sugar is one of the main culprits. Sugar increases hunger cravings and simultaneously blocks hormones that manage hunger. It’s a recipe for weight gain. Sugar also increases your risk of diabetes. Excessive sugar consumption makes your body resistant to insulin, and insulin resistance has a strong connection to diabetes. Sugar can also affect your mood. So if you’re feeling blue, it might be because of those sugary snacks. Studies have shown that higher sugar intake correlates to increased levels of depression. Last but not least, sugar can make you look older. Sugar impacts collagen production in your skin, and collagen is what keeps your skin looking smooth and firm.
There are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without sugar. One option is Stevia, a natural sweetener from South America. It’s safe and it also has health benefits.
If you’re looking for more flavors and variety, Monin sugar-free syrup may be the right choice. These syrups are totally natural and derived from fruits. They’re perfect for making delicious desserts.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol with zero fructose. The only downside to Xylitol is that it’s not safe for dogs, and it can cause issues with digestion if you consume too much. Coconut sugar contains all of the vitamins and minerals found in coconuts; however, it can be course, so you will need to blend it before use.
Why Do We Crave Sugar?
If you’re trying to eat less sugar, it may be helpful to understand the underlying reason that you crave sugar in the first place. Sugar addiction is a very real thing. When you eat sugar, your brain produces large amounts of dopamine, that mood-boosting chemical. The more sugar you consume, the more dopamine your brain produces. Your brain can get to the point that it relies on sugar for dopamine, and that’s how you get hooked. You can experience withdrawal symptoms when you refrain from sugar. Another factor that boosts cravings are the habits that we form around sugar. For example, if you always have cookies after dinner, that routine will become automatic. It will be challenging to take yourself off of autopilot.
Tips to Cut Out Sugar
Another solution is to cut sugar out completely. You can start by cutting back on sugary drinks like soda and sports drinks. They contain an unbelievably high amount of sugar. Check the label the next time you’re at the store and see for yourself. Replace sugary beverages with water, and you’re already on the right track. If water is too boring, try adding lemon or start with flavored water and gradually switch to plain water. Snacking on whole foods is another way to curb your sugar habit. Keep apples or oranges handy. When a sugar craving hits, eat fruit instead. Your brain will still get that sweet hit, and your body will get some nutrition. Another trick is to eat something sour like a pickle. There’s nothing that stops cravings for sweets like a bitter taste. Once you start munching on a pickle, you won’t even remember that you wanted that cookie.
Put Your Health First
Although it may be tough at first, you’ll feel much better when you eat less sugar. There are plenty of reasons to quit. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll look better. It will be easier to accomplish your weight loss goals when sugar isn’t messing with your hormones. Instead of feeling tired, you’ll have more energy. Not empty sugar rush energy, real, long-lasting energy to get more out of your day. Probably the most important benefit is that you’ll lower your risk of diabetes. You want to feel your best and look your best. Cutting out sugar may be the way to get there.