I thought my sugar addiction was well hidden, but apparently not. My boss (who I’ve worked with only 4 months) commented earlier in the week on my ability to mow down lollies and chocolate and all sorts of junk food at an amazing rate. Today another comment from a co-worker (again of only 4 months) while standing around a delicious morning tea of cake, chippies and biscuits he simply commented “don’t eat too much”.
Oh dear god, I’m a known sugar addict, and all this after I made light of my brothers addiction to V energy drinks. I’ve tried time and time again to kick this sugar addiction but now I’m dead serious, motivated by band of flabbiness around my middle.
Recent research indicates that refined sugar consumption in New Zealand and Australia is now around 28.5 teaspoons per day. WHAT?! That’s massive. Picture measuring TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF teaspoons of sugar into a dish and then eating it. Gross, right? This is the reality though, we’re eating this much sugar. Every. Single. Day.
If you look closely at what you’re eating you’ll realise sugar is in a lot more than you first thought. Of course sugar is in soft drink, and baked good but it’s all in bottle sauces, savoury foods and those tricky beggars … low-fat products. Because low-fat most definitely does not mean low sugar.
Dr Libby puts in perspective by saying “you wouldn’t fuel your car with petrol that burnt before you even got your car back on the motorway – so why not give your body the fuel it deserves, and allow it to run effortlessly“
Tips For Beating That Sugary Bastard:
- SLOW DOWN – If you amp yourself up on caffeine, cut out all carbs and push your body to intensely doing cardio then your body will largely burn glucose… and you will end up craving sugar. Remember a balanced diet and a balanced exercise regime.
- MAKE IT FLAVOURSOME – Flavour your food with things like coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves to help reduce sugar craving. I add cinnamon to porridge, as well as homemade muesli… it’s surprisingly good.
Dr Libby suggests including “more foods in their natural form… fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.“
- FUEL YOURSELF – Add good fat to your meals, particularly at lunch. Eat good fats like avocado, nuts, organic butter, coconut, tahini and oily fish at lunchtime to curb those sugar cravings which generally creep up on you mid afternoon. Good fats will slow down the release of glucose into your blood stream leaving you fuller for longer.
- EAT OFTEN – Don’t skip meals or postpone meals… eat lunch at lunchtime not 3pm. Aim to eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals each day. Most people find if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry, and … you guessed it, are more likely to crave sugary snacks.
- SELF CARE – Be kind to yourself, eat breakfast every morning. Drink plenty of water, not juice. Create a soothing bedtime routine which fosters a sleeping pattern of 7+ hours… we all know once we’re tired sugar most definitely starts calling out to us.
- HAVE A PLAN FOR THOSE HAIRY MOMENT – If you see pattern and you know when and where you’re going to hit rough patches… have a game plan.
Don’t be too hard yourself if you’re addicted to sugar, as far as addictions go, an addiction to sugar can be both emotional and physical. Giving up sugar, or cutting back isn’t easy and I can certainly attest to that. I’ve failed time and time again but I continue to try.
Are Your Addicted?
- KEEP A FOOD DIARY – Start by just observing yourself. Keep a food diary and track how much sugar you’re eating … when you’re eating it and how you’re eating. Some sugary treats will be more tempting than others. How do you feel after you eat sugar? What triggers a sugar binge? Greater awareness will help establish your patterns and provide insight into what’s going on.
- BE HONEST – Tell your partner or friends that you’re addicted and what you’re trying to do. Make them ask you how you’re going… and make yourself accountable to someone. You need someone to help you and not lead you into temptation because you can probably find that on your own.