Sugar is the root cause of most things bad when it comes to health. There’s absolutely nothing nutritionally beneficial about the consumption of sugar and it is often a majorly contributing factor in many illnesses like obesity, diabetes, gut permeability, skin conditions and even cancer. The problem most of us face, as you probably already know, is that sugar is literally everywhere.
Stop at any store and there are brightly packaged goods made with insane amounts of sugar and genetically modified ingredients that wreak havoc when eaten.
I’ve always been obsessed with honing a chiseled physique. It’s a goal I’ve aspired for since I was a teen but I had to have a very serious conversation with myself because I have a monstrous sweet tooth.
For as long as I hold onto my desire to eat sweet junk food and added sugar, there’s no way I’m going to attain my dreams. That layer of fat that circles the gut will forever be a part of my life if I don’t give up sugar.
So that’s what I did. I quit sugar so that I can achieve my dreams and prevent autoimmune conditions like psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis from affecting my quality of life ever again. (For those of you who are new to my blog, I was diagnosed with both of those autoimmune diseases when I had just turned 22. Since then, I’ve managed to enter a state of remission for about 18 months now through a lifestyle change and without any medications).
What Do You Have To Gain From Quitting Sugar?
Think about this for a second, what if most of your health and fitness goals could be attained by simply eliminating this one factor from your life, wouldn’t you be psyched? These days, I’ve started to look at my daily choices and actions as steps towards living a great life or a horrible life.
If health and wellness are what you aspire for, then most of your actions, even the small ones, on a daily basis should revolve around pushing you an inch closer to achieving that goal.
That means eating healthy, exercising regularly, fixing undisturbed sedentary hours from your routine, eliminating and replacing unhealthy substances and ingredients from your diet and adding in many healthy but tasty substitutes for sugar to dispel your desires for junk.
With that being said, let’s go over the potential benefits of quitting sugar:
- Better Insulin Levels
- Fewer Skin Ailments
- Less Inflammation In Your Gut
- The Reduction Of Stored Fat
- Improved Pancreatic, Liver and Kidney Function
- Reduction In Severity Of Autoimmune Diseases
- Less Brain Fog
- Steady Release Of Energy Throughout The Day
- Less Join Pain
- Healthier Skin And Age Better
- Improved Immune Function
There are more benefits to quitting sugar that I haven’t even been able to list, it’s that awesome! This toxic processed substance should have no place in our diets.
That’s just foolish.
If you’re game to quit sugar, I’ve got a bunch of techniques you can try below!
Quit Your Sugar Addiction Using These 5 Techniques
1. Find A Substitute For Your Favorites
For the 2 weeks of any change, your mind and body is going to give you a hard time. But, if you’ve made a decision to quit sugar and have a desire to improve your overall health, then I’m sure you’re prepared to be strong and battle through those hurdles.
But, rather than go cold turkey and not eat anything sweet at all, it’s smarter to incorporate a few healthy, natural and sweet alternatives to your top 3 sweet treats.
I love chocolate cereal but most products on the market are packed with added sugar. Instead of consuming that rubbish,
I make a chocolate protein banana and cold oats porridge to satisfy my desire. I only eat gluten free oats, my pea protein powder has absolutely no added sugar or GMO ingredients, the lactose-free milk I used is actually enriched with the lactase enzyme and Vitamin D3 and banana’s in our home are usually organic and loaded with potassium. It’s sweet, tasty, chocolatey and most importantly, healthy!
You’ll need substitutes/alternatives if you’re planning on quitting sugar indefinitely, so for now, purchase organic unrefined honey or xylitol. Don’t get any of those zero calorie sugar alternatives like aspartame because they are just as toxic to your health as regular white sugar.
2. Create A Timeline To Track Your Progress
Even if your intention is to quit sugar permanently, I think it’s beneficial to have a 30, 60 or 90 day timeline to track your progress. See, here’s the thing, even if you end up eating a bit of sugar 15 days from now, that doesn’t nullify the 15 days of progress you’ve made!
Rather than give up on your mission just because you had a bad day, mark it down on your calendar and pick up where you left off.
You don’t have to start from day 1 all over again for as long as you don’t end up on a weeklong sugar bender!
It’s going to take time for your mind and body to readjust and forget those reactors that trigger your desire to consume sugar laden products. With that being said, if you can make it until day 90 with below 7 cheat days in total spread over the 90 days, you’ll break free of the hold sugar has on you.
As far as possible, hang in there and avoid giving up too soon or else you’ll end up in a loop of cheating.
3. Eat Something Bitter, Sour, Salty Or Tangy When You Crave Sugar
I want you to think about something for a second, aren’t we creatures of habit?
When you have a craving for something sweet, what do you usually go for? A chocolate? Candy? Soda? As time goes on, when you think about those items, you automatically attribute them to your cravings. What this creates is a pattern.
To break this pattern, you have to end it at one of the many stages. You can’t eliminate cravings but you can most certainly change your behavior when these cravings pop up. If your brain associates A and B as a pattern, the ideal scenario to break this pattern would be to substitute either A or B with C.
Wow, I overly complicated that, didn’t I?
Basically, when you crave for something sweet, eat something bitter, sour, salty or tangy. As time goes on, your brain will rewire and instead of craving chocolates or sodas daily, you’ll start to crave those ‘not so sweet’ treats like fermented vegetables, coconut and so on.
Simple enough, right? Give it a try and let me know what you experience is like.
4. Don’t Tempt Yourself By Purchasing Or Storing Items Made With Sugar
We may be super passionate about health but that doesn’t mean we are robots programmed to follow set instructions. If we were, quitting sugar would be an absolutely easy feat. From time to time, when I see a chocolate cake, it’s really difficult for me to resist.
Sometimes I fail and give into the temptation that is staring me in the face.
It’s the whole forbidden fruit situation – knowing that you can’t have something and yet it’s right there in front of you for the taking is extremely tempting. That temptation is often overwhelmingly powerful and you end up giving into it.
(This can be viewed as another dangerous pattern!)
Rather than beat yourself up for not having an iron resolve (only a gifted few do), I suggest eliminating as much temptation from your home as you possibly can. There’s more than enough things to entice you when you’re out, there’s no need to put yourself through torture at home too.
Get rid of it. Simple. Or, get one of your family members to hide all those sugary treats away from you (I’m sure they won’t even need to think about it lol).
RELATED POST: 5 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT STARVING YOURSELF
5. Feed Your Body Loads Of Nourishing Food
Now that you’ve decided to take a wonderful step towards improving your health and fitness, it’s the perfect time to fuel your body with as much nutrient dense foods as you possibly can. Not only will you end up exploiting the full benefits of eating healthy but you’ll be satiated each and every day making those nasty cravings occur less frequently.
Here’s the deal, eliminating those sugar rich foods and beverages from your diet is going to significantly reduce the amount of calories you’re eating per day.
That deficit opens you up the possibility of eating larger meals without putting on weight (and you’ll probably still lose weight if you’re eating a healthy diet not high in processed carbs)!
How freaking awesome is that?!
The next time you go for some grocery shopping, I want you to pick up a bunch of green leafy vegetables and plants, fruits and berries, nuts and seeds and healthy dairy products.
Be excited to enjoy these foods in abundance. Not only will you feel better but I’m pretty sure you’re going to look a hell of a lot better as well.
I noticed an improvement in my skin, hair, nails and breath within a week or so!
What Are Some Of The Side Effects You May Experience At First And What Can You Do To Prevent Them?
I wish that I could say that this whole process will be a walk in the park but in reality, there’s a bit of a hurdle to overcome before unlocking all those wonderful benefits of quitting sugar!
At first, you may experience a drop in energy, possible headaches and irritability but they often pass very quickly, often within days. And once they do pass, you end up feeling way better than you have ever felt in a long, long time!
Although, if you’ve got good substitutes as mentioned above and you’re eating some nutrient dense foods, the likelihood of you experiencing those withdrawal effects are slim to none!
Keep in mind that when making any significant changes in your lifestyle, it is always recommended and smart to consult a medical professional and have him or her monitor you throughout the entire process.
It is always better to be safe than sorry!
Eat loads of vegetables, munch on some berries and get a healthy dose of fructose with the fibre that comes along with it (don’t waste your money on any sweetened fruit juices from stores). That should help prevent the side effects mentioned above.
Most importantly, drink ample beverages that are healthy such as green tea, apple cider vinegar, green smoothies and so on.
Print And Use This Calendar To Track Your 30 Day Progress
I came across this beautiful looking printable that I strongly recommend you use. As you can see from this image, it’s designed with 30 blocks for you to strike off and measurement records marked on the right side for your body measurements. This image was designed by Katti Pillar and I strongly recommend you send her some love for her great design!
Just right click on the image, save it and print! It’s as easy as that! I hope you enjoyed this post and if you found it helpful, be sure to share it with your family and friends!