The time between Halloween and Christmas is pretty much a 2-month sugar fest, am I right? Wait, then there’s Valentine’s Day, then Easter, then the summer rolls around and then we circle back to the fall again, and mmmm Pumpkin Spice Lattes… oh wait, where was I?!
The entire year can be really tempting for anyone who feels they just can’t curb their sweet tooth, and unfortunately the only recommendation that’s thrown around is to just cut it out of your life completely, or at least until you get a handle of it. The only problem is that it’s a really poor, short-term, band-aid solution.
Don’t believe me? How many times have you attempted to restrict your sugar and carb intake only to head right back into a binge-fest? Maybe it took a few days. Maybe it took a few months. But I’m willing to bet you’re here, because this has happened to you, numerous times.
It’s. Not. Your. Fault.
It needs to be said, and you needed to hear that, because you’ve probably always believed that your “sugar addiction” is in your control, and your inability to part with it comes down to lack of motivation or willpower to be healthy.
Well… that’s just not true.
You may be fixated on carbs, and it may feel like an addiction, but it’s not. There could be multiple reasons why, but it’s often the restriction and fragile relationship with food that fuels the uncontrollable cravings. It most likely has very little to do with willpower.
That’s exactly why for most of us, a “sugar detox” will never work – it doesn’t address how our fixation on food restrictions and dieting drives a psychological need for sugar. If anything, it just makes it worse.
The answer isn’t a sugar detox. You can curb sugar and carb cravings in other simple ways, including the use of natural supplements, mindset work, and stress reduction.
How to Curb Sugar and Carb Cravings without Detoxing
Increase Intake of Protein-Rich Foods and Healthy Fats
Foods like fish, chicken, beef, eggs, greek yogurt (if you are able to tolerate dairy), nuts, coconut oil and avocados help balance your meals, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Supplement with Chromium
Try supplementing with Chromium to promote healthy glucose metabolism. Other supplements that may be helpful for reducing sugar cravings are Chirositol, L-glutamine and Bitter Melon extract – – – keep in mind these are not magic bullets! Supplements should be used to supplement, not to substitute your current diet, self care, etc.
Mental Health Matters
Stress and anxiety about food and weight gain can deeply affect mental health and make it exceptionally more difficult to choose foods high in nutrients. When we’re stressed out, we tend to go for foods with high in short-term taste intensity. It’s no biggie once in a while (heck, I also indulge when feeling blue), but if you’re concerned with sugar intake, and stressed out, it might be more beneficial to take a mental health day, and work on stress reduction than to swear off sugar altogether.
Give In To Your Cravings
Stop the fight! When you restrict certain foods, it only increases the desire for them, making it feel like you’re addicted. Your inner food police (that little voice in your head that tells you not to eat forbidden foods) will show up with all the rules, but you need to start shouting “NO” to thoughts in your head that make you feel guilty about eating carbs. When you know that sugar is no longer forbidden, and you give yourself unconditional permission to enjoy, you STOP giving so much power to it. The cravings and intense desire for carbs will go away, you just need to have trust in yourself. Eat the damn cookie because it tastes good. Then move on and enjoy the rest of your day 🙂