I was barely a teenager when it all started. On top of the regular hormone changes, moodiness, and crankiness that comes with growing into a young woman, I found myself on what seemed to be a one-way path of yo-yo dieting, weight loss/gain roller-coasters, and bouts of emotional eating and bingeing that plagued me for almost 15 years.
My drug of choice so easily available: sugar.
Deep in the moment, I couldn’t get enough of that Edy’s Espresso Chip Ice Cream by the gallon that comforted me after a long week. And I can’t forget the New York Style Baked Ziti Pizza that found its way to me almost every friday; or the giant New York Style Bagels down the street after school that just made everything better…if only for a moment.
Sadness, tears, fatigue and fogginess always followed. The effects of my choices manifested into what I now know to be called: The Sugar Blues.
And no matter how awful I felt, I just could not stop the cycle.
I felt trapped.
The Sugar Blues has become an American phenomenom. Do you ever feel sad for no apparent reason? Does your body ache at times even though you haven’t done any strenuous exercise or hurt yourself physically in any way? Are you fatigued? Mentally foggy or drained? Do you snap at loved ones and find yourself easily breaking down into a tear fest way too often?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, you’ve most likely been affected by The Sugar Blues.
Today, sugar is everywhere. It is often disguised with fancy language such as corn syrup, maltose or glucose. It’s found in the usual suspects, of course: candy, ice cream, cookies, etc. but can also be found in soups, breads, tomato sauce, and even baby food!! It’s important to try and always read labels and seldom buy things with ingredients you don’t understand.
If you’re like me and find yourself addicted to the taste, the high, and the overall satisfaction and have NO idea how you can get out from under it, I have 4 Sure-Fire Ways to Help You Ditch The Sugar + Get Happy (the gentle way):
1. Go natural! Ditch everything artificial: sugar-free, low-fat, artificial sweeteners, diet-this, and diet-that. You may be trying to save calories by eating or drinking anything that involves artificial sweeteners because you think this will help negate the times when you do indulge, however the bad news is that artificial sweeteners have loads of toxins and chemicals in them that can actually make you want to eat MORE. They can trigger the brain into grabbing more bad stuff!
So what can you do? Go back to nature. Eat a piece of fruit, try stevia or agave (in moderation) to sweeten and experiment with spices to flavor. Trust me, resetting your taste buds will be worth it.
2. Exercise. Endorphins make everything better! I’ve found that starting my day off with exercise helps to combat most cravings during the day and late at night. Be careful not to push TOO hard during your initial weening off of sugar – too strenuous of a workout and you could find yourself ravenous and craving everything in sight.
Try to break a sweat, enjoy yourself and workout for about 30-40 minutes.
3. Experiment with vegetables! Veggies can be so satisfying and filling. And the great news is you can usually have an unlimited amount of them because they’re packed with vitamins, minerals and very few calories. Green veggies may be just what you are missing. A lot of our cravings can stem from nutrients we’re lacking.
So, add in lots more veggies, cook up a few new dishes, try a different veggie per week, or even better – per day!
4. Cleanse! Yes, give your body a break! Do you ever wish you could just press a ‘REFRESH’ button on your body? Sometimes, we all need a little help with kicking sugar, and in a gentle way. If you feel this may be you, I invite you to consider cleansing and resetting yourself! Join us for an upcoming challenge where we’ll be doing just that!
Be sure to incorporate all 4 Tips into your life and I promise you, you’ll be freed from the sugar trap that once seemed impossible to escape. And don’t forget: be gentle with yourself! Ditching sugar is no small feat, but every simple step you take is another step towards a better YOU!