I used to laugh about being addicted to sugar, but the fun drained when I realized it wasn’t a joke anymore. Sugar has the same addictive properties as tobacco and alcohol. The more you eat, the more you crave. And the withdrawal, which includes irritability and lethargy, is very real and often the hardest part.
The cycle goes like this: You eat something high in refined sugar and your blood glucose levels skyrocket, then crashes just as quickly. Your body, now cranky, craves more sugar to boost your levels back up. You give in and feel happy for a hot minute, which starts it all over. Invariably, your inner critic lays in for being _____, which causes you to feel like crap again or, worse, eat in shame.
Nothing Sweet About It
Thankfully, studies show that insulin resistance can be reversed in as little as 48 hours. Keep in mind natural sugars are fine, we’re talking about added sugars – the “white stuff.” Think of eating a whole orange versus drinking the juice. The following tips can also help regulate your blood sugar levels and get your cravings under control:
• Eat regularly. A meal every 4 to 5 hours will help keep your blood sugar balanced. If you add a bit of protein, you’ll get the added bonus of a more prolonged release of energy.
• Get enough fiber. Women aim for 35-45 grams per day and 40-50 grams for men. In addition to stabilizing blood glucose levels, fiber keeps you feeling full longer. Work up to these levels slowly, or you risk experience bloating, gas, or even constipation.
• Eat real, whole foods. Packaged foods are notorious for including not only added sugars, salt and chemicals, but also high-fructose corn syrup. As much as possible, eat foods that are organic and in their whole form.
• Spice it up. Several studies have shown that cinnamon has the ability to balance blood sugar levels. Add a pinch to your tea or sprinkle it on oatmeal in the morning.
• Get enough zzz’s. Good sleep is like the Holy Grail of health and blood sugar is no exception. Hit the hay before midnight whenever possible.