One of the fundamental health messages that we hear about on a regular basis is the detrimental impact of sugar. We should avoid it at all costs. But is this really feasible? After all, we are inundated with temptations around every corner, and every time we go into a shop, and with the amount of bakery programs we see on TV, it’s hardly a surprise that sweet treats are always floating about our subconscious. But what we need to do is have a healthy relationship with the white cubed substance. What can we do to ensure that we have a healthier relationship with sugar?
Do You Need To Give It Up Completely First?
For some people, this can seem like the most impossible of tasks. After all, life is so hectic, that we can’t possibly throw into the mix the inevitable sugar crashes, mood swings, and insatiable hunger that comes with giving up sugar? But sometimes, if we got ourselves into a rut where we are continually gorging on biscuits and sweet treats, perhaps going cold turkey is the answer. This is never an easy thing to do, but if you want to give up sugar, it’s not just about ensuring you have the mental willpower, but it’s about giving yourself a reason to do it in the first place. Perhaps there’s diabetes in your family, or it just makes you completely sluggish. Because it’s a craving that can come back, even if we’ve completely given up sugar, sometimes we have to remind ourselves of how far we’ve come. Perhaps you’ve needed dental implants due to your relationship with the sugary substance, and if you don’t want to go back to painful fillings, then you have to remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place.
Getting Over Peer Pressure
Whether we are 5 or 55, peer pressure can still get the better of us. And it can be a bit unsettling to be singled out because you are avoiding sugary drinks in a social setting, and just going for water. But if you go up to the bar and ask for water, give yourself a pat on the back. It takes a lot more guts to do this than to get a glass of wine. But ultimately, you’ve got to remember how sugar makes you feel. It’s not about putting yourself across as holier than thou; it’s just about looking after yourself. It’s important to not boast about the fact that you’re giving up sugar, much like those that go on a new diet and constantly talk about it. It’s rather about focusing on the foods and drinks that you know won’t make you feel horrible the next day. And these days, it’s never been easier to have a low calorie option in a restaurant or have the meal tweaked in a certain way. But when you’re out with friends, and they see a change in your eating habits, they could very well be inclined to think that you’re not being your usual self. But if you feel better, why should you have to explain yourself? Peer pressure is one of those things that we can all succumb to, but we’ve got to remember how bad we’ll feel the next day.
Taming The Cravings
Arguably, the most difficult aspect of cutting sugar out of your life is the inevitable cravings. If you spent so long having a dessert every single day those dips in blood sugar can feel like one of the worst things in the world. But you have to find ways around the cravings. Luckily, there’s an abundance of options. Filling up on foods like protein can help curb that temptation to reach for a sugary treat after your meal. And if you feel the craving for sugar, it’s important to remember that you can have fruit. Yes, fruit has sugar in it, but it’s naturally occurring sugars, and there’s also fibre in it. A lot of people make the mistake of blitzing up a smoothie because it tastes great and is full of goodness. But this process gets rid of the fibre, leaving you prone to a very sugary high! It’s also important to get a good quality supplement. You might think that you’ve got sugar cravings, but it could very well be a mineral deficiency. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, and chromium imbalances can result in what you think is a sugar craving. And in addition to this, balancing out your blood sugar with foods like cinnamon can resist the temptation.
Living With Sugar
A lot of people feel they’ve got to give it up completely, but others can have a good relationship with it. Whatever your plan, there will be times that the cravings rear their head. And much like anybody that has an unhealthy relationship with a foodstuff, or a substance, if you have fallen off the wagon, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. In fact, you’ve recognised that you gave into temptation. Having an overindulgence of sugar can result in mood swings, lethargy, and increased appetite. But only you know how it makes you feel. This is something you’ve got to keep in your mind when you’re looking to establish a healthy relationship with a sweet treat. After all, balance is vital. And there’s no point in depriving yourself of something for the rest of your life if it’s going to make you miserable. Enjoy it, but only once in a while!
Sugar is one of those things that we can greatly underestimate. Yes, there are worse things in the world, but we only have to look at the obesity epidemic to see what sugar really does to people. And if we are to have a healthy relationship with the sweet treats, we’ve got to figure out how it makes us feel. Sometimes we have to give it up completely to truly recognise what it’s doing to us, but others can live their life with a dessert once in a while. But whatever you do, don’t let it make you miserable.