Sugar can be an addiction. It’s one that can knock you out silly if you don’t take care of it. I first stumbled upon this when I found the blog strongcoffey.com where an awesome weightloss guru (Kelly Coffey, who I don’t know, but wish I did) talked about how it’s never “just one cookie” but ALL THE COOKIES. (see here: http://www.strongcoffey.com/that-cookie-is-a-cannibal/) – that title is a winner, ain’t it?
That blog did not change my life, as it might have in a fairy tale or Hollywood story, but it did give me the power to admit and accept what I already knew: sugar was killing me.
Are you addicted to sugar? Here are some signs you are:
1. You try to quit sugar and you get headaches, same as cutting out caffeine
2. You binge on sugar and your heart starts beating faster than normal.
3. You eat some sugar and suddenly you’re craving more sugar.
4. You’re shaky if you haven’t eaten any.
5. You’re shaky if you’ve eaten too much.
6. You hit a mid-afternoon slump and need a snack.
7. It’s all you can think about.
8. You have pimples even though you’re over 25.
9. You have dandruff problems.
I think Americans are obese because of sugar. Plain and simple. We eat processed foods full of the white stuff. If we truly want to kick sugar to the curb, we need to cut out all the processed crap. It’s as simple and as hard as that.
As Coffey suggests, going cold turkey is often the best way. And your body will have withdrawals, I promise you. It will suck. You’ll binge and then hate yourself. You’ll give it up for a day and feel worse than ever. It’s the same as cutting back on caffeine.
I’ve gone cold turkey before. Same with caffeine. But then I caved and started consuming sugar again. Two weeks ago, I had to have my daily coffee, with tablespoons of white sugar mixed into it. Now, today, I don’t need any coffee or sugar to get through the day.
If you’re wanting to make the change, you can either go cold turkey or you can slowly cut back. I did cold turkey before and it worked fairly well, but this time, I cut back gradually, simply because my daily dose was so ridiculously high and I didn’t want to have headaches.
I recommend to start slow and work from there. If you have two cups of coffee, have two. If you have two, then go to one. Then, if you have one, do half caffeine and half decaf.
Do the same with sugar. You’ll naturally cut down on sugar if you go from three cups of coffee to one, but you can also cut down the amount per cup, too. I don’t even measure my sugar, that’s how bad my addiction was. To be honest, I just hate dark coffee – especially if it’s cheap and bad-tasting coffee. So I would just dump some white sweet stuff in it and not even worry about it.
But don’t be like me! Try measuring! If you normally do three teaspoons or tablespoons, go down to two and then one. Or, cut out white sugar completely and use coconut sugar. The taste is different, but you’ll get used to it after awhile. It doesn’t make your heart beat faster or make you shaky. It’s better for weight loss, too.
If you’re used to having a hot or cold beverage as part of a daily routine, then try a fruit smoothie (natural sugar!) or tea instead. I prefer a tea called Teechino that tastes like coffee, but is made from herbs and doesn’t have caffeine. I also recommend a Chai tea with honey and coconut milk added. It’s an indulgent treat and you don’t feel like you’re missing out.
I recommend you use coconut sugar or honey when baking. I recently made this brownie (http://grainfreefoodie.blogspot.kr/search/label/special%20occasion) for my husband for Valentine’s Day. It was chocolate-y and decadent. It tasted like a real brownie and I didn’t notice that it was honey instead of sugar. Plus, my heart didn’t race faster and my weight stayed the same. Win-win! And just look at the amazing brownieness!
See? You can cut out sugar, be healthier, and STILL eat delicious food. You can do it!