03 Nov Here’s Why You Should Drop Your Sugar Habit
Addicted to the sweet stuff? We all know that sugar is bad, but it’s almost impossible to quit. Sugar is highly addictive and even seemingly innocent amounts can wreak havoc on our body. With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to cut back.
We spoke to the Lean Body Coach, Nik Toth for some sugar-free motivation and got her best tips and tricks on how to banish your sweet tooth for good.
What are the negative consequences of eating too much sugar?
When sugar is not used for immediate energy, it gets stored in the body as fat. From there it contributes to obesity, abnormal lipid profiles and chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Over time it wears out our insulin stores, it is highly addictive, it damages our arteries and raises cholesterol levels.
It can also cause you to have an energy crash which can leave you feeling fatigued for the rest of the day as well. If you feel fatigued, you are less likely to be productive.
How can we beat sugar cravings?
First things first, it’s also important to note that you shouldn’t replace that sugar with artificial sweeteners as they are not much better than sugar itself.
The artificial chemical compounds found in these sweeteners do not aid weight loss and can stimulate your appetite and promote fat storage.
Also don’t turn to the likes of dried fruit because it is packed full of fructose and may increase your cravings even further.
Instead, when you start out, increase your consumption of vegetables (especially leafy greens). Fuel your body with alkalising nutrients and fermented probiotic-rich foods that change the pH balance of your gut. This will shift the balance of your gut flora from bad to good and your cravings will disappear in no time.
If you’re trying to get lean for summer, can you indulge in sugar alternatives and still get results?
This would really depend on your metabolism, your lifestyle, sleep, how hard your training and what else you are eating.
In my opinion though, sugar is unnecessary, so I would cut it.
If someone is trying to quit sugar, where is the best place to start?
If you have a sweet tooth, I would suggest cutting everything with sugar in it out for at least 3 weeks… this includes fruit. This is just so your body can get used to not having sugar and can realign. Then if you want to start adding fruit back into your diet you can do it slowly.
What’s the best way to deal with sugar withdrawals?
• Drink plenty of water to help keep you hydrated as dehydration can lead to sugar cravings
• If you know that at 10am, or 3pm you often crave a sugar hit, put something else into those time slots instead. Perhaps go out for a quick walk, have a stretch, make some tea etc.
• Meal Prep! If you have your meals and your snacks ready to go, then you are less likely to reach for the sugary item. Furthermore, many people find it easier to stay on track when then have food scheduled to eat at certain times/ for certain occasions
• Apple Cider Vinegar and hot lemon water are both great options as they assist with sugar cravings while helping detox your body
Are there any foods we should avoid if we have a bad sweet tooth?
• Definitely fruits and dried fruit as they can help you develop more cravings.
• And anything else that you associate with sugar should probably be avoided too. If you always have a biscuit with your tea and it is non-negotiable, then maybe consider giving up tea too!
Is there a healthy way to indulge in sugar cravings, or is it best to avoid the sweet stuff all together?
It’s best to avoid processed refined sugar altogether. However it doesn’t mean that it is okay to load up our plates full of unrefined varieties such as agave syrup, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or dried fruits such as dates.
Although they are not refined, all of these foods affect our bodies similarly due to their high fructose content.
Fructose not only increases our fat levels, but also messes with our hunger hormones. The troublesome result is an inability to tell whether we are hungry or full. Unlike with proteins or fats, where our brain tells us to stop eating, fructose flies under the radar and we never get a signal to stop. That’s why it is so easy to overindulge in sweet treats or polish off an entire cake without realising it.
ABOUT NIK TOTH
Nik’s program, Lean Body Formula was created from Nik’s own experience.
Throughout her life, Nik was very unhappy with her body and quickly became a ‘serial dieter’ which lead to her to a damaged metabolism, feeling bloated, fatigued, having digestive issues and putting on weight.
After years of constantly jumping from fad to fad and feeling low, Nik finally decided to embark on a wellness journey and study holistic nutrition and fitness.
Based on her own journey and experience with thousands of clients in groups and 1:1, she developed her signature Lean Body Formula, which since has helped transform thousands of women’s bodies and their relationship with food. It has become the go-to weight loss program in the industry. She is passionate about sharing her passion and knowledge with every woman, and helping them create a body they feel confident in and can be proud of.