Cutting Sugar and Processed Foods: Conquering Sugar Cravings

A healthy lifestyle journey requires making conscious choices about the foods we consume. One of the biggest challenges is reducing our sugar intake and eliminating processed foods from our diets. Let me give you some suggestion and strategies to conquer sugar cravings, such as cutting out sugary drinks, incorporating protein and veggies before carbohydrates, and understanding the benefits of a high-protein diet.

First thing first sugar is literally an addiction. In fact you can read studies in mice where sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Scary right? I personally have struggled with the sugar cravings for many years. Let me share what has worked for me.

I personally had to eliminate Sugary Drinks. When transitioning to a healthy lifestyle, it's crucial to cut out all drinks containing added sugars. These beverages, including soda, fruit juices, and sweetened teas, are loaded with empty calories and contribute to cravings. Diet drinks are questionable. Many people will say you can have diet drinks. I however have found that when I drink diet soda, I have stronger sugar cravings and it makes it harder for me to eat a clean diet. Also if you are insulin resistant which many people are, you could be spiking insulin with diet soda and not even realizing it. Instead, opt for alternatives like sparkling water or plain water.

Overcoming Sugar Cravings:

Sugar cravings can be intense, especially during the initial stages of cutting back on sugar. I personally get headaches for the first 4-5 days of cutting out sugar. I get a bit irritable, nothing tastes good food wise, making you want to eat and eat because you just don’t feel satiated. Here are a few tips I use to overcome these intense sugar cravings:

  • Opt for Whole Foods: Focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods that are naturally sweet, such as fresh fruits. These provide essential nutrients and fiber, satisfying your sweet tooth while keeping you full for longer periods. I typically do frozen fruit it’s cheaper and it won’t spoil. I also stick more with berries because they are lower in carbohydrates. Think of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.


  • Increase Protein Intake: Protein plays a crucial role in curbing sugar cravings. Including adequate amounts of lean protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu, or legumes in your meals can help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote satiety.


  • Embrace Healthy Fats: Incorporating healthy fats, such as avocados, and nuts, in your diet can help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings. These fats provide a sense of satisfaction, aiding in the overall transition to a healthier lifestyle. I am not a fan of oil. I avoid processed food and oil to me is far too rancid to ingest. Many would disagree with me on this, but for me I avoid oil, and use Ghee or Raw butter.


  • Manage Stress: High-stress levels often lead to sugar cravings as our bodies seek comfort, this is often a form of a dopamine response. Engage in stress-reducing activities like meditation, exercise, or hobbies to alleviate the urge for sugary treats.


  • Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormonal balance, increase hunger hormones, and trigger sugar cravings. Prioritize a consistent sleep schedule to support your overall well-being and reduce cravings.

          Preparing Protein and Veggie-Focused Meals:

          Protein and Veggie-focused meals will minimize the consumption of carbohydrates and reduce calorie intake, it's beneficial to prioritize protein and vegetables before indulging in carbs. Here's how to structure your meals:

          • Prioritize Protein: Aim to consume 6-10 ounces of lean protein sources like chicken, fish, eggs, or plant-based proteins before diving into carbohydrates. Protein takes more energy to digest, effectively utilizing calories and providing a feeling of fullness.


          • Emphasize Veggies: Include at least 3 cups of non-starchy vegetables in your meals. Vegetables are nutrient-dense and high in fiber, helping you feel satisfied without excess calories. They also provide essential vitamins and minerals for overall health.


          • Control Carbohydrate Intake: After enjoying a protein and veggie-rich portion, you can incorporate a sensible portion of complex carbohydrates like whole grains, sweet potatoes, or legumes. This way, you'll be less likely to overindulge in carbohydrates, as your stomach will already be satisfied.


                Understanding the Benefits of a High-Protein Diet:

                A high-protein diet offers several advantages when striving for a healthy lifestyle, including weight loss and reduced sugar cravings:

                • Increased Calorie Expenditure: Protein requires more energy for digestion compared to fats or carbohydrates. Approximately one-third of the calories from protein are utilized during the digestion process, assisting in weight management by promoting a higher metabolic rate.


                • Satiety and Blood Sugar Regulation: Protein-rich meals help regulate blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and crashes that lead to sugar cravings. Protein takes longer to digest, keeping you feeling full and satisfied for extended periods.


                • Muscle Preservation and Repair: Adequate protein intake supports muscle preservation and repair, especially when combined with regular exercise. This promotes a healthy body composition and metabolic function.


                      To wrap up here I personally was on a strict carnivore diet for 14 months, not once consuming sugar, I only ate eggs, meat and cheese. To drink I had water and sparkling water. It took me about 20 days to finally get rid of my sugar cravings. After 20 days I had 0 temptation for sugar! It is possible to do, but certainly not easy. I personally never cheated with a cheat meal or cheat day and indulged in sugar because I knew If I did I would go right back to eating sugar and I didn’t want to start the cravings all over again! It wasn’t worth it!

                      Cutting out sugary drinks, incorporating protein and veggies before carbohydrates, and understanding the benefits of a high-protein diet, you can effectively conquer sugar cravings and embark on a healthy lifestyle. Remember to be patient with yourself during the transition and focus on nourishing your body with whole, unprocessed foods. With determination and consistency, you'll pave the way to a healthier, sugar-free future.

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