A couple of years ago I started noticing that my mood was regulated by my sugar intake. (GASP!!!!!) I would consistently be grumpy, tired and have a headache for no reason… When this happened G knew that all he had to do was give me a chocolate chip cookie and I would be all right. So pathetic…I know!!!! Sometimes, all I could think about was sugar and other times I would literally go through everything in our kitchen trying to find a yummy treat. That’s when I realized I have a sugar addiction….
After I had the realization that I might be LITERALLY ADDICTED to sugar and treats, I decided I needed to make some necessary changes so that I didn’t have negative health consequences waiting for me down the road. It really scared me! And I tell you what, it was hard to stop eating so many sweets! Especially at church functions and friends houses where it is basically mandatory to have a dessert… Now I have learned to not rely on sugar, and am really good at THROWING IT AWAY! (I love when I do this in front of people and they are in utter disbelief…. :):):))
Sugar addiction is super prevalent in our country today. Obesity and type 2 diabetes rates are up and skyrocketing because of this (among other things).
Do you think you have a sugar addiction too? You probably do! Most people eat an excessive amount of sugar, and can’t live without that dessert after dinner. Unless you are Garrett…he doesn’t like chocolate and most desserts! What a weirdo… (I love you babe!)
So, how do you detox from this addiction? I have included 5 steps that I took to keep mine at bay. I am not perfect, and I definitely still eat sweets and treats (1. the pictures I put in this post are of me eating a donut lol! Garrett thought it would be funny… 2. I am currently eating white chocolate covered pretzels my friend brought me, and 3. there ain’t no way I will ever completely give up dessert!), BUT I have learned to control my sweet intake and reduce the effects of a sugar addiction in my life.
5 steps to get control of your sugar addiction:
1. Go on a two week detox and reward yourself for it.
One of the first things that Garrett and I did to take control of my sugar addiction was go on a two week detox of sweets. I know sugar is in like everything, so be careful what food items you buy, but we just did a general no sweets and treats ban because that was the biggest issue for me. If you feel you need to though, try to cut refined sugars out of your diet for those two weeks as well.
Now, I am not a fan of COMPLETELY cutting things out of your diet (everything in moderation is the best way to go) BUT I wanted to cut my sweets intake way down, and a drastic measure seemed necessary. I wouldn’t have been able to do it though without Garrett doing the challenge with me. Find someone to do it with you and keep each other accountable!
For those two weeks I literally had NO SWEETS! It was so hard, and I was so grumpy, but I was so GRATEFUL I did it. After the two weeks were up, Garrett and I decided to reward ourselves by getting a treat. Kinda counter intuitive right????? We didn’t go crazy, but just went out and got some froyo. I tell you what though, I could tell that I didn’t have the same addiction as I did before. I didn’t NEED that froyo, but instead I was ENJOYING it.
Garrett and I do this two week detox every couple of months, and we love it! It really resets us, and helps us be more health conscious. I challenge you to try it! Garrett has this theory that anyone can do anything for 2 weeks… It’s only two weeks, I promise you’ll survive! Find a person to do it with you and let me know what happens!
2. Have a “clean” home- throw it all away!!!!
There was no way we were going to succeed in our detox if we had bags of treats lying around our apartment. The day we started the detox we went through all of our cupboards and THREW ALL TREATS AWAY!
I think this is the part people have the hardest time with…. They think “well I can keep this delicious bag of peanut M&M’s in my highest cupboard and I will forget about them…” Let me tell you something… YOU WILL NOT FORGET ABOUT THE M&M’S!!!!! When you are in the middle of your detox you will become a monster! Scavenging for any signs of sweets in your life, and if you find them it is all over!
Seriously people, just throw it away! And every time you throw a delicious treat away it feels liberating! You feel like you’re “on top of the world HEY!” (Imagine dragons lyrics).
3. Replace your sweets with fruit
Fruit has a natural sweetener, and guess what? It is good for you!!!!! Eating enough fruits (and veggies) everyday is so important for our health! They have fiber, many are cancer fighters (which sugar is the opposite of), and there are so many different varieties! Eat the rainbow!
So when those insane craving come for a yummy treat, get the bowl of blueberries and plop them into your mouth one by one until you are satisfied. A good tip is to have all your fruit pre-washed and easily accessible! I have a harder time eating enough fruit when I have to prepare it first.
4. Increase your exercise levels
Exercise, exercise, exercise…. It seems like I am always hitting on this point, and that is because it is SO IMPORTANT!
One thing that helped me a lot when doing the detox was exercising. Staying active put me in a “healthy mindset” and lessened my want for treats. It also helped me want to eat a more balanced diet!
When going through the detox it can cause stress on your body, and guess what the best defense against stress is? You got it! Exercise! Get outside. Take a walk. Go to the gym. I PROMISE you if you do this, you will be happier and healthier in the long run. Feel like you don’t have time to exercise? Check out this quick 25 minute HIIT workout for busy people that I posted a couple of months ago.
5. Have a post detox plan
After your two weeks is up please don’t go back to your old ways… PLEASE! I highly recommend that you create a post detox plan! How many desserts are you going to allow yourself on a weekly basis? How many cookies are you going to eat at this social function? What healthier option will I substitute X for? Garrett and I made a plan that we would only have one dessert a week IF we wanted one, and we usually do that on Friday night.
If you have a post detox plan, you will be better able to keep a handle on your sweets intake, and not relapse into your old ways. Think about how much better you felt. Were you more energetic? Did you lose some weight? Were you happier? Asking yourself these questions will help you decide what your plan should look like.
Garrett and I made a plan to keep sweets out of our apartment if at all possible. If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it. Occasionally those peanut M&M’s do sneak in…. but instead of keeping a jug of ice-cream in our freezer, we will go out and get some ice-cream! That way we do not have it for when we get our cravings… make sense?
So what do you think? Are you a sugar monster too? 😉
Most people are addicted to sugar to some degree or another. And it’s no surprise with how prevalent it is in our everyday lives! If you’re a sugaholic like me, you might want to take some steps in de-sugaring your life. Detox for 2 weeks, and reward yourself when finished with your detox so you don’t relapse afterward. Clean your home and eat a well balanced diet substituting fruit for treats. Increase exercise levels and be sure that you are eating all things in moderation and create a post detox plan that you will be successful at! Then, jump for joy! Because you will have a lot more energy to do that…haha.
If you decide to take the challenge I would love to know how it worked for you! And if you need encouragement halfway through it, let me know….I’ve been there…it’s rough!