Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am addicted to sugar. They say the first step is admitting it, right? So, my current favorite dessert is the Huckleberry doughnut from Sidecar Doughnuts. I can taste the light, flavorful, huckleberry glaze draped over that perfectly moist cake doughnut. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I am truly a doughnut fiend. I love them. As well as cakes, cookies, etc. The list goes on. And then one day, I cut it all out, cold turkey.
Why? I have always been into health and wellness since I was a teenager (I blame my mom), and I get super obsessive when it comes to learning about and trying new things. However, I decided to give up sugar because of hormonal imbalance. My intuition told me to do some research on how to better manage my hormones. And the number one change I needed to make, according to damn near every single article and study I read, was to cut refined sugars completely. Not once a week or on the weekends. No, cut the crap. For real. This doesn’t mean I can never have refined sugar, but it can’t be a regular part of my diet. It has to be what it is. A treat.
I decided to take on the challenge and see how I felt! Would my skin improve? Would I lose that extra little bit of fat around my tummy? Would I have a clearer mind? I committed to 30 days with no refined sugars, and I was amazed by the benefits. Most of the breakouts on my cheeks went away, my short-term memory improved; and although weight loss was not my intention, I did, in fact, lose half an inch from my waist and one inch from my hips. I finally saw better results from my workouts. I had a lot more energy and became less moody. If I had known the benefits I would experience, I would have done it before my wedding! Now, I only eat sweets on special occasions – i.e., holidays and birthdays (yes, I went HAM on Thanksgiving). I won’t be eating refined sugars more than once or twice a month. The benefits far outweigh the short-term gratification. Plus, I have found other ways to satisfy that craving that really work. Here are a few tips that helped me.
Increase that protein
Whether you’re a vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, etc, you must up your protein. I found this to help me a lot in curbing my cravings and I had a lot more energy than before.
Perfect Bars are my best friend
Prior to this journey, Perfect Bars were my best friend, but it became my saving grace when I got off sugar. Although these have a significant amount of sugar, they include all real ingredients (which is why they must be refrigerated) and no artificial forms of sugar. But beware, as some flavors do add sugar. I only eat the peanut butter and the peanut butter coconut flavors. They are both free of added sugars.
Eat more fats like almonds, avocado, etc
I noticed from digging more into nutrition that I was not eating enough fats in my diet, which can really make you crave sugar. The great thing about healthy fats is that they easily satiate you. I always keep nuts attached to my hip because I often get hungry while out and about, and this way I won’t be tempted to eat something bad for me.
Always have a jar of peanut butter on hand
As you can see I love peanut butter. The thing about peanut butter is that it is a healthy fat, a protein and it’s a little sweet. Just eating a spoonful helps me a lot. Or even eating it with apple slices is quite tasty.
Track your progress
It is motivating to see how far you’ve come, so check off each day you accomplish your goal, or keep a journal of your progress.
Identify your intention
This is probably the most important point. An intention is more profound than a goal. For me, I wanted to kick sugar to help regulate my hormones and overall feel a lot better than I was feeling. Having a thoughtful intention is the best foundation for starting a sugar-free journey because it is not an easy trek.