A Despatches programme on Channel Four last night asked if we are addicted to sugar? My view is that many of us are, so if the food industry isn’t helping us take sugar out of our diets what can we do to help ourselves?
Follow my low GL diet strictly which is explained in full here. This really helps to even out your blood sugar, which means no dips, and less craving.
Find alternatives and wean yourself off the level of sweetness of a food. So if you are used to 1 teaspoon of sugar in your tea, have a half teaspoon. If you drink juice neat, try with half water instead.
Try switching to sugars that taste sweet, but don’t affect blood sugar that much such as xylitol, agave syrup and stevia.
If you are used to eating sweets find something with less sugar. Look for bars that don’t use dates, raisins or sugar in their top three ingredients. Raspberry nut bars a quite good for GL. I sometimes munch dark chocolate with some peanuts. Even better would be to snack on berries, cherries or plums or have a slice of low GL bread or toast, with a nut butter and a tiny spread of sugar-free jam.
Drink water and have a low GL snack. Whenever you find yourself dreaming of something sweet first have a glass of water, then have a protein/carb snack as I specify in all my low GL books.
When you crave something sweet what are you really craving or missing? You may find you need to sleep, or are upset about something, or even need a cuddle. If you are upset about something how can you attain peace? An option is to go for a walk outside then have a real meal first. You may find your craving subsides.
Supplement chromium with cinnamon. Chromium makes the insulin-receptor work better. Find out more here. Cinnamon also helps stabilise blood sugar, which reduces craving. Find out more here.
Supplement amino acids. You won’t need to do this for long, for most people 2 to 4 weeks suffices. The two key amino acids are tryptophan (or 5-HTP) and tyrosine. Find out more here.
These are my favourite six steps to lessen cravings. Practice them for a month and you may find you are out of the grips of the evil white powder!
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I have been sugar free for four years now and at first it was quite difficult to go anywhere socially without being bombarded with sugary foods or drinks. It took two weeks to rid myself of the need for sugar and I haven't looked back since. Now, whenever I go to a public place to eat and drink I voice my concerns to staff about the lack of healthy "sugar free options" on offer. I formally complained at my local hospital when all that was on offer in the tea room were cakes and white bread sarnies. Giving up the sugar is life changing (and often life saving), so a couple of weeks discomfort and withdrawal is nothing really. I definitely recommend the supplements as they truly help. Are we addicted? See how you feel when you go without for a while and that will give you your answer!