By: Matthew Kirsch, Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach at Far Beyond Food
Today is the day (you say to yourself). No more soda, no more sugary drinks and you are finally going to get your sweet tooth under control, no matter what it takes! You’re going to use willpower! Just like last month, and three months ago, oh and last year. Yet, here we are, a little extra weight and that soda just calling your name. Read on to find out how to cut out sugar and not miss it a bit.
So how do you do it? How do you stop the cravings, say goodbye to sugar and lose that extra couple inches you have been trying to lose for years?
Here’s the secret. It’s not willpower.
Let me repeat that so we are all on the same page. You can’t will your way out of eating sugar. Let me explain.
We eat sugar for many reasons. To de-stress mostly and for that little rush of energy that hits us about 10 minutes in. But then there’s the crash, and then we need more. Now, let’s sprinkle on the guilt and the shame some of us hit ourselves with after we’ve polished off that donut and we have a perfect recipe for disaster.
Our bodies are designed to love different tastes, sour, bitter, sweet especially because it’s rare in nature. Can you imagine our ancestors roaming around looking for berries and then a big chocolate donut is just sitting in the tree? You get my point. For most of human history, we haven’t been exposed to this level of sweetness, and our brains love it. Problem is our bodies don’t. So what are we to do?
These 5 Things are the Key:
This is one of the most important aspects of change. As I said before, you can’t will your way out of eating sugar. What you need to do is change your values. All that needs to really happen is for you to see your body as more valuable than the company that sells you the sugar filled junk you are buying. While this can be an in depth mental change, a great start is taking 15 seconds, breathing and simply asking yourself this before you decide to eat that junk food.
“Who do I value more? Myself or the company?”
Really think about this for a second. We all have a tendency to rush around and eat food without thinking. Each and every time you grab a soda, or junk food you are literally handing over your personal power to the company who makes it.
When you make the mental switch of putting your body first, the decision has nothing to do with willpower and becomes extremely easy.
“Of course I’m going to make the best decision because I love my body and put it before anything else. I am strong, and powerful and sexy and each decision I make empowers me more.”
2. Add Healthy Fats (let’s leave the “low- fat” of the 1980’s behind)
Sugar is added to most if not all of the “low fat” options when it comes to dairy. But the 1980’s are over (the low fat high carb craze), and since we all need to understand that the brain needs healthy fats, go for the full fat option. Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. But eating sugar sure will.
Try experimenting with these types of healthy fats
- Nuts – Raw and sprouted are best – Almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts.
- Unsweetened Greek Yogurt (add fresh fruit) – low in sugar high protein “Fage Total” is a great option (Full fat, High protein, Low sugar)
- Avocado with some sea salt
- Olive oil ( drizzle on top of foods after cooking)
- Cooking with coconut oil
3. Water (= hydration)
Understand that there are not really a certain number of daily ounces that we need, but for most people the answer is simple. Drink more water. It will help with cravings, keep you fuller and aid the body in the process of eliminating toxins and burning fat. A good number to shoot for is half your weight in ounces. So for someone weighing 120 lbs., 60 ounces of water would be a great start.
Easy ways to do this:
- 1 bottle of water immediately upon waking up.
- 1 or 2 glasses before each meal, not during (that messes up digestion)
4. Become Aware Of and Reduce Hidden Sugars
Most of us think we eat healthy, but a good experiment to try is to keep a food journal for 1 day. Write down exactly what you eat (everything) and try to write down how many grams of sugar each item has in it. Do it for a day or maybe a week if you can. I promise you will be surprised on exactly how many grams you are actually taking in per day. Being honest and taking an accurate assessment is a big part of change, without that you will not have any idea of your starting point.
5. Eat more healthy protein!
Most people don’t take in enough protein, plain and simple. Plain salads are going to leave you hungry and miserable, as I’m sure you know. Try adding a chicken breast or eggs/steak/fish to each meal. While each person’s amount of protein will be different, adding healthy protein options to each meal will help cut down cravings while providing solid building blocks for your body to grow stronger. Strong & healthy is not only attractive it makes you feel great too.
Meet Matthew Kirsch
Matthew lives in Kansas City, Missouri and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. His company, Far Beyond Food, helps clients meet their needs through wellness personal training, education and motivation.
He loves working out, cooking new and interesting foods, reading and playing hockey in his spare time.
Have a health question you need answered or interested in talking about food? Leave a comment below.