We're daring you to give up on sugar...at least the type of sugar that's not naturally found in fruit (i.e. is baked into cupcakes that look as delicious as the above.) And we're not asking you to do it forever...just to try it and see how you feel. Maybe a day. Maybe a week. Maybe the trend will last longer. See? It may be hard at first but nothing with such a good reward (like feeling great) ever comes easy.
Recent studies have shown that sugar can actually be more addicting than cocaine. It’s no wonder we find it so hard to resist! Since we don't want you to feel like giving up on sugar is a total struggle, we've come up with some helpful tips:
Start by adding instead of subtracting. Instead of cutting out sugary foods, start by adding more healthy snacks to your day. Try matching every high-sugar food you eat with a low-sugar buddy. Simple, right? So if you eat a bagel, a brownie or drink a Venti Caramel Macchiato, also have an apple, a side of steamed veggies or drink a green juice. When it comes to knowing which foods are high and low in sugar, look no further than wellness expert Kris Carr's simple guide. Once incorporating these types of healthful foods into your diet becomes natural, you won’t feel like you’re missing out by ditching the sugar.
Be mindful of your cravings. Whenever you find yourself craving sugar, make note of the time and place, and how you’re feeling. Try writing down every sugar craving you have for a week, and you may be surprised to notice a consistent trigger pattern. Maybe you always crave sugar in the afternoons...when what you really need is an energy boost. Or maybe going out for a sugary coffee drink is just a good excuse to get out of the office, when what you really need is a break from work. Knowing what the real problem is will help you find a solution that actually works.
Once you know your personal triggers, start to try and replace them with a healthier alternative. If you’re the type who uses sugar as an excuse to take a break from work, try going for ten-minute walk instead. If it’s an energy boost you’re after, a protein-packed snack such as Greek yogurt with berries will do the trick—and satisfy your craving for something sweet. If you usually go for sugar as a way to reward yourself, try rewarding yourself with a pedicure instead. You might find that you enjoy the replacement even more than the sugar.
Remember that choosing to give up sugar for today doesn’t mean you’re never allowed to have it again. It’s tempting to start thinking ahead to all of the times in the future you will want to have sugar and won’t be able to. You can give up your sugar habit now and still have a cupcake on your birthday! If you find yourself falling into this trap, try giving up sugar just for today. Once that becomes a breeze, you can gradually increase to a few days, or a week.
If you absolutely can't resist the sugar, have it. Cravings are natural, and giving them up won’t happen overnight. Every day is a new opportunity to begin again. Commit to making the healthiest choices you are able to make right now, and let the guilt go. Congratulate yourself for the times you did make the right choice, and be proud of yourself for being even a little bit healthier today than you were yesterday.
New York City native and lover of all things mind, body and soul.
Instagram and twitter: @carolinesince89