When I first tried a low carb diet for losing weight I really didn’t have much success. Looking back I realize the problem was I was not committed to the eating lifestyle that focuses on proteins and fats but limits carbohydrates dramatically. Once I realized that I needed to consistently not eat sugars and starches, the weight started to really fall off.
One of my problems was I never really stopped eating sugar. I was addicted to sugar but I didn’t know it. I would eat a chocolate bar here or there, or maybe I would have some cookies that one of my daughters made. I told myself it wasn’t very many carbs so what could it really hurt? Now I know that even a little sugar does not do well in my body. I needed to break my sugar addiction completely before I would feel satisfied eating low carb meals. As long as I ate some sugar, my body never got used to running on fat as fuel instead of sugars and starches.
Breaking A Sugar Addiction
Right now you may be asking yourself if sugar really can be addictive. I mean, it is food and everybody knows food is good for you. I am convinced that sugar does have an effect on our bodies that is a level of addiction. For information on this read my article on sugar addiction which explains the results of a very extensive study done at Princeton.
If we make the assumption that people can become addicted to sugar in some fashion then it follows that we need to treat it as we would other addictive substances. One of the tenet of 12 Step programs for all addicts and alcoholics ( besides the reliance on a Higher Power) is complete abstinence from the substance. That means alcoholics can not let any beer, wine, or hard liquor pass their lips and drug addicts can not consume any drugs or alcohol which is also a drug.
How To Break The Sugar Addiction
If you are wonder how to break sugar addictions then the most important piece of advice I can give you is go cold turkey. I had to cut out all sugars from my diet before I really saw good results from my low carb lifestyle. This doesn’t just mean table sugar, I also think limiting flour is important because it is easily converted into sugar in the body during digestion.
Next, eat protein at every meal. This includes eggs, poultry, fish, meat, and many nuts. For me, eating protein really cut down on my cravings and it also had the added bonus of controlling my appetite. When I used to eat a high carb breakfast I would be famished by a couple of hours later and I would be that way all day until I gorged on food at night. With a breakfast rich in protein, though, I feel good till mid morning and then I just get hungry for a protein snack. I don’t crave a trip to the candy machine or soda machine.
The third step to breaking sugar addiction is to eat several small snacks during the day. I find that eating something with protein and fat every 3 hours during the day keeps me satisfied so I don’t even think about having something sweet. One great tip is to eat 10 or 12 almonds. They have protein and also fiber. I also will take leftovers from a roast we ate the night before and have a slice of meat every so often. I never get so starved that I binge on any food. This way I can have a more normal relationship with food and only eat meals when I am actually hungry.
The fourth step to breaking the sugar addiction I found was to eat high fiber foods like green vegetables, nuts and seeds. I eat one to two serving of these with every meal. Even my breakfast has veggies in it. If I make a ham omelet I will also mix in some broccoli or other green veggies. It adds a lot of variety to the meal, doesn’t add very many carbs, and is packed full of nutrients.
The last tip I found on how to break sugar addiction is to drink plenty of water. I think that drinking water also played a big part in getting me off sugar and feeling better. Our bodies are designed to run their most efficiently when we drink water not coffee, soda, tea, or energy drinks. I drink one to two gallons of water a day and it really isn’t that hard.
I start my day with two big glasses of cold, well water. We live in the country and so we don’t have to worry about the awful taste of a municipal water system. These two glasses add up to about a quart. I then take a gallon jug of water to work and sip on it all day. Some days I don’t get it all drank but I come close. A big glass of water before my work out and then another after all that sweating is another quart. I always drink at least a glass of water with dinner. Then another glass before going to bed. I really think that water is one of the unsung miracle substances on Earth.
Well there you have it. In order to break my sugar addiction and keep the sugar monkey off my back I:
- Went cold turkey
- Ate protein at every meal
- Ate a protein snack every 3 hours
- Ate high fiber foods at every meal
- Drank lots of water
This helped me to stop craving sugar and allowed my low carb lifestyle to start to kick in. Once the sugar was gone my extra pounds just melted off.