Sugar is poison. At least according to Dr Robert Lustig.
If that's too strong a statement, we can all agree that it provides little nutritional value and contributes to energy crashes and our accelerates disease.
So we've come up with some ways to curb your refined sugar cravings. I'm not a cold turkey man myself. Australia's best export is the Tim Tam (sorry Hugh Jackman, even the girls are with me on this). So I'm not giving that up. Or holiday desserts. But as someone with an insatiable sweet tooth, I certainly try to cut down.
Top 7 Ways To Cut Down Sugar
1. Don't Buy It
Call me Captain Obvious here but if you don't buy it, you can't eat it. If that chocolate on sale near the supermarket register suckers you in, you're going to eat it. If you buy that gourmet ice cream when your hosting your friends, you're going to finish it off. If you have cookies in the pantry from last week, you'll remember soon enough.
2. Do It Yourself
"Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself." - Michael Pollan
The internet is overflowing with simple sugar free dessert recipes. This website has plenty. The rationale in making junk food yourself is that the effort will deter daily consumption. And the ingredients you use will be much healthier than the treats that can sit on supermarket shelves for years at a time.
3. Raw Chocolate
Buy it from the store or make it yourself. By raw, we mean an uncooked and unprocessed. Should be full of cacao and contain no sugar.
Raw chocolate satisfies that familiar craving without doing any damage. The challenge is not eating it by the block.
4. Peppermint Tea or Toothpaste
Not sure about you but post dinner is when my sugar cravings are at their peak. My body refuses to acknowledge that the meal is over until I've finished the palate with something naughty.
So I have to trick my mouth by introducing peppermint. Once you freshen the whole mouth, sugary cravings subside. You know that the sweet treat just wont taste as good now. Peppermint tea is effective, subtle and enjoyable. Toothpaste is more hardcore and more effective.
5. Hot Cacao or Turmeric Latte
Another post dinner hot beverage is hot cacao. Clean and chocolatey. Just warm the following ingredients on the stove on medium heat:
- Almond milk - 1 cup
- Cacao - 1 tablespoon
- Maple syrup - 1 tablespoon (or raw honey)
- Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon
Or make our heavenly Turmeric Latte.
6. Chocolate Smoothie
Sticking with chocolate, why not enjoy a smoothie when you're craving. This is another technique I love using at any time of the day. But surprisingly, it's one I turn to at night. Again, after dinner I'm ready to ravage sweets.
7. Go Short Term Extreme
Some people do better going cold turkey. And when I fall off the wagon, I feel the same way. If you have a serious problem with sugar then dive into a restriction diet. Try a 5 day juice cleanse. Go paleo for the week. Or go harder and do a whole month of the Whole30. The longer you go without sugar, the more likely you'll kick the habit and reset your tastebuds.
How Do You Stop The Sugar?
I'm all for learning new tricks so please let us know if you have any winners I'm not using.