Mmmm that sweet white stuff - sugar. Whether in obvious form such as cookies and bagels or disguised in fruit and sports drinks, cereal and even ketchup, it turns out many of us seem to be consuming far more sugar than we realised. It doesn't help matters than some 'healthy foods' such as yoghurts or oatmeal can contain up to 7 teaspoons of sugar! No wonder you can't get rid of that spare tire!
So are we in control of how much sugar we are eating or have things gotten out of control without us even realising it? nswer the following questions to find out if you are addicted to sugar...
5 Questions To Ask Yourself
If you nodded along to each of the 5 questions and think a sugar addiction is responsible for your lack of results in the gym, it's time to take action!
Apart from the muffin top bulge above your jeans, a high sugar diet is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and a whole host of other health issues. Even health niggles that don't appear 'serious' just yet such as IBS, constipation or recurring thrush could be down to your sugar addiction and it has even been found that some hormonal issues could be the result of a high sugar diet, so well worth looking in to if you are trying to get pregnant, boost your thyroid or are finding that your energy levels are constantly on the floor.
Beat The Sugar High
Unfortunately the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you eat and the cycle goes on and on! Like any drug, your tolerance increases constantly with the intake of sugar and the only way to gain control back over your diet, health and your life is to go cold turkey! Once you do, after a few weeks you will find that your taste bugs return to normal and the sweet pastry you craved each morning now tastes 'too sweet'. Your body starts to prefer natural sugars instead such as fruit and all of a sudden it's no longer such an effort to keep the sugar fiend at bay. They key to this, like any health goal, is to make it a lifestyle change for good, rather than a quick fix diet.
TIP 1) Get Aware
Start by looking at all labels on the food you consume to get aware of how much sugar is in the foods you eat - don't just assume it's in obvious choices like chocolate. Check drinks, breads, ready meals, sauces until you have a better knowledge of the foods you are trying to avoid.
TIP 2) Find Replacements
To try to go cold turkey without anything to satisfy your now sweet tooth will be hellish, and you may end up giving in after a couple of days. For example, stock the fridge with your favourite fruits like cherries and raspberries that are easy to snack on and find sugar free alternatives to cereals and snacks.
TIP 3) Get Inspired
Things can get tough so keep inspired by reading every night about the benefits of a sugar free lifestyle. Check out Sarah Wilson's book 'I Quit Sugar' and perhaps start a Pinterest board with inspirational pictures of healthy bodies and recipes.
TIP 4) Keep Going
Try to keep a food and mood diary each day to record how your mood and energy levels lift each day that you don't have sugar. The idea is to ensure that you begin to associate a 'high' to NOT eating sugar now, as opposed to turning to sugar to get that happy, comforting emotion.