Start the day with a sweet breakfast, after lunch a small dessert, trick the afternoon low with sweets or snacking in front of the TV in the evening. It quickly becomes clear that in this case sugar dominates our eating behavior and that it has us pretty much under control in the form of self-created rituals. According to surveys, every third woman says she is “addicted to sugar” and needs him every day to feel good.
That sounds pretty dramatic when you consider how harmful refined sugar, also known as “white poison”, really is to the body. Not only does it promote weight gain and diabetes, but it also has a negative effect on bowel function and even affects our brain function. If you omit sugar or even reduce it, not only your general fitness and your immune system will benefit from it, but also your mental performance and the psyche.
If you look for the cause of the sweet tooth, you will find that it has always been there: the first thing we eat in life is sweet breast milk. In our childhood we are then further shaped on sweet things. For those who grew up in Bavaria, for example, sweet main courses are a matter of course. But also for everyone else: Whenever there was a certain occasion, such as Christmas, Easter or birthdays, we were rewarded with: sweets! Precisely this reward effect is also the reason why our brain associates sugary foods with absolutely positive experiences. As soon as we eat something sweet, the reward center in our head is activated and the great experience is remembered again and again.
The sugar trap
So if you critically review your eating habits, you can quickly identify the sugar traps and deal with them with a little discipline, right? Not correct! It’s not that easy and the food industry in particular makes everything more difficult for us. Hidden sugars lurk in most products. Even where you would never have suspected it. Or would you have thought that pickles, trail mix and salad dressings contain loads of them?
With our little anti-sugar guide we would like to show you where sugar traps lurk, how you can skilfully avoid your cravings for sweets and what positive effects you can look forward to when sugar disappears from your diet.
We got support from Anastasia Zampounidis. The TV presenter and bestselling author has lived sugar-free for over 13 years, has also written several books on the subject and given numerous TV interviews. She stands in front of me and just shines with vitality. A good-looking, slim and fit young woman who doesn’t show her age at all. If those are the effects of not having sugar, I’ll start tomorrow, I guess. And what could be more inspiring than receiving helpful tips that you can easily put into practice from a woman who has managed to get rid of sugar completely.
7 effective tips on how to escape your cravings for sweets
1. More and more water
You don’t have to drink 2 liters every day to lead a healthy life, but when it comes to sugar deprivation, it is an incredibly big help! Drinking is a habit and so your body will adjust to the higher water consumption after a few weeks. In other words, if you should drink a day less, he will ask for more again. An additional tip: drink the water lukewarm if possible! This suppresses your appetite and your cravings for the next pack of gummy bears will go away immediately.
2. Out with you
It has been proven that regular exercise in the fresh air not only boosts the metabolism, but also dispels the cravings for sweets. In addition, exercise outside also has a psychological effect on food choices: you automatically choose healthier alternatives than reward yourself with a Nutella bread after exercise.
3. Become a sugar detective
This point is essential because sugar is often used as a cheap filler, flavor carrier and preservative in numerous foods. Anastasia says it took her some time before she knew all of the industrial traps. By then she had already made a few attempts to reduce the sugar or get away from it altogether. Food cravings were not uncommon, so one thing should be taken very carefully: consistently look at all of the ingredients. But here, too, caution is advised, as “Sugar” is not always clearly written on the back. It can also be declared as sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, invert sugar, glucose syrup, etc. In total there are over 70 alternative terms used by the food industry to camouflage sugar. Therefore: keep your eyes open the next time you visit the supermarket.
4. Sweet and healthy
Sweetness can also be found in many natural foods: for example in ripe bananas, dates and all dried fruits. So if you are really hungry for sweets, it is well advised to reach for these foods first. Because the natural, non-industrially processed sugar in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes is metabolized by the body in a completely different way than in its white, refined form. Positive side effect: the feeling of satiety lasts longer and you don’t fall back into the next low hunger so quickly.
5. Sleep like a baby
Everyone knows it: After a night with far too little sleep, the body draws its energy almost completely from food. In other words, you are constantly hungry and then often grabbing random snacks. Those who get enough sleep avoid sudden hunger attacks, since the human body only produces the hormone in sufficient quantity during sleep, which counteracts these cravings. If we sleep more or if the quality of our sleep is good, we have already made a good step in the right direction.
6. New food habits
Eating behavior and what we eat every day, how often, also have a not inconsiderable influence on our desire for sweets. The most important thing here are regular meals and that you are on a high-protein diet. In this way you bypass large fluctuations in blood sugar levels and the cravings have no chance. Another tip: lots of spices. Especially if you have the feeling that your food is not varied enough, simply bring other taste nuances into play. When visiting restaurants with friends, according to Anastasia, you should simply be a little inventive: She then becomes more puristic and puts together individual side dishes or simply leaves out the sauces and dressings of the dishes.
7. Meal prep – preparation is everything
One of the absolutely most important points: always have emergency snacks with you! Because no matter how good you are at planning, there come days when you have so many things to do and just rush from A to B or jump from one meeting to the next in the office. Then all of a sudden and unexpectedly it appears: The hunger for sweets! Healthy emergency snacks are THE solution here. Anastasia laughs when she says that her friends are already making fun of her, that it always rattles in her pocket. As an avowed anti-sugarholic, she always has nuts, roasted seeds, kernels or wedges of sweet potatoes in small screw-top jars with her. This means that she is well prepared to stop her appetite for sugary foods in an emergency.
If you manage to live completely sugar-free, you will be duly rewarded! Because the list of positive effects when switching to a sugar-free diet is long: Anastasia says from her own experience that she generally feels a lot fitter and also looks younger. To name just a few other great effects:
You automatically lose weight without going hungry, you are sick less often, cellulite and tooth decay are a thing of the past. In addition, you get a cleaner and younger skin, mood swings are a thing of the past, your blood values improve and last but not least: you get your natural taste sensation again. In other words: a carrot suddenly tastes very unusual and much sweeter, because the taste is no longer adulterated by the high amount of sugar consumed. Your sense of taste is reset to its original state. Therefore, after a while without sugar, you will automatically perceive a candy that you previously loved as much too sweet and reject it.
If these are not good reasons not only to question your sugar consumption, but also to completely avoid it in the long term!
Because when it comes to sugar, there should only be one boss who has everything under control: you!
For even more inspiration and to completely convince you of a sugar-free diet that you can stick to in the long term, we are giving away 2 x 2 of the latest books from Anastasia Zampounidis’ “Forever Sugar Free” series! Just write in the comments below why you would like to live sugar-free and with a little luck the books will soon be on their way to you! 😉