It's a brand-new year – an opportunity to start fresh, reach for different goals and make lifestyle changes as the holiday season comes to a close. As you start making these transformations and living your life the fullest, you may hit a few bumps in the road, and that's natural. Perhaps you decided to start following a plant-based eating regimen like the Hallelujah Diet, but now you're dealing with sugar cravings that you just can't seem to shake. These feelings are inevitable, especially if you stopped eating and drinking processed foods and sugary beverages cold turkey, but that doesn't mean you have to cave. It's important to remember how harmful sugar can be to the body and why you stopped consuming the dangerous stuff in the first place.
Refined sugars can completely shut down the immune system, decrease cognitive function, increase anxiety, as well as contribute to weight gain, heart disease, acne and much more. Beyond reminding yourself of the many dangers that come with consuming sugar, here are a few ways we recommend beating those cravings this year:
Try Our Winter Detox
Sometimes, it takes more motivation than simply promising yourself you'll stop eating sugar. If you need an extra boost of inspiration, try our 7-Day Winter Detox Program. This unique and effective cleanse provides your body with optimal nutrition to boost energy levels, increase your natural resistance to illness and encourage your brain to produce serotonin, the feel-good chemical. Why would you want to squash all of these glorious benefits by giving in to your sugar cravings?
"Our Winter Detox Program boosts energy levels."
Stop Buying Packaged Products
It's easy to promise you'll stop buying the obvious processed foods that are loaded with the sweet stuff, such as donuts, cupcakes and sugary cereals. But what about all of the packaged products that hide sugar from the label and plant it in the ingredients section using a different word? According to the University of California, San Francisco, there are at least 61 other names for sugar, such as sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, barley malt, maltose and dextrose, that can be found in food labels. Why not do yourself a favor and stop buying packaged products all together? Even those labeled "no added sugars" can be loaded with other harmful ingredients your body shouldn't be forced to consume.
Encourage Your Family to Stop Eating Sugar
When you're surrounded by others who eat refined sugars on a daily basis, you'll be more inclined to cave at the thought of a sugar craving. Talk to your family about your new plant-based eating habits, and encourage them to consider following the same regimen. Explain how harmful sugars can be for the body and that eliminating the sweet stuff all together can enhance their overall health substantially. Don't expect them to drop the habit like it's a piece of cake – no pun intended, of course. It's going to take time for your family members to get adjusted, just like you. Start by encouraging them to eat limited sugars when you're not around. From there, they can make better decisions once they notice how well this new, plant-based eating lifestyle is going for you.
Opt for Natural Sweets
The next time you have a sugar craving, reach for a naturally sweet food instead of a processed product. A handful of dried fruits and nuts makes the perfect snack, as does a vegetable and fruit smoothie. Plus, these options are full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients to enhance your overall health. It's a win-win choice!
If you need additional help beating those sugar cravings for good, continue reading our daily blogs and browse our books for information on how harmful refined sugars can be.