Conquering the Sugar Cravings
SUGAR!!! Oh, it’s been quite the journey friends. First, I want to say that we didn’t follow any specific program and we are not 100% free of sugar cravings. Up front honesty is good right? Since August we have been living a “sugar free” lifestyle. Everyone has their standards as to how much sugar they will allow in their diet, so let me explain what this means for us.
We basically started out wanting to fast it for a month, and then after 3 weeks into the fast decided, why go back? We could see the results in how we felt and they were good. ***Fair warning, you will be detoxing sugar, and there’s definitely detox symptoms that accompany this.*** Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
We started with a gentle colon cleanse in our first couple of weeks, just to allow the bowels to move all of the toxins that we were detoxing from out of the body rapidly. You just don’t want anything stuck, when your body is releasing toxins. Also, I don’t recommend detoxing while breastfeeding.
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Then we just went cold turkey- together. I couldn’t have done it without Jesse, and he was strong when I was weak… and vice versa.
We started by just getting rid of processed sugar, and the blatant, blaring things like desserts. We didn’t worry about all of the little places it gets snuck into our foods.
Desserts were my biggest challenge because there was an emotional tie to them. I grew up with my grandparents- that’s how they show love. It was our tradition after dinner every night and I’ve carried that pattern into my own children’s lives. It was quite emotional. After some introspection, I realized I felt like I wasn’t rewarding myself after a long days worth of work if I deprived myself of sugar.
You have to do the emotional work alongside the physical discipline and treat your body as a whole.
Also, I read a lot of chapters, or rather, they popped up in my One Year Study Bible about the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit. Places where Paul talks about eating what is beneficial for the body. It really lined up well with what I was trying to accomplish physically. (We started in August if you have one of those Bibles, so just read each day’s passage and you will see what I mean.)
As I started gaining some ground, I gave myself alternatives to snack on when the cravings were intense, like dried fruit. Sprouts makes mangoes without added sugar and that’s the key to eating dried fruit. Most have added sugar so check the label. My husband liked honey on some toast when he craved sugar. We let ourselves eat the natural sugars, like stevia in our tea so that it wasn’t totally unachievable.
We had the overall goal in mind, while giving ourselves some wiggle room to avoid quitting altogether. The goal is to wean slowly and remove the glaring ones first and then weed out the small hidden sugars later.
I also gave myself permission to eat sugar on special occasions- birthdays, Christmas ect. I had a dreaded thought that I was never going to enjoy life again one night early on, so I gave myself some grace. I figured those special days only happen roughly 25 times out of the year, so it’s still a small percentage compared to the bulk of the year. 14% if you want to be exact. A cheat day of sorts that doesn’t come very often. Honestly, the only thing that’s getting me through October is that my birthday is coming and I get to have cake! HA
I’m not craving free by any means, and the social pressures when we are in a group are hard, but not impossible. The benefits we’ve seen thus far are:
- less gas and bloating (I even ate some milk based soup last weekend that traditionally would have blown up my stomach, but I digested it just fine.) Most of the processed desserts have a load of soy, gluten, and artificial dairy in them.
- more energy (During detox, expect a drop in energy.)
- An awareness of what I’m eating (I’m not mindlessly eating, which results in better food choices.)
- An awareness of why I’m eating (Am I really hungry, or is it an emotion that’s fueling this craving?)
- More discipline (And this carries over into other areas of life.)
- Lost pounds (This was NOT our goal, but it has been a result.)
And lastly, we did not make our children go sugar free. We wanted to conquer the cravings first before we tried to change their eating habits. I did buy them desserts that were not appealing to me, for less temptation.
You can do it! This video is about sugar, and more specifically the overgrowth of it and how it affects the body. It’s motivating!