How to Ditch Your Sugar Habit

By now you know it’s time to kick your sugar habit. The longer you wait, the harder it’ll be.

So why not start eliminating the sweet stuff from your diet today? You can cutback on sugar one day at a time or you can do a two-week detox (something my clients find extremely effective).

Either way, once you’ve eliminated the carbs from your diet, you’ll likely notice the foods you once enjoyed seem far too sweet to eat. You may also find your confidence soars — what better way to build self-esteem than by kicking a bad habit in the butt?

To help you along your diet-changing way, here are five tips that’ll help you say sayonara to sugar.

Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation, which means six hours or less a night, is proven to increase cravings for sweets and refined carbs. Get to bed well before midnight, sleep in complete darkness and avoid artificial light from your computer, phone or television at least one hour before bed. As well, eating past 8 p.m. will suppress your body’s ability to release melatonin (the sleep hormone). Don’t go to bed hungry, but don’t go to bed with a full belly either.

Make sure you eat protein at every single meal… Especially at breakfast. Protein takes longer to digest than carbs alone, helping you feel fuller longer. It’s a raw material of healthy brain chemicals and keeps sugar cravings away because it keeps your blood sugar in check. Healthy sources of protein include: Nuts and seeds, nut butters, eggs, tempeh, chia, quinoa, fish, turkey, chicken, sprouted brown rice protein powder, beans and legumes.

Snack on something healthy and satisfying mid-afternoon. This will help you avoid the mid-afternoon slump. You’ll also keep your fat-burning engines working efficiently if you fuel properly. Healthy snacks include: Nut butter on slices of apple, carrot sticks and hummus, organic yogurt and berries or any recipe on the site.

Increase your fiber intake. This will keep you fuller longer and will slow the release at which glucose (from the food you eat) enters your bloodstream. Here are some simple ways to get more fiber into your diet: Add chia seeds or ground flaxseeds to your yogurt or sprinkle them on a salad; eat more leafy greens like kale, arugula and spinach; make sure you eat more vegetables, in general, throughout the day (eat them as snacks and as side dishes).

Drink lemon and water every single morning on an empty stomach. This will help the body detoxify, alkalinize and cleanse. Add 500 mg of glutamine powder to help curb cravings. Either add it to your lemon water or open up a capsule and place it under your tongue. You can buy this amino acid from the health food store. Just ask the sales associate which is the best brand to take.

Check back in a few days for five more (easy!) ways to ditch your sugar habit!

Joy McCarthy, registered holistic nutritionist and health coach of Joyous Health, loves to inspire others to eat well and live well. She also teaches an array of wellness workshops and co-creator of Eat Well Feel Well, a six-week nutrition and yoga course in Toronto.

Please note: All of these recipes are created in my joyous kitchen with the healthiest ingredients. I’m not a calorie counter or a professional chef — I’m a nutritionist who loves to cook and bake, and I’m delighted to share my creations with you.