by J D Heyes for Natural News
We get it: Those holiday sweets and treats are often very difficult to pass up, which is why we tend to pack on the pounds during the final month of the year. But you know what you have to do now, right?
Right. It’s time to give them up, though we grant you, that may be easier said than done.
And why is that? It’s because sugar is very addictive, and intentionally so. Junk food makers rely on it to keep you coming back for more. In fact, as Natural News has reported, sugar has been named the “most addictive and dangerous” substance of our time.
In addition to piling on the pounds, high sugar diets “are linked to increased risk of a number of health conditions” like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
But despite knowing that, it’s still hard to give up those sweet treats and then follow through on your plan, which — if successful — will give you better concentration, increased energy, better sleep, clearer skin, balanced hormones, and of course weight loss.
If you find yourself needing a little help shedding your post-holiday sugar urge, try these suggestions to help you start the new year lighter and healthier:
Figure out your sugar triggers: “Many of us reach for sugary foods out of habit or for emotional comfort when we are stressed,” writes Hannah Braye for the paper. In order to break out of the habit, it’s vital for you to first identify what triggers your sweet tooth. For instance, do you begin your week sticking to your dietary plans but the weaken as the days go on? Eat sweets at the office? Do you like to snack late in the evening? Once you figure out your triggers you can address your weak moments.
Clean out your pantry: Braye notes that studies have indicated people are far less likely to crave certain foods when they’re aren’t easily in reach. After all, most people don’t want to get out in the colder weather or later in the evening to go find some sweets when it’s much easier to grab something (far more healthier) from the cupboard. Really, out of sight, out of mind works. Donate your sweet cakes to a local food bank or share them at the office, but get them out of your house.
Eat fresh: One way to reduce your sugar cravings is to eat wholesome, fresh foods, not prepackaged, processed foods that are filled with sugary toxins. This should include a lot of vegetables, cooked or in salads, but does not have to be limited to veggies. Just make your fare natural, organic, sugar- and GMO-free. Think slow-cooker, when it comes to fixing and serving fresh meals. (Related: Disease has an inverse relationship with nutrition: Eat more fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of nearly all disease, research finds.)
Fiber fill: Fill up on fiber from veggies and whole grains as a great way to curb your appetite and curb your sugar cravings. Plus, doing so will keep you ‘regular,’ if you follow me. You should also switch to whole grain foods, as refined or simple carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta, white rice and cous cous are quickly turned into sugar by the body.
Cut down on the alcohol: Holiday over-eating very often leads to holiday over-drinking, and alcohol is loaded with calories and sugar. When you’re mixing alcohol with a sugary soda, then you’re doubling up on the sugar calories (and your weight gain). If you still want a little something to drink, Braye says “white spirits mixed with soda water and fresh lime is the best option, and also helps you stay well-hydrated.”
The holidays are over again for another year and if you’re like most, you’ve put on a few extra pounds. Start shedding them today with these helpful hints and tips to post-holiday weight loss.
J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.