How To Cut Down on Sugar and Live a Healthier Life

Cutting Down on Sugar

From Entenmann’s donuts to sneakily unhealthy multigrain cereals, sugar permeates our daily lives in the United States. Sugar is a relatively recent addition to our everyday diets (people weren’t consuming sugar en masse until the mid-1600s), so it stands to reason that this popular and delicious substance can wreak havoc on our health.

Here are some tips for overcoming your sugar addiction, and while this guide is not comprehensive by any means, it will certainly help you live a healthier life. If you would like to consult with a naturopathic doctor in Chandler, AZ, please get in touch. We also help many locals in our medically supervised weight loss clinic in Chandler, and we can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle overall.

How To Stop Sugar Cravings

To stop sugar cravings and overcome its grip on your lifestyle, you will need to eat plenty of protein and fiber, schedule several nutritious and well-rounded meals every day, and reduce exposure to temptation.

Eat Consistent, Well-Rounded Meals

Large, infrequent meals can lead to large outputs of insulin in your body (and a corresponding spike in blood pressure) [1]. This can lead to sugar cravings, insulin resistance, and even give Type 2 diabetes a foothold. When the blood sugar pendulum swings back, you are left with a dramatic drop that can leave you shaky and hunting for more sugar-laden food.

Many pregnant women are diagnosed with various levels of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) due to other hormonal changes, and nutritionists always set these pregnant women up with smaller, more frequent meals full of protein, carbs, fiber, fruits and vegetables, and more. The interesting thing is that we could all benefit from this strategy! This type of diet helps regulate insulin production, efficiently produces energy, and reduces cravings.

Protein and Fiber Are An Important Part of Your Diet

You can help stabilize your blood sugar by eating more protein and fibers. Good snack options are an apple with nut butter, a hard boiled egg and pistachios, or hummus and vegetables. This is related to the blood sugar conversion above, but an added benefit is that these foods are simply very filling and nutritious.

Limit Your Access and Change Your Mindset

Don’t Stock Sugary Foods

If you want to cut down on sugar, perhaps empty your freezer of ice cream and remove the Tastykake collection from your pantry. We know it’s much more complicated than that, but it’s an important place to start!

Go To Bed On Time

As you get more tired, hunger inhibitors stop working as they should. This makes you hungry again, even if you don’t need more food. So if you tend to stay up later than you should, and you find yourself snacking on sugary foods – consider going to bed an hour earlier, before the cravings set in.

Who Said You Needed Dessert Every Day?

If you’ve gotten into the habit of finishing every meal with a sugar treat, you may need to reexamine your habits. Something small, like a single cookie, won’t hurt, but it can be hard to stop there. Consider changing your meal routine by finishing dinner with some freshly cut strawberries, a peach, or something else that is sweet without the high amount of processed sugar.

How Long Does it Take to Detox From Sugar?

Your body may emerge from a sugary stupor in 3-7 days [2], but it can take upwards of 2-3 months for you to adjust to a new sugar-free lifestyle. Truthfully, a dramatic pivot away from sugar should be pursued with qualified medical nutritional counseling. You may experience wild shifts in blood sugar levels, fatigue, headaches, irritability, and other symptoms, and you should be prepared.

Experiment With Other Flavors in Your Food

You don’t always need sugar to create a delicious baked item, custard, or similar dish. Experiment by adding almond extra, real vanilla bean paste, or citrus like orange and lemon juice. You can also lean more heavily into cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and the like. There are also many cookie recipes that use dark chocolate with tiny amounts of added sugar, spices, and oats to replace the more conventional ingredients that are so bad for our health.

[1] Farshchi, H. R., Taylor, M. A., & Macdonald, I. A. (2005). Deleterious effects of omitting breakfast on insulin sensitivity and fasting lipid profiles in healthy lean women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(2), 388–396.

[2] Knüppel, A., Shipley, M. J., Llewellyn, C. H., & Brunner, E. J. (2017). Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 6287. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-05649-7.

Dr Paula Lima Naturopath Chandler

Dr. Paula Lima, NMD

Dr. Paula Lima’s expertise is treating patients with hormonal imbalances, weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid disease, and regenerative injections. During her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, camping, and enjoying time with friends and family.