Of all the roadblocks that people encounter when they are trying to burn belly fat– the never ending “addiction” to sugar surely tops the charts. In truth, until we get cravings and the need for sugar under control, it is very difficult to lose weight, feel energetic and be in tip top shape. Keep in mind, there is a difference between I want a cookie vs. I am going to kill someone for that cookie!

If you do have an intense cravings to sugar, it is not a sign that you are weak or lacking will power in any way. Rather, it is a sign that you are bouncing around your blood sugars (due to poor food choices, stress or fatigue) and are experiencing highs and lows throughout your day (a.k.a. the dreaded 3pm slump). To bring your energy and blood sugars up fast, the brain sends a signal in the form of a craving. Of course we do not crave an egg or a piece of celery –so the intense desire for more sugary foods ensues. To much refined sugar and high glycemic index flours result in belly fat storage (which is a risk factor for cancer, heart disease and stroke).

In order to break this vicious cycle – simply follow the steps below:

The clean up – There is no way around it …in order to break your cravings, you need to go cold turkey and to get rid of all added sugar – 100% gone! This means eliminating all candy, cookies, white flours…and even sugary cereals from your diet. If you are a savvy label reader (which I highly recommend) – keep in mind that 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon. You may experience a bit of a “withdrawal” period (3-5 days( when taking sugar out, but as you will see below, there are plenty of naturally sweet substitute.

As an aside, when eliminating refined sugars from the diet, please do not substitute in artificial sweeteners. While this may sound like a good idea in theory, research shows that artificial sweeteners do not satisfy a sweet craving and actually have a negative impact on obesity rates.

The Substitutes – Avoiding refined flours and sugars does not mean you have to avoid sweet foods all together. You can certainly add in naturally sweet foods that will help to break your sugar addiction and keep you satisfied. Examples include:

  • Frozen mangos or grapes
  • Homemade OJ popsicles
  • Unsweetened apple sauce
  • Chewable vitamin C (Pop 2 to kill your craving!)
  • Sweet herbal tea
  • 1 -2 pieces of dark chocolate

Once you have been “sugar” clean, feel free to add in a little natural added sugars back into your diet to bake with, sweeten your coffee or to enjoy after a meal. You can also have 2 Skinnychews per day during your dangers zones if you are having sweet cravings. Dr. Joey’s Skinnychews are filled with 2 grams of inulin fibre per chew. Inulin fibre has been shown to balance blood sugars, satiate and has a pre-biotic effect (a.k.a is good for digestion). Skinnychews are naturally sweetened with brown rice syrup and evaporated cane juice are gluten free and contain only 17 calories per chew –chocolate…with benefits!

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