Hi, my name is Dr. Mariza Snyder. And I am a recovering sugar addict.
I used to have a love affair with sugar. I craved it. I needed it. And it was slowly destroying me.
Luckily, I reclaimed my life and broke up with added sugar. If it didn’t occur in a food naturally, I wasn’t going to indulge. And even when I did, moderation was key.
Was it easy?
A resounding no.
Did you know that eating sugar causes the brain to release dopamine, the same neurotransmitter that spikes when you are doing cocaine? Yup. Picks you waaaaay up, hangs you momentarily, then sledgehammers you back into a negative reality where you simply crave more sugar. Even though we, as a society, has more of a harmful effect on children, we are naively unaware that the only reason we don’t recognize “sugar comas” or “sugar highs” in ourselves is because our bodies have become so accustomed to the side effects that we don’t acknowledge there to be a problem. All of the consistent sugar usage of our youth have turned us into an adulthood of sugar zombies.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- Brain fog
- Mental chatter
- Increased appetite
- Inability to feel full
All symptoms of long-term sugar addiction.
But what if you don’t think that you eat too much sugar? What if you watch your weight and choose only items labeled “low fat” or “whole grain” for snacks? What if you haven’t had a candy bar in a long time?
You still might be addicted to sugar.
Sugar is a refined carbohydrate. A CARB. Bread is a carb. Whole grains are carbs. And guess what your body turns all of those healthy snacks into when you eat it? Sugar.
So, if you find yourself passing on the candy but diving in to bread, bagels, chips, pretzels, etc., you might be a sugar addict, too.
And one more thing – just because something is labelled as “low-fat” or “whole foods” does not mean that it isn’t loaded with sugar. Check the label. Vehemently, check the label. You have to turn yourself into a Label Looker immediately.
What do you look for?
Grams of sugar PER SERVING. Don’t be misled by those hidden serving sizes on labels to make the food look better than it really is. Some sugar is naturally occurring, so even if it says 12 grams of added sugar on the box label, it may not actually have sugar listed in the ingredients list because it occurs naturally, such as in Greek yogurt.
INGREDIENTS. Just because it doesn’t say “SUGAR” as an ingredient, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Companies only have to list added sugars, but it can be in myriad forms. Look for high fructose corn syrup, cane syrup, anhydrous dextrose, crystalline fructose, fructose, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, or any number of mysterious items you can’t identify.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been recommending that we watch our sugar intake for almost 3 decades now, and has most recently recommended that we cut our intake of added sugars to only 5% of your daily energy intake.
And did you know that almost 75% of the foods on the shelf contain added sweeteners?
Scary, isn’t it?
THE SUGAR SHIRK
Let’s fix this problem together, shall we?
It won’t be easy to shirk the responsibility that the food companies have ingrained in our beings since day one, especially since our bodies have been trained and programmed to need, crave, desire, and shut down without sugar, but we have a responsibility to our bodies to regain control.
After all, YOU are the BOSS of your own HEALTHCARE!
STEP ONE – AWARENESS
Opt for lower sugar fruits like berries and pass on the high-sugar grapes and dates.
Download an app like “Lose It” or “My Fitness Pal” to track what you are eating. Lose It enables you to log in foods and exercise as well as view a daily pie chart of how balanced your intake is of macronutrients as well as a weekly bar graph of how steady your balance and caloric intake has been.
STEP TWO – MACRONUTRIENTS
Focus your food intake on three macronutrients – Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats.
Choose whole foods over processed options. Meat, berries, nuts, veggies, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and healthy oils.
Assess and limit your carb intake. We, as a nation, are addicted to carbs. Remember that carbs come in three forms – sugars, starches, and fibers. Avoid white and refined carbs and opt for nuts, seeds, and whole grains, especially those high in fiber that will help you feel full and aid in flushing out the lingering toxins in your body.
Choose lean protein. Chicken and fish are deelish! Steak for a break!
Switch your meals! Try breakfast for dinner, oatmeal for lunch, and veggies for snacks. Or opt for more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day.
STEP THREE – WATER
HYDRATE THAT BOD! Before breakfast, drink an 8 oz. glass of water. Mid-morning, another glass. Before lunch, again. Mid-afternoon, repeat. Before dinner, DRINK. Basically, drink all day, every day, to keep your body hydrated. Aim for 8×8 – 8 8-oz. glasses of water per day. Just about every function in our body requires water, so give the body what it needs!
Hydration nixes “hunger.” Because, guess what happens if you aren’t hydrated? Your body thinks it’s hungry. Thirst can be confused for hunger very easily, but drinking water regularly throughout the day, especially BEFORE meals will help you stay fueled and could aid you in eating less food.
Spike your water with high-quality essential oils. Any citrus oil will add a delightful zing to your daily guzzle while giving you the added benefit of flushing out unwanted toxins and free radicals. Candida and Leaky Gut are issues from which many of us unknowingly suffer. Citrus oils, particularly lemon, can help to break down the remnants and flush it out.
Amp up intake after exercise. Exercise is just as integral as nutrition, and our body needs it to survive in optimal condition. But as you push your body, you lose water through sweat. Be sure that you fuel with proper nutrition and hydrate a little before and a lot after each workout.
STEP FOUR – ESSENTIAL OILS
Peppermint EO curbs cravings. Inhale it, wear it, drink it in your water. Chew gum, suck a sugar-free candy, pop a dōTERRA Peppermint Beadlet. Whatever you do, make Peppermint your new best friend. Your breath will thank you and so will your body!
Grapefruit EO detoxes and curbs cravings. I love Grapefruit! I add it to my water and smoothies on a daily basis to keep my metabolism a pique condition and to help to flush out any nasties in my body. It keeps my hydrated, satiated, and happy!
Fight your sugar triggers with EOs. You’ve got to find what triggers the cravings for sugar in your brain and fight against it. Don’t let sugary sweets be a reward for good things that happen. Don’t let wine fuel your need to relax. Don’t let binge eating ease the pain of your monthly visitor. Calm your mind and body with Lavender and Ylang Ylang, or ground your emotions with Patchouli, Cedarwood, or Frankincense. Reach for the Clary Sage when monthly hormones go haywire. And drink a glass of water while you’re at it!
STEP FIVE – SLOW DOWN
Meditate. When you feel like you need some candy, take some slow, deep breaths. Find your center by inhaling some essential oils. Resist the temptation to solve problems with sugar. Refuse to fuel the cycle.
Journal. Write down your feelings. Journal aloud by talking out your stress with a friend or a loved one. Even something as simple as writing down single words that describe your current state and then crossing them out and replacing them with affirmational words can move you closer to sanity and success.
Process. You can’t shirt sugar overnight. It’s a process. Let your body adapt one change at a time as you begin to be a Label Looker, incorporate essential oils, become aware of your sugar triggers, and hydrate your body. Changing your view on food doesn’t happen overnight. Let the process happen…and recognize the successes when they come.
IN THE END
In the end, you will find that you no longer reach for the sugar, but manage your mind, body, and emotions with other positive solutions.
In the end, you will find that you can avoid the cravings with other options, like exercise, meditation, essential oils, or proper nutrition.
In the end, your body will no longer be a slave to the food industry, a slave to the granule of sugar, or a slave to itself. You can retrain your body into a healthier version with baby steps.
In the end, you can shirk the sugar just like I did.
It’s time for a break up
Sugar, it’s YOU.
It’s not me.
Breaking up with sugar can have an incredible impact on your energy. Learn some of my other techniques for boosting your energy naturally with my “Top 10 Energy-Boosting Remedies” Guide. You can download it here free: