29 January 2018
Re-setting your palate and eradicating cravings isn’t easy, but it is possible. Instead of quitting cold turkey, try this five-phase plan adapted from, Why Diets Fail: Because You’re Addicted to Sugar, by Nicole Avena, Ph.D.
The average person consumes 40 pounds (70,000 calories!) of liquid sugar per year. Sipping sweet, fibreless beverages (soft drinks, sweetened waters, coffee drinks) spike’s your insulin levels and cues major cravings. Try cutting out these drinks for 2 weeks. If sticking to water only sounds impossible try sip soda water or unsweetened teas or coffee.
Remove cakes, cookies, candy bars from your diet. This includes granola bars as well. When you can, opt for fresh food over processed snacks.
If this sounds overwhelming, begin by identifying the foods you have the hardest time avoiding and quit those first, one at a time. Over the next two weeks, edit out all sugary junk food. Eat fruit and dried fruits when your cravings begin.
Chances are, by this point you’ve halved your sugar dependence—and possibly shed some weight. If not, that is okay as well, keep going!
Next, make a list of the refined foods you typically eat (e.g., crackers, white bread, white pasta etc.) and, again, reduce them one by one over the next two weeks. Try starting with pasta: Instead of making two cups of spaghetti, make one cup and top it with protein; the next time around, replace that remaining cup with a veggie such as spaghetti squash or ‘zoodles’.
This phase is the trickiest because hidden sugars are, well, hidden. Keep an eye on ingredient labels on condiments, sauces, and salad dressings—all sneaky sugar sources. Also, be mindful of “sugar-free” offerings; many are packed with simple carbs instead. Always read labels.
It’s all right to indulge every now and then, but pay close attention to your cravings. Choose alternatives like Stevia & honey instead of sugar, and after a period of time your taste buds will change and adapt.
Remember to not be too hard on yourself; this is a process, not a once-off try.