How to kick your Sugar Addiction to the Curb: 8 tips you can start using now

Eat a big breakfast: You’ve probably heard this a million times, and I’m going to say it again – DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST! This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. In order to “break the fast” and get your metabolism going, you must start the day by eating a healthy, hearty meal. Breakfast should not include refined grains or refined sugars. Instead, try my healthy green protein smoothie recipe with afinal product piece of 100% whole grain toast. This fills your body with the nutrients it needs and limits sugar cravings.

Avoid skipping meals– Skipping meals encourages binges (especially refined sugar binges) later in the day. If you know you have a busy day ahead of you, pack high protein snacks somewhere where you can easily access them throughout the day.

Eat enough nutrients– Whenever someone tells me they are always hungry – I first ask them what they have eaten that day. You may be eating all three of your meals, and getting plenty (if not too many) calories but still feel hungry. Refined grains or white carbs (white bread, most cereal, pasta, crackers, chips, candy etc.), tend to be low in nutrients and high in calories. If your diet is high in refined carbs, low in unrefined carbs and protein, your body may be nutritionally starved and will continue to tell you it’s hungry as it is seeking all of the nutrients that it is lacking. This tends to lead to sugar binges. Looking for nutritious recipes? Try this low-calorie spaghetti squash lasagna or chicken tortilla soup.

Drink more water – Up your intake of water to the correct amount and limit your consumption of soda and juices. Water also helps you feel full and allows your body to absorb nutrients. To figure out how many ounces of water you should drink each day, take your weight divided by two. Adjust your intake according to how active you are.

Indulge in moderation – There’s no harm in indulging every once in a while, just limit how often you indulge and always consume in moderation. Some will suggest to go cold turkey but I believe in creating a realistic diet that you can stick with for the rest of your life. Some may succeed with going cold turkey, while many others will rebel and binge after so much restriction. You will always be faced with temptation, so learning how to cope with those temptations are key. If you are craving sugar, try eating some fruit with some Ready-Whip Cream sprayed over the top. If that doesn’t curb the craving, eat a serving of the sweet and call it good.

stawberries

Don’t dwell on your mistakes – If you mess up and have a big sugar binge – don’t dwell on it! We all do it! The ones who have success are those who shake it off and try again. Go to sleep, wake up and start over. Don’t think you have to make-up for your binge by starving yourself the next day, instead continue with a normal, healthy routine.

Do not keep sweets in the house – Never have sweets at your disposure, instead, make them hard to access. Generally, you’ll start craving sweets in the late evenings while you’re sitting on the couch vegging out. Nobody wants to drive to the grocery store at that time. If you do have to have sweets in your house, distribute them into one serving containers…nothing makes you feel guiltier than sitting on the couch with four empty serving bags of sweets.

Get up and move – Sweets is one of the most overly abused “drugs” that arguably attributes to many depression cases while exercise is one of the most underused anti-depressant. Just going for a walk outside will lift your mood and help limit those cravings.

Calorie Blasting Stairs and Burpee Challenge

  I have to admit, this workout gave me a run for my money! I’m always looking for a good challenge, and this was exactly what I needed to start my weekend. You can do this at home (yay) as long as you have a set of stairs (my stair set consists of 20 stairs. If you have more or less, adjust the number of sets appropriately) – if not track down the nearest set of stairs by you and be prepared to push yourself to the limit. Here’s the game plan:
We will be doing intervals of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
Always start with a warmup!

Warmup:

1min. jog in place
20 jumping jacks
20 butt kicks
20 high knees
10 lunges each leg
20 deep body squats
10 side lunges each leg
Bootcamp Stair/Burpee Challenge 
10 stairs

10 jumping jacks

10 Burpee’s

10 bicycles
20 stairs

20 jumping jacks

20 Burpee’s

20 bicycles
30 stairs

30 jumping jacks

30 Burpee’s

30 toe touches
40 stairs
40 jumping jacks

40 Burpee’s

40 second plank
50 stairs

50 jumping jacks

50 Burpee’s

50 second plank
Ouch!!! I struggled with the burpee’s! Adjust this to what you can do. Never go past your limit. Keep your core tight and take breaks when needed. Yes you will hurt and be terribly sore and tired…but you know what else?? You’ll be so proud of yourself for completing this challenge and taking steps towards looking and feeling your best! Let me know what you thought of this workout.

7 Insane (but true) things about Coffee

Did you have your cup of joe this morning? I sure did, and studies show that most of you probably did too. Coffee is the leading worldwide beverage after water. In fact, its trade is over $10 billion worldwide!!

For years, coffee has been blamed for many negative health risks – from stunting your growth to heart disease and even cancer. Current research is telling us much different. So, what’s the deal? Is this a healthy beverage choice? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Take a look at the research…

Note: My facts come from credible, peer-reviewed, sources. Don’t believe me? See my citations at the bottom of this blog.

coffee

7 things about coffee that you should know:

  1. Coffee may decrease overall mortality rates
  2. Coffee may protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease/cancer
  3. Coffee improves cognitive function and decreases the risk of depression
  4. Coffee consumption has been seen to increase work productivity
  5. High consumption of unfiltered coffee (boiled or espresso) was associated with slightly higher levels of cholesterol.
  6. Some studies found that two or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body. If you are someone who is greatly affected by caffeine and cannot sleep even after hours of drinking it, limit your coffee consumption!
  7. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee contain acids that can make heartburn worse

Other things to consider – what are you adding to your coffee? Many creamers and sweeteners are full of artificial ingredients and fats that are not beneficial to your diet. As always, consume in moderation.

Keep in mind that this research merely suggests that there are more benefits than risks with coffee. However, it has yet to prove that coffee is for sure the underlying factor for both the risks and benefits.

References

Butt, M. S., & Sultan, M. T. (2011). Coffee and its Consumption: Benefits and Risks. Critical Reviews In Food Science & Nutrition, 51(4), 363-373. oi:10.1080/10408390903586412

Clinical digest. People with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may benefit from drinking more coffee. (2012). Nursing Standard, 26(30), 14-15.

Hensrud, Donald. (2014). Is Coffee Good or Bad for Me. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/coffee-and-health/faq-20058339.