7 Tips to Help You Beat Your Sugar Habit

Are you often overcome with an urge to splurge on candy, cookies, and cake ? and do you then hate yourself for caving into your cravings?

Do you pop by the drug store for paper goods but always leave with junk food, too? And do you feel like an incurable sugar addict with zero will power?

Take heart. You can quit (or at least cut back on) both sweets and processed, "much-like-sugar carbs" such as white bread, white rice, and pasta.

Back in 1998, I did just that. After diagnosing hypoglycemia, my M.D. told me that eliminating quickie carbs could banish my low-blood sugar symptoms, including my ferocious headaches, unexpected mood swings, debilitating "brain fog" and severe PMS.

Amazingly, all 44 ailments disappeared! I do not exaggerate! After kicking sweets, I felt reborn!

That's why I'm now on a mission to help you, too, break free of your habit. I know that spurning inferior sweets and quickie carbs could turn your life around. You could benefit if you're hypoglycemic, diabetic, overweight -- or if you're just wanting more energy and better concentration.

Here's the non-sugar-coated scoop. If you continue to over-indulge in these nutrient-lacking foods you could:

? Pack on the pounds
? Sap your energy
? Become unfocused
? Undergo Jekyll-Hyde personality transformations
? Jeopardize your love life, and
? Possibly develop hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or diabetes.

If, instead, you choose quality, fiber-filled carbs, you could:

? Peel off excess weight
? Increase your energy
? Concentrate better
? Boost your moods
? Maybe rev up your libido, and
? Possibly reverse your pre-diabetes

Pretty promising, eh?

Here, then, are 7 tried-and-true tips and tactics to help you "just say no" to quickie carbs:

1. Adjust your mindset ? and pronto! Before you can begin to make better dietary decisions, you need to totally change your thoughts. Toss away such negative views as: "Oh, boo hoo, I don't want to quit sweets!" Instead, dwell on positive ideas like this: "Wow, I'll feel so great by kicking quickie carbs." Now fill your mind with pleasant, powerful images. Visualize yourself easily turning down low-quality carbs and becoming a happier, healthier, sweeter you. See yourself in charge instead of enslaved.

2. Plan a pity party. I know this might sound counter-productive, but I'm convinced that before you cut out low-quality carbs, allotting a specific, short amount of time ? say, a week ? to feeling sorry for yourself can work wonders. But then get over it and get on with it!

3. Watch yourself like a lab rat. Begin to face your truth by keeping a food journal. Jot down what drives you to simple carbs, when you clamor for them, where you eat them, why you want them, and how you get them (i.e., do you stealthily drive across town in the middle of night to buy a carton of ice cream because you need it?) Journaling can be potent preparation for stomping out your sugar habit!

4. Power up with PFF. By this I mean, pump up the protein (such as fish, chicken, tofu, legumes and lean meats), fill up with fiber (vegetables, fruits and whole grains), and embrace healthy fats (olive oil, flax seeds, avocado, etc.) ? consuming them all in moderation, of course. These three dietary changes alone can help moderate your blood sugar levels, take the edge off your appetite, keep you feel satisfied longer, and provide needed nourishment.

5. Relish the goodies provided by Mother Nature. Learn to savor the flavor of fresh, natural, wholesome, colorful, nutritious, preferably organic vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Next time you yearn for something sweet, enjoy a few tasty cherry tomatoes, a chunk of red pepper, or several fresh strawberries. Yum! (Nibble on some protein at the same time to keep your blood sugar stable.)

6. Begin with breakfast. Always start your day with a healthy meal ? you know, something like a veggie-filled omelet with a piece of orange or a small bowl of slow-cooking oatmeal. Many research studies show that breakfast eaters concentrate and perform better. If you skip that vital first meal of the day, you're setting yourself up for overwhelming sugar cravings. (Many nutritionists and physicians I interviewed often emphasized the benefits of breakfast.)

7. Develop a kick-butt attitude. Abandon that woe-is-me stance! Tap into your inner strength instead. Even if you're furious with yourself for having eaten nutrient-poor foods for so long, use that anger to reinforce your "I-can-do-it" attitude. Because you can! Now go for it and trust in your ability to succeed. Believe me, you can "Enjoy a Sweeter Life Without Refined Sweets.?"

Connie Bennett is an experienced journalist and an expert/coach to help you kick your sugar habit. She is author of the book SUGAR SHOCK! (upcoming), for which she interviewed more than 250 recognized physicians, nutritionists, researchers and health advocates. Visit and speak out at her lively, provocative SugarShockBlog.com. Make sure to get your free report, "Sly Hidden Sugars," and your free e-zine at http://www.StopSugarShock.com

You may reproduce or distribute this article online, provided that you include the following: Copyright 2005, All Rights Reserved, Connie Bennett, Stop SUGAR SHOCK!(TM), A Sweeter You, LLC.

Also, when this article's published elsewhere, please notify Connie by e-mailing article@sugarshock.com.

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