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Post-Halloween Paleo Diet Detox: 6 Ways to Cut Your Sugar Cravings STAT
A few days ago was the darkest day for Paleo dieters everywhere.
October 31. Halloween.
And if you’re anything like me, this day (and the days leading up to it, especially in the States) can be tricky. Every time you’re in line at the grocery store, a bag of spinach and a package of deli chicken in your hand (the perfect, respectable, healthy woman you are, no?), they’re all there: glaring at you.
The Reese’s Cups. The Skittles. The Tormenting Chocolate Bars.
Leaving you with only one thing for relief: the paleo diet detox.
If you indulged, who can blame you? You’re naturally programmed to LOVE sugar. After all: your insides don’t know the next time they’ll get calories again (especially if you’re currently in diet-mode). Your brain chemistry yearns for the stuff because sugar naturally works to relax your body. And, generally speaking, westerners consume something like 4 times their allotted sugar every single day, bringing dramatic effects to your health (and your waistline). Those sugar cravings boast a lifetime of struggles.
Worst of all? Those chocolates and sugary treats send your body into overdrive, wanting more and more pieces of candy and making you reliant on them. Like a needy boyfriend, the candy just keeps asking for more and more attention from you. Pretty soon, your thoughts of spinach and healthy deli chicken turn to ravenous, drooling thoughts of sugar, sugar, sugar. It has to stop.
Luckily for you, the Paleo diet has a few awesome remedies for you to cut your sugar cravings immediately and get you back on track for the holiday months. After all: having a dangerous sweet tooth heading straight into pie season can push you a few pant sizes ahead by Christmas, if you know what I mean.
1. Cut Back: But Don’t Deny Yourself.
During these first few days out, allow yourself to eat about 100 or 150 calories of the sweet stuff. Remember: if you make yourself feel denied, you’ll reach for even more of the stuff later on. Gradually ease yourself from the monster.
2. Avoid Diet Coke and other artificial sweeteners.
If you’re looking to succumb to your sweet tooth without the calories—with drinks like diet coke—think again. Artificial sweeteners actually enhance your sugar cravings. Furthermore, studies show that many artificial sweeteners boost the obesity epidemic.
3. Look to Paleo-Recommended Fruits.
The Paleo diet is stocked with natural fruits—all of which are pulsing with awesome flavor and fructose, a natural sugar! Look to blueberries, strawberries, oranges, and kiwis for fruity goodness. Furthermore, add some nuts to the side like almonds or walnuts to bring satisfying fats alongside the fructose and fiber.
4. Add and Subtract to Create Life Balance.
Bear with me. When you take sugar out of your life, you’re going to be missing something. You’ll sense the “reward” you’ve gotten used to during the Octobe month is missing.
Therefore, it’s essential that you give yourself something to replace the sugar. But this “something” should be beneficial to your mind, to your body. Instead of digging through your candy drawer, do something that gives you pleasure like drawing, reading, writing in a journal, or going for a walk. Give yourself “you” time, but don’t allow your body to take the toll.
5. Eat More Protein.
The Paleo diet is the ultimate proponent of protein, and rightly so. Protein is ultimately satiating. It fuels you with the necessary muscle and brain energy to refute your sugar cravings and feel full. Look to fatty and protein-rich almonds or walnuts in the hours between meals if you need a treat. These snacks are great for your brain cells, for your muscle development, and for getting your mind OFF those Reese’s cups.
6. Don’t Yell at Yourself.
How often while on a diet do you mess up and then toss your diet plan out the window? You’ve messed up once; clearly, this isn’t working, right?
Wrong. Listen. The Paleo diet—and life in general—can’t be about giving up and yelling at yourself. It has to be about forgiveness.
Therefore, when you inevitably give into those chemically-programmed sugar cravings, tell yourself it’s okay that you messed up.
Tell yourself you’ll get back on track tomorrow.
Tell yourself you’re worth your diet goals, but that the chocolate (or two) you accidentally ate was worth it, at the time, as well.
Note that everything must have balance: including your life. Forgive yourself and move forward. There are plenty of days ahead for a healthier, more vibrant YOU.