Everywhere you go in our society sugar is a constant temptation, inserting itself into almost every aspect of our lives. Even many products you may not believe to have sugar are probably hiding it, such as cereal, granola, oatmeal, pasta sauce, salad dressing, energy drinks or packaged fruit. We all know sugar is bad for your body, it can lead to diabetes, causes drowsiness and even provokes depression. But, did you know there are a few tricks to helping you kick the sugar habit? #1 – CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES! First of all, make sure you are giving yourself the proper encouragement. Even if you are not perfect, but are still on the right track towards a sugar-free or low-sugar diet you are doing well! Take each day at a time, track your progress, congratulate yourself on small victories, and continue to progress! You can do it! Sugar is a known addictive substance. According to Cassie Bjork, founder of Healthy Simple Life, there are many negative side effects. “Research shows that sugar can be even more addicting than cocaine,” she explains. “Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more.” We all know that addictions take time to overcome. They also take support and realistic goal setting. Find some encouragement and keep moving forward! #2 – FIGHT OFF THAT CRAVING The first week or two of cutting out sugar will leave you with some hard cravings. When one strikes, and it will, take a step back and try to determine how you can curb that craving without giving in to your sweet tooth. Grab a large drink of water or sugar-free drink of your choice. Sometimes thirst is actually what you are feeling. Do I need a quick, healthy snack? Maybe you are low on protein or fiber for the day. Grab a handful of healthy nuts or pumpkin seeds to help you fill the void. Ask yourself am I tired or just emotionally drained? Usually, when we crave sugar it is because we have trained ourselves to use it as a comfort mechanism. Use this trigger instead to take a nap, read a book, or get up and go for a ten-minute walk. Do something else to fill the void. Have a slice of fruit or some raw vegetables. Keeping a few servings of your favorite fresh fruits or veggies can help you avoid a mishap. Try a lemon slice, a cup of grapes, a slice of avocado, or any of your favorites to lessen your urge for sugar. #3 – PACK IN THE PROTEIN AND LEAFY GREENS To fight off sugar cravings, it is important to get protein with every meal, and most snacks. Leafy greens are also an amazing approach to helping you get the nutrients your body actually needs, and not the sugar it is craving. Combine the two for added benefits that will help you fight off sugar. Protein makes you feel full longer and keeps your blood sugar level consistently lower. Organic eggs, grass-fed meats, and wild-caught fish are always an amazing option. Mix in extras like nuts, seeds, or oils for extra carbs or flavors when needed. Sprinkle lemon juice, delicious mustards or even flavored kinds of butter on your meats to make it more delicious and enjoyable. Image by rawpixel from Pixabay