05/21/2013 05:23 EDT | Updated 07/21/2013 05:12 EDT

7 Tips To Reduce Sugar Cravings

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Let's admit, we all love sweets. As a child I was raised on white sugar and feel that it had a significant part in many of my health problems which took me decades to overcome. It was indeed a different time back then. I was not as aware of health or nutrition as I am now.

I am going to give you easy strategies to avoid sugar and cravings, but first here are some points as to why you should to such thing.

Reasons to Give up Sugar:

  • It is not food -- Sugar is actually an empty calorie with little nutritional value and can cause your body to steal vitamins from other vital organs for it to attempt to process the sugar thus leaving you undernourished.
  • It will make you gain weight -- Since it's an empty calorie it will be stored in your fat tissue.
  • It can make you feel nervous -- It links between excess sugar and disorders like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia because it has high level of insulin and adrenalin.
  • It may cause diabetes, kidney and heart problems -- Too much sugar can damage the pancreas's ability to function properly.
  • It can kill your teeth -- Sugar increases the bacteria on your mouth that damages enamel. What's worse is that many popular types of toothpaste out there contain sugar which is not included on the label.
  • It suppresses the immune system -- Sugar interferes with the body by overtaxing its defenses.
  • It causes wrinkles -- High sugar diet damages collagen.

In the US, Americans consume 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day. That's about 2-3 pounds of sugar per week. Added sugar is a sugar not naturally found in fruit, vegetables, grains and milk. The WHO says calories coming from added sweeteners should not exceed than 10 per cent.

Here's how to avoid sweets slowly:

  1. Eat fresh and dried fruits instead of sugary sweets -- Although they are filled with natural sugar, they are healthier choice as fruits are field with vitamins, minerals and fibres.
  2. Follow a dessert rule -- Week 1: Maximum once a day, Week 2: twice a week, Week 3: once a week. Make it your rule to have raw fruit at least half the time.
  3. Try Stevia -- It's a natural sugar alternative that nourishes the pancreas and has no calories. It's an herbal extract from Stevia Rebaudiana leaf that has shown to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.
  4. Avoid skipping meals -- When you skip meals, you starve and you will eat anything just to bring your blood sugar level back to normal and you know what that means.
  5. Find alternatives for soda pop, lemonade and iced tea -- Make lemonade with stevia and herb tea with stevia. If you need carbonated zing, add sparkling mineral water. When you're in a party, drink soda water with lime or lemon.
  6. Do not stock sweets in your fridge or cupboards -- It's too tempting.
  7. When craving strikes, go for a walk -- Athlete's cravings for sweet foods declines after exercise so they would prefer salty foods.

How to get off sugar quickly?

I am so passionate about getting off sugar that I offer Healthy Web BootCamps where for two days you get focused support from your home in eating perfectly balanced healthy meals. Knowing what to do is not enough, a person has to feel confident enough to do it easily. All the BootCamps are sugar free and gluten free.

Sugar-Free Recipes

I offer recipes that I have worked with, sometimes for years. All of them are 100 percent refined sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan.

Gingerbread Cake : This is to DIE FOR and unlike many deserts is very balancing to your health.

Luxurious Brown Rice Pudding: A tasty familiar treat.

Apple Cake with Cinnamon: I tried FIVE TIMES to get this just right. Everyone is happy I did.