Are You Addicted to Sugar?
We’ll show you How to Break the Cycle in these 4 steps
One of the hardest cravings to kick is a sugar craving.
Scientists have found that sugar IS addictive and weaning off of it usually includes some withdrawal symptoms – headaches, moodiness, shakes, anxiety, and fatigue to name a few.
Step One: Kicking it starts with your diet.
Your brain sees sugar as a reward, which makes you keep wanting more of it. If you often eat a lot of sugar, you’re reinforcing that reward, which can make it tough to break the habit.
The first thing you need to do is add in foods that even out your blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone in your body that balances your blood sugar levels, you need to work with insulin to keep your body stable (away from those highs, lows, and midday crashes).
It’s like putting yourself on a roller coaster; your blood sugar zooms up shortly after you eat, then goes crashing down after a short time. Before you know it, you’re hungry because your body quickly digested the food; you’re craving more, and so the ups and downs continue.
To balance your blood sugar levels, add in:
- more healthy fats
- more protein
- and more fibre
The benefits are twofold, not only will these balance out your blood sugar levels but they’ll also keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Staying fuller for longer is going to stop you from feeling so ravenous that you reach for fast, unhealthy foods like muffins, cereals, junk food, etc. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary foods that appear to cut your hunger through these foods digest fast and leave you hungry soon after. Instead, eating balanced meals every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you avoid irrational eating behaviour.
Example of a healthy breakfast on the go: Superfood smoothie with sprouted chia and coconut oil
Protein Sources: Organic Grass-Fed Beef, Free Range Eggs, Raw Cheese
Healthy Fats: Ghee, Almonds, Hemp Seeds, Coconut Oil
Fibre Sources: Vegetables and Berries
Step 2: Get Sugar and Grains OUT OF YOUR DIET!
Truth is, the first few days without sugar and grains are going to be the hardest but it’s important to break the cycle.
You can replace the sweetness of sugar with alternatives like organic stevia powder.
Grains can be challenging because some people depend on them as the main base for all of their meals.
- Cereal at breakfast
- Bread for a sandwich at lunch
- Pasta in spaghetti for dinner
- A pastry with coffee
- The list could go on and on…
A good strategy is to list the grains that you tend to use the most, and then cut them out one by one. Make it a rule of thumb that once you cut something out, you cut it out for good. Phase out breads and pastas first, then move on to cereals (unless you’re eating lots of highly sweetened cereals, in which case you should cut those out first, as they’re loaded with added sugars).
Step 3: Use supplements to help balance out your blood sugar levels
Taking a high-quality B complex vitamin (especially B12 and B6) and adding in probiotic supplements can help overcome sugar cravings. Probiotics help decrease the yeast in your system – yeast and bad bacteria feed off of sugar.
Step 4: Start doing the right type of exercise.
Doing a lot of long-term cardio will lead your body to crave carbohydrates due to the changes in your insulin levels.
Weight Training exercise (isometric exercise) weight lifting, yoga, pilates, etc all help balance blood sugar levels and are less likely to leave you wanting carbs in the same way.
Don’t just rely on these natural treatments, use your friends and family as a support system to kick the habit.
Be gentle with yourself! Allow your body time to physically adjust to lower sugar levels and begin to make a habit of eating less sugary foods. This may not be easy, depending on the amount of sugar you were consuming daily but YOU CAN DO IT.
Best of luck!
The Live Well Centre