Dealing With Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
Like any kind of withdrawal from an addiction, sugar withdrawal can be a challenge.
A person will go through cravings, irritability, fatigue, and mood swings, to name just a few things. But what is the best way to deal with sugar withdrawal and its symptoms?
One suggestion is a dietary supplement known as glutamine. Glutamine helps to combat sugar withdrawal symptoms by providing the body with a replacement for it, getting energy from an alternative base. Another suggestion commonly made is to drink lots of water. This will help to stay hydrated and combat some of the cravings. Since cravings are mostly driven by the brains need for some form of reward which is harmful to the body, the best options are usually to tackle the problem with physical and mental techniques. Some ways of dealing with sugar withdrawal are:
Sugar Withdrawal And Detox Symptoms
When people quit this substance, physiological changes occur. Within hours the hormonal levels change. The levels of insulin will start to decrease, allowing the body to access stored fats to burn for energy. After a few days, lipid levels start to drop, especially triglycerides. Over a prolonged period, palate changes, and things that used to taste normal later taste unpleasantly sweet, and palate adjust to require a lot less of it to feel satisfied. These are some of the benefits one will experience after quitting this substance but not before going through a withdrawal phase.
What You Can Expect When You Go Off Sugar
If you take a break from sugar, you’ll find your tastes and cravings begin to change very quickly.
Its a simple science experiment that will prove something interesting to you: that you are stronger than you think.
You are actually innately drawn to the colors, textures, and flavors of real food. That is your genetic programming, and those natural, whole foods are what your ancestors ate for thousands of years.
You cant discover this UNLESS you quit sugar for four days.
I know you can do it. My first four days off sugar were much, much harder than the subsequent 361.
Choose the days of the week you face the fewest temptations, and plan ahead with delicious, flavorful, whole-food meals that will fill you and satisfy your taste buds.
Now, if you dont find the sugar cravings completely disappearing after four days?
Whatever you do, dont let Shame grab you by the throat. It serves no one. Behaviors driven underground flourish in the darkness. Say no to Shame!
Youre no different from meand I make a living telling people how to eat healthy.
It takes some people a little bit longer, often because they have candida yeast overgrowth or they eat higher-than-average amounts of sugar or soda.
Sugar is more addictive than crack cocaine. Multiple studies have proven it.
But its actually quite amazing what four days off the nice girls crack will do for your confidence level. Sugar does not own you, and you CAN break your sugar addiction.
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How To Stop Sugar Cravings: 8 Tips To Use Right Now
If you’re craving sugar, here are some ways to tame those cravings.
But won’t eating more often mean overeating? Not if you follow Neville’s advice to break up your meals. For instance, have part of your breakfast — a slice of toast with peanut butter, perhaps — and save some yogurt for a mid-morning snack. “Break up lunch the same way to help avoid a mid-afternoon slump,” Neville says.
Learn To Cook At Home
Get back to the basics and learn to cook at home . Avoid eating an excessive amount of your meals out of the house. Take an hour every day to cook things you and your family will love. Dont rush dinner. Plan your meals ahead of time. Your health is too important to leave in the hands of short order cooks at fast food restaurants. Health is wealth keep your priorities straight.
Remember, it takes time when it comes to breaking your sugar addiction. Its an addiction, after all.
It takes time, self-love and patience. The first step is understanding that you have a sugar addiction, then understanding the root cause of it, and then taking steps to remediate it immediately.
You can do this. I have faith in you.
P.S. Gluten is highly addictive too. Here are the steps I took to overcome gluten addiction.
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What If Your Child Is Hooked On Sweets
If you think your child might have a sugar addiction or they always have sugar cravings youre not alone.
Imagine the following scenario: your kids are going to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Upon arrival, theyre showered with hugs and kisses, and as they walk through the door, youre greeted by the welcoming aroma of freshly baked cookies. Though you may meet these greeting with self-control and politely refuse the cookies, despite your impulse to eat them, your kids rush to the kitchen for the chocolate chip cookies!
Of course, this may be a special treat that they get when they visit Grandma and Grandpa, but when they eat that treat, it only encourages the addictive behavior.
Tip One: Opt For Fruit Instead
When the sugar cravings inevitably strike, pick up a piece of fruit instead. Fruit is packed with vitamins and nutrients that regular processed sugary treats dont have.
I love slicing up an apple, spreading on Granola Butter, and topping with hemp or flax seeds. Youll be surprised how delicious and satisfying this combination is!
Keep in mind that fruit still contains sugar, so limit your intake to three servings per day. Also, consider opting for low-sugar fruits over high to help lower your sugar intake even more.
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Is Junk Food Addictive
There is a debate about whether junk food and overly processed foods are addictive. By addiction, I mean in the same way, a drug addict must get their next fix.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that high sugar foods that are higher in the glycemic index can indeed be addictive.
How does this happen exactly? The study showed that high carb foods raise blood sugar even more than common table sugar.
Grains, starchy vegetables, and all things sweet actually trigger a part of our brain called the nucleus accumbens. This is the area of the brain that gives us a reward response.
Its where dopamine and serotonin are formed. Serotonin is what gives us the sensation of fullness and keeps our inhibitions in check. It is also responsible for keeping our moods stabilized and is a natural sleep promoter.
And Make Rules Around Trigger Foods
That means cookies, cake, or ice cream. A half-gallon of ice cream in the freezer is temptation defined. Our rule? No ice cream kept at home. Ice cream should always be a treat worth traveling for. If you find yourself making a dessert run too often, consider all the ways too much sweet stuff can harm your health.
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Gradual Vs Cold Turkey
I bet you are wondering, is it better to quit sugar gradually or cold turkey?
Well, the answer is, it really depends on you. Some people prefer a gradual process, while others find doing abrupt changes more effective. So, it is up to you to figure out what works for you.
Gradually reducing your sugar consumption
Instead of eating a big slice of cake after every meal, try reducing it to half a slice. Then once you are used to half a slice, decrease it to a quarter of a slice until you are no longer feeling the intense craving to eat more sweets than what your body actually needs.
This method is especially great if youve already tried going cold turkey but failed. If youve already tried sudden withdrawal and you noticed that you tend to yo-yo when you do, then try the gradual method instead!
If you think going cold turkey will best work for you then you must do it right. Clean out your pantry and your fridge!
Like what they say out of sight, out of mind.
Steer clear of your favorite ice cream shop before going home from work, and make sure to keep yourself fed. Avoid feeling hungry, at least for the first few weeks. Since the hunger might intensify the cravings. Hunger most often than not results in binge eating.
Tip for going cold turkey: If you find yourself suddenly craving sugar, try to distract yourself with an activity.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sugar Withdrawal
The following withdrawal symptoms of sugar addiction may manifest as early as 24 hours after quitting sugar intake:
- Gas and bloating
Overcoming sugar addiction comes with its withdrawal and detox symptoms, which a person needs to be aware of, as well as knowing when to expect them and how to manage them. When one removes this substance from the diet, the detox is not necessarily the biggest issue, but the idea that it has a drug-like effect on the body. It is a stimulant, and when taken it away, the body has to adjust and adapt accordingly.
These are some of the withdrawal symptoms one can almost definitely expect when detoxing from sucrose.
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First Steps To Freedom
- Start with eliminating all of the obvious sugars.
- Toss the candy, cakes, cookies, and all items that include high fructose corn syrup. Beginning with these makes sense since processed sugars are the worse offenders.
- Eliminate simple carbohydrates. These are the items that turn into sugar in your body quickly, bread, pasta, sodas, and fruit juices.
- Examine what fruits you are consuming. Just because they are natural sugars does not mean you get an automatic free pass. Our bodies will still react to these natural sugars by raising our insulin levels. Once our insulin is raised it causes our sugar cravings to be magnified.
- Avoid high carb root vegetables or at the very least reduce them to only occasional indulges.
How To Detox From Sugar
Overcoming sugar addiction is part physical and part psychological. Id say the psychological element is the most difficult, and in order to move beyond it you must change your subconscious feelings about food. Lets take a look at how you can take care of your body and mind during your sugar detox.
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Sugar Addiction: Causes Dangers And Withdrawal Symptoms
Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN
How real is sugar addiction? There have been numerous narratives on the dynamics of its intake and how it affects the system. Sugar is everywhere in almost all of the food people eat, in one form or the other. Its in all the expected foods, but one might not realize its also in much other food where one would not expect it. Our daily intake of sugar averages 95 grams, which might not sound like a lot, but that adds up to about 77 pounds per year. The American heart association recommends reducing its intake to, at most, half of ones daily calorie consumption. For most individuals in the United States, this is about 150 calories for men and 100 calories for women, or in another unit, 9 teaspoons daily for males and 6 teaspoons for females. With the intake level currently, a lot of people are already way over the limit. As a result, obesity has become a major issue, with 1 in 3 adults and 2 in 5 kids showing various degrees.
Give Into Your Craving Then Move On
“If a craving for something sweet like a piece of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream persists, just have it,” says Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, and author of 52-Week Meal Planner. “Trying to satisfy cravings with other ‘healthier’ foods or restricting yourself from having a food you’re craving often leads to overeating. As is often said, the forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.” So, eat your piece of cake, don’t feel bad, and then move on.
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Sugar Withdrawal Is Real
Before you embark on any effort to curb your sugar addiction and cravings, you should be advised of sugar withdrawal symptoms. Theyre part of the process.
Common sugar withdrawal symptoms include headaches, mood swings, irritability, sleep changes, and increased anxiety.
To help curb the feelings of sugar withdrawal, increase your protein and water intake, go for a walk, and pack your diet with fiber-rich leafy greens. Your symptoms should improve within a few days.
How To Beat A Sugar Addiction
Breaking a sugar addiction begins with reducing the amount of added sugar that you have in your food. Sweetened beverages are one of the main culprits, including sodas, energy drinks, and sweet iced tea. Opt for the sugar-free versions of your favorite drinks, or add sweetener yourself, gradually reducing the amount youre putting in your drink. Also consider reducing the amount of alcohol you drink. Beer and wine have a lot of sugar in them, too.
You may also like water with a few flavor drops added in. When you become dehydrated, its easier to cave and say yes to sugar. However, switching to foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners may delay the amount of time it takes to kick a sugar addiction.
Opt for the sugar-free versions of your favorite drinks, or add sweetener yourself, gradually reducing the amount youre putting in your drink. Also consider reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.
You can also stop buying desserts and sweet treats. If you think youll have a hard time moderating how many cookies or pieces of candy youll eat, simply stop bringing it into the house. If others in your family are asking for treats, ask them for their cooperation in helping you beat your sugar addiction. Or, you can buy small packages of your favorites instead of a large family-sized container.
When you feel a sugar craving coming on, try to do something to distract yourself. Exercise is a natural mood booster and can help take your mind off the craving for a sweet treat.
What Should I Eat If I Crave Sugar
19 Foods That Can Fight Sugar Cravings Fruit. When most people feel sugar cravings, they reach for high-fat, high-sugar foods like chocolate . Berries. Berries are an excellent, nutritious choice for stopping sugar cravings. Dark Chocolate. Snack Bars. Chia Seeds. Sugar-Free Chewing Gum or Mints. Legumes. Yogurt.
Does Sugar Cause Diabetes
Sugar itself doesn’t cause diabetes. But lots of sugar splurges can point you there. Too much of anything, including sugar, can pack on pounds, for one thing. Heavy bodies may have a harder time using insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. When your body resists insulin, blood sugar and your risk of diabetes go up.
19) David Sacks/The Image Bank
Corwin, R. The Journal of Nutrition, March 2009.Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman author, Doctor’s Detox Diet.Princeton University.Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, Cleveland Clinic.Gearhardt, A. Archives of General Psychiatry, August 2011.Mozaffarian, D. New England Journal of Medicine, June 2011.Kidshealth.org.Harvard School of Public Health.CDC.Yang, Q. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, June 2010.American Academy of Family Physicians.Columbia University.Welsh, J. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2011.Johnson, R. Circulation, September 2009.Ahmed, S. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, July 2013.
American Heart Association.
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What Happens After One Quits Sugar
Within hours after stopping sugar consumption, a bodys hormone levels will change. The insulin levels will start to decrease and allow the body to burn stored fats for energy. After a few days, lipid and triglyceride levels will drop, and taste buds will crave less sucrose to feel satisfied. However, one may suffer from many of the side effects listed above. Since the addiction is more mental than physical, it is not out of place to ask, is sugar a drug? Those who are addicted to sugar may suffer health problems, but it is not a controlled substance and does not alter cognitive abilities hence, it cannot be referred to as a drug.
There are cases where individuals who realize that they have a sweetener problem seek counseling on how to stop eating sugar. The following are simple techniques on how to stop eating sugar.
Sugar Addiction And Emotional Eating
Emotional eating and sugar addiction has been known to go hand-in-hand following a stressful day, handling social and emotional pressures, as well as dealing with lifes situations. People enduring emotional stress such as bullying, breakup, and other similar issues or dealing with a damaged reputation, and low self-esteem may result in comfort food such as chocolate, ice cream, candy, and others to deal with their problems.
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Ways To Break Your Sugar Addiction
At one point or another, we have all dealt with a sugar addiction. I recently gave up all sugar for 30 days and felt actual withdrawal symptoms. I was exhausted and couldn’t shake a nagging headache. I was also snapping at my family for no reason at all.
Giving up sugar cold turkey is one option for breaking the addiction, but fortunately for our relationships with friends and family, it is not the only option. I had the chance to speak with leading physicians, health coaches, and wellness providers on manageable steps to breaking your sugar addiction.