Heres Whats Going To Happen As You Try To Break Your Sugar Habit Going Cold Turkey
Youre doing fine and think youre just about ready to prove me wrong about this sugar addiction.
Sure, a bowl of cereal would be nice and that cup of coffee tastes better with flavored creamer, but youre doing just fine without it.
Then those sugar cravings start to get a little stronger and youre feeling a headache come on.
This is getting a little uncomfortable but manageable. Maybe there is such a thing as sugar detox, but youre sure youre only having a mild case of it and will get through this in no time.
A few more hours pass and things start to get a lot harder.
Youre starting to feel the real detox side effects including body and joint aches, chills, nausea and that headache is getting a lot worse.
Its hard to focus on anything. Thats when it hits you that there may be something to this whole sugar addiction thing.
Sugar Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
With any addictive substance, when an individual attempts to stop they will experience sugar withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are directly proportional to the length of time that the individual used the substance and how much of the substance they used. This is the same for withdrawal from sugar and some of the symptoms can be surprisingly strong.
The withdrawal symptoms from sugar usually begin around 24 to 48 hours after you last ingested sugar. They last anywhere from a few days to a week. The withdrawal timeline depends on how much sugar you are eating or drinking and how long you have been addicted to sugar.
The most common withdrawal symptoms from sugar addiction are split up into two categories: psychological symptoms and physical symptoms. While the physical symptoms of sugar addiction are in general more uncomfortable than the psychological symptoms, the psychological symptoms should not be underestimated. We recommend taking a look at our carefully crafted sugar detox plan if you truly want to quit sugar.
Most individuals who are unable to stop eating sugar are unable to do so because of the psychological symptoms that are produced by sugar withdrawal, or the pronouncement of any underlying mental health concerns that they may have been self-medicating with the use of sugar.
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.
Don’t Miss: Is My Kid Addicted To Video Games
Drink Water Tea Or Other Non
Calories in liquid form, including sugary drinks, dont affect our hunger and satiety signals the same as solid food, and can promote excessive energy intake and weight gain.
Consider starting each day with 30 40 oz. of plain water immediately upon waking.
From there, prioritize non-caloric options like more water, unsweetened tea, plain black coffee, or drinks flavoured with other sugar substitutes.
You might find flavoured carbonated waters like LaCroix to be a nice non-caloric option.
If you prefer something sweeter, you might enjoy a stevia-sweetened soda alternative like Zevia.
That all being said, food and drink arent the only factors affecting your appetite.
Watch Your Intake Of Simple Carbs
Refined carbohydrates, like white bread and pasta, can spike your blood sugar and cause cravings, just like sugar. Two good rules of thumb: avoid foods that are highly processed and replace refined grains with their whole-grain counterparts.
For example, choose brown rice instead of white rice, and swap your white bread and pasta for the whole-wheat versions. Whole grains take longer to digest than refined grains, so they dont cause such severe blood sugar swings. While you may eventually choose to go completely grain free, if you want to transition slowly, whole grains can be a good start.
Face Your Sugar Cravings Head
The first step in being able to say no to sugar is to face that you have a problem. In the same way, an addict must own up to the fact that control has been lost.
We know its not easy to fix a sugar addiction since we are surrounded by sugar everywhere. Plus our society tends to enable this form of addiction.
Lets face it, we celebrate with sugar, we use it to comfort ourselves and others. Just think of how a crying child is often given a lollipop to attempt to quiet them down.
Is it possible to say no to sugar if we surround ourselves with high-carb foods? Dont you agree that it would be easier to pass a temptation if it were not always nearby?
Would we ask an alcoholic to just be strong around a liquor cabinet? Of course not. Yet we somehow feel that its easy to be surrounded by trigger foods and to just learn to say no. Unfortunately, for someone with food addiction, it can be very challenging.
After all, we still need to eat and we still will have to be around family or friends who consume high carb foods. Unlike other addictions where you break off toxic relationships, thats not really an option when it comes to an addiction to food.
Why It’s So Hard To Quit
It’s easy to follow what seems like a healthy diet and still eat too much added sugar. “People don’t realize just how much is hidden in the food they eat, even salad dressing and tomato sauce,” Katz says.
Complicating matters is the fact that food labels list the number of total grams of sugar, which also includes naturally occurring sugars. While manufacturers will eventually be required to list added sugar separately, the change isn’t planned to take effect until July 2018 .
How it tricks the brain into wanting more:
There’s also a confusing health halo over less-processed sugar products, like honey. “While honey does have some beneficial micronutrients, using it in place of table sugar won’t lower cravings for sweet foods,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian in Chicago.
Cutting back on sweet foods can actually make resisting sugar easier. “The first thing people notice when they limit added sugar is that their cravings are reduced,” Ludwig says.
You May Like: How To Know If Your Addicted To Alcohol
Tips For Cutting Back On Added Sugar
If youre used to regularly eating sugary foods like cake, ice cream, sweetened breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies and regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages, it may take time to reduce your reliance on added sugar.
For some people, cutting all forms of added sugar from their diet is helpful. However, others may find this method too extreme.
Fortunately, even making small changes to your sugar intake can significantly affect your overall health. Follow these helpful tips to slowly reduce your added sugar intake over time.
The tips above can help you slowly cut back on added sugar and improve the quality of your overall diet.
Here are some tips to help you beat the side effects and avoid or at least limit some of the symptoms related to cutting sugar out of your diet.
You Crave Comfort Foods At Dinner
One of the first signs that you have a sugar addiction is when you crave comfort foods at dinner time.
For some people, the idea of heading home or out to dinner with friends and enjoying a big bowl of pasta, bread, or other simple-carbohydrate-rich foods can be enticing, especially if you have a sugar addiction.
For starters here, carbohydrates are not necessarily to blame for your sugar addiction, but your brain may be craving the glucose that is processed from the carbs you eat.
Similarly, addiction may be apparent when you crave salty and fatty foods as well.
Keeping a close eye on these subtle signs may help you to recognize what form your sugar addiction takes.
Read Also: How To Get Off Pain Medication Addiction
Not Being Able To Consume Sugar Can Affect The Patients Mood
Sugar like any other drug can affect the chemicals in our brain that determine how we feel, think, and act. Positive experiences, like eating sugar, causes a chemical called dopamine in our brains. Dopamine is a compound that makes you feel good and light.
Sugar addiction causes our body to be addicted and dependent that is provided by dopamine. When you remove sugar from your diet, the body will feel as if it was deprived of something positive. Thus, causing the patient to become irritable, or moody.
Dont Quit It Cold Turkey
The human body relies on many elements of food and drinks to run efficiently sucrose is one of those elements. This is the reason many health professionals do not recommend that a person cuts it completely out of the diet when attempting to detox. Instead, they recommend that one reduces sugars to a more refined amount, possibly just eating a little fruit after a meal, for example.
Also Check: How Many People In The Us Are Addicted To Drugs
Embrace A Gratitude Mindset
Its very difficult to replace a bad habit with a healthier lifestyle choice if we dont enjoy it. You can retrain your palate to enjoy healthier foods you may not have liked in the past. Get excited about feeling better and taking better care of yourself!
I find meditation to be a useful tool in changing subconscious thought patterns and breaking unwanted habits.
At the height of my unhealthy relationship with food, I thought of food in a negative way. I was so obsessed with it, that I would not even eat a banana, because it had too many carbs and too much sugar.
When I changed my perspective to understanding that food is good, beautiful, nourishing, strengthening, things changed for the better. While I no longer crave or even really enjoy sugary foods, I feel no guilt about eating a few bites of cake on a birthday, or even a double scoop of gelato on vacation. I dont believe in having any foods off-limits as we often want the things we cant have. Its the forbidden fruit syndrome.
I started to think like an athlete. Rather than dieting and exercising, I started training and eating. Can you feel the difference? The former is restrictive, while the latter empowering.
Think, know, and feel this: I feel best when I nourish my body and mind with whole foods. Sugar and processed foods make me feel sick, and Im tired of feeling sick.
How Long Does It Take To Break Sugar Addiction
Some people find that their symptoms last from a few days to a couple of weeks. As your body adapts to a low added sugar diet over time and your added sugar intake becomes less frequent , the less intense your symptoms and cravings for sugar are likely to be.
You May Like: Can You Get Addicted To Kratom
Why Sugar Is So Addicting And How You Can Remove It From Your Diet This Year According To An Expert
Whether you’re attempting a “dry January” or setting a new diet or workout goal, breaking old habits in the new year can be hard. For those who are looking to cut out added sugars, they may actually be addressing an addiction.
“Physiologically, it’s as addictive as cocaine sugar is,” author and health expert Susan Peirce Thompson told CBSN’s Anne-Marie Green Wednesday. “So, people are literally trapped in a physiological addiction. The brain scans are very clear on that.”
While health officials urge Americans to limit their sugar intake, Thompson argues that giving up the highly processed and refined chemical can be for some one of the hardest addictions to battle.
When you consume sugar, it first hits the tastebuds, “which have direct connections to the addiction centers in the brain,” Thompson said. Then, it enters the bloodstream, leading to an addicting spike in blood sugar and insulin levels.
The average American consumes more than 135 calories of added sugars each day, which exceeds the general amount recommended daily from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2020-2025 national dietary guidelines. Consuming an excess of added sugars can contribute to health problems like obesity, type two diabetes and heart disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
“So if you want to lift your mood over the long-term, quitting sugar is one of the best ways to do it,” Thompson said.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Quit Marijuana Addiction
Increase Your Dietary Fiber Intake
Eating high fiber foods may help you stave off hunger and cravings. They take longer to digest, causing you to feel fuller for longer.
High fiber foods also contribute to healthy blood sugar regulation. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable may help prevent cravings.
Aim for high fiber vegetables, beans, and legumes.
Pairing high protein and high fiber foods is best for healthy blood sugar control. Examples include mixing high fiber veggies like broccoli into your eggs or spooning some pumpkin seeds over your oatmeal.
Stevia Can Help You Beat Your Sugar Addiction
While the average person is largely unaware of this fact, the majority of people in the United States today are addicted to sugar. While a sugar addiction is not as serious an addiction as other substances, there are still negative side effects. Additionally, when people try to eliminate excessive sugar from their system they are likely to experience withdrawals. Below, we have listed the stages of sugar withdrawal and what you can expect when you cut out sugar.
- Stage 1: At this stage, your body is feeling fine. At this point, your body isnt aware of the fact that it wont be getting its sugar fix anytime soon and you feel like you can handle this purge with ease. Enjoy this stage, it isnt going to last.
- Stage 2: During this stage, your body is starting to figure out that something is wrong. Your body knows that it is missing something that it normally has and, quite frankly, its starting to get a little tense. At this point, you may start to notice that you are craving sugary foods such as soda, candy, cookies and any other form of sweet, sweet sugar. This will be the first stage to test your willpower and is a great time to start utilizing stevia. The sweet taste will help to distract your brain from the fact that it is no longer getting its fructose fix.
Don’t Miss: Should Drug Addicts Be Punished Or Rehabilitated
Why Do I Crave Sugar So Much
Many sugar cravings stem from a blood sugar imbalance. When your body ingests sugar, your blood sugar spikes and your body releases insulin to lower it to a safer level. If the insulin brings your blood sugar level a bit too low, as often happens, your body craves foods that will raise it and increase your energy.
How To Break Your Sugar Addiction In Only 4 Days
Robyn Openshaw – Updated: February 1, 2021 – – This Post May Contain Affiliate Links
On the GreenSmoothieGirl lecture tour of 450 U.S. cities, I was asked one question, over and over:
How do I break my sugar addiction?
And I suspect that far more of us want to ask this question, relative to the few brave enough to say it out loud.
Because we all have Shame about our food addictions. Wed all love to get off sugar.
Im going to talk about how the Shame Monster is your worst enemy, if youre addicted to sugar. Worse than the chemical addiction, maybe. And then Im going to tell you the somewhat triumphant, somewhat humiliating story of my Year of No Sugar.
In this post:
You May Like: What Causes Relapse In Drug Addicts
Shame Feeds Sugar Addiction
The most toxic and negatively charged human emotion is Shame.
Why am I capitalizing it? Because we have a lot of it, wrapped around the foods we vow, in the morning, to quit foreverthe same food we secretly stuff in our mouths in the afternoon and evening.
Youve likely heard the story about the dopamine cycle created by addictive foods, so Ill spare you. Knowing that youre in the grip of a chemical, every day, every week, every yearthat knowledge doesnt really help.
Youre also aware of the way sugar adds inches to your belly, causes your energy to crash right when you need the most productivity, and puts you at risk for cancer.
And blah, blah, blah.
Its the Shame Im more concerned about. Lets just own it, shall we?
The most toxic human emotion is Shame.
If we dont have a sugar addiction, we have a salt addiction.
Both kinds of junk food come with high risks to our healthand even though we know all that, weve got a bag of Peanut M& Ms in the bottom drawer at work, or a box of powdered-sugar mini-donuts in our underwear drawer at home.
Where we put them says it all. Theyre hidden. More often than not, we eat our sugary junk food when no ones looking.
And as if the toxic food isnt bad enough, then we emotionally beat ourselves up about it.
Im so self-disciplined about other thingsI work out, I have a successful career, I got a masters degree, for crying out loudwhy does sugar own me?