How To Get Through Sugar Withdrawal
This article was co-authored by Zora Degrandpre, ND. Dr. Degrandpre is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician in Vancouver, Washington. She is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She received her ND from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2007.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 96% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 852,777 times.
The thought of “sugar withdrawal” may seem like nothing more than an excuse for people with a sweet tooth to indulge in sweets-eating. But nutritionists and scientists are discovering that when the body is accustomed to high levels of sugar consumption, it can respond to sugar deprivation with the same kinds of withdrawal symptoms experienced by a drug abuser. The symptoms of sugar withdrawal can, in fact, be very painful and debilitating.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source Understanding the symptoms and preparing to deal with sugar withdrawal can help you permanently reduce your sugar intake.
How Important Is Sugar In The Diet Of A Child
Sugar is sweet and has a pleasing taste. However, it likely would be best kept under the category of spice rather than food. While it is mostly harmless in small quantities, larger amounts can be quite detrimental.
Sugar can provide the body with energy, but it does not provide any essential vitamins or minerals, which the body requires for growth, development, and survival. Because sugar provides empty calories, it should not be considered an important part of any diet. Rather, it should be kept as a treat or occasional diet add-in.
Is There Medication For Sugar Addiction
A new study from the Queensland University of Technology used varenicline to treat sugar addiction. Varenicline is usually used to treat nicotine addiction, and is sold under the brand names Chantix and Champix. It does this by stimulating the bodys nicotine receptors, but more weakly than nicotine.
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Learn To Spot The Hidden Sugar
Sugar is everywhere. And I am not talking about the obvious ice cream, Frappuccino and cakes. Refined sugar is in yogurt and ketchup, dressings and bread, its even added in canned beans and applesauce!
Thats why learning how to check labels is so important! In order to keep sugar away from your plate, you need to be well aware of the numerous way sugar hides in our food, with all sorts of different names and shapes .
Here are the most common processed foods containing refined sugar:
TRY THIS: Start from your house. As a first step, remove the sugar from your pantry . Then take all the processed foods and drinks out of your cabinets and start reading. Once you identified all the refined sugars, get rid of those items and replenish your kitchen with whole, fresh ingredients instead.
Theres nothing harder than eating sugar when we dont have it! And I believe this is the most important step to ditch sugar for good.
How To Stop Sugar Cravings Once And For All
Plus, the best foods to try when you’re in the mood for something sweet.
The average American woman consumes 48 pounds of added sugar every year. Thats four pounds a month! And dental cavities arent the only potential health problem we have to worry about. Eating too much sugar significantly raises your risk of life-shortening obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In fact, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who exceeded the recommended daily limit of added sugar increased their risk of death due to heart disease by at least 30%.
Want to really take a break from sugar? Join our new membership club, GH+, to unlock access to Good Housekeeping‘s 21-day sugar detox plan, which will ease you out of your sugar cravings and help you form a healthy relationship with the sweet stuff.
Putting an end to sugar cravings and cutting back on added sugar is hard sweet foods tempt us at every turn and for many people, consuming those foods is a longtime habit associated with comfort or celebration. Sometimes sugar whispers at you from the grocery store aisle other times it screams at you from the freezer. The good news is, with some smart sugar strategies, you can significantly reduce your sugar cravings and take back your health.
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Protein With Each Meal And Snack
The most effective way to stop sugar cravings is to eat plenty of protein at each meal, advises Suzie.
For example, an apple with a few almonds makes a great afternoon snack. If youre having a fruit smoothie, add a little rice or pea protein powder to help balance blood sugar levels and banish cravings, she says. Youll find some high protein, low-cal snacks here.
Always Remember To Consult A Health Professional
Treating any kind of addiction is not a simple do-it-yourself project. It is important that you consult health professionals every time you decide to alter anything in your diet. There are a lot of diseases that require you to consume a specific amount of sugar.
For example, Hypoglycemia is a disease that causes our body to have low levels of sugar. If you are afflicted with this disease, it would be wiser to avoid completely removing sugar from your diet.
Sugar Addiction is truly a damaging disease, not just for individuals, but for the society as a whole. Realizing it sooner than later can help us improve our health, and reduce the lives that are destroyed by sugar addiction.
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Ditch Sugar For 14 Days
14 days. It only takes that long for your taste buds to re-set and help you get rid of sugar cravings. After two weeks with no refined sugar, your palate will retune the way it perceives most sweets and all the treats you used to enjoy will simply taste too sickly sweet!
TRY THIS: A 14 day sugar fast is the best way to get off sugar. Simply get rid of it. NO sodas, sugary snacks, sweet treats. No traces of sugar related ingredients on your foods labels. Yes, you might experience headache and some kind of withdrawal symptoms such as strong cravings for sugary treats, but thats even better! Because they will make you more aware of the addictive properties of sugar and the level to which it is pervasive in our diet.
If you dont feel ready for such a substantial step, you can opt for transitioning your palate from really sweet to not so sweet and eventually sugar free in a more progressive yet long lasting way that will lead you to ditch sugar for good!
Start by making small changes: less sugar in your coffee, half the amount of cookies, unsweetened teas. Keep reducing the amount of sweetness from your diet little by little. Your taste buds will slowly adapt and will make you feel ready for a substantial change.
Food Addiction: The Body Knows By Kay Sheppard
While Kay is not the best known of the sugar educators out there she is certainly one of the most knowledgeable and experienced. Lets not be turned off by the food addiction label. Remember one of your strongest weapons here is an open mind. Kay knows her stuff as does Vera below.
Dr. Tarman is a recovering sugar addict herself and has treated hundreds of food addicts. Her experience shows in the five star ratings. The bonus on this one is its contributor in the book Phil Werdell, a legend in the recovery movement.
Nicole M. Avena Phd
If youre interested in the science then this
is the book for you. Dr. Avena brings huge credibility to the movement and brings it from a scientific background. I dont agree with everything she teaches but I love her passion and scientific approach.
5. Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. By Dr. Robert Lustig
Drs. Avena and Lustig are not as far along as Id like them to be into the study of sugar as an addiction but their approach as doctors needing to validate everything scientifically is so important as we move forward.
I cant begin to tell you how much we appreciate their work.
One of the things we believe here is that there are many ways to the mountaintop and these books are not only incredible in their comprehensiveness but they are great reads and great contributions. Highly recommended.
6. The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes
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Easy Tricks To Get Rid Of Sugar Cravings
Before I start talking about what I did to get rid of sugar cravings, I must make a confession. Ive always been extremely fond of dessert. Pies, pastries, cakes I had a real sweet-tooth issue. And when Id meet those people who said they didnt like sweets, I used to be so jealous Wouldnt it be great to have the same gift and never crave desserts? I would feel a lot better, be healthier and in better shape.
The wish of a lifetime became an effortless reality one rainy night during the Fall of 2013, when I was in Aix in Provence, France, with Alec. We decided to stay in our hotel room and watch a documentary that wed been meaning to see for a long time. The morning after, walking by the gorgeous displays of the many French pastry shops wasnt as tempting as it used to be, and both of us stopped eating sugar altogether.
The documentary that made this change possible was The Secrets of Sugar, an in-depth investigative report published by the Canadian program The Fifth Estate, that clearly showed how sugar consumption is linked to rising obesity rates and a host of other diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimers.
We started wanting to learn more. We watched other documentaries such as Sweet Misery and Sweet Remedy and went through many pages of eye-opening reads and medical research that proved how sugar makes us sick, weakens our immune system and can lead to all sorts of diseases.
Break The Sugar Addiction
If you’re “hooked” on sugar, don’t try to eliminate all sugary foods at once. If you deny yourself even a single piece of candy or sliver of cake, you’ll only crave sweets more. Instead, eat a healthy diet made up of more satisfying foodswhole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils, and lean protein. “Steer yourself away from sugar and eat these foods, which are digested more slowly. They’ll help to even out your blood sugar and you won’t have spikes and crashes all the time,” Dr. Hauser says.
Here are a few suggestions to help you break the sugar habit:
Keep sugary foods away. Don’t tempt yourself by stocking candy, cookies, and other high-sugar foods in your cupboards and fridge. “As a substitute for these things, keep fruit around,” suggests Dr. Hauser.
Sweeten foods yourself. Start with unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, and unflavored oatmeal. Then add your own sweetener. No matter how much sweetener you add, you probably won’t put in as much as the manufacturer would have, according to Dr. Hauser.
Watch for hidden sugars in foods. Be wary of foods where sugar tends to hide, including reduced-fat products. “When companies take out the fat, they add back almost all the calories in sugar,” Dr. Hauser says. Read labels. Avoid products that list sugar as the first ingredient or that contain several different types of sugar it’s one way manufacturers avoid having sugar listed as the first ingredient.
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If You Are Hungry Eat A Healthy And Filling Meal
Its important to realize that a craving is not the same as hunger.
Its not your body calling for energy, its your brain calling for something that releases a lot of dopamine in the reward system.
When you get a craving when youre hungry, the feeling is difficult to resist.
In fact, a craving combined with hunger is a powerful drive that most people have a hard time overcoming.
If you get a craving while hungry, one of the best tricks is to eat a healthy meal immediately. Stock your kitchen with healthy snack foods or pre-made meals.
Protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish and eggs are especially good for curbing hunger .
Eating real food may not feel very appetizing when you have a craving for sugary junk food. But if you truly need to lose weight, resilience is worth it in the long run.
When you experience a craving and hunger at the same time, force yourself to have a healthy meal rather than junk food.
Sugar Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
Numerous studies have found that added sugars can produce changes in neurochemistry and behavior similar to those of other addictive drugs. When initially cutting out sugar after long-term use, one may experience withdrawal symptoms. Sugar detox symptoms should resolve within a few days, but may include:
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The Negative Effect Of Excessive Sugar Intake On A Childs Behavior
Animal studies demonstrate that sugar can dictate behavior. However, the research is inconclusive when it comes to humans and the behavior of children in association with their sugar consumption.
From a purely observational standpoint, it can be said that when people get hungry, their behavior can be affected. The term hangry is often used to describe those that are hungry and start to get grumpy because they havent been able to eat anything yet.
If children are eating too much sugar and not getting enough protein and fat to keep them satisfied for longer time periods, they may become rowdy, aggressive, or agitated. In this scenario, it may not just be total sugar intake that results in the behavior changes, but rather the quick rising and falling of blood sugar levels in the body.
Give Your Mouth Something To Do
Another great way to stave off sugar cravings is to give your mouth another distraction. Whether it’s chewing sugar-free gum, drinking a cup of warm herbal tea, or just doing something else, allow the craving to pass. “Allow enough time to pass while you drink or wait for the piping hot tea for you to think through the craving,” Moreno says. Most cravings last no longer than 30 minutes.
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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 Addiction And Co
The obvious sign of sugar addiction is usually behavioral. The compulsion to consume large amounts of high-sugar drinks, beverages, or food is a clear sign of sugar addiction. The individual in question may adopt the indulgence in excess sugar to deal with life problems and experiences. Such a person often repeatedly talks about cravings for either physical or emotional stability. The peculiarity of sugar addiction is that it often presents with co-occurring disorders.
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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.
Sugar Addiction: How It Develops And Ways To Break Addiction To Sugar
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.
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