Sugar & Insulin Resistance
Your brain and body need glucose to survive. When your body perceives that blood sugar is getting too low, it sends you a signal that it needs fuel. You get hungry, or maybe you crave sugar because your body knows its a calorie dense and efficient way to give you a fast boost. When you eat sugar, white flour , alcohol, sodas, candy, cookies, pastries, etc, your body uses a hormone called insulin to transport the glucose to your cells for usage. When you eat too much sugar, your pancreas releases a whole lotta insulin to usher all that glucose into your cells, and blood glucose levels drop again , and your blood sugar levels drop too low, so you crave sugar again to bring the levels back up.
The problem with this cycle is that eventually, your cells stop responding properly to insulin. They already have enough glucose, so they lock the door and dont allow insulin to escort glucose into the cell. Your pancreas is overworked as it continues to churn out insulin in response to all that sugar youre eating, but now you have become insulin resistant because your cells dont want all that excess sugar. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise, setting you up for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Can You Quit Sugar Cold Turkey
Knowing how to quit sugar is one thing but should you go cold turkey or take it slowly? Cutting down can be tough and going cold turkey rarely gets long-lasting results, warns Rob. ‘Psychology plays a huge role as mood, boredom and habit can drive your desire for the sweet stuff. A lack of sleep, skipping meals, hormones and visual temptation can also contribute to sugar cravings, he says.
But there are ways to manage this challenging period. Some people suffer blood sugar imbalances making them feel rather jittery. But this can be avoided by eating sufficient protein, advises Suzie.
If you find the thought of going cold turkey too extreme weaning yourself off slowly may suit you better. A useful approach is to make small changes to your diet. Reduce the sugar you add to coffee or tea, choose lower-sugar food products and switch sweet treats for healthy alternatives such as fresh fruit, suggests Rob.
Better Mood And Mental Focus
The sum total of all the benefits of cutting out sugar from our diet is better overall mental health combined with restful and restorative sleep.
Reducing inflammation in the brain and body, combined with better sleep leads to an improved ability to concentrate and think clearly.
These same reasons have shown that people experience a better mood each day with a lower risk of dealing with depression.
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Treatment For Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
Sugar withdrawal doesnt really require long-term treatment, because it will pass relatively quickly. The main problem is sustaining a low-sugar diet. These restrictive diets are too much for most people, so dont feel guilty if this eating pattern doesnt work for you.
The key to changing your eating pattern is to find something you can live with long-term. If going sugar-free for three weeks is going to make you binge next month, try a less drastic plan.
A diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will help you sustain a healthy weight while giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive. Try to avoid processed foods, as they tend to be packed with added sugars. Instead, get your sweet fix from something that contains fiber, like berries, oranges, or apples.
What Can You Eat If You Quit Sugar
This depends on the kinds of sugar you’re keen to cut back on. If you just want to shun refined sugar, then everything other than processed foods that contain the sweet stuff is okay.
If you want to follow a strict plan, in which you also swerve some naturally-occurring sugars too, then you’ll be filling your plate with plenty of proteins , fats and low sugar veg, such as broccoli and asparagus.
You’ll be replacing sweet drinks with water flavoured with mint, staying clear of booze and making your sauces from scratch.
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Cut Back On Sugary Drinks
Most added sugars in the American diet come from sugary drinks sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and others .
Additionally, drinks that many people perceive as healthy, such as smoothies and fruit juices, can still contain astounding amounts of added sugar.
For example, 1 cup of cranberry juice cocktail contains more than 7 teaspoons of sugar .
Additionally, your body doesnt recognize calories from drinks in the same way as those from food. Calories from drinks are absorbed quickly, resulting in a rapid increase in your blood sugar level.
Drinks also dont make you feel as full as solid food, so people who consume lots of calories from drinks dont eat less to compensate (
Heres The Truth About Kicking Sugar
We all have things we can change in our diets, our lives, our mindsets. Sugar can be just the start of retooling your life. Dont drastically cut out sugar from your diet and cause uncomfortable detox. Take it slow and let your body adjust. Start with a habit of awarenessbeing aware of labels, of what you put in your mouth, of your triggers, and of your personal wellness. Utilize high-quality essential oils to refocus your mind and body to rely less on sugar and more on the power of aromatherapy. Only you can make this change in your life and break up with sugar by replacing it with a positive lifestyle that fuels your mind, body, and soul.
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Limit Items With High Sugar Content In The House
If you keep high sugar foods in the house, you may be more likely to eat them. It takes a lot of willpower to stop yourself if you only have to go as far as the pantry or fridge to get a sugar hit.
However, if you live with others it can be hard to keep certain foods out of the house so you may want to have a plan in place for when sugar cravings strike. Studies have shown that distractions, such as doing puzzles, can be very effective at reducing cravings .
If that doesnt work, then try to keep some healthy low sugar snacks in the house to munch on instead.
Cut Out Sugar In Foods That Aren’t Sweet
If you can’t give up your ice cream and chocolate, try to eliminate ketchup and salsa. “Sugar is in many condiments and sauces, and one must be careful not to assume that because it’s not a dessert or a sweet food it must not have sugar,” says Ilene Ruhoy, MD, PhD, a doctor trained in both pediatric and adult neurology and a gut council member for Jetson. “Sugar is found in many kinds of ketchup, mustards, salsas, marinaras, and other sauces. It can also be found in some meals such as sushi rice and polenta.”
In fact, according to Dr. Drucker, manufacturers add sugar to 74 percent of packaged foods!”Sugar is the most popular ingredient added to packaged foods a breakfast bar made with ‘real fruit and whole grains’ may contain 15 grams or more of added sugarâsugar is literally hidden everywhere in our food supply. Adults, children, toddlers and even babies are unknowingly conditioned to desire sugar.” Making a habit of checking ingredient labels will open your eyes to just how much sugar is added to some of the most unexpected foods.
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Youll Feel Lighter Brighter And Happier
Sure, eating your favorite cake or ice cream may make you feel better in the short term, but over the long haul, your mental health can take a beating. Did you know that overeating sugar is linked to depression? The underlying chronic inflammation that happens when we eat a high-sugar diet negatively impacts our brain function one of the reasons we get blue with too many sweets.
A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate sugary foods with a high glycemic index increased their risk for depression. Another study published in 2017 in the journal Scientific Reports found that men who consumed more than 67 grams of sugar every day increased their risk for depression when compared to men who ate less than 40 grams each day.
Just consider a small child after eating their Halloween or Easter stash. They often turn from little angels to pesky devils! If you want to eat to beat the blues, youll want to stop eating sugar especially if youre prone to depressive states.
Pile Protein And Healthy Fats Onto Your Plate
Cutting out sugar is the perfect excuse to indulge in more healthy fats and lean protein . Both keep you feeling satiated and energized, preventing the blood sugar rise and fall that can lead to hard-to-resist sugar cravings.A protein-fat breakfast will help you start the day off right. Have a breakfast with protein and fat as the stars, like eggs and avocado, instead of the traditional starch and sugar combo, like a muffin or sweetened cereal, suggests Kohn.
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Weight Loss The Easy Way
Okay, its not easy giving up sugar but doing so cuts out a lot of empty calories. All labels had to be checked, most convenience supermarket foods and condiments were a no-go. Desserts, sugary drinks and most types of alcohol were to be avoided and if I could find an alternative it tended to be significantly less calorific. While I focused on avoiding sugar, the weight fell off.
How Can I Flush Sugar Out Of My System Fast
According to research, drinking sufficient of water aids in the removal of glucose from the bloodstream. The typical individual should strive to drink eight glasses of water every day on average. Drinking plenty of water while you are indulging your sweet craving and throughout the rest of the day afterward will assist your body in returning to its usual state of functioning.
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Would I Eat A Piece Of Fruit
This exercise is called the fruit test. If a person cannot tell whether they are really hungry or just craving a sugary sweet, asking themselves whether they would eat a piece of whole fruit can help.
If the answer is yes, the body is likely hungry, and if the answer is no, a person may be having a craving.
How Did We Get Here
Its not an accident. The sugar industry has conducted an aggressive, decades-long campaign to blame the obesity epidemic on fats, not sugars. Fats, after all, seem as if they should cause obesity. Thanks partly to that campaign, sugar consumption soared in the United States even as people were trying to lose weight. But research increasingly indicates that an overabundance of simple carbohydrates, and sugar in particular, is the No. 1 problem in modern diets. Sugar is the driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemics. Fortunately, more people are realizing the harms of sugar and cutting back.
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Create A Support System
Now is the time to get rid of temptations and create a support system with the right people, chat groups, and food supplies.
Assume the first week is going to be a challenge. I felt sugar withdrawal for 3-4 days
- Get rid of any foods you will no longer be eating. Some eat whats left before making the shift, but, if its really hurting your health, you might reconsider that thought.
- Tell friends and family what youre doingbut only if you know they will support you. Some will fight this.
- Get the information you need to understand low carb eating and be sure all your questions are answered to your satisfaction.
- Join forums and discussion groups and participate where you feel welcome and comfortable.
- Gather recipe ideas. Theres lots of books and websites .
- Seek out positive reinforcements. I like listening to low carb / keto podcasts.
- Carry low carb snacks and water everywhere you go. If you are getting adequate fats, and moderate protein, you will start feeling satiated after meals and the urge to snack will rapidly decrease.
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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.
Also, you may need to rethink your drinks. They can be a major source of sugar, whether itâs a soda, a latte, or juice. Try a sparkling water or plain water instead.
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What Happens If You Quit Sugar
Its thought that the sugar withdrawal stage passes after the first few weeks, so whilst you may experience symptoms like those listed above to begin with, they should have eased by around the 21-day mark.
After that? Theres not a lot of research on how the body responds to quitting sugar long-term, but studies on the ketogenic diet show mixed results. One study found that, after following a ketogenic diet for 24 weeks, participants had reduced body weight and BMI, and they also had reduced LDL cholesterol and blood glucose. Wed argue, though, that 24 weeks doesnt really count as long-term. Meanwhile, other research indicates that the high fat intake synonymous with the ketogenic diet isnt ideal for long-term heart health.
There are, of course, benefits to reducing your sugar intake so it falls within NHS guidelines. These include a reduced risk of illnesses including heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes, and it can also help to prevent tooth decay.
Again, there’s no knowing how your body will respond to quitting sugar. We’d reiterate, though, that it’s often not necessary to quit sugar entirely eaten in moderation and as part of a nutritious and balanced diet, sugar is both innocuous and enjoyable.
I Gave Up Added Sugar For Two Weeks And Here’s What Happened
If you asked twenty-five-year-old me to predict what my forties would look like, I would have used just one word to describe them: fat.
Fat was my inevitable destiny how could it not be? I had grown up as a latchkey kid with a serious sugar addiction my best friends were the Three Musketeers and all I knew of the world outside my suburban Pennsylvania neighborhood was French vanilla, English toffee, and Dutch chocolate.
The Navy Reserves whipped me into shape but when I entered the workforce soon after, the weight began to pile back on. Even as Editorial Director of Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness and author of The Abs Diet and Eat This, Not That!, I struggled with my love of added sugars.
So when I challenged myself to give them up, even I thought it couldn’t be done. How can someone go from eating up to 600 calories a day in added sugars to virtually none? And what the heck would I be eating then?
To find out, I worked with nutritionists to develop Zero Sugar Diet, and ran a test panel of 1,000 people where we documentedon a day-by-day basisthe remarkable changes that happened. Energy levels soared. Waistlines shrank. Blood pressure and cholesterol numbers plummeted. Muscles became toned and lean.
When you give up added sugars, and replace them with the no-sugar superfoods I reveal in my new book Zero Sugar Diet, a number of amazing things will happen, with shocking rapidity . Here’s what happened to me, after two weeks consuming zero added sugars.
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Is It Worth It In The Long Term
Visualizing the long-term consequences of snacking or otherwise indulging can help some people to curb cravings.
These consequences may include:
- feeling reduced levels of energy and happiness throughout the day
This exercise can also help a person to see the big picture and remember why they are dieting or trying to restrict their intake of certain foods.
Stress can play a role in hunger cravings, and long-term stressors can cause some people to crave foods that are sugary or more calorie-dense.
Finding ways to reduce stress may help to eliminate cravings.
Simple means of reducing stress, such as taking regular breaks from work, or even taking a few deep breaths, can help the body to refocus and calm the mind.
It may also help to try mindful stress-relieving practices, such as:
- breathing exercises
Write Down What You Eat
There is nothing like accountability when it comes to shaping new habits. Visually seeing what you are putting into your body as well as physically writing or logging the foods into an app are the best way to really see where your food and nutrient loyalties lie. You don’t want to obsess over every bite that you put in your mouth, but seeing where the majority of your calories come from as you begin to eat cleaner will help you to build a foundation for your new routine.
I also suggest writing down goals for yourself that you can achieve over time. Don’t be too aggressiverather, set small goals each week that ladder up into one larger one. Read those goals out loud to yourself each day and meditate on ways to achieve them. Every day, find time to journal or reflect on how you have fared. If you had a setback, then you can do better the next day. But keep yourself accountable and make it real by putting it in writing.
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