Get On A Good Sleep Cycle
The benefits of a good nights sleep are innumerable: improved immune system, better metabolic functioning, and overall increase in energy and mental clarityjust to name a few.
But studies have long linked sleep patterns with certain cravings, and because we often attribute sleep deprivation to stress, guess what we reach for as relief? Yep, sugar.
John Douillard writes for his LifeSpa newsletter: When under stress, the adrenals go shopping for energy. Their favorite stop is the pancreas, where stress generates insatiable cravings for sweets to create the energy the adrenals can no longer provide.
The human body is designed to burn protein-derived fat throughout the course of the day and into the night, as healthy fat burns at a slow, steady rate that can sustain it for long periods at a timedefinitely during a good nights sleep.
Sugar and carbs, however, burn much more quickly, and for those who consume more of the latter than former, long periods of sustainable sleep are next to impossible, resulting in a kind of cyclical sleep-sugar dependence.
A diet high in protein, combined with at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, means your body is burning healthy fuel, eliminating the need for middle-of-the-night and morning sugar fixes.
Why You Need To Explore Both The Emotional And Physiological Aspects Of Sugar
There’s a lot of acknowledgment today about how sugar affects you on a physiological level.
There are other doctors who are exploring how things like mineral imbalances, candida overgrowth, the health of the gut and hormonal imbalances can lead to sugar cravings and feed a sugar addiction. So, yes, the science is there: there can be a physiological component to a sugar addiction.
Being Set Free From Sugar Will Be Worth The Work
Is all this work worth the effort? It is if you want to take your health back and truly be set free. Ill admit that the first few days and weeks will be the most challenging.
But after consistently turning down the temptation you will notice the desire for sweets to begin to subside. The more you surrender this area to God the easier it will be to pass the test.
Randy and I call this our Jesus and Keto Lifestyle. Because it wasnt until we combined our faith with a ketogenic diet that we began to experience real transformation. It finally put us on the path to being able to say no to sugar and yes to our health.
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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.
Watch For Hidden Sugar
Cough syrups, chewing gum, mints, tomato sauce, baked beans, and lunch meats often contain sugar. Even some prescription medications contain sugar. For a week, be particularly vigilant and scan every possible food label. Given that 1 tablespoon ketchup can contain about 1/2 teaspoon sugar, buying sugar-free condiments can help cut your sugar consumption. Here are some other sneaky sources of sugar.
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Whats Wrong With Sugar
And all that time, I thought sugar was a food! After all, Id tell friends, its sold in grocery stores! What else could it be?
Refined sugar is a chemical, distilled from sugar cane or sugar beets, that contains no vitamins, minerals, or any other nutrition. In fact, it is an anti-nutrient: to metabolize it, the body has to draw on its own nutrient stores. This eventually causes malnutrition, often combined with obesity.
Refined sugar causes spikes and wild swings of blood sugar, insulin, and adrenaline it causes major stress to the body. Eventually the blood sugar system malfunctions. Endorphins, the bodys feel-good chemicals, are disrupted. The immune system is adversely affected.
Along with white flour, refined sugar is thought to be the ultimate cause of many Western diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This stems from historical observations made when traditional peoples began eating Western food.
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Donuts And Other Sweets Are Common Sources Of Added Sugar
If you usually have a hankering for something sweet after meals, find it hard to pass up dessert, or rely on sugar-filled coffee drinks for an afternoon pick-me-up, youre not alone. A study published in June 2017 in Appetite found that 86 percent of people who had food cravings thought about high-calorie foods specifically, those containing chocolate.
The good news: Reaching for healthy foods high in nutrients like protein and fiber can help stave off unhealthy hankerings.
Here are some of the foods that can help keep cravings for sugar at bay:
- Seeds, such as sesame and chia
- Pulses, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas
Below, find a full list with the scientific reasons why they may be effective. Plus, learn more about what may be behind your sugar cravings in the first place.
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Why Is Sugar Addicting
Whats wrong with sugar, you ask? Everything. Outside of making things taste better, sugar has no nutritional value and is full of empty calories. These calories can create weight problems and, in turn, heighten your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Thats only the physical downside. The psychological component is real, too. Sugar releases dopamine and can increase serotonin production, a hormone that can boost your mood.
In reality, sugar isnt any different than comfort food or a satisfying fast food meal loaded with simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are high on the glycemic index, meaning it takes less time to turn them into glucose. During this quicker digestion process, you may feel good in the short term, but hunger will quickly set in since sugary foods lack nutrients and leave you unsatisfied.
It can turn into a vicious cycle. At first, the sugar you eat tastes good, bringing on a high when your brain initiates the dopamine release. Then, the sugar causes your insulin levels to increase, leading to a drop in blood sugar levels. As your blood sugar falls, your appetite and hunger levels increase. Your body then craves sugar again to fix any hunger deficiencies or feelings of unease, even if the fix is only temporary.
Hydrate The Right Way
Green juices can be deceiving. Yes, they have fruits and veggies in them, but that green drink youre grabbing from Jamba Juice may be loaded with more fruit and sugar than actual greens!
Read those nutrition labels carefully. If youre consciously consuming the fruit for the benefits of the fruit itself, why not grab a whole apple or banana instead? Whole fruits provide nutrients as well as fiber, which helps slow the digestion of natural sugars.
When it comes to hydration, I suggest carrying around a 32-ounce water bottle. Fill it up twice per day and youve hit all, if not more or close to, your hydration needs.
If plain water doesnt excite you, make your own spa water by adding fresh mint and lemon slices.
If youre having a tough time fighting the soda habit, go for bubbles, just make them chemical and calorie-free. You can also try adding frozen or fresh fruit to plain club soda for a refreshing alternative.
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Identify Obsessive Food Behaviors Around Sugar
If you notice a sudden increase in your sugar cravings or find it’s becoming overwhelming to try and control them, it’s time to jump into action. Sugar cravings can result in an overconsumption of sugar, which can drive up blood sugar. And there are various health consequences to chronically high blood sugar. Talking to a therapist and/or a registered dietitian can be a helpful way to begin addressing the issue.
Easy Ways To Stop Sugar Cravings
Got a sweet tooth thats impossible to control? Like many of us, you may find that the sneaky sugary treat you told yourself would be just one ends up turning into 2 cupcakes, 3 donuts and a block of chocolate
Its not uncommon for the cravings to continue after youve had your first sugary snack. Sugar cravings are usually a result of low blood sugar levels or conditioned behaviour that has developed over time. The good news is though, there are a bunch of solutions to help overcome your sugar addiction!
Not only will this improve your dental health by reducing cavities and tooth decay, but will also benefit your overall health dramatically.
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Let Me Share Some Results:
- Patty lost 8 pounds and 9 inches, started sleeping better, and noticed a huge improvement in her mental clarity and focus.
- Within the very first day, Kittie felt lighter, and over the next 3 weeks, she lost 8 pounds, gained more energy, and her love of life completely rebounded.
- Jen ditched her life-long addiction to sugar, felt leaner, became incredibly productive, started sleeping better, and learned how to successfully navigate her emotional eating.
These women learned the key to melting fat, kicking cravings, and boosting their energy, was simply ditching sugar for a period of time, which was robbing them of their energy and vitality.
Once they discovered how great this simple technique made them feel, they wanted to go deeper and give their lifestyle and metabolism a total reboot but more on that later.
Ok, so now that youve seen what Kick Sugar Now can do for women like you, youre wondering:
How can I do this myself? Do I need to stop eating all of the foods I love?
Nope! Its really quite easy and takes just a little bit of planning and preparation to implement and get you on your way to feeling amazing again in less than a week.
Youll feel lighter and leaner, less foggy, and more in control of your cravings and your life.
Its worked for me, its worked for hundreds of other busy women, and it can work for you!
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.
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Sugar Addiction And Alcoholism
There is a surprising genetic link between children of parents who abuse alcohol and sugar addiction. A recent study confirmed dopamine receptors in the brain light up when sugar is consumed, similar to the receptors lighting up in the brain of someone who abuses alcohol. This can encourage people who struggle with sweets to develop alcoholism.
Alcohol-dependent individuals have a higher preference for sweets and experience sugar cravings and sugar withdrawals. The genes in parents who abuse alcohol, as well as their preference for sugar, can be passed down to their children. As a result, the child may have a predisposition to both of these compulsions.
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Practical Tools To Saying No To Sugar
When I made the decision to try to get my health back after years of battling the effects of fibromyalgia, Epstein Barr virus, and Guillan Barre Syndrome, I turned to a low-carb keto diet.
In my case, I started my journey to saying no to sugar by saying yes to a diet that was higher in healthy fats. Something very interesting happened when I made the switch from low-fat to low carb. All of a sudden my sugar cravings began to diminish.
The more I learned how to give my brain what it needed in the form of healthy fats, the easier it was to pass up the high carb foods that I would have otherwise never been able to say no to.
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Ways To Break The Sugar Cravings Cycle
Theres no scientifically proven way to retrain your brain to stop sugar cravings, but there are tactics you can take to lessen them. Some options worth exploring:
- Strive for a balanced diet. Eating amplefiber, protein, and healthy fat increases satiety, keeps blood sugar levels stable, and reduces sugar cravings. This might have to do with the physical feeling of fullness these foods provide. A 2020 study found that people who ate an average of 35g of fiber per day had better blood sugar markers than those who averaged just 19g. of fiber. High-fiber foods include beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, or whole grains. Meanwhile, additional research shows eating fat alongside carbohydrates can decrease the uptick in glucose after eating.
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.
Healing Your Emotional Relationship With Sugar
Healing the emotional component of your relationship with sugar is what supports change “up on the surface” in your daily life – new behaviors, habits and changes in what and how you eat, including sugar.
It also supports a different response – new ways of responding and relating to sugar cravings, the urge to binge, emotional longings for sugar, and more. Through sugar, you’re growing your emotional tolerance: your ability to feel, integrate and temper a wide range of emotions.
This emotional development is how you move from both poles of a sugar obsession – bingeing, sugar addiction and overconsumption on the one hand and fear, avoidance, and obsession with never eating sugar on the other – into the middle, nurturing a conscious, peaceful, and mindful relationship with sugar.
Here’s why the emotional work is so important: while sugar can be addictive, and addressing any physiological issues can help provide relief, it’s also important to ask: why am I seeking out sugar in the first place? Why is sugar my go to for stress relief, comfort, pleasure and soothing?
This is called “the heart that’s ready for anything.” As my mentor in developmental psychology, Vancouver psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld says, “The essence of self esteem is, ‘Come what may, I can handle it.'” And that is exactly what you develop through the emotional healing process.
Are Sugar Cravings Actually Considered An Addiction
There’s still ongoing research about the existence of sugar addiction. However, there is certainly good evidence that it exists. Before we dive into it, let’s first look at the difference between cravings and addiction. A craving is an intense desire for something. On the other hand, addiction is a condition developed by compulsively consuming a substance despite the adverse side effects.
Cravings can turn into addictions if you don’t manage them properly, but food cravings are not always a sign of concern. You can develop a craving if you have a nutritional deficiency or self-imposed food restrictions. Something to keep in mind is that your body naturally craves what’s known as hyperpalatable foods. Hyperpalatable foods are easy to digest and high in sugar, fat, and salt.
From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense to crave these foods since finding food was a challenge in the past. But in today’s world, there’s an overabundance of food. So it’s normal to naturally gravitate towards calorically dense foods. Animal and human studies have shown that hyperpalatable foods can stimulate the brain’s reward center, influencing your decisions. This creates a positive feeling, making you want to keep eating this food over and over again.
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