Healing A Sugar Addiction: What To Do First
Structures, routines, and rituals are like a riverbank: offering support during those times when you’re craving sugar.
So where do you begin? Its easy to get overwhelmed when youre trying to understand what drives a sugar addiction or understand how to eat less of it. I invite you to look at it as a journey and a process, not something you have to figure out all at once.
1. Start by observing yourself. Keep a food diary and track how much sugar youre eating. How do you feel after you eat sugar? What triggers a sugar binge? With this awareness, step back and examine your patterns. Does one bite lead to a desire for more and more?
2. Add self care. If you decide you want to transition into a low or no sugar diet, give yourself a supportive physical foundation. This includes adding regular, rhythmic self care to your life like:
- Eating breakfast every morning
- Including fat and protein in your meals
- Eating regular meals
- Drinking more water and less juice, sodas, and more
- Creating a nourishing bedtime routine where youre regularly getting 7 + hours of sleep a night
Where many people get stuck is they try to give up sugar without building this physiological foundation first.
3. Plan for where you get stuck. If you know that despite your best intentions, you eat 3 candy bars every afternoon, or you gorge on ice cream most weekends, plan for it. Be gently honest with yourself and accept that this is where you are right now.
Consuming Sugar Increases Your Risk For Diabetes And Metabolic Syndrome
With all that increased sugar and weight gain comes a higher risk for diabetes and a condition called metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome is a group of symptoms and behaviors that put you at a much higher risk of developing heart disease and Type II diabetes.
Thankfully both conditions are reversible and the first step toward better health is to cut out the sugar. Eating a low carbohydrate diet, like Keto, keeps your blood sugar normal and is far less likely to cause metabolic syndrome.
How To Stop Sugar Cravings For Good
I still enjoy sweets. In fact, I eat them almost everyday, but the difference is I dont need to have them. I can consciously make a decision whether I want to eat a sweet treat or not. Back in the day, I had zero control of my cravings. I felt totally helpless around desserts, and there was more than one occasion when I ate too many desserts and physically felt ill afterward. Once I started eating something sweet, I wanted more and more of it. Nowadays, I can enjoy one or two cookies and not eat the whole batch. Theres even been times that Ive forgotten about baked goods or other delicious things in the house. This would have never happened 18 months ago. Lets just say Ive made great strides!
If youre trying to kick a sugar addiction, I hope you found this post helpful. Of course, Im not a doctor or Registered Dietitian, but these things worked for me. I hope they work for you, too!
Still looking for some tips and motivation? Heres another blog post that might interest you: Revisiting My Sugar Addiction.
Do you struggle with sugar cravings? What makes you crave sugar? What are your tips for controlling your sugar cravings?
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How To Quit Sugar: 12 Expert Tips And Methods To Quit For Good
Its hard to know how to quit sugar, and to be fully aware of how much were consuming. But the truth is that, in excess, the added sugar in our food and drink is harmful to us.
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Its hard to know how to quit sugar, and to be fully aware of how much were consuming. But the truth is, in excess, the added sugar in our food and drink is harmful to us.
Eating sugar can have a big impact . Added sugar increases inflammation in the body. It causes spikes in our blood sugar and raises the risk of numerous health conditions, including type 2 diabetes , fatty liver disease, heart disease and obesity. Sugar is harmful because it also provides empty calories that’s energy with little or no nutritional value.
Here, our expert nutritionists explain how much sugar is too much, how to take control of your sugar intake, and how to quit sugar cold turkey, as well as sharing what you can eat in place of sugar so you dont feel deprived.
Water From An Air Up Bottle
Its been reported that 16 million Brits want to reduce their sugar intake but are struggling due to a lack of alternatives, which is why we love the clever water bottles from Air Up. Using a specific technology called retronasal smell, Air Up bottles contain a scent pod that fools your brain into thinking you’re tasting a flavoured drink when you’re drinking water.
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You Can Quit Your Sugar Habit
Quitting sugar is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Youll feel better, slash your risk of developing many diseases, and make room in your diet for more nutritious and satisfying foods. So why not get started right now?
It wont necessarily be easy, but its not complicated with these tips at hand. Approach quitting your sugar habit one day at a time, and before you know it, you wont even want to eat those sweet treats anymore.
How To Beat Sugar Cravings
Eating more real food.
I cant stress this one enough. It was so important in helping me overcome my sugar addiction. It also encouraged me take a good, hard, honest look at the way I was eating and, ultimately, it helped me clean up my diet.
I realized that when I overdid it on sweets, I hadnt eaten much real food. For me, this means something with substance, like meat, fish, eggs, beans, Greek yogurt, avocado, cheese, nut butter, etc. I also realized I was eating a ton of carbs and not enough protein and healthy fats. Sure, I was eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and other nutritious foods, but I always wanted something more to eat. This meant I wasnt fully satisfied, and Id go straight for the sweet stuff. When I started to increase the amount of real food in my diet, it was much easier to control my cravings. A little tip: Aim to eat at least two different servings of veggies with every meal. It really helps with satiety!
If I craved something sweet after I finished eating a meal, Id go back for a second serving. Usually, it was just a small portion, but I figured if I was craving something more to eat, it should be something nutritious and not sugar. Once I felt full from the second serving, I rarely wanted dessert. And if I did, a bite or two usually did the trick. I felt satisfied and in control of my cravings, so it wasnt difficult to stop eating sweets once I started.
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Join Our Jesus And Keto Movement
Looking for an online support system to help you stay the course on keto? As a family, we came to the keto diet looking at it from a Christian perspective. As believers, we live our lives supported by Gods grace.
Knowing firsthand the benefits of this decision we have created a closed Christian group that is using the keto diet to transform their lives. We invite you to join our and see if its not the key you have been missing.
Be sure to request our FREE Jesus and Keto E-Book We hope it blesses you.
Enjoy A Piece Of Fruit
“I don’t know if it’s possible to eradicate sugar cravings because they’re part of being human. But I do think that nature gave us fruit for a reason,” Largeman-Roth says. “It’s naturally sweet and loaded with fiber to help us feel full. It also delivers a host of benefits, including antioxidants that help our bodies and skin stay young and healthy.” Training your body to crave fruit instead of processed sugar will be greatly beneficial to your overall health.
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How To Quit Sugar Addiction
There is no easy answer for quitting sugar addiction. However, some resources that may be helpful include: books, online articles, and counseling.
Also, eating healthy can assist with food addiction and quitting cold turkey: Whole fruits, vegetables, yogurt, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean protein, leafy vegetables.
Additionally, leading a healthy lifestyle can help: Drink plenty of water, get enough rest, and exercise.
How Long Does It Take To Detox From Sugar
Before we continue we have to clear something up it’s not, scientifically speaking, possible to detox from sugar. Our bodies rely on sugars for fuel and for brain, central nervous system and red blood cell function. That said, it is possible to reduce many sugars from your diet, if you wish.
Another important note: “detoxing” sugar has not, to our knowledge, been analysed in a clinical study and there is no prescription on the amount of sugar-free days you want to log to re-set your relationship.
But, some people find that going three days cold turkey can recalibrate their palette, so that they can taste the natural sugars in vegetables and fruit more, while most sugar-free nutrition plans take you through eight weeks of nada sweet stuff, followed by a reintroduction phase for fruits and small allowances for dark chocolate and the like.
It’s crucial to note here that everyone’s different some will find it easier to reduce sugar intake than others, and cutting out many sources of sugars isn’t for everyone.
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How Does Sugar Cravings And Alcohol Addiction Relate
When someone is addicted to alcohol, they are also likely to be addicted to sugar. This is because both substances cause a release of dopamine in the brain, which gives the person a feeling of pleasure.
Sugar cravings can be a major trigger for someone who is trying to quit drinking alcohol. The cravings can make the person feel like they need to drink in order to get the same feeling of pleasure that they get from sugar. This can make it very difficult to stick to an alcohol-free lifestyle.
If you are struggling with sugar cravings and alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help from a professional. They can help you find ways to deal with your cravings and develop a plan to stay sober.
Foods That Curb Sugar Cravings
Filling my kitchen with my favorite healthy-sweet foods.
And Im not just talking about bananas! I fill my kitchen with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mangos. You know, all of the expensive fruit that I love so much. I figure if Im spending the money on these pricey fruits, I wont let them go to waste . Theyll be the first thing I go for when a craving for something sweet strikes. One of my favorite snacks is microwaving fresh berries with a scoop of nut butter and then mixing it all up into a messy delicious mess!
Ok, youre probably thinking: Fruit is not dessert. I totally agree, and I wont tell you eating a bunch of strawberries is better than eating aFunfetti cake pop. Clearly, you cant compare these two things within the same dessert category. But, I discovered if I paired fruit with a more substantial food, it often satisfied my sweet craving. My favorite combos: sliced banana with almond butter, fresh berries with Greek yogurt, Adora disks dipped into peanut butter, or fruit smoothies with protein powder mixed it. Additionally, sweet potato wedges + peanut butter is an amazingly satisfying sweet snack. For added sweetness, Ill sometimes add cinnamon, shredded coconut, and/or raisins.
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Get Your Beauty Sleep
‘Research has shown that a lack of sleep not only impairs you from making complex decisions, it also activates the part of the brain responsible for sweet cravings,’ says Goodwin.
‘How much sleep is enough? Aim to get an amount that means you wake up naturally, rather than being shaken awake by your alarm.’
The Benefits Of A Low
- No more brain fog and increased alertness
- Reduced bloat. Sweeteners are notorious for causing bloating.
- Fewer aches and pains. As sweets cause inflammation you may want to quit sugar to relieve your symptoms.
- Weight loss. Many people have reported losing weight and there is a lot of good evidence that supports weight loss when we quit sugar. This reduces the consumption of excess calories. The impact sugar has on our bodies and most importantly our hormones. One of the hormones greatly influenced is insulin. And by reading above you will know how insulin is a fat storing hormone.
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Better overall health. Prevention of diabetes, obesity, heart diseases.
- Clearer skin. Sugar triggers inflammation in the body that leads to acne, rash, and other skin problems.
- Better dental health. Sugary sodas, juices, and candies create an acidic, cavity-promoting environment in the mouth
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Add Some Protein To A Carb
A study that looked at MRI scans of people eating a high-protein breakfast found reduced activity in the regions of the brain associated with cravings, Cassetty says. Try adding some protein to your breakfast and see if it helps you cut down on sugar later in the day. You can serve your hot or cold cereal with some Greek yogurt, or have it with a couple of eggs on the side to boost your protein intake. If youre eating a bagel or toast, include some smoked salmon to get the benefits of protein.
How To Break Your Sugar Addiction
Nutrient deficiencies are one of the most common causes of sugar cravings.
The three main deficiencies to look out for are chromium, magnesium and tryptophan.
Chromium and sugar cravings
Typical signs of low chromium are poor blood glucose control, feeling dizzy and irritable after several hours without food, needing to eat frequently, excessive thirst and sugar cravings.
Youll find chromium in broccoli, oats, barley, green beans, tomatoes and black pepper.
Supplementing chromium is also helpful.
Magnesium and sugar cravings
Its estimated that at least 90% of Australians dont get enough magnesium, partly because its deficient in the soils, as well as a typical Australian diet.
Symptoms of low magnesium include fatigue, irritability, weakness, heart irregularities, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, mental confusion, decreased appetite and sugar cravings.
Leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, brown rice, apples, avocados, cacao, eggs and kelp all contain magnesium, so including more of those in your diet can help, as well as supplementing.
Tryptophan and sugar cravings
If you have sugar cravings or binge on refined carbohydrates, have trouble sleeping, experience anxiety, mood or sleep issues, or seasonal affective disorder, low tryptophan may be the cause.
Youll find tryptophan in chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, bananas, soy and cows milk, lentils, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and fish.
Supplementing can also be helpful, in the form of 5HTP.
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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.