It is time to banish that white crystalline drug we are all so addicted to from our lives.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
Just like street drugs, sugar gives us an immediate dopamine release and a feeling of pleasure.
When we have to go without it for too long, many of us experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, headaches and moodiness.
Robert Lustig, MD and his team from the University of California say that sugar is so toxic that it should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco in order to protect the health of the public. According to him, sugar may be the main contributor to as many as 35 million deaths worldwide, sparking diseases like obesity, cancer and heart disease.
In short, banishing sugar from your diet may help you to lead a longer, more fulfilling and healthier life.
Why Do We Crave Sugar So Much?
Sugar provides a quick release of energy, fueling every cell in the brain. We experience sugar as a reward, for good reason: our human bodies are designed to recognize the “good” stuff from the bad. Poisonous plants and berries are typically bitter, while the non-poisonous fruits are sweet.
Sugar is also stored in our bodies as fat, a system that was used to help humans survive when they had to go without food for a while. The main problem however, arose when humans figured out how to refine the raw sugars into the white powder that is now found in liberal portions in almost every processed and packaged food in our supermarkets.
Gradual Elimination Or Going Cold Turkey?
It is hard to imagine a sugarless life, and many liken ditching sugar for good like going off heroin or crack. Some recommend reducing sugar from your diet gradually by steadily decreasing the amount of sugar you consume. Instead of having dessert every day, cut down to having it once a week; instead of 3 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee or tea, have one, etcetera.
If your sugar sensitivity is high, however, it may be better to go cold turkey as consuming some sugar may just keep that sensitivity alive. After going through sugar withdrawal for about a week, you may just find that your body has gotten used to going without it, and after a month, you may be able to say no to cake and candy without any regrets.
Tips On Kicking The Habit
- Prepare yourself mentally. Write down all of the reasons why sugar is bad for you and why you want to quit consuming it. Read it every time you are tempted to eat a candy bar. Be ready for at least one very rough week while your body goes through withdrawal.
- Keep a diary and write down when the cravings hit to figure out what it is that drives you to sugar, whether it is emotional downers, stress or boredom.
- Plan distractions for when the cravings hit. Go for a walk, do some exercise or go to bed early. Exercise in itself is a fantastic help in kicking food addiction.
- Eat more often to prevent you from giving in to buying sweets when you are hungry, and keep healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts around.
- Cut down on the carbs you consume and eat more protein. Carbs cause blood sugar fluctuations that contribute to sugar cravings, while proteins make you feel fuller for longer and regulate your blood sugar. When you do eat carbs, opt for those with a low glycemic load (GL).
- Start your day right. Have a bowl of oats with berries to add some sweetness. Having the right type of food for breakfast will help you get through the rest of the day with more ease.
- Up your Vitamin C intake, because it not only helps to regulate your blood sugar, but also lowers some of sugar’s damaging effects.
- Stay away from caffeine. Caffeine disrupts the blood-sugar balance in your body. Rather have some green tea, which is rich in antioxidants and will help repair some of the damage done by sugar.
- Spice up your life. Not only do spices make food tastier, but spices like cinnamon help lower blood sugar.
- Drink more water. Always carry a bottle of water with you. When we get thirsty, it is easy to succumb to the seduction of all those sugary beverages that are displayed so prominently. If we drink water more often, we won’t be as inclined to down a soda.
If you follow these tips and finally manage to live life without sugar, you may discover that dieting isn’t even necessary to maintain your ideal weight.
Start eliminating sugar today and see how amazing it feels.