Are you dealing with feelings of sugar withdrawal? Trying a sugar detox? Sugar withdrawal symptoms can occur when your body feels deprived of the amount of sugar it has become used to.
From the point of view of someone who isn’t dealing with a sugar addiction it can be easy to dismiss how difficult dealing with sugar withdrawal can be.
However, if you have had strong cravings for sugar before and had the intention of stopping, you may be able to identify with how tough it can be to kick the sugar habit.
Just like many other addictions, sugar withdrawal symptoms can be extremely hard to deal with. Craving sugar can put you in a difficult physiological and psychological position too.
Physiologically, the body becomes accustomed to a certain level of sugar in-take such that quitting becomes extremely difficult. It could even result in depression and other flu-like symptoms.
Psychologically, sugar lovers fear the experience of going through sugar withdrawal symptoms and the temptation of reaching for another sweet snack.
This might make you wonder whether it’s worthwhile to try reduce or eliminate your sugar habit. Don’t worry though…you’ll find some tips here to help you through it :)
Dealing with Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
The reason sugar withdrawal can be difficult to deal with is because most foods we eat contain high sugar levels. In addition, foods that are rich in non-sucrose carbohydrates convert to sugar when they are consumed.
If you are wondering how sugar withdrawal can be difficult, here are some symptoms often associated with it:
- Cravings for sugar-containing foods
- Unstable energy levels
- Reduced concentration levels
- Poor mental focus & clarity
Fortunately, there are some ways to manage your sugar consumption so that you don’t become addicted to sugar. These tips can also help you reduce your sugar cravings.
1. Gradually Reduce Your Sugar Consumption
This seems to be obvious and simple. Yet, it is the most difficult of all the steps to consider when managing your cravings for sugar. The key however is this: just as with any other addiction, the process needs to be gradual.
2. Eat Regular Meals
Having frequent meals will help you maintain more even blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar levels often result in cravings for sugary foods.
A good way to balance sugar levels is to have something to eat every two or three hours. Of course it is important to avoid foods that will prompt blood glucose spikes and sugar withdrawal symptoms, like white bread and potatoes.
Healthy foods like quality meats, green vegetables and some nuts are perfect options.
3. Eat More Quality Protein
It is very easy to manage your cravings by consuming more high quality protein. Ensure that every meal has plenty of protein from sources like wild caught fish and grass-fed beef or lamb.
Eating plenty of natural, quality protein will also help you keep muscle on your frame while losing fat which is good for gaining ideal body composition. Eggs are also good source of healthy protein.
4. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water will may help in reducing your sugar craving levels. It also may have many health-related benefits including weight loss.
5. Manage Stress
When you are not able to manage your stress and your emotions well, you are likely to turn to an something to “help” and for many people this is often sugary foods.
For example, many people get cravings for sweet things when they are bored, depressed, or sad.
One of the ways to become emotionally stable is to be involved in activities that keep your moods in balance, such as exercising, getting involved in sports or recreational activities, finding a hobby, etc. It’s also important to nurture good relationships with family and friends.
Avoiding Excess Sugar Eliminates Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
It can also help you deal with:
Excessive Body Weight
Sugary products are known to play a very big role in the rising cases of obesity. Most sweetened foods are high in calories and have little or no nutritional value as far as vitamins, minerals and various micro-nutrients are concerned.
If you cannot stay away from foods that are high in sugar, you are bound to gain extra weight or damage your health in some other way.
Increased Heart Disease Risk
The chances of suffering a heart attack are significantly increased by high levels of sugar in your system. For example, when you consume food that has a lot of fructose, it triggers triglyceride production in the body. Chronic exposure to these triglyceride fats in the bloodstream can contribute to heart attack risk.
Weakened Immune System
White blood cells are negatively affected by too much sugar in the blood. This affects the immune system of the body since it depends on the white blood cells to help fight infection and sickness.
It is quite easy to have an infection when the white blood cells are not active in the body.This also hinders the proper function of the immune system.
Poor Skin Health
Excessive sugar consumption can damage the skin collagen and make it age rapidly. It can also affect the production of elastin which is responsible for skin elasticity.
A poor diet in general can affect the skin (things like soy and gluten often cause acne problems) and too much sugar will cause the skin to age prematurely.
This makes one look older as the skin becomes loose and wrinkled. Sounds like a huge reason to avoid excess sugar to me!
What About Alternative Sweeteners?
The realm of alternative sweeteners can be dangerous ground since there are some truly unhealthy sugar alternatives out there (aspartame anyone?).
On the other hand there are some natural or safer sweeteners you can use as sugar substitutes in small amounts. Here are a few choices:
- Honey: It is produced by bees that collect nectar from flowers. It can be used in most meals especially baked products.
- Maple syrup: It is available from the grocery stores and directly from homes and farms in some areas. It is high in calcium and potassium and has about 60% sucrose.
- Date Sugar: This is a type of sugar made from the fruit of date palms. In general foods that are less refined are better and this applies to sugar as well. Date sugar is a bit more natural and unrefined than white table sugar.
- Xylitol: This sugar substitute is reputed to have actual beneficial aspects in regards to dental health. You may need to become accustomed to it slowly as it can cause some initial side effects until your body is used to it.
Completing a Sugar Detox
For some people it can be super helpful to have a guide and a community to complete a sugar detox with.
If you like to know step-by-step how to deal with sugar cravings and want to have more energy, better skin, lose weight and enjoy better mental focus you’ll want to try something like a 21 day sugar detox.