Whether you want to lose some weight or simply want to eat healthier, cutting sugar from your diet is one of the best things you can do. If it wasn’t for those darn sugar cravings! Unfortunately, sugar can be quite addictive, which makes reducing your sugar intake harder than you might imagine. While some experts say that you should decrease your sugar consumption over time, there are those who recommend cutting it out entirely with a sugar detox.
Sugar is addictive, and this is now scientifically proven. Research has found that sugar addiction is similar to drug addiction. It works by stimulating the same reward centres of our brain as some hard drugs like stimulants. And this includes negative withdrawal symptoms when you cease your intake. And like with some types of drugs, “slowly weaning off” sugar is often much less successful than cutting it out almost entirely.
Detoxing your body from sugar has another advantage; you will, in time, require less sugar to feel satisfied and your taste buds will become more sensitive again. After a successful sugar detox, you will appreciate the flavours of foods more!
So, how do you fight sugar addiction when you follow a detox? Here are some of the best ways to beat these pesky sugar cravings.
Many processed foods contain sugar, and not just the sweet-tasting ones. Often, sugar comes in the form of carbs, which are found in high quantities in breads, pasta, and other foods. Why should you avoid processed foods? Because the hidden sugars will at first give you a small “high”, but then you will feel down and the cravings for the good feeling (from the sugar) will just get worse!
Cravings can be odd at times. When you’re dehydrated and happen to be thirsty, your body may think that it caves sugar instead. But don’t let this fool you; water is one of the best things to get rid of cravings! And the best thing is, you don’t need to drink plain water to do this. With some lemon juice and a natural sweetener like stevia, you can add a refreshing zing to your water to enhance the taste. Drink plenty of water with your meals, and in between them!
Although some fruits like cherries and grapes can contain high amounts of sugars, most fruits contain fructose, which is metabolised differently than “common” processed sugar. This makes many fruits a great alternative to sweet snacks. So, if you’re really craving something sweet and think you can’t go without it, eat some tasty whole fruits to get your fix. When eaten in moderation, fresh fruits are super healthy, too!
Stevia is a natural sweetener with zero calories. Stevia extract is between 100-200x sweeter than sugar, but doesn’t come with the negative health effects sugar has. In fact, stevia has been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. With stevia, you can sweeten your drinks and foods easily while satisfying your sweet tooth safely.
There is not much, if any, evidence that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, or saccharin help with weight loss. Instead, evidence is mounting that so-called “diet” foods and drinks actually contribute to long-term weight gain. As if that’s not enough, many artificial sweeteners are suspected to cause all sorts of other health problems. If you want to wean off sugar, these foods are not recommended; the artificial sweet taste of them will make your palate less sensitive. In time, you will crave even more sweetness.
Sugar can be addictive, and now there is more proof than ever behind this. This means that sweet temptations can make life rather difficult if you want to detox. In order to be as successful as possible, it’s a good idea to get rid of these sweet temptations not only at home, but at work as well. So go through your fridge and your drawers, and toss out all the junk food and sweets. Even better, give them to your friends or neighbours, or donate them!