Sugar is almost unavoidable these days. It’s present in everything we eat, and yes, that includes salty stuff. All processed foods contain at least traces of sugar, and those tasty salad dressings and sauces are even worse. If you take a bottle right now and read the ingredients you’ll say that we’re lying. But, were you aware that there are a total of 61 different names for added sugar? Corn syrup, cane juice, dextrose, and barley malt are just a few of the names. No matter how it’s called, sugar is quite destructive to your body. Those comparisons with heroin are not to be taken lightly – it’s just as harmful and as addictive.
Over time, addiction to sugar will create a pleasant feeling in your brain and a high. You can expect sugar cravings frequently at that point. The more you eat, the worse your situation becomes. According to experts, it’s all because of a few harmful habits. Insomnia, stress, and skipping meals are all to blame along with a few other factors.
What Causes Sugar Cravings?
Poor sleep is recognized as one of the leading factors behind sugar cravings. This has been proven in numerous studies, in which lack of sleep has been associated with reduced production of two important hormones – ghrelin and leptin. These two hormones regulate our appetite, and when their levels are not in order, you can expect a variety of problems. Additionally, insomnia also disrupts our insulin production which keeps our blood sugar levels in check.
Skipping meals as a means of losing weight and being under constant stress are the two other major factors for sugar addiction. Both are just as dangerous as lack of sleep and can lead to even bigger problems. Skipping meals means fewer fats and carbs in our body. The human body relies on fats and carbs to create energy, and when it lacks both, it relies on sugar.
As the sugar gets burnt for energy, the body needs more and more, resulting in sugar cravings. In the USA alone, it is estimated that people consume 19 teaspoons of sugar per day which is certainly wrong. Add carbs and fat into the mix and our brain would be extremely happy. The combination of all three keeps us satisfied, but what good is it if it also makes us addicted to sugar?
Instead of eating snacks full of carbs, fat, and sugar even when we’re not hungry simply because our brains crave sugar, we should switch to healthy alternatives such as avocados, peanuts, nuts and seeds, and almonds among other snacks. They contain valuable vegetable protein that will subdue your sugar cravings and keep your health in check.
If you’re already craving sugar way too frequently, you’re on your way to becoming an addict. Quitting is the only way of reversing any health problems, yet it’s quite hard. The good news is that we’ve compiled a list of simple ways that will help detox your body of sugar and keep you healthy and strong.
Walk or Exercise
The fastest and probably most convenient way to stay away from sugar is to take a walk or exercise. Physical activity acts as a distraction and also regulates the production of certain hormones in your body, effectively preventing sugar rushes and cravings.
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is key for sugar detoxification. Drink plenty of water and nothing else – you’re going to need at least 2 l. of water and even 3 l. if you can take it.
We already mentioned that lack of sleep leads to sugar cravings, so make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep overnight.
Eat Proper Meals Regularly
When you’re trying to quit sugar, you need to eat proper meals at regular intervals. This will help keep your blood sugar levels in check and prevent sugar cravings which will likely result in junk food and treats.
Instead of chocolate bars and the such, keep protein snacks at hand. Protein will pick your energy levels up and prevent you from crashing down to Earth later. Nuts and seeds are a great example of a protein snack.
Eat More Fruit
Fruit will fill you up with fiber and keep your blood sugar levels steady. This should be enough to prevent sugar cravings later.
No Artificial Sweeteners!
If there’s one thing worse than sugar, it’s artificial sweeteners. Linked with a variety of serious disorders, aspartame and “the gang” are not a good substitute for sugar.
Don’t Quit Cold Turkey
Quitting sugar straight away is simply not possible. Instead, reduce the amount you eat bit by bit. It’ll be easier for your body to cope with the stress and will help you come out triumphant.
Support, support, support!
In order to successfully quit sugar, you’ll need support and help. “Enlist” the help of close friends or relatives who will help you through it all. You can do it – just stay focused and success will surely follow.