According to medical professionals, giving up sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health. Going through a sugar detox and giving up sugar is as healthy as quitting smoking and cutting down on fatty foods. Considering that sugary drinks alone contribute to the death of nearly 25,000 Americans every year, it is easy to see how detrimental sugar can be to your health.
Many people attempt to cut back on sugar because they are trying to become healthier. There is another subsection of Americans who need to give up sugar because they are suffering from sugar addiction.
Around 15% of Americans claim they are addicted to sugar in some way.
These individuals need to quit sugar not only because of the impending health risks but also because they need to break the cycle of addiction and the consequences that follow.
Quitting any substance that you are addicted to can be one of the most difficult things that an individual faces in their life. Many times, the barrier between addiction and freedom from addiction is unable to be broached due to fear of the detox process. In regards to sugar, the withdrawal symptoms and detox process can be somewhat uncomfortable, but with proper planning, support, and help, your sugar detox does not need to be an insurmountable task.
Why Is it Hard to Break a Sugar Addiction?
When many people think of addiction they think about the physical ramifications of addiction. The psychological aspects of addiction that make it so difficult for an individual to break free. This is especially true when an individual is predisposed to addiction or addictive behaviors.
Being addicted to sugar is more than simply craving a certain type of food. Many people have experienced a craving before but when it comes to addiction there is an overwhelming compulsion. There is also an experience of sugar withdrawal that can lead someone to act in a compulsive manner.
They have an obsession or preoccupation with sugar that overrides their normal brain functions and causes them to ingest sugar- even though it may be counterintuitive to their own health or happiness. It is this obsession that makes breaking an addiction difficult. It is also why an individual must come to terms with their addiction before they can actually make an attempt to break free from it.
So, why is sugar hard to give up?
- Sugar acts on the reward center in the brain
- It causes a dopamine dump in the brain
- Giving up sugar causes major cravings
- Foods/drinks with high sugar content taste great
Due to this people find eating foods that have sugar in it especially rewarding in the brain and because of this, they become addicted in a sense. Those individuals who like to treat themselves with ice cream or a piece of pie at the end of a long hard day find it incredibly difficult to break the habit of doing this. In many ways, when someone gives up an addiction it can feel like they are losing something important in their life. However, if cessation from sugar lasts for a long enough period of time, the brain will return to normal functioning and they will no longer crave sugar like they once did.
What to Expect from Sugar Detox?
Sugar withdrawal symptoms fall into two major categories: psychological symptoms and physical symptoms. In general, physical withdrawal symptoms produce more discomfort in an individual who is experiencing them. However, the psychological symptoms can be just as difficult to contend with. Most people find psychological symptoms more difficult to overcome than the physical symptoms. There is usually a great psychological drawback to ingesting sugar when an individual stops, which goes beyond a simple desire to just eat something that tastes good.
We offer a complete sugar detox plan that is perfect to get you started. When you quit sugar, you can expect to experience the symptoms below. These withdrawal symptoms usually begin to appear somewhere around 24 to 48 hours after the last time that you ingested sugar and usually dissipate after a week or so. This is not to say that cravings will not continue for some time, but for the most part, you will be over the sugar detox process after a week.
Ways to Mitigate Your Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
Many people do not want to stop using sugar because they are afraid to experience the withdrawal symptoms that are associated with the cessation of usage. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate or lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms. This does not mean that you won’t experience discomfort to one degree or another. It does mean that you will not have to suffer unnecessarily. Your transition to a sugar-free lifestyle can go smoothly and successfully.
There are a few tricks to make quitting sugar a smoother experience:
- Gradually quit sugar
- Drink more water
- Go for a long walk to get endorphins flowing
- Getting some extra sleep
Studies have also shown that drinking water can help during a sugar detox. As a general rule of thumb, staying hydrated offers a number of health benefits and can also help you when you are feeling lethargic. When going through a sugar detox, staying hydrated can also help you flush out your system. Drinking water will also help you with the feelings of hunger that you may experience during your sugar withdrawal symptoms, as often times individuals confuse being thirsty with being hungry.
Nutritionists have also suggested that eating a high protein diet can help to mitigate sugar withdrawal symptoms. Adding more protein to your diet will help you with any feelings of hunger you may experience and will also help you with the low energy associated with detoxing from sugar. Following proper nutrition during your sugar detox is important because it will cut out most of your cravings.
Health Benefits of Quitting Sugar
The health benefits of giving up sugar are numerous. Starting with the fact that you will lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease. You will also decrease inflammation in your body and get a boost to your energy levels. It is hard to overstate just how bad processed and added sugars can be for an individual. Especially when eaten in quantities that are higher than recommended.
Individuals who cut sugar out of their diet oftentimes find that they are less prone to mood swings. If they were experiencing bouts of depression or anxiety, these things will seemingly disappear. In fact, individuals addicted to sugar are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. People predisposed to depression or anxiety are able to better manage their symptoms when they eat less sugar.
One of the most important health benefits that an individual will receive from quitting sugar is a loss of weight. IF you are addicted to sugar there is a fairly good chance that they will experience issues with weight. Suffering from obesity can cause a number of health risks, ranging from heart disease to cancer. So by cutting sugar out of your diet, you have a much better chance of not suffering from obesity. You also diminish your risk of a number of serious health complications down the road.
Getting Help with Your Sugar Detox Plan
If you think that you may have an issue with sugar addiction then take our sugar addiction quiz today. In order to move on with your life, understand that you are not alone in your struggles.