What exactly is sugar? Sugar is a substance extracted from plants like cane and sugar beet which is refined into a white crystalline like substance. This is actually the same process used to make flour. Flour is obtained through grinding and refining of grains into an oddly similar white substance. Since their effect on the blood stream, insulin and the brain are the same they are both considered sugar in the context of this article. So why is it that sugar is so addictive? Sugars are addictive because they cause a supernatural release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter involved in addiction in fact multiple studies have shown that sugar can not only substitute addictive drugs like cocaine but can even be more enticing. It’s been proven that the brains of those addicted to drugs and those addicted to sugar are virtually the same! That being said, how do you break sugars grasp on you? Here are some steps:
Reduce your Sugar Intake. People often are able to get rid of the most obvious sugar culprits (soda, candy etc.) but many forget the breads and pastas.
Detox. Spend a period of time completely away from sugar and those dopamine spikes to break addiction. The detox phase often involves an initial period of headaches, hormonal fluctuations, and feeling like poop for a bit. This process could last 3 days or 21 days but after you should feel 100 times better.
Read the Nutrition Labels. Sugar is hiding everywhere : yogurt, pasta sauce, protein bars, flavored water etc. Know what and how much you’re consuming.
Balance Blood Sugar Levels with Balanced Meals. When detoxing from sugar you want to prevent crashes and keep your blood sugar steady by eating balanced meals filled with high protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Examples : Grass-fed beef stew, whole egg omelette with veggies, chicken salads with OV dressing etc.
Pay Attention to Gut Health. Begin incorporating probiotics into your diet, avoiding processed foods and eat well balanced nutrient dense meals. This will help you escape sugars temptations.