Strategies on how to overcome the epidemic addiction
By now, many of you may have heard that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. Our sugar intake is something we are cognizant of, but do we actively try to regulate or decrease it even knowing the affects its having on our body and our brain?
To this day, it's still one of North Americas biggest culprits on obesity and top addictions, trumping even the drug epidemic. That's because sugar IS a drug; releasing dopamine to the brain and giving us instant gratification wanting us to go back time and again for that reward.
I would be lying if I said I personally never give into my sweet tooth. Regardless if I've been living the ketogenic (high fat, low carb) lifestyle for 1 month or 3 years, the prospect of cold ice cream on a hot day seems like the ultimate guilty pleasure! And from time to time, I will indulge.
Something happens when I do, though. That instant gratification is just that...instant. When it's over, I experience some or all of these subsequent symptoms in the hours and even days that follow: • Increased hunger, cravings • Anxiety & headaches • Nausea and bloating • Muscle and joint pain • Lack of energy • Chills and trouble sleeping
I might sound like a WebMD article, but that's precisely the definition of sugar withdrawal outlined on the site additionresource.com.
Knowing that it's a massive ongoing problem, perpetuated by our overconsumption of processed foods that are readily available everywhere we turn, is it possible to cut out simple sugars FOR GOOD?
It's not easy, but my goodness its worth it! So, I'm going to list out my TOP strategies for weaning out the sugars, how to detox and reduce cravings once and for all and transition to a new mindset and lifestyle that you can stick to!
GEN'S TOP STRATEGIES FOR LIVING SUGAR FREE//TRANSITIONING TO KETO: 1. Process of Elimination vs. Cold Turkey: many people will make the resolve to cut sugars cold Turkey, and find they wont stick to it. That's because akin to other addictions, the withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming. The best strategy for lasting adherence is to start by eliminating refined and simple sugars over a 1-2 week period to lessen the intensity of the adverse affects. Grabbing a handful of berries for dessert instead of a bowl of ice cream can still satisfy your natural sugar inclination while lowering your insulin production, blood glucose irregularities and cravings.
2. Kitchen Clean Out: Its more than convenient to pickup a processed item, even a slice of toast or muffin, to fix that hunger pang. By starting off with a kitchen detox, you cab replace your manufactured goods, sweet temptations, starches and refined carbs with healthy alternatives that are sugar free, wont spike the insulin and keep you feeling FULL. Easy alternatives to basic household items are listed here.
3. Consider adding FAT: contrary to popular belief, FATS dont make you fat. It's the interactions with high fats and high carbohydrates that cause the battle for energy consumption in the body! Choose fats versus carbs as a way to fuel your body, muscles and brain and guess what? Healthy fats can be up to 70% more effective than glucose to keep our energy levels up PLUS they help to provide satiaty (feeling full). They also give the flavour to our food - think oils, butters, animal fats, nuts, avocado, dairy, etc.
4. Water & Electrolytes: did you know that drinking a glass of water can help with hunger cravings? It seems like an easy hack - thats because it is! If you are wanting to reach for that bag of chips or chocolate bar, opt for a cup or two of water, give it 10 minutes and tough it out. Did you know that chocolate cravings may be a sign of magnesium deficiency? If you struggle with your micronutrients in check (sodium, potassium, magnesium), consider taking a sugar free electrolyte tablet in your water such as NUUN or having micronutrient rich foods like bone broth, Himalayan sea salt, leafy greens, fish, avocado, and yes, even very dark unsweetened cocoa.
5. Sweet without the Sugar: opting to replace your sugars with natural sweeteners that will not spike your insulin is a great means to still have that sweet taste without the negative responses. Stick to stevia, erythritol and monk fruit and google Fat Bombs for simple, satiating and family-friendly snacks you can prep in minutes and pop in your mouth when you get cravings.
6. Kickstart with Ketones: using a natural supplement isnt "cheating" its providing your body with a way to BIOHACK itself into a state where the cravings diminish, you have more motivation to continue with your journey and you mimick natural ketosis to gain the benefits you can have daily. Exogenous ketones have been used by NASA and the Navy Seals to providing a clean energy source in extreme elements in a quick and effective manner...and now the general public can tap into those benefits and brain fuel with the same formula.
I've personally drank the bioidentical ketones for over 2 years and seen a drastic reduction in cravings, increase in energy, boost in mental clarity and focus, more stamina for physical performance, muscle preservation as I cut fat.
Giving exogenous ketones a chance to aid in your journey could be that elixir to cultivate lasting changes. Check it out
7. Intermittent Fasting & the REBOOT: the prospect of FASTING for some seems restrictive and impossible. That's because we are glucose burners, requiring sugars every few hours to be converted to energy or we will crash. Yet, before all this 'carbage' came around, our ancestors were used to eating only 1 large meal every few days (or longer at times) then relying on stored bodyfat to convert to energy. Without naming it, they were doing intermittent fasting//intermittent eating! Try the 16:8 method to start, where you stop consuming any solid foods by 8pm, resume eating 12pm the next day. If you struggle at first, add some pure fats like coconut, mct or grassfed butter to your morning beverage (coffee or tea) to infuse fats to keep your brain and body from feeling hungry for a few hours!
The 60 Hour REBOOT: one of the BIGGEST catalysts of change for myself and my clients has been fasting/cleansing for longer periods of time. As someone who relies on synthetic hormones after having a full thyroidectomy, the thought of very long periods of time without food was scary and daunting. When I was introduced to this kit in February, it all made sense.
The 60 Hour Reboot Kit has all the nutrient support you require while your body cleanses its cells in a process called autophagy. It literally is resetting all your cells at the DNA level to cut your hunger, spurn fatloss, create new habits and produce ketones naturally in your liver. The kit has exogenous ketones, bone broth, a ketone infused tea with L-theanine and 5HTP for more quality relaxation and sleep and these capsules with AC-11 to repair and protect those cells as they renew.
People who have yet to make that switch to living sugar free have done the REBOOT and its allowed them freedom from food cravings they have never experienced before and shifted their mindset to WANT to keep feeling this amazing. By and large, it's one of the best tools I've seen to help start this journey. We reboot again altogether this month on Aug 19th (get kit here by the 9th)
All-in-all, maybe you are at the point where you will need to only apply 1 or perhaps all the steps to be successful. Knowing your triggers, focusing on having an accountability partner or coach (message me for details!) and being prepared will help you beat this addiction in no time!
Are you ready to Join the Sugar Rebellion?
The Keto Army is now recruiting - let's take aim and conquer!