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 micr