October 6, 2022 9:24 am

Mary James

9 Things You Can Do To Kick Sugar Addiction

Jackie Warner is an American fitness trainer

People really have to start being a smarter consumer, read labels, and understand what hidden sugars are.

Jackie Warner ‧ American fitness trainer

You’re tired, edgy, and cranky in the morning… till you get your sweet, sweet Starbucks frappé. If black coffee doesn’t do it for your 'caffeine fix', maybe your real problem is sugar addiction. According to some nutritionists, sugar is at least as addictive as cocaine.

Can You Really Be Addicted To Sugar?

The scientific community hasn’t come to a consensus on whether sugar is a genuine addiction. But according to the line at Starbucks, the nutritionists may be right. Sugar addicts get high that drop off into awful-feeling lows, just like any other addict. And then it’s back to the sugar to get that energy rush again. Keep at it and you risk developing blood sugar disorders like diabetes and hypoglycemia.

Not to mention obesity. Sucrose has been found to spike opioids and dopamine, the 'pleasure chemicals' in the brain. And when sugar is taken away, dopamine drops abnormally low. Withdrawal from sugar can cause physical and mental symptoms ranging from anxiety to tiredness to tantrums and anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure.

But it’s not impossible to get through it. Take it slow, take care of yourself, and try these tips to ease the process.

#1. Eliminate The Worst Carbs

Don’t go 'cold turkey'. Some detox and diet plans suggest you eliminate all carbs, from whole grains to green vegetables! The sheer misery - and the inconvenience of not being able to eat anything like a normal person - sets these plans up for failure.

Instead, eliminate the worst carbs. Sugary snacks obviously have to go, but starchy items like pasta and boiled potatoes can spike your blood sugar as well. If you must have potatoes, fry them in a healthy oil instead, to slow sugar absorption and keep your levels steady.

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TIP: Eliminate the worst carbs. Sugary snacks obviously have to go, but starchy items like pasta and boiled potatoes can spike your blood sugar as well. 

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#2. Eat More Fibre

Mix your sweets with fibre. If you’re dying for something sweet, go for fruit and soymilk in a nice hearty bowl of oatmeal.

Gradually reduce the sugar you use in coffee or baking to 'retrain' your sweet tooth. Once you learn to enjoy foods that aren’t so sweet, you might be surprised by how badly over-sweetened baked goods and coffee drinks begin to taste.

#3. Drink Plenty Of Water

Water helps detox and helps you feel less fake hunger. By the way, high-protein foods can help you feel full, too. Remember, a lot of 'hunger' is, actually, thirsting. And the plain-tasting beverage will help you learn to like non-sweet tastes.

Drinking water. Happy young woman smiling while holding a glass of water

TIP: Water helps detox and helps you feel less fake hunger.

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#4. Avoid Sweeteners

Avoid artificial sweeteners as much as you can. By making your brain expect sugar calories, they’ve been shown to actually increase hunger in the hours following consumption.

Each year, Americans consume about $1.6 billion dollars worth of artificial sweeteners. This directly results from the obesity epidemic in America, where two-thirds of the adult population is considered obese. The availability of these products encourages people to believe that they can eat whatever they want as long as they avoid sugar. However, multiple kinds of research have shown that artificial sweeteners may actually increase weight gain, not decrease it.

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#5. Benefits Of Leafy Greens

Eat more leafy greens, the more bitter the better, like kale, mustard greens, and turnip tops. The detox dieters’ claim that they magically help speed a sugar purge is probably bunk - but the fibre, chlorophyll, and vitamins and minerals in greens are a great substitute for sugary junk. It’s hard to eat a candy bar when your mouth is full of spinach.

And slightly bitter greens are a great help in retraining your taste buds. If you can find the sweetness in kale, you don’t need a Slurpee. In short, there are many health benefits to be gained from consuming leafy greens regularly, and they make an excellent addition to any diet.

Choose black coffee


TIP: Drinking your coffee black can also help you learn to appreciate nonsweet foods. Even more, black coffee is the best way to begin the day. 
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#6. Choose Black Coffee

Drinking your coffee black can also help you learn to appreciate nonsweet foods. Even more, black coffee is the best way to begin the day. 

It wakes you up without fail, and it can help you focus on the tasks at hand. Further, it is calorie-free and provides a small number of healthy antioxidants. Drinking your coffee black can also help you learn to appreciate nonsweet foods.

#7. Season Food With Spices

Spicy foods are great too; on top of retraining your taste buds and adding a kick to your diet with minimal calories, hot pepper sauces have been shown to release endorphins. This is a great replacement for the mood boost you used to get from sugar.

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#8. Check For Glutamine Deficiency

You may have a glutamine deficiency. Supplementing with amino acid boosters like L-glutamine can stop sugar cravings in some individuals almost immediately.

Stress can burn out your neurotransmitters even if your diet is sufficient… but if you’re filling up on sugary foods, it probably isn’t. According to foodrenegade.com, it takes about a month of L-glutamine supplementation to carry you through the sugar detox to avoid your sugar addiction.

#9. Get Some Exercise Regularly

You may feel too sluggish to begin, but the more you move, the better you’ll feel: working out is a natural way to burn excess sugars in the bloodstream and regular your glucose levels. And the endorphins released by the activity will ease your depression and anxiety.

Overall, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with a greater risk of developing conditions such as obesity, heart disease, sugar addiction, and cancer, which are all leading causes of death. Exercise has been shown to reduce these risks, and getting some exercise regularly can save your life.

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TIP: Working out is a natural way to burn excess sugars in the bloodstream and regular your glucose levels.


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The Bottom Line

Despite the efforts of many, sugar addiction continues to be a problem in today’s society. People are still drawn to the sweet taste, and it can be difficult to break the cycle. These are a number of tips that can help, and this article will outline some of them. Breaking sugar addiction is not easy, but with a little effort, it can be done. 

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FAQ

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF SUGAR ADDICTION?

Some of the most common sugar addiction symptoms may include headaches, lethargy or feeling tired, cravings, muscle pain, nausea, bloating, and even insomnia. In most cases, these symptoms intensify after 24 hours.

HOW DO I BREAK MY SUGAR ADDICTION?

Keep sugary foods away. Don't tempt yourself by stocking candy, cookies, and other high-sugar foods in your cupboards and fridge. Sweeten foods yourself. Start with unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, and unflavored oatmeal. Watch for hidden sugars in foods. Eat breakfast.

WHAT CAUSES ADDICTION TO SUGAR?

Eating sugar releases opioids and dopamine in our bodies. This is the link between added sugar and addictive behavior. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is a key part of the 'reward circuit' associated with addictive behaviour.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BREAK YOUR SUGAR ADDICTION?

The Mayo Clinic recommends taking a two-week break from sugar to reset your body. This doesn't have to be an outright cleanse, but try to limit yourself to foods with little to no added sugars or sweeteners - shoot for less than 5 grams of added sugars per serving.

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About the Author Mary James


I am passionate about fitness, a healthy lifestyle, cooking, and well-being. This blog is about some of my thoughts that are occupying my mind and spirit daily over the last 10 years and my grand passion – weight loss and fitness, healthy lifestyle and healthy food, mindfulness and self-improvement.

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