The negative effects of sugar consumption cease to surprise anyone. Nutritional awareness grows. We are aware of the fact that excess sugar in the diet translates into an increase in body weight, increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, high blood triglycerides, a higher risk of diabetes, heart and circulatory system diseases, higher risk of cancer and the development of caries and worse condition skin, hair and nails.
Despite this, many people have problems with the withdrawal of sweets and added sugar. Why is this happening and what to do to overcome the addiction to sugar?
A strong resolution to not eat sweets
You decide to put away all the sugar added. You give up sweetening coffee and tea. You put away sweets, cookies, candies, ice cream. You check even the composition of the products you buy by trying to choose those unbroken sugar.
Despite all efforts after a few days without sugar, you feel an unrestrained desire to eat a whole chocolate bar and bite her with a packet of jellies. You think, I will eat only two cubes of chocolate. One bite, however, makes you want more and more and you do not even know when the whole chocolate bar disappears. What’s worse, the desire for sweets does not go away after one jump. You wake up in the morning by driving away thoughts that tell you about eating a bun and croissants.
Is sugar really addictive?
Overwhelming and hard to overcome the desire to eat sweets makes sense if we take into account the results of research that suggest that you can become addicted to sweet things. Researchers found that sugar is addictive and stimulates the same pleasure centers in the brain as cocaine or heroin. Similarly to these hard drugs, the excretion of sugar leads to withdrawal and whims, which requires a rebound of the detoxification process.
Researchers from Princeton who fed rats with sugar water found that when the rats were deprived of water with sugar, the level of dopamine in the brain dropped and the rats suffered from anxiety.
Do not be surprised, then, that when you suddenly stop eating sweets you have a lush mood, you feel anxiety, weariness and dream about taking a bucket of ice cream.
Sugar and taste buds
If you have any doubts about how sugar affects your taste buds and the taste of dishes, you need to see what the scientists have discovered. In the study, 20 people were asked to remove all sugars added and sweeteners from their diets for two weeks. It was discovered that as a result, their sweet taste tolerance changed completely. 95% of people who took part in the study found that food and drinks that they had previously consumed after the test seemed much sweeter to them than before! More than half of respondents reported that intense hunger subsided after three days of not eating sugar, and 87% did not feel the effects of withdrawal after six days.
The great advantage of 2-3 weeks without sugar is that you will reset your taste buds. You will need much less sugar / sweeteners to feel satisfied while eating and drinking sweet food and drinks. Second, you will appreciate the natural taste of food more. Fruit and vegetables will seem sweeter and more intense in taste.
Please note that very often people who feed mainly on processed products can not appreciate the taste of natural products. They need to sweeten strawberries with sugar, although they are sweet in themselves. They need to use a lot of salt and sauces, because without them everything seems tasteless to them.
Five ways to fight against sugar addiction
- Choose fruit instead of sweets
The fruits contain naturally occurring sugars, fructose and glucose, which are metabolized differently than the sugar found in jellies. Above all, by consuming fruit we supply not only sugars, but also fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Remember, however, that even fruit should not be eaten without any restrictions. Excess sugars may contribute to the development of abdominal obesity. It is particularly easy to replant when eating fruits containing a lot of sugars, for example grapes. Two or three servings of fruit during the day are enough.
- Give up artificial sweeteners
If you want to reduce your addiction to the sweet taste, you should give up not only sugar, but also artificial sweeteners. Replacing sugar for sweeteners will help you limit calories consumed in the form of sugar, but you will still be addicted to the sweet taste.
It’s worth taking a detox at least a few weeks from sugar and sweeteners to reduce the need for sweetening.
- Clean the house of temptation
It means getting rid of all the sweet temptations at home and at work. Do not buy new sweets, get rid of the ones you have at home. You can not control whether the sweets are in all the places where you will be staying, but you can control what is in your own home and desk drawer at work. According to the principle – what eyes do not see, do not feel sorry for this – do not keep sweetness for a rainy day. You do not buy, you do not have, you do not eat in times of crisis.
A sudden desire to eat something sweet can appear quite unexpectedly. Be prepared and have a plan of action for such a circumstance! You can satisfy your desire for sweets by eating a portion of fruit and drinking a glass of water. You can also go for a walk or clean up. Finding yourself a job and taking thoughts away from food is one of the most effective ways.
- Keep an adequate level of magnesium and chromium
Very often, the desire to snack sweets, mainly chocolate, is associated with too low levels of magnesium. Make sure that the diet contains green vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. Chromium supplementation may also help.
Seems easy, so just try it!