What are the signs of sugar withdrawal?
Consuming sugar leads to the release of happiness hormones such as dopamine or pain relieving opioids in our body. From an evolutionary perspective, this reaction makes a lot of sense. When our early ancestors ate certain sugary, that is, high-energy foods, they were rewarded with hormones from their brain’s reward centers. And those with more available energy could hunt longer, flee faster, and have a better chance of survival. However, industrial progress has allowed us humans today to consume far more sugar than is good for us. We shouldn’t eat more than 50 grams of sugar per day. Adults consume 35 percent more on average, young people even 75 percent more.
A lot of sugar leads to excessive activation of our brain’s reward centers. Addiction-like effects develop over time, as can be seen with drug use. Although sugar is not classified as a drug, “sugar addiction” actually meets five of the eleven substance abuse criteria: consumption / excessive use over a long period of time, cravings, dangerous use despite known side effects, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
Anyone doing a sugar detox and following a completely sugar-free diet for the first time will notice some of these typical withdrawal symptoms:
- Muscle aches
- sleep disorders
The benefits of a sugar-free diet
The initial difficulties of sugar detox are worth it. Because if you reduce your sugar intake or even stop it completely, you can enjoy many health benefits. Sugar promotes inflammatory processes in the body. Gastrointestinal and digestive problems are associated with increased sugar consumption. You can finally normalize your digestion with the sugar-free diet. Your complexion can also improve. The classic sugar face with pimples and inflammatory spots will therefore be a thing of the past. Probably the biggest effect is weight loss. Following a healthy, sugar-free diet with fresh foods can help you lose excess pounds and maintain your desired weight over the long term.
What helps with sugar withdrawal: 5 tips
We have compiled some tips for you that can help you alleviate the worst sugar withdrawal symptoms without compromising your sugar-free diet.
1. Drink lots of water
When the craving for sweets occurs during sugar withdrawal, even the most strong-willed people can quickly become weak. But instead of resorting to hidden supplies of sweets and indulging sugar cravings, just drink a glass or two of water. This fills the stomach and not only quenches the thirst, but also the craving for sugar. Incidentally, there is nothing wrong with spicing up the water with mint, lemon, or a few drops of orange.
Delicious as well: Here’s why you should drink more coconut water>>
2. Exercise and sport
Nothing beats sugar cravings like distraction. Get active, take a walk, and keep moving to reduce sugar withdrawal. Since sugar detox takes place in the mind, distraction and exercise are true miracle cures for symptoms. If you have good experiences with meditation, you can also meditate by staving off the desire.
3. Have a snack and eat a balanced diet
A sugar-free diet shouldn’t really be an asceticism program. When your body needs sugar, you have a headache or are just plain tired and tired, grab a healthy snack like nuts or vegetables. A few cherry tomatoes or a handful of walnuts contain many important nutrients that you can quickly replenish. Also, make sure you eat a balanced diet throughout the day. A healthy breakfast is a good basis for starting the day. Eat fresh vegetables and lots of fiber for lunch and dinner to keep blood sugar levels as stable as possible and prevent cravings.
This helps: The best snacks on a sugar-free diet>>
4. Eat fruit
Fruit is certainly allowed on a sugar-free diet, because the important thing is to avoid added sugar, which is often secretly hidden in industrially produced foods. If sugar detox gives you a headache or makes you feel weak and tired, grab a handful of blueberries, munch on fresh seasonal strawberries, or snack on a ripe banana.
5. Get enough sleep
Sugar provides our bodies with short-term energy and makes us awake and efficient. However, if you sleep the recommended seven to eight hours a day, your body is not dependent on additional stimulants and energy boosters like sugar. Anyone who has slept well at night has less craving for sugary foods and can even overcome acute sugar cravings more easily during detox.