BUT IT TASTES SO GOOD!
For many of us in recovery, our addictive brains are still trying to find something to get hooked on. And for many of us, that something comes in the form of ice cream, candy, donuts and any number of other foods we may not even realize contain the plump inducing powder. Scientists are finding that sugar stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain as—wait for it—cocaine or heroin! Just like those hard-core drugs, getting off sugar can lead to withdrawal and cravings, and may require an actual detox process.
There really are some withdrawal symptoms related to sugar detox, including moodiness, anxiety, and fatigue. Sometimes so-called “sugar dreams” may come into the picture involving visions of Cinnabons floating in rivers of caramel alongside giant mountains of Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey. Well, maybe not. But still.
Hooked on the Taste
If you had any doubts about the ability of sugar to wreak havoc on your tastebuds, consider one study where people were asked to cut out all added sugars and artificial sweeteners for two weeks. As a result, their tolerance for that sweet taste completely changed. A whopping 95 percent of subjects reported that the foods and drinks they used to consume now tasted “sweeter.” Over half reported that the intense cravings stopped after two to three days, and 87 percent no longer felt withdrawal effects after six days.
Four ways to Fight Your Sugar Addiction
- Fruit not Sweets.
Fruit contains fructose, which is metabolized differently than gummi bears, but is still yummy. Be careful to restrict your intake to a few servings a day, though. Too much fruit, like grapes and cherries, have lots of sugar that can bust your belly.
- Forget Artificial Sweeteners.
Although diet soda or sugar-free gum has been known to help many dieters get through a rough patch, aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, and even stevia can actually make you desire sweet food by changing your palate. Increased consumption of sweeteners can actually cause weight gain.
- Clean House.
That means getting rid of any sugary temptations including the kids’ Halloween candy we’ve been swiping. Remember getting rid of any and all alcohol and drugs in the house, garage, and attic? Same here.
- Manage the Magnesium.
For chocolate lovers, the craving can rise to a whole new level, particularly for those who have deficiencies of the mineral magnesium. Chocolate craving can be crazy, but if a magnesium shortage is part of the problem, head off the cravings by eating plenty of magnesium-rich dark leafy greens, tofu, legumes and nuts instead of the chocolate.
For some of us, it comes as a surprise that we can find ourselves in the throes of another addiction after working so hard to get out from under the last one. Sugar is a real deal and can cause weight gain, dental problems, and diabetes. Like other addictions, this one too can be managed and conquered using some of the same techniques we used before. Have you found that toolbox full of coping skills? Sweet!
From your friends at www.commonbondrehabcenter.com Santa Clarita, CA