Carbohydrates and fats aren’t the only culprits causing a spike in your weight. The sugar you consume everyday is equally to blame.
While moderate sugar consumption poses no health risk, the average person consumes high quantities of sugar maybe without even knowing it.
There are so many foods and drinks that contain added sugars, like sodas, breakfast cereal, pouch juices, salad dressings, yogurts and of course candy, which contain a large amount of sugar and puts our body in overload.
There are some foods that contain sugar naturally like honey, pure fruit juice, raisins mangos and bananas which are simple carbohydrates.
An overconsumption of sugar also hampers the body’s nutritional intake.
Symptoms of a sugar overdose may include bouts of hyperactivity and consequent fatigue (as the sugar reserve crashes), yeast infections, depression, headaches, colds or sinus problems, mental disorientation and sleepiness.
Chronic sugar overload may also increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease, and promote the progression of cancer, especially breast cancer.
Sugar Consumption & Weight Gain
When the body receives too much sugar, it uses as much as it needs for energy but the rest that it doesn’t need get store into fat.
Added sugar doesn’t work anything like the way that natural sugar metabolizes. It makes its way to the intestine and the body reacts to it as intestinal bacteria, which spikes blood sugar levels. This eventually turns into fat.
You can see this fat in the waist, hips and thighs.
Skip Moderation, Quit Completely
It is nearly impossible to break your dependence on sugar if you do not quit cold turkey. When trying to eliminate dietary sugar, many people experience the classic withdrawal symptoms of any addiction: sadness, headaches, queasiness, fatigue and cravings.
In a sugar addiction, this usually happens after a meal is digested. You experience a sugar craving and your body tells your brain it’s hungry again. What would a sugar-addicted person do in such a scenario? Reach for something sweet, of course!
As long as you satiate your “hunger” by eating that cookie, the sadness, headaches and sick feelings go away, and you feel instantly better.
It is your responsibility to stay away and cut out any added sugar to break this cycle. Try a little at a time not all at once because you’ll just want it more. Try cut out one added sugar product at a time.
- Breakfast: 1 cup of oats with berries and almonds or seeds/ or 3 eggs (scrambled or boiled)
- Morning snack: 1 small bowl of nuts
- Lunch: chicken breast with cooked, butternut squash, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, beans and almonds
- Dinner broiled fish with one bowl green beans/ or salmon with fried broccoli and mushrooms
- Breakfast: 1 cup of steel cut oats with berries and seeds or almonds – OR – 3 scrambled eggs with spinach (sautéed)
- Mid-morning snack: A small bowl of nuts
- Lunch: Grilled zucchini with red and yellow peppers and a dressing of lemon, vinegar and thyme – OR -A shredded green and red cabbage salad tossed with shredded carrots, drizzled with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and garnished with chopped parsley
- Dinner: Steamed green vegetables of your choice with a vegetable casserole and bean soup – OR – Baked cod with stir-fried bok choy and roasted Brussels sprouts and turnips
Sugar Detox Drinks
Taking out sugary drinks is a lot harder than most think, but this will help you fight this addiction.
Replace sugary drinks with this detox waters and hot drink alternatives that won’t just help you stop this addiction but will also boost your metabolism.
- Detox water: Slice or chop one of these fruits – grapefruits, blueberries, strawberries or oranges – as well as some fresh rosemary or mint, and add them to a medium-size mason jar of filtered water. Store and drink it every day.
- Tea: Drink unsweetened herbal or green tea 3 times daily.
- Coffee: Drink no more than 1 cup of unsweetened black coffee daily.
Things to Remember:
- Stay away from products like honey, agave nectar, maple syrup and all forms of artificial sweeteners to avoid binging. If you are exposed to even a small amount of sugar, you will want more and more.
- Fight the cravings. It will be a challenge, so buckle up!
- Replace fast-carbohydrate foods, such as white bread and fruit juices, with slow-carbohydrate foods like whole grains. They will regulate the release of sugar in your bloodstream, preventing a sugar overload and consequent cravings.
- Always cook with extra-virgin olive oil.
- Consume 2 ounces of nuts and seeds every day. Be sure you include flaxseeds and walnuts.
- Eat 1 large bowl of cooked green vegetables every day. You have to keep the nutrients and micronutrients coming in when battling an addiction.
- Try to consume a large serving of green salad every day and make sure to choose a healthy dressing.
- Eat at least ½ cup of beans, including chickpeas and lentils, daily. Not many people know that including beans in a meal is known to reduce sugar cravings by the next meal.
- Drink plenty of water. It’s always good for you!
A Way Forward
After you successfully complete this three-day detox plan, you will have significantly curbed your sugar dependence.
You depression, fatigue and headaches will begin to wear off and you will realize you can survive without a daily sugar fix!
The next step is talking to your nutritionist or doctor to figure out a longer diet plan to keep the sugar addiction at bay, while gradually incorporating healthier forms of sugar (such as fruits, dry fruits and a variety of low-sugar desserts) in your daily diet.