How eliminating sugar helps you fight food cravings
Too much sugar is unhealthy, but it’s okay to treat ourselves once in a while for a job well done. However, have you ever asked yourself what happens to the body if you quit sugar consumption altogether?
Nowadays, sugar is found in most refined and processed products. Hence, there’s a good reason why sugar is so difficult to eliminate from our diet. Sugary snacks are just pleasant tasting. It stimulates the opioid receptors, which in turn triggers the region of the brain where the reward system is located. In other words, it induces pleasurable emotions. What this means to us is that even though we know that eating too much sugar is unhealthy, we continue to do so because of the positive attachment we developed to sugar consumption. You may think of it as an addiction or uncontrollable cravings.
Regular consumption of sugar affects the brain significantly; it rewires the nerve cells causing it to become more tolerant of sugar. In fact, studies suggest that how sugar impacts the brain is similar to the effect of addictive drugs such as nicotine, morphine, and cocaine.
Undergoing sugar detox is a great way to shake off this positive attachment to sugar or any foods, especially those high in salt and transfats. However, it isn’t easy and may require effort and will power from your part to succeed. Same as drug withdrawal, a person performing sugar detox may experience it as well. Studies suggest that a withdrawal symptom is likely to occur in a person consuming about 20 to 30 teaspoons daily. This is way beyond the daily recommended intake for sugar which is only 6 teaspoons.
The concept of a sugar detox is to condition our brain to stimulate pleasurable emotions without any boosts from sugars. Once the brain is used to the limited amount of sugar and has created new neurological pathways, then we can effectively manage our cravings and makes it easier for us to choose to eat healthily.
Another program we suggest for you to try is the Bright Line Eating. Like sugar detox, it also encourages the elimination of sugar from the daily diet. It’s a weight management program and founded by an American psychologist named Susan Peirce Thompson. BLE is based on four basic foundations or the “Four Bright Lines” which includes:
- Eliminating sugar
- Eliminating flour
- Monitoring how much you eat
- Planning your daily meals
Although it has its share of controversies, one reason why it’s effective is it primarily attacks the psychological aspect of the problem. She argues that the reason why most people don’t succeed in losing weight or at least maintain a certain weight is that they fail to realise that it’s more of an overall lifestyle change. Her program works by interrupting the old eating patterns and creating new eating habits.
In conclusion, eliminating or at least minimising your sugar consumption is proven to provide significant results not only to your weight but to your overall wellbeing as well.
There may be times when we backslide from our goals, but remember that it’s okay and after all, a lifestyle change isn’t really easy. So don’t feel bad if you slipped, just stand up and do it all over again.
It may also be helpful if you keep a journal and write down your purpose of doing a sugar detox. Also, record all the slip-ups you’ve made to help you learn from your mistakes.