When I think of addiction, I go right to alcohol or drugs. But one of the most common (and most dangerous) addictions is sugar addiction.
Like most narcotics, eating a diet high in sugar gives you a high, and can help to mask negative feelings like loneliness, depression, resentment, or fear. In fact, sugar has opioid or narcotic properties, meaning it acts like an endorphin in your body. But, like any drug, this lift is short-lived, and soon you need more and more sugar to achieve the same effect.
There is also physical withdrawal from sugar. During the SkyLab bootcamps that I run, we break sugar addictions from the onset. And within four to five days, many of the participants experience sugar withdrawal. This can take the form of shaking, anxiety, low energy, and extreme cravings as they come off sugar. And research has shown this detox to be very real.
In a study published in the June 2002 issue of Obesity Research, scientists deprived rats of food for 12 hours, then fed them a glucose solution for the next 12 hours. Withdrawal was then induced using either 24 hours of food deprivation or the withdrawal drug naloxone. In both cases, the rats showed signs of withdrawal, including teeth chattering, shaking, and tremors. Researchers concluded that withdrawal from repeated, excessive sugar intake created symptoms that were similar to those of withdrawal from morphine and nicotine.
Sugar Wreaks Havoc on Female Hormones
Sugar depletes your body of important nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. This leaching actually leads to cravings and binges as your body desperately seeks to replenish the nutrients that have been taken away.
It also increases estrogen levels, which can exacerbate estrogen dominance and worsen menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopause problems.
Sugar Sabotages Weight Loss
If you have a few extra pounds you have been fighting to lose, then sugar may be the culprit. Sugar is a born enemy of natural weight loss. Sugar contributes to false fat, increases inflammation, and can worsen digestive problems. It also provides empty calories, meaning you tend to overeat sugary, starchy foods without ever really feeling full and satisfied.
So, if you are looking to lose weight, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and regain appetite control, cut the sugar today!
Sugar Damages Your Skin
Sugary foods overstimulate your sebaceous glands and can trigger excess oil production. They can also contribute to blood sugar imbalances, which can worsen symptoms of anxiety and stress, both of which can lead to breakouts. Who needs acne at our age!
Sugar also has a vasoconstrictive effect, which translates to decreased circulation to the skin. This can lead to wrinkles and sallow-looking skin. So wrinkle-free skin is your goal, then losing the sugar is the best natural skin care program you can find.
Overcoming Sugar Addiction
Beating any addiction can be difficult, and sugar is no different. I have found that the best way to break your sugar addiction is to go cold-turkey. This means no candy, bakery items, sugary coffee drinks, etc. Nada. Nothing.
This will take about five days to completely break. In that time, lean on fruits when you need a sweet treat, and drink lots and lots of water and herbal tea to help flush the sugar out of your system.
You can also try using to of the nutrients Dr. Lark recommends for controlling your appetite and reducing cravings. These include 5-HTP and chromium.
5-HTP is the precursor to serotonin, a critical neurotransmitter in your brain that influences mood and diminishes hunger. Take 50 mg of 5-HTP twice per day. Take it with half of an apple and 50100 mg of vitamin B6 to facilitate uptake into the brain.
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that is necessary for controlling blood sugar and helping to reduce food cravings. Aim for 100200 mcg of chromium picolinate once or twice per day.