When you eat sugar, it stimulates the release of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognizes and likes this feeling and begins to crave more. It may startle you to learn that heroine, morphine and sugar all stimulate the same receptors in your brain.
It takes 28 days to detox from most addictive substances, and sugar – hidden in fast food, low-fat options and condiments – is certainly an addictive substance. On this plan, you’ll detox, eliminate hidden sugars and learn how to incorporate alternative sweeteners.I found these step’s on Dr. Oz’s website, “Sugar Free in 28-Days“
Week 1 – Detox Take a deep breath – you’re not going cold turkey. Cut back on the amount of sugar you add to foods (no more than a teaspoon!) Instead of buying and consuming processed foods that include sugar, try buying healthier alternatives – like whole wheat cereals – and adding 1 tsp. of sugar. This puts you in control of the amount of sugar you’re consuming. Week 2 – Eliminate Hidden Sugars Hunt down hidden sugars hiding in your cabinets and pantry. Throw away foods containing high amounts of added sugars, everything from tomato sauces to ketchup to peanut butter. Be especially wary of low-fat items as they often contain more sugar to make them taste better.When purging your kitchen, be on the look out for these names:Some more ways to help ease the pain of your ‘sugar’ withdraw try this:
- Evaporated cane juice
- Sugars ending in “ol” or “ose”
Week 3 – Use Alternative Sweeteners
Instead of sugar, try using the following alternative sweeteners:
- Non-caloric herb from Paraguay
- Very sweet with slight licorice taste
- Found at health food, specialty and grocery stores with the dietary supplements – not with sweeteners.
- Made from blue agave cactus grown in Mexico
- High in calories, but you only need a very small amount
- Found at vitamin stores.
Week 4 – Trick Your Taste Buds
Using fresh spices and herbs can trick taste buds into thinking you’re eating something sinfully sweet. Try adding cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla or allspice to your coffee, cereals and baked goods.
- Include protein for breakfast, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters or a protein shake.
- Combine “good” protein, “good” fat and “good” carbs at each meal. (Good fats are fish, extra virgin olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds and avocados. Good carbs are beans, vegetables, whole grains, and fruit. Good proteins are fish, organic eggs, small amounts of lean poultry, nuts, soy, whole grains and legumes.)
- Don’t go low-fat. Consume olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds and avocados every day. Despite commonly held beliefs, these good fats are not fattening.
- Eat every three hours. Snack on nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds (raw or dry-roasted only). One serving is a handful or ten to twelve nuts.
- Drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water a day.
Just like any other ‘drug’ your body is going to have withdraw symptoms. Trust me I know once these hit your going to want to fall off the wagon and go back to your sugar eating ways, but give your body some type. Just like weight loss, cutting out sugar is more then just a one day choice.
Some of your withdraw symptoms could be:
- Bad breath
- Achy, flu-like feeling
- Itchy skin
- Offensive body odor
- Sleep difficulties (too much or too little)
These symptoms are actually a good sign. They mean your body and mind are eliminating stored toxins and are finding their way to balance and wellness again.
Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol and sugar, and those who have the most food allergies, will have the most difficulty with the detoxificaiton initially. In any event, symptoms of withdrawal usually disappear after three or four days.
What to do if withdrawal symptoms become uncomfortable
- Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily.
- To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean.
- If you are tired, allow more time for sleep.
- Make sure you exercise daily to help fight off fatigue.
- If you are hungry, have some protein in the afternoon such as a handful of nuts or seeds such as almonds, pecans, walnuts or pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, or a piece of steamed or baked fish.
- If you’re irritable or have trouble sleeping, take a combination of calcium citrate (500 mg) and magnesium citrate (250 mg) before bed.
- If you have an upset stomach, drink ginger or peppermint tea. Steep a tea bag in boiling water for 10 minutes, and drink up to four cups a day as often as needed.
Learn more about how to detox with Dr. John Douillar’s Ayurveda for Detox video on GaiamTV.com.