When heroin addicts abruptly stop using heroin, they get dope sick. What is "dope sick"? Well the body has become physically and psychologically addicted to heroin. So the withdrawal symptoms are pretty nasty - shaking, fever, vomiting, crapping continuously, body aches and shakes - those are some physical symptoms. Irritability, depression and an intense and severe craving for the drug, that's some of the psychological symptoms.
Well guess what my friends - sugar, especially refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup, causes an addictive response in the body. Now listen, I'm not one of those fanatical anti-sugar people who believes that you must give up all sugars or fail. And I don't believe there is some grand conspiracy by anyone to make us and keep us addicted and slaves to the sugar industry.
BUT, having said that, there is NO DOUBT that sugars are addictive, both physically and mentally. Did you know that adults, when hooked up to a monitor, were shown PICTURES of a milkshake that their brains lit up the same way drug addicts brains do when they are shown pictures of drugs??
And we're not just talking chocolate and cookies when I am referring to sugar. Things like bagels made with white flour and potato chips - they break down and can spike your blood sugar!
So many of you out there - including me - might be experiencing sugar withdrawal. If you are new to this journey or if you have OD'd on sugar the last couple of weeks and are now getting off it. Some of the physical symptoms can include headaches and shakiness. Psychologically, you might be irritable, anxious, and, of course, have an intense craving for the "drug".
So, what can you do? The same things that you do for withdrawal are what works for a healthy change in your lifestyle:
- Drink lots of water
- DON'T GIVE IN - one little taste reverts you back to ZERO.
- Eat high protein food and healthy fats - eggs, nuts, yogurt
- Exercise! That can give you the "high" that is similar to what sugar does
- Fiber - fruits, veggies, whole grains- eat them
- Sleep - you will crave a quick high more when you are tired
Unfortunately, though, the main cure is TIME. You'll just have to suffer it out - much like the heroin addict.
Here's the good news - while my desire for sweet things hasn't gone away, it does decrease TREMENDOUSLY as you continue on a healthy journey. I look at processed refined sweets with distaste now. I still am vulnerable to fresh homemade sweets - like pies, but the desire to stuff my face with potato chips or Keebler cookies - it doesn't hold power over me any more.
So hang in there, it does get better. Now I'm going to have a greek yogurt cup. How about you?