The idea that sugar is addictive is not just a popular expression, it is actually biologically addictive, just like a narcotic. When you eat sugar, the ‘feel good’ receptors in your brain activate, causing the start of a vicious cycle wherein you have to feed the addiction more and more in order to feel good. But even though it feels good when you’re eating it, sugar does more than just make you feel bad after the inevitable sugar crash that follows a sugar high. It leads to a variety of health problems, with diabetes obviously at the top of the list.
It may sound like a drastic change, but omitting sugar from your diet is do-able and can have a significant positive impact on your health. Unfortunately, just as with the detox period from any drug, the transition period is tough. Withdrawal symptoms include exhaustion, headaches, brain fog, irritability, mood swings, and gastrointestinal distress. This is your body adjusting to the lower levels of glucose, dopamine, and serotonin. Dig in and keep your mind’s eye on your goal: to be rid of sugar.
Perhaps it will help to focus on the benefits of quitting sugar while you’re detoxing:
- Decreased inflammation, which improves your skin’s appearance and elasticity
- Increased quality of sleep, which improves everything from mental alertness to vitality
- Weight loss
- Increased and longer-lasting energy
- Slow the progression of diabetes
- Improved cardiovascular health
Just as with any addiction, quitting ‘cold turkey’ might be the only way to finally beat the sugar beast. Just as with drug use, eating even a little bit every day still makes you an addict. A no-sugar policy might even be easier to enforce, because we have all convinced ourselves at some point in our lives that ‘one bite won’t hurt’. Yet we find ourselves back down in the well of addiction all too soon. The two most important factors in quitting are internal motivation and developing a plan.
Feel free to contact us have if you would like to help your senior loved ones beat their sugar addiction. Our staff of professionals can put our years of experience to work for you.