Before we dive in and discuss some of the many problems you may run into when trying to kick the sugar habit, we first want to make one thing very clear.
When we talk about sugar we are not talking about the naturally occurring sugars found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Instead we are referring to added sugars. Things such as high fructose corn syrup, maltose, sucrose, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose and any of the 60 plus other names used to describe added sugars.
These are the type of sugars you will almost always find in packaged and processed foods. These are also the type of sugars that lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and a host of other health issues.
According to the American Heart Association, Americans are consuming an average of 80 grams of added sugars per day. For women that is 3 times the recommended amount.
That’s why its really important you figure out a way to cut back on the amount of added sugar in your diet.
Once you start to cut back on sugar you will more than likely run into a few problems.
Here are 5 of the biggest issues you may run into and how to deal with them.
#1 – It Will Be More Difficult Than You May Have Thought
Unfortunately added sugars are in almost everything we eat. From your favorite bag of chips to your favorite bowl of cereal, added sugars are literally embedded into your food supply.
And the deceptive part is added sugars are also embedded into foods that are advertised as “healthier” options. That means even when you think you’re eating healthy you’re really not.
That’s why removing added sugars from your diet is a lot more difficult that some might believe. However, that doesn’t mean its impossible.
The quickest and easiest way to stop consuming added sugars is to reduce the amount of processed and packaged foods in your diet.
This of course will mean you will need to do more cooking. Preparing your own meals ensures you are eating nutritious foods.
It also ensures you know exactly what’s going into your body.
Instead of packaged foods your focus should be on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean sources of protein.
When you go grocery shopping stick to the perimeter of the store. This is where all the nutritious food tends to reside.
Please note you do not need to completely eliminate packaged foods from your diet. Just take the time to read ingredient labels so you know exactly what you are getting.
#2 – You May Experience Mood Changes
Its very common to experience irritability, anxiety and anger when trying to quit or cut back on sugar. It is literally like a drug and in some cases you will feel like you are having withdrawals.
The best way to deal with these mood changes is to find a way to deal with your emotions. Things such as meditation, exercise, and even reading a book can help you deal with the unexpected mood changes.
Once your body gets used to not having all those refined sugars your mood will stabilize and you will be back to normal.
#3 – Cravings Will Intensify
Added sugars are very addictive. They are literally designed to make you crave them. That’s why its virtually impossible to eat just one donut or one potato chip.
When you try to cut out or reduce the amount of refined sugars in your diet you will notice the cravings for it will start to intensify.
So the question is what should you eat when you start to crave refined sugars? Any fruits that are naturally sweetened will help you ward off cravings.
Drinking herbal teas and plenty of water can also help.
#4 – Your Energy Levels Will Take a Big Hit
Most of us rely on sugar to give us the energy we need to make it through the morning. And as you very well know, once that sugar high comes down so does your energy.
When cutting back on your favorite sweet treats you can expect your energy levels to plummet as you won’t be getting your usual sugar rush.
The best way to combat low energy is by eating energy boosting foods.
#5 – You May Experience Flu Like Symptoms
As previously stated, refined sugars are very addictive. And For some people cutting back on it can lead to flu like symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
While detoxing from sugar is not quite the same as fighting the flu, how you recover from both is pretty similar.
The first thing you should do is make sure you get plenty of rest. Rest helps your body heal itself from the inside out. You should also consume wholesome foods and drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated is extremely important when your body is going through such a dramatic change.