As you embark on your wellness journey, there may be no greater challenge than learning how to quit sugar. This sweet substance appears in our diet more frequently than we may realize, and it can be surprisingly addictive!
And if you’ve EVER said anything like, “Oh, I could never give up pasta or bread or chocolate,” it’s probably because you are struggling with an addiction that you don’t even know about.
But if you’re ready to BREAK that sugar addiction once and for all, then buckle up because Mike Collins is here today! He is going to tell you EXACTLY how to do just that.
Meet Mike Collins!
Did you know that sugar–believe it or not–is one of the most addictive substances on earth? For many of us, it’s our go-to comfort food when we feel stressed out or overwhelmed.
Ready to lose weight and get healthy for life without dieting, drugs or making yourself miserable?
Our free on demand video training will help you understand why it’s been so hard and what do to about it.
But Mike Collins is here to tell you: You CAN break free from sugar addiction! With his help and expertise, quitting will become easier than ever before.
Mike Collins is the founder of SugarAddiction.com, the 30-Day Sugar Detox Challenge, and the Quit Sugar Summit. He is not only knowledgeable about the harmful effects of sugar on our bodies but also deeply passionate about helping people overcome their sugar addiction.
With his incredible community, Mike is dedicated to supporting individuals in their journey to break free from the grips of sugar!
In today’s blog post, we’re going to take a deep dive into a topic that actually makes a lot of people pretty nervous. In fact, it’s possibly one of the biggest deterrents to even wanting to attempt a low-carb lifestyle, and that’s the thought of giving up sugar for good!
What happens to your body when you eat sugar?
You might think sugar addiction is a joke, but it’s no laughing matter. It’s just as addictive and harmful as alcohol or drugs. Let’s talk about what it’s doing to your body.
When you eat sugar, your body releases endorphins. These endorphins cause a ‘feel-good’ reaction in the brain, giving you a sense of pleasure and reward. That makes your body want to eat more sugar!
It’s also important to note that sugar is not just empty calories.
Eating too much sugar can:
- Damage blood vessels
- Increase the risk of heart disease
- Impair cognitive function
- Cause weight gain
- Risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Liver disease
- Mental health issues (like depression and anxiety due to insulin imbalances)
So, as you can see, sugar is not something to take lightly.
How do you know if you have a sugar addiction?
According to Mike, “Many people don’t realize that they are psychologically, physiologically, and biologically addicted to sugar and other processed carbohydrates. It’s not about simply craving a sweet treat; it’s about seeking a dopamine hit and a whole concoction of feel-good chemicals.”
The first step in overcoming a sugar addiction is recognizing the signs of one.
Here are some telltale signs:
- You experience sugar cravings for sweet snacks and desserts.
- You need more and more sugar to get the same rush that you once got from eating it.
- You feel tired, irritable, or moody if you don’t eat sugar.
- You find yourself eating more sugar than you intended to.
- You can’t seem to stop eating sweets even when you know it’s not good for you.
Once you have identified that you do, in fact, have a sugar addiction, it’s time to start thinking about ways to quit!
The benefits of quitting sugar cold turkey
Quitting sugar cold turkey is the most effective way to break free from your addiction. It will be difficult, but it will also be incredibly rewarding!
How does quitting sugar affect your body?
Quitting sugar can have a variety of positive effects on your body.
Some of the benefits you can expect include:
- More energy and improved mood due to stabilized blood sugar levels
- Improved digestion and better nutrient absorption
- Lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes
- Improved mental clarity and focus (bye-bye brain fog!)
- Better sleep quality
- Weight loss
- Reduced inflammation
- Clearer skin
For many people, the benefits are so great that they outweigh any of the struggles during the process. And it’s worth it in the end!
Take a look at a sugar withdrawal timeline
When you’re ready to make the commitment to quit sugar, it’s important to understand what you can expect during withdrawal.
Typically, the beginning stages of your journey will be difficult. You may experience cravings and feel irritable or moody due to the lack of sugar in your diet.
However, as you progress and move towards the end of the timeline, these symptoms should subside. Here’s what a typical sugar withdrawal timeline looks like:
- Day 1–3: You may experience intense cravings and strong urges to eat sweets. But don’t give in!
- Day 4–7: You should start to notice an improvement in your energy levels and mood.
- Week 2–4: Cravings will become less frequent, and you may even find yourself forgetting about them altogether.
- Month 1–3: You should now be feeling great! You’ll have stronger immunity, more energy, and improved focus.
How long does it take to detox from sugar?
The detox period varies for each person. For some, it could take days or weeks, but for others, it might take months. It all depends on the severity of your sugar addiction and how long you’ve been eating a lot of sugar.
But if you stick with it, you’ll soon be feeling the amazing benefits of quitting sugar for good!
6 ways to quit your sugar addiction
Ready to start your sugar-free journey? Here are some tips to get you started!
1) Understand why you want to quit sugar
Mike shares, “Are you ready to break free from sugar and processed carbs? It’s important to have a period of abstinence, but during that time, you might experience some withdrawal symptoms.
You might feel lethargic, irritable, and constantly hungry as your body craves the old substances. Don’t worry, it’s all part of the process. (Check out the timeline above!)
You just need to be aware that you’ll need new ways to cope and soothe yourself.”
But before you can do that, it’s important to understand why you want to quit sugar. Get clear on the reasons and write them down so that they can motivate you.
2)Take a closer look at all the sugar in your diet
Start by taking a look at your current diet. You might be surprised to find out how much-added sugar you’re consuming on a daily basis!
Mike tells us, “Most people know that sugar is made up of glucose and fructose, but what they might not know is just how much fructose can impact our bodies (and how it’s hidden in many foods).
While we’ve studied the effects of glucose on the body for years, the science surrounding fructose is rapidly advancing. And if you’re looking to cut out sugar, it’s important to understand what fructose can do.
It affects the nucleus accumbens and can only be processed in the liver. This can lead to a range of issues, including fructose intolerance or malabsorption.”
So, you should not only keep an eye out for common sugar-containing foods like candy and soda but also processed foods that contain hidden added sugar like fructose!
Once you know where your sugar is coming from, make a list of all the sugary foods that you eat and when you tend to crave them. This will help you identify patterns and create a plan for how to reduce your sugar intake.
3) Identify your triggers
Your sugar cravings can be triggered by emotions, stress, fatigue, or boredom.
“Even when life circumstances like finances, relationships, children, or spouses arise, people often revert to their usual way of managing stress – through worry and fear. As a result, they abandon their resolve and try to look for a delicious treat that will give them a rush of happiness.
We’re talking about a magical combination of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, gaba, adrenals, and endorphins that are all triggered by the blissful effects of sugar.,” says Mike.
So, once you have identified your triggers, it will be easier to create strategies for how to deal with them in a healthy way without reaching for sugary foods.
4) Make small changes that don’t feel overwhelming
When it comes to quitting sugar, some people like to go cold turkey and cut out all sugar at once. Others prefer to take a more gradual approach by making small changes over time.
The key is to find a plan that works for you and make sure that the changes don’t feel too overwhelming. This way, you can create habits that stick!
For example, you might start by cutting out sugary drinks and replacing them with water or unsweetened tea. Or you could replace your morning donut with a high-protein breakfast such as these sausage cheddar egg bites.
Replace sugary snacks with healthier alternatives like fruits and nuts. You can also research healthier alternatives – experiment with new recipes using natural sweeteners.
Check out this list of low-carb desserts to satisfy your sugar cravings!
5) Track your sugar intake to monitor your progress
Tracking your sugar intake is a great way to stay motivated and keep track of your progress. It’s also a great place to identify areas where you can improve and kick those sugar cravings to the curb!
You could use an app or journal to track how much sugar you’re consuming each day. That way, you can also identify potential triggers that cause you to reach for sugary foods.
6) Find an activity that brings you joy and focuses your energy away from food
Finding an activity or hobby that brings you joy can help to distract you from food cravings and keep your mind off of sugar.
Mike says, “Forget the calorie burn and focus on the feel-good chemicals that exercise can release! Whether it’s going for a walk, lifting weights, or doing yoga, exercise can give you a fresh flow of endorphins, norepinephrine, and other natural mood boosters.”
You can also try something new like painting, dancing, or meditation – anything that takes your mind off of food and gets you into a creative flow state where the thought of sugary snacks doesn’t stand a chance!
We recently took some time to ask Mike some questions about sugar addiction. We wanted to share them with you in case you were having the same questions yourselves!
What is the thing that really shocks people when it comes to sugar addiction?
“This is not just about what you eat; it’s about so much more. We’ve discovered that it’s actually a journey of substance use disorder recovery. Let me explain!
From a young age, we’ve been hooked on a psychoactive drug without even knowing it.
When you decide to break free from this addiction, it’s not just about giving up sugar. It’s about a complete transformation of the way you manage your emotions and cope with stress. It can be overwhelming at first, with emotions and past trauma resurfacing. But with the right guidance and support, you can navigate through it.”
Are there other sources of fructose that should be avoided?
“Yes! Fructose is found in many processed foods such as sodas, cereals, and candy bars. It’s also present in fruit juices and sweetened dairy products like ice cream and yogurt.
Juices, including orange juice, are basically concentrated fructose, similar to candy. It doesn’t matter if they are raw or organic.
The molecule in fruit is the same as the one in sugar, so when you drink a big glass of orange juice, it hits your liver just like a soda does. This excess fructose can lead to fatty liver, a condition that we typically associate with alcoholics.
And here’s something people often overlook: fructose can also damage the intestines, causing little holes. To heal your gut and prevent the unwanted fat, salt, and other substances from floating around your bloodstream and burdening your liver, it’s crucial to lower your fructose intake.
You should also be mindful of hidden sugars in processed foods like pasta sauces, store-bought breads, and pre-made meals. Even seemingly ‘healthy’ foods like granola bars and energy drinks contain hidden sugars.”
How do you feel about artificial sweeteners? Take ’em or leave them?
“I personally don’t recommend artificial sweeteners because the science is still out on their safety and long-term effects.
Honestly, it’s fascinating how our taste buds can adapt and rediscover the true flavors once we eliminate sweetness from our diet, typically within seven to ten days.
Imagine this: after breaking free from sugar, vegetables like carrots and peppers will taste surprisingly sweet. Even macadamia nuts will seem as delightful as candy! It’s time for a shift in our perception of sweetness.
The food industry is constantly tempting us with an ideal level of sweetness, enticing us to stay hooked. When our brains experience the taste of sweetness, they yearn for the rush of real sugar.
That’s why it’s crucial to distance ourselves from the current definition of sweet taste.”
Note: If you’re looking for a way to sweeten your food or drinks without using sugar, we suggest experimenting with natural alternatives like stevia or monk fruit.
What’s your best piece of advice?
“This journey is not a traditional diet. It’s not just about what you eat, although healthy whole foods are important. It’s about recognizing that your emotional well-being has been dependent on sugar for far too long. By understanding this, you can take control and create a healthier, more balanced life.
So if you’re ready to embark on this journey of self-discovery and recovery, we’re here for you every step of the way. Let’s break free from the shackles of sugar addiction and embrace a new, empowered lifestyle.”
Quitting sugar can be tough, but the good news is that it’s totally doable. With commitment and dedication to a healthy lifestyle, you can kick those sugar cravings and take control of your health.
Whether it’s setting realistic goals or finding activities that bring you joy, taking these small steps will help you reach your goal of breaking free from sugar addiction. And if you ever need some extra support, we’re here to help!
And if you’re ready to lose weight and get healthy for life without dieting, drugs or making yourself miserable, our brand new (and totally free!) on demand video training will help you understand why it’s been so hard and what do to about it.
Don’t miss this opportunity to motivate yourself and change your life like never before!
If you found this post helpful, you’ll love the podcast where we interview
Mike Collins. Check out the Ditch the Carbs Podcast here!
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