Guest post by Anna Tolson of Vital Detox Retreats.
If this is a question that you have asked yourself then, like any addiction, you are half way to breaking it. Most people don’t even realize that sugar is a problem and can be as addictive as any drug and much easier to get hold of. Nor do most people realize how harmful it is for their health. It has become such a huge part of our diet that, most of the time, we don’t even realize that we’re eating it.
We tend to think that sugar means the white stuff we spoon it into our coffee or tea, or maybe sweet things like cakes and biscuits. In reality any and every carbohydrate we eat or drink gets turned into sugar by the body and, if not burnt off, is then stored as fat.
We are incredibly carbohydrate dependent in the West, much more so than ever before. Our ancestors would not have had access to hardly any carbs until they started farming and, as a result, we are not physiologically designed to deal with them in large amounts. It takes a great deal of work to grow, harvest, mill and store wheat so it is only the advent of intensive farming techniques that has made flour easily accessible to us.
The fact is that wheat, potatoes, grains, sugar and alcohol are stored in the body as fat. If we burn up this stored energy by exercising then we can eat carbs and not gain weight. If we don’t use up our stores before putting more away – we put on weight and our health starts to suffer as a result.
So – how to break the sugar addiction and reduce the cravings?
The good news is that, once the blood sugar level has been stabilized then the craving for more sugar will reduce. Sugar in the blood sets up a roller-coaster effect. We eat it and get a high, the high wears off and we crash which sets up a craving for more and, off we go again. Just like any drug.
The trick is to go without, to break this cycle. I recently went raw which meant that I was eating very few carbs. I was only eating nuts, vegetables and a small amount of fruit. I also included a small amount of animal protein from fish when I felt the need for it. I was eating good fats in the form of nuts, cold pressed oils, avocados and a few eggs. I found that I was loosing a pound in weight everyday whilst eating as often as I wanted.
The thing that I found most interesting was that I wasn’t getting hungry. The food I was eating was so nourishing that my body wasn’t craving for anything. I felt nourished, balanced and satisfied. We are all different, so I’m not advocating that everyone should go completely raw, but cutting out, or at least reducing substantially, the amount of carbohydrates in our diets can only be a positive and healthy thing to do.
A word of warning – beware of alcohol. When we have a drink, a large amount of sugar is released into our blood stream. The next day the craving for carbohydrates is due to the sugar crash and the bodies attempt to redress the balance.
Most people who are very overweight are also undernourished. Their bodies are constantly hungry in the hope of receiving some nutrition. Carbohydrates contain mainly calories and very little nourishment.
Alcohol is full of sugar causing a craving for carbohydrates the next day.
Avoid artificial sweeteners – these might not make you put on weight but they are very toxic for the body.
Do some research – there is an enormous amount of information about how to prepare delicious and nutritious food that won’t set up a craving and that will actually provide the body what it needs to maintain health and vitality.
Eat like an animal! Rather than reading complicated labels to see how much fat, sugar and salt a food contains, just look at how close it is to coming out of the ground. If it looks like its just been picked rather than having undergone umpteen processes and put in a pretty packet then your body will be able to metabolise it easily and utilize the nutrition rather than having to store it in fat cells as a toxin.
For more information on detox and nutrition please visit our site Detox Retreat