Going on a no sugar diet is by no means easy. This is because your body has likely become addicted to sugar over the years, and in order to cut it out of your diet you’re going to have to first break the addiction. In a 2007 scientific lab rat experiment, it was proven that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. When given the option between water infused with sugar or water infused with cocaine all rats (even those that had been previously addicted to cocaine) choose the water infused with sugar more often than that infused with cocaine. Sugar releases dopamine and opioids that cause strong addictive properties that can be difficult to break, but not impossible.
This study showed that our minds cannot determine a difference between artificial sugars and the natural sugars found in whole foods, which means that by adding more artificial sugar to our diets we’re only increasing the chance of serious addiction. In order to regain control of your diet and your life, you’re going to need to break the sugar addiction once and for all though. This means you’re going to need either cut down on your sugar intake or embark on the no sugar diet.
There are two methods for breaking any addiction. The first is reducing the amount of your addictive substance little by little, slowly tapering yourself off of the addiction. The second is more drastic, but often times more effective, and that is quitting your substance cold turkey. To quit cold turkey means that you do not allow yourself any of the substance at all, ever. This processes is often quicker, but it can also be significantly more draining on your body. When discussing sugar addiction it is important to understand that cutting out all sugar can be dangerous but cutting out all added artificial sugar is very healthy and rewarding.
The ultimate goal of a no sugar diet is not to completely eliminate all sugar from your diet, but to remove any and all added artificial sugar in your diet. Your body requires some sugar for basic human functioning, but this sugar should be collected through the breakdown of complex carbohydrates. These sugars will release at a slower rate into your bloodstream and allow for a more gradual rise and fall of your glycemic levels, inevitably avoiding the dreaded ‘crash’ that simple sugars yield.
We already know that sugar releases dopamine and opioids that affect our physiological addiction, but much like any other addiction, sugar also affects our psyches. Often times, we overindulge in artificial sugars because of an emotional stressor in our life, which makes the idea of a no sugar diet that much harder, but also that much more necessary. Allowing a substance to effect your life so drastically is unhealthy not only to your body but also to your mind.
A relapse into sugar addiction can happen at any point in your life and you have to be mentally and physically prepared for that to occur. While it could be an old emotional trigger that causes your addiction to resurface it could also be an innocent taste of artificial sugars that consumes your neurotransmitters. It is likely that you will fall off the wagon a time or two, but it is imperative that you keep getting back up, and jumping back on. It’s time to end the unhealthy hold that sugar has on your life, and take back control of your nutrition and fitness.
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