If you are still struggling with cravings for sugar and carbs, the beginning of the new year is a great time to resolve to kick this addiction once and for all. With the holidays behind you, for now, there will be fewer temptations that may sabotage your efforts and it’s a time of year when hope, motivation, desire to change, and faith in one’s ability to do so, are often at their highest.
Taking this one step alone can be the single most powerful change you can make to improve your health now and in the future. A diet that is high in sugar and carbs is a major underlying contributor to many of the common ills that plague our society today like addiction, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health issues, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, weak immunity or autoimmune disorders, yeast and/or bacterial overgrowth and much more.
1. Eliminate Sugar and Carbs from Your Diet
The primary key to overcoming your cravings and kicking your sugar addiction for good is to eliminate sugar and high-carb foods from your diet. I know this may seem counterintuitive as most people think they must eliminate their cravings in order to stop eating these foods. But, the reality is that the cravings will not disappear as long as you continue to eat them.
It is the consumption of sugar and carbs that fuels the addiction process. Sugar and foods that are high in carbs (including complex carbs like whole grains, potatoes, legumes, and even too much fruit) disrupt the endocrine system and neurotransmitters in the brain, which leads to cravings for more sugar and carbs. When you remove these foods from the diet and replace them with animal protein and fat, (which is what the human body prefers to run on and runs most optimally with) it will allow your brain and endocrine system to normalize, at which time your cravings begin to dissipate. The less sugar and carbs that you eat the less you will want them.
Sugar and carb addiction is no different than addiction to drugs and alcohol. What is the first thing we do for someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol? We get them off the substance. It is abstaining from the substance of choice (which in this case, is sugar) that leads to recovery. Yes, there will be other steps that you will take along the way, but this is the foundation of the healing path. All other steps we take will be taken to help support this one. This is achieved, of course, with a low-carb Paleo diet, as discussed frequently throughout my website.
2. Keep Sugar and Carbs out of the House
Once you’ve made the decision to make these changes in your diet, you must keep these foods out of the house, so you will not give in during times of hunger, stress, habit, or a weak moment. Just like an individual who is trying to overcome an alcohol or drug addiction would not bring alcohol or drugs into the household, the same principle applies here. It will be extremely difficult to be successful if you are surrounded by these foods.
3. Plan Ahead for Some Down Time
Initially, giving up sugar and carbs can be just as difficult as coming off alcohol and drugs. There will be significant discomfort and withdrawal. Your ability to perform daily activities may be temporarily impaired. Plan ahead when beginning the diet so you can rearrange your schedule, minimize distractions and reduce unnecessary stress as much as possible. Line up some friends or other people who can be supportive that you can reach out to when needed for running errands, household chores, taking care of the children, etc. If you are able to take some time off work, then this would be ideal. As a matter of fact, I suggest you do everything you can to find a way to get at least one week (and preferably two) free to devote entirely to the transition period.
Like any other addiction, addiction to sugar and carbs is chronic and progresses when left untreated. Although it happens at a slower pace, it can destroy lives and kill people just the same and should be taken just as seriously. However, you can kick this addiction and enjoy life without sugar and carbs, when you restore balance to your brain chemistry and endocrine system. If you need help in your recovery process, you can find everything required to support you along the way in my Break Your Sugar Addiction Toolkit, including recipes and meal plans. The principles in this kit are what I used to personally overcome my addictions to sugar and carbs and achieve more than 27 years of uninterrupted and craving-free sobriety from drugs and alcohol.
Start your new year off right by making this vital change in your diet. Regardless of which health condition you are dealing with, you can’t go wrong, and when you take the steps I’ve presented above, you’ll no longer have to fight cravings or hunger between meals, which enables you to achieve your goal much more easily.