The goal in all the steps of how to stop sugar addiction is to restore balance to the endocrine system and neurotransmitters in the brain, which are the root cause of the cravings in the first place. When this is achieved, then cravings dissipate and abstinence is no longer a struggle.
If you need help in overcoming your addiction to sugar, you can find everything you need to know in my comprehensive book, Break Your Sugar Addiction Today, but here is an overview of the essentials.
- Reframe the way you think of sugar, white flour and other refined carbs. They are not food, they are addictive and destructive drugs, just like heroin, cocaine and nicotine. You must begin to label and refer to them in this manner to change how you feel about them.
- Remove sugar, white flour and refined carbs from the diet and keep them out. Just like hard drugs and alcohol, sugar must be put down and not picked up again. You can’t eat just one candy bar or piece of cake. Just like an alcoholic or drug addict, there must be complete abstinence. White flour and refined carbs break down very quickly into sugar in the body and must be avoided as well.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and mind-altering drugs (both prescription and recreational, including marijuana). Each of these disrupt neurotransmitters in the brain and result in cravings for sugar. Alcohol is a sugar – the most refined sugar you can consume. These substances are addictive as well, so they feed the cycle of addiction. In order to overcome one addiction, you must overcome all addictions, otherwise you are only switching substances and eventually this leads back to the substance of choice. This is a crucial point in understanding how to stop sugar addiction successfully.
- Eat the Paleolithic diet. Other starchy foods like potatoes, whole grains and legumes can trigger cravings for sugar too, because they are also broken down into sugar in the body. The Paleolithic diet, which includes, meat, fish, eggs, low-starch vegetables and a small amount of nuts, seeds and low-sugar fruit, is the diet you are genetically designed to eat and therefore it restores balance to neurotransmitters, the endocrine system and blood sugar, which eliminates cravings for sugar and promotes good mental and physical health overall.
- Take nutritional supplements that help replenish neurotransmitters in the brain and correct nutritional deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies are a primary cause of depleted neurotransmitters and cravings for sugar. Supporting the brain with the right nutrients helps restore balance to the neurotransmitters more quickly, ease the suffering of withdrawal and reduce cravings.
- Address all the other contributing factors that can be a trigger for sugar cravings. There are many other underlying factors that can contribute to or perpetuate the cycle of sugar addiction, which may include insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue, leptin resistance, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, hormone imbalance, environmental toxins, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, food sensitivities, lack of sleep, excessive exercise and chronic stress. Each of these should be explored to see if they apply to your health and addressed accordingly.
Learning how to stop sugar addiction is simple, but putting it into action is not easy. It takes time to change the mindset, adopt healthier eating habits and develop new values. But, with a commitment to permanent changes in diet and lifestyle and determination to reach your goal, it can be achieved.