If you’ve been struggling to cut sugar out of your diet, you’re not alone. After all, researchers have found some scary similarities between the effect of both drugs and sugar on the brain. Luckily, we've got a few handy tips to keep you on track.
Excess sugar consumption can increase your risk for obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease, so it’s no surprise that people are increasingly kicking this addictive substance out of their diet.
With one study showing we’re eating over 4 times the recommended daily intake, it’s no wonder obesity rates have tripled since 1975. If you’re looking to make the leap and quit sugar, these are the 3 mistakes to watch out for.
Black and white thinking
You don’t have to cut out sugar all at once, nor do you have to cut it out completely. All or nothing thinking often trips people up, as it can lead to burnout or difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the long term. Taking it slow is one way to make sure you stick to your goals – for instance, simply pick a couple of sugar sources to cut out at first, like confectionery and sugary baked goods.
It’s also safe to consume some sugars occasionally – in fact, fruits are known for their sugar content, but the fibre plays an important role in helping our bodies slow the absorption rate of the sugars. Here at I Quit Sugar, our motto is “everything in moderation.”
Being too hard on yourself.
It’s normal – and common – to have relapses while quitting sugar. With social pressures, stress and cravings, falling off the wagon is nearly unavoidable. The important thing is to be gentle with yourself and remember tomorrow is a new day.
Take a look at the similarities between sugar and drug addiction:
- Both involve binging on the substance.
- Both involve craving the substance.
- Both involve withdrawal symptoms.
- Both involve stimulation of the reward system.
When you look at it from this perspective, it’s more than understandable that so many who have struggled with sugar addiction may relapse into old habits. The important thing to remember is that getting back on the wagon gets easier every time and by keeping this in mind, you’ll be less likely to give up.
Doing it alone.
Kicking a sugar habit is no easy feat – in fact, studies show it has the same effect on the brain as cocaine. Yes, you read that right. So, it’s no surprise that bidding farewell to this ubiquitous substance is hard enough to manage with the support of experts, let alone trying to quit on your own. One of the major reasons quitting is so difficult is because of how interlinked sugar addiction is with mental health. It’s a bit of a “chicken or the egg” situation, where people struggling with mental illnesses may be more likely to lean on the dopamine high of sugar, but at the same time, consuming excess sugar also feeds into the development or worsening of mental health conditions.
One study found rates of depression to be higher in those with greater sugar intakes. One way sugar sinks its hooks in us is by lighting up the reward system in the brain and leading to the release of that “feel-good” hormone, dopamine. The result? A vicious cycle of reward-seeking behaviour. But it can be broken.
With support and health professionals onside, you’ll be better prepared to quit sugar and make it stick. That’s why we’re hosting the 8-Week Program for everyone out there looking to take their health back into their own hands.
How does the 8-Week Program work?
When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and expert guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
If you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it – JOIN NOW!