Ideally, sugar should constitute less than 10% of our daily calorie intake, but experts, recommend further reduction as a fool-proof roadmap for better health and also to lose weight. But refined white sugar is not the only source of sugar to flood your body, experts that an average person consumes up to about 22 tablespoons in a single day, and a majority of it comes from processed and packaged food that you pick off grocery stores and supermarket aisles (candies, chocolates, cookies, cakes, pastries, frozen desserts, ice cream, flavoured yogurt, breakfast cereals, granola, sauces, salad dressings, pretzels, crackers, sweetened coffee and tea drinks, packaged fruit juices, etc.) are just a few examples. So, eliminating sugar is going to be a major challenge because it’s added by food companies in almost every other product to appeal to the tastebuds of the consumers and create a cycle of cravings. Reducing sugar intake is just the beginning, as it brings forth another challenge to overcome: sugar withdrawal symptoms! Giving up sugar results in temporary withdrawal symptoms such headaches, increased irritability, brain fog, etc., but the good news is that these symptoms are temporary, and once you get conquer them, it’s a smooth ride from there towards your weight loss goal. In this article, we list down Top 5 Tips to Crush Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms, read on:
6 Common Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms:
When reducing or eliminating sugar intake, some individuals may experience sugar withdrawal symptoms ranging from dizziness to brain fog. Though the severity and duration of symptoms may vary from one person to another, here are some common symptoms people battle with reduced sugar intake:
1. Cravings: One of the most common sugar withdrawal symptoms is intense cravings for sugary foods or drinks. These cravings can be hard to fight, and it would be challenging to resist the temptation.
2. Fatigue and Low Energy: Sugary treats provide a quick boost of energy, so when you cut back on the intake, you may initially experience feelings of fatigue, sluggishness, and low energy levels. This is because your body is adjusting and trying to gain energy from other sources.
3. Headaches: Some individuals may experience headaches as a result of sugar withdrawal. These headaches can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as light sensitivity and even lightheadedness.
4. Mood swings and irritability: Sugar affects neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin, which can influence mood. When reducing sugar intake, some people may experience mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or even depression temporarily.
5. Sleep disturbances: Sugar can disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to restless nights. During sugar withdrawal, you may experience changes in sleep pattern, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
6. Muscle Aches and Joint Pains: Some individuals may experience muscle aches, joint pain, and flu-like symptoms during sugar withdrawal.
It’s important to note that these symptoms are typically temporary and should subside as your body adjusts to the lower sugar intake. Stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and ensure you’re obtaining essential nutrients from real food. If you have any concerns or experience severe symptoms, it’s recommended to consult a doctor immediately.
Top 5 Tips to Crush Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms:
1. Start your Day with Protein and Healthy Fats: Bread and jam, a bowl of sugary cereals, is just a wrong way to start your day. Breakfast that’s high on sugar, for example, sugary cereals (with their high refined carb and added sugar content) cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, leading to a subsequent crash within a short period of time, triggering sugar cravings later in the day. Make sure the breakfast on your table has a protein source along with healthy fats because they ensure a steady release of energy, keep you full for longer, and help to cut down cravings for sugary foods. You can find the right combination of protein and healthy fat breakfast combos on weight loss diet plans on Rati Beauty. Subscribe to the Rati Beauty app to access these plans.
2. Add Fiber-Rich Food at Every Meal: Fiber provides a continuous, steady dose of energy, so you would never get those sharp hunger pangs which can trigger intense sugar cravings. The combination of protein, healthy fats, and fiber in the diet can help you tide over sugar cravings like a boss. Fruits like apple, whole grains, lentils, millets are all good sources of fiber. Also read: “12 Handy Tips To Add More Fiber to Diet for Weight Loss.”
3. Get Sugar Treat From Fruits: Fruits are nutritionally dense which means they come loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, required for optimum health. Fruits have a naturally-occurring sugar called “fructose,” which is metabolized by the liver, converted to glucose, and then only it raises blood sugar. All fruits have some level of fiber, that keeps a tab on blood sugar, and does not cause a sharp rise in insulin. However, when trying to lose weight, make sure you are picking low-glycemic fruits. Fruits that fall between 1 to 55 range are considered to be low-glycemic fruits which do not cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels – Cherries (GI 20), grapefruit (GI 25), pears (GI 38), oranges (GI 40), strawberries (GI 41), apples (GI 38), blueberries (GI 53), mangoes (GI 51), avocado (GI 15), guava (GI 12) are some great treats to try when sugar cravings hit.
4. Correct Nutrient Deficiencies: Several nutrient deficiencies can contribute to sugar cravings. For example, chromium deficiency can lead to unstable blood sugar levels, which can trigger sugar cravings as the body seeks a quick energy source. Similarly, magnesium plays a role in glucose metabolism and neurotransmitter regulation. Low levels of magnesium can disrupt insulin signaling and contribute to sugar cravings. Also, zinc deficiency has been associated with increased cravings for sweet foods. Also, low levels of B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12, which are involved in energy production and neurotransmitter synthesis can affect energy levels and mood, leading to sugar cravings as a way to boost energy and improve mood temporarily. Consume a healthy diet to get all essential nutrients to help manage sugar better and also to boost metabolism in the process.
5. Cut Down on Stress: Stress increases cravings for food, especially sugary treats. This happens because when we experience stress, our body releases the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol triggers cravings for foods high in sugar, fat, and salt because these foods activate the reward centers in the brain, providing temporary pleasure and comfort. Stress can also lead to emotional eating, where individuals use food as a coping mechanism to manage their emotions. Consuming sugar can temporarily improve mood and provide a quick energy boost. When stressed, people may seek sugary foods as a way to self-soothe and improve their emotional state. As we have mentioned above, stress can make sugary foods more appealing. The brain associates sugar with pleasure and reward, leading to an increased desire for these foods when under stress, so find effective ways to cut down on stress – listening to music, exercising, distracting your mind pursuing a hobby are a few ways that most people find beneficial. Also read: “5 Things To Do Every Single Day To Lose Weight.”