Do you need help to break a sugar addiction?
I know from experience how difficult it can be. The addiction cycle is one that repeats itself continually.
But there is hope!
I was able to turn my gut health around and stop the sugar addiction that plagued me daily.
So, let’s discuss the details.
Sugar Addiction Help
The key to getting the help you need is knowing the facts. For this matter, I will share with you the details you need to know to help you address your addiction to sugar.
It is possible to do the work on your own to heal your gut and find better health.
Sugar Addiction Symptoms
Let’s look at the symptoms of sugar addiction.
- Cravings for sweets or higher calorie foods.
- Lack of energy or feeling sluggish
- Muscle aches
- Gas and bloating
- Stomach cramps
- Feeling irritable
- Some anxiety
- Feeling down or depressed
Eating sugar activates your brain’s reward system, which can cause you to eat more of these foods.
Sugar intake triggers the release of dopamine in the brain. This release happens in the same part of the brain that responds to addictive drugs.
As a result, you can see how important it is to address a sugar addiction before it gets out of hand, affecting your health.
How to Break a Sugar Addiction
To begin to break the cycle of sugar addiction, you need to understand what has caused it.
A disturbance in the way your digestive system works can cause an addiction to sugar.
There are a number of things that can cause your digestive system to stop working as it should.
- Not eating a variety of foods regularly
- Smoking cigarettes
- Lack of exercise
- Not using probiotics
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Corticosteroid use
- Antibiotic use
- Oral contraceptives
When I was in high school, I got very sick from drinking contaminated mountain spring water. A heavy dose of antibiotics was required to kill the bacteria.
The problem with antibiotics though, is that they are unable only to kill the harmful bacteria. Our good gut bacteria get killed off as well. And that is when digestive health is affected.
My gut was never the same after those antibiotics, which began several digestive issues for me. It took almost 15 years for me to find a solution. And in that time, I developed an addiction to sugar.
Probiotics to Restore Gut Health
As I mentioned previously, I had digestive issues brought on by antibiotic use. The connection between sugar addiction and gut health is that we develop a harmful yeast overgrowth when our digestive system does not have a healthy balance of good bacteria.
Yeast feeds on sugar, as you may know if you have ever baked homemade bread. The yeast overgrowth in our gut works the same way. An intense sugar craving comes about because of that overgrowth.
As a result, urinary tract infections, sinus infections, fungal infections of the skin and nails, and painful joints can all be signs of yeast overgrowth.
Combined with the symptoms of sugar addiction can leave you feeling sick and miserable.
Probiotics never had a mention when I got sick. I went to the emergency room many times in severe pain. Some doctors told me I had stomach ulcers at the young age of 16.
Another doctor told me I had gall bladder problems and would need to have it removed. But all of the testings showed they were incorrect.
After much research, I stumbled upon the facts of gut health and how probiotics could help.
Probiotics turned my health around and helped heal my gut, which took care of my sugar addiction. It wasn’t an easy road. However, it was worth the effort of every step along the way.
Here is my blog post, where I go into more detail on my personal journey with sugar addiction.
Sandi Welch is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Do You Need a Gut Health Diet
You are probably wondering what you should eat to help aid in restoring your gut health. Cutting out sugar cold turkey can have unpleasant side effects. Interestingly enough, some of them overlap with the same symptoms as sugar addiction.
The good news is that once you are on a healthier diet with a probiotic supplement added in, you should begin to feel better. Don’t believe the articles that promise you can break a sugar addiction in 3 days or even a week.
If you have been addicted to sugar for long or have terrible gut health, it is not something you can fix that quickly. Your recovery takes time combined with daily effort.
Which Gut Healthy Foods to Eat
Here is an article on the 20 Best Foods for Gut Health. The report lists the foods as well as explains the benefit of them.
Allow me to offer a word of caution on these foods. If you have an allergy to one of the foods listed or are sensitive to it, stay away. Those foods will do you more harm than good because they will continue to harm your digestive system.
In the list I linked to above, salmon and coconut oil are recommended. They are both excellent foods that helped me on my journey to break my sugar addiction.
Collagen is extremely beneficial to the body. It helps with more than digestive health. Collagen also helps slow the aging of the body on the inside and outside.
My favorite brand of collagen is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. This brand does not have a taste, which makes it easy to mix into other foods and drinks.
It works great in hot coffee or hot tea. Blending it in oatmeal and adding it to energy bites is another excellent way to add it to your diet.
Beneficial Foods to Make at Home
Besides, homemade bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods you can consume. When you slow cook beef or chicken bones, the marrow, which is full of minerals and amino acids, become part of the broth.
For this reason, bone broth is one of the most nutrient-rich foods there is. I make it in my Instant Pot, which is so much faster than a crockpot. Furthermore, this Instant Pot also has a setting for making homemade yogurt, another beneficial food for gut health.
In the post, I share how I make homemade bone broth in the Instant Pot. Making your yogurt and bone broth is an easy way to save money.
Sugar Addiction Detox
Detoxing from sugar will seem overwhelming at first. Start by making a list of the foods you enjoy that are beneficial to breaking your addiction to sugar.
Be sure to include foods that are part of a balanced diet such as protein, complex carbs from whole grains. Whole wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, and brown rice are excellent examples of the right kind of carbs.
Another good source of complex carbs is vegetables and different varieties of beans. Beans can sometimes cause gas and bloating; for this reason, I add ground flaxseed to my diet.
Flaxseed seems to be easier to digest than some kinds of beans. It is simple to add to oatmeal, homemade granola bars, homemade cookies, and protein bites. If you add it to your menu, be sure and get ground flaxseed as it mixes in the best.
Feeding your body foods full of flavor and essential nutrients will help you feel satisfied while working to beat your sugar addiction.
Your body needs a good variety of foods for optimal health. Our brains use energy from carbohydrates to function well, so don’t skip the complex carbs!
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Water is your friend. Your body is about 70% water, so it stands to reason that drinking water is a healthy habit to embrace.
I was not too fond of drinking water when I first started my sugar addiction detox. My body craved sugary soda drinks as well as sweet tea.
A good goal for water intake is half your weight in ounces of water daily. In other words, if you weigh 150 lb, you should aim to drink 75 oz of water daily. It might take you a while to adjust as it did me. However, one day you will realize that you crave water instead of all of the sugar you drank before.
It’s been almost seven years since I first began to search for how to beat my sugar addiction. I crave water daily and rarely drink anything with sugar in it.
Are Diet Drinks with Artificial Sweeteners Okay?
I do not recommend diet drinks at all. The thing with artificial sugar is that your body never feels like it had the sugar it was craving. Missing the real sugar can cause you to overeat because there is no satiety when eating or drinking artificial sugar. That is to say; fake sugar is not satisfying.
Natural Sweeteners to Try
A natural sweetener that I do recommend is Organic Stevia from Trader Joe’s. There are other good ones, but Trader Joe’s has an excellent price in the store. It is $6.99 for 2 oz near me. I’m sure that varies based on your area. But if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, buying online is the next best thing.
Stevia will take some adjustment time. You don’t need much, so start with a small amount then adjust as you need to. I have found that the liquid version in drinks is much easier to love than the dry version in baked goods.
At times, we all need to celebrate. My preference is always to use real sugar and eat it in moderation. On the other hand, that can be hard for someone trying to break a sugar addiction. Indeed, use a sweetener for baking that helps you overcome your habit instead of continually depriving yourself.
I can say that Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener is an excellent sugar substitute. This substitute contains an extract from the monk fruit known for its sweetness. The mix is a blend with Erythritol. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that I use on occasion. In all of my research, I have never found anything to make me stay away from it completely.
Most importantly, the sugar alcohols in Erythritol can cause digestive upset if you consume too much of it. Use it for a special treat once in a while, and you should be okay.
Why Fad Diets are a Bad Idea
There are so many diets to try these days, especially when working on breaking a sugar addiction. A few that come to mind are keto, low carb high fat, paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian, and others.
Above all, check with a doctor before going on any restrictive diets, such as those listed above.
Enlisting the help of a nutritionist will be helpful if you need additional guidance in your journey.
As I mentioned before, your brain needs complex carbs to function at its best. As such, this is especially important for those younger than 25 who are still growing and developing. Don’t deprive your body of the nutrition it needs.
Health isn’t about only eating certain foods. Being healthy involves a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods along with frequent exercise. Add to this an appropriate intake of water daily, and you have the recipe for a healthier life.
Don’t overthink it. After all, it’s just-food.
Healthy Recipes to Try Related to this Post
I enjoy cooking good food for my family. Here are some recipes on my blog that are part of a healthy lifestyle.
For anyone gluten-free, I have a fantastic pumpkin spice mug cake that has dairy-free and sugar-free options included.
Here is an easy way to make chicken noodle soup with an Instant Pot.
My roasted sweet potato and bell pepper soup is a delicious option for colder weather.
Another flavorful soup with more of a savory taste is my roasted butternut squash and bell pepper soup.
Final Thoughts on Sugar Addiction
To sum up, you are in control of your health. Sugar addiction does not have to rule your life. Arm yourself with the facts and then do what you need to do. Family and friends deserve the healthiest self you can give them.
And you know what? You deserve it, too.
If you would like to know some of the products that helped me along in my health journey of how to break a sugar addiction, click the link below to receive it straight to your inbox.
What is your biggest struggle with staying healthy? Comment below and let me know. I enjoy connecting with my readers and helping wherever I can.