Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies
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Sugar, in excessive amounts, is one of the most harmful substances you can eat. When you look at a piece of candy, a soda, or a bag of pastries, you may not think of the word toxin, but refined sugars (along with other artificial sweeteners) place a huge physiological stress on your body’s systems.

High blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels and organs, and high insulin levels promote fat storage. Sugar makes your immune system less effective and creates a strong inflammatory response throughout the body. Getting off sugar can end all that!

Aiding weight loss

When you stop feeding yourself empty sugar calories, and when your insulin levels aren’t elevated from eating too many carbohydrates, you begin to lose weight. More specifically (and more importantly), you begin to lose body fat.

Achieving better blood sugar and insulin control

Excessive sugar or other carbohydrates elevates blood sugar levels and triggers an overproduction of insulin. Chronically high insulin levels lead to obesity and diabetes. Detoxing from sugar stops the insulin roller coaster and helps level out your blood sugar levels, which is critical to avoiding (or reversing) diabetes.

Experiencing increased energy

When your blood sugar levels are stable, you don’t experience the post-insulin sugar crashes that cause fatigue and brain fog. Less sugar in your diet helps keep your energy high, especially if you get some consistent exercise.

In addition to smoothing out your blood sugar levels, detoxing from sugar helps coax your thyroid and adrenal glands back to their normal function, so you’ll no longer suffer from the overwhelming fatigue that afflicts so many sugar addicts.

Getting more nutrients

Sugar, along with many other sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup, contains zero nutrients, only calories. When you eat sugar, you consume calories without nutrition, and this leads to weight gain, malnutrition (even if you’re too fat), and cravings.

When you start replacing empty sugar calories with higher-quality carbohydrates like vegetables and fruits, you dramatically increase the amount of essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in your diet. Your body requires these vital nutrients to stay vibrant and to prevent all manner of diseases and illnesses. Better nutrition leads to a healthier body and fewer sugar cravings, too!

Improving immunity

Dumping a large amount of sugar into your stomach lowers your immune system’s effectiveness by about 30 percent for several hours. Consistent sugar consumption keeps your immune system permanently depressed. A sugar detox allows your immune system to leap back to full function.

Another important component of the immune system is the intestinal flora. The good bacteria in your gut stimulate the production of immune cells and play a major role in metabolizing dietary carcinogens. A high-sugar diet kills off the intestinal flora, compromising your immune system and allowing foreign pathogens (like yeast) to flourish.

Detoxing from sugar and using a quality probiotic supplement restores the intestinal flora to a healthy state.

Reducing inflammation and lowering your risk of disease

The inflammatory response is a necessary part of your physiology. Your body uses controlled inflammation to heal wounds, fight infections, and rebuild muscles. But too much inflammation can lead to premature aging and major problems like atherosclerosis, eczema, arthritis, yeast infections, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

Sugar is an inflammatory food, so if you eat sugar frequently you’re placing your body in a continuously inflamed state. If you don’t yet suffer from inflammation problems, getting off sugar now can help prevent the onset of some terrible diseases in the future.

If you’re currently battling one or more inflammatory conditions, detoxing from sugar will lower the inflammation in your body and help end the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other conditions caused by chronic inflammation.

Having less gas

Sugar creates an acidic environment that kills the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Your body’s good bacteria are important for digestion, immune system function, and serotonin production.

Eating too much sugar alters the intestinal flora, and the sugar ferments in the intestines, leading to bloating and gas. Cutting back on your sugar intake reduces gas and diminishes that uncomfortable, bloated feeling.

Battling fewer cravings

Consistent sugar overdose wreaks havoc on your brain chemistry. If you’re a sugar addict, the more sugar you eat, the more you want. Breaking the craving cycle is a big step in changing your eating habits for the better.

As you start to wean yourself off sugar (or if you quit it cold turkey), you’ll find that within a very short period, you no longer desire the sweet stuff. And if you do have some, you’ll find that the sickly sweet goodies you used to dream about don’t even taste good anymore.

Enjoying better skin

The inflammation from a high-sugar diet makes your skin prone to unsightly pimples, eczema, and other breakouts. Sugar also damages collagen, causing your skin to become stiffer and less elastic. The more sugar you eat, the more tissue damage you cause and the more wrinkles you get. Staying away from sugar is one of the best things you can do for your skin.

Sharpening mental clarity

In addition to physically damaging your brain, a sugar binge can cause a host of brain performance problems. Sugar addicts commonly suffer from a sugar “hangover,” with symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, headaches, or emotional swings.

Detoxing from sugar stops the sugar highs and crashes, keeping your energy more stable and your brain more functional throughout the day. You’ll sleep better too!

Feeling personal empowerment

One of the most powerful and life-changing rewards of beating sugar addiction (or any addiction) is the thrill of empowering yourself and running your life proactively, so that you’re in charge of your own behavior. To make a blanket generalization, addicts tend to use external substances to supply them with the brain chemistry they desire.

When you detox from whatever substance you’ve been using as a substitute for a healthy emotional state — in this case, sugar — you’ll live a happier and more peaceful life, and your body will thank you for healing it after sugar’s harmful onslaughts.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Dan DeFigio is one of the most respected names in the fitness and nutrition industry. His articles have appeared in numerous professional journals, and his workshops have been presented in many cities across the United States. He has appeared on the Dr. Phil show and was featured in SELF Magazine, MD News, Personal Fitness Professional, and a host of other publications.

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