What You Need to Know about Sugar to Live the Paleo Lifestyle

By Kellyann Petrucci, Melissa Joulwan, Patrick Flynn, Adriana Harlan

When you’re going through the first 30 days of the Paleo reset, you’re breaking food habits and cravings, especially cravings for sugary foods. The sugar demon will constantly tap you on the back, trying to get you to eat your bagel, pasta, or bowl of cereal. This guy will try to justify why it’s no big deal to have a bowl of oatmeal or a sandwich.

Your mind will rationalize why you need to stop what you’re doing and hit the bagel barn. What your brain thinks it wants isn’t always what your body needs, and you need the strength to have a clear understanding of what’s happening.

How do you know whether you have a sugar addiction? If eating sugar makes all your symptoms magically go away for a while or if you can’t go long without sugary foods, you’re probably addicted.

When you have a craving, your body is usually looking for a quick burst of something to make it feel better. Often, that “something” is a brain chemical called serotonin. This chemical affects mood, specifically happiness and well-being. The higher the levels, the happier you feel. When serotonin levels drop, your body screams out for a change. It’s looking for that feel-good chemical to alter its present brain chemistry.

That’s one of the reasons so many people are in the vicious cycle of eating sweets and high-carb foods. Often, people self-medicate with sugary carbohydrate foods, looking for something to make them feel good and change their state of mind.

The following factors can lower serotonin levels:

  • Stress: One of the biggest reasons so many people who are stressed out have a weight problem is that they’re looking for ways to pull their serotonin back up, and sugary carbohydrates often fill the bill.

  • Lack of sunlight: Sunlight plays a role in the synthesis and regulation of serotonin. If you work in an office or are indoors a lot, the lack of sunlight can cause your serotonin levels to drop.

  • Natural aging: This natural process can drop serotonin.

To really help your cravings on an ongoing basis and to rid yourself of the sugar demon once and for all, you have to be in the practice of maintaining your serotonin levels. Always strive for healthy ways to elevate your serotonin levels. To balance serotonin, do the following:

  • Eat Paleo foods. This is one of the best things you can do for your serotonin levels. The high-fiber fruits and vegetables, Paleo proteins, and non-processed foods are all foods your brain loves. Paleo-approved foods are the perfect intervention for low serotonin levels.

  • Exercise. Exercise is an amazing tool for altering brain chemistry and serotonin levels.

  • Think good thoughts. Try to focus on keeping your thoughts happy and positive. This habit will do your serotonin levels a lot of good! Thinking positively is a very powerful tool for keeping your mood naturally elevated.

The sugar demon is not hanging around because you lack willpower or because you’re weak. People who manage to be content with wrapping their protein in lettuce instead of bread aren’t stronger, nor do they hold some special gift of willpower. Most likely, they’ve managed to slay their sugar demon. Their body is no longer screaming for sweets, and they truly are content doing without. When you follow the steps we’ve given you, you’ll also be free of this demon and at peace with your lettuce wraps.

After you go through your 30-Day Reset, you’ll feel the sugar demon start to distance itself. Before long, you’ll be rid of that bugger once and for all! The key is to stay onboard and understand what’s happening to your body. The more knowledge you have through living Paleo, the harder it will be for the sugar demon to talk you into a trip to the bakery.