May 22, 2017 12:41 pm Leave your thoughts
Headaches, sore throat, aches and pains, nausea, mood swings, cravings, feeling like you have flu: just some of the fun associated with sugar withdrawal! The symptoms vary from person to person of course, and in their severity – but no-one tends to get away scot-free. Whether you’re just cutting down slightly on added sugar, or literally removing all carbohydrates from your diet, you might benefit from a few tips on coping with the sugar crash!
We’ve got some ideas about how to cope with sugar withdrawal. Some are general tips – for others, you might like to buy some slightly different foodstuffs, to help you out of the sugar-free pit.
Cut down gradually
We’re realists at Naturally Good Food and we’re ready to compromise. Sugar withdrawal means different things to different people. Some people define sugar as including ‘all fruit’, and put bananas on their ‘sin’ list. Some won’t eat refined white carbohydrates – others won’t eat any carbohydrates at all. Some try to get rid only of refined white sugar, while others refuse to touch honey, date syrup, dried fruit and xylitol as well. But whatever you’re doing – or not doing – you don’t have to do it all in one go. The most successful diets (and the most long-lasting) tend to be those that work with a person’s lifestyle and come about gradually. If you make changes slowly, the chances are that your body will adjust without you even really noticing.
Eat protein and plenty of fat
If you’re abandoning sugar, work out what’s going to take its place. Protein is great at keeping you full, as is fat. Try a nibble of nuts or a snack of seeds when you feel the overwhelming urge to stick some sugar in your mouth.
Eat wholesome food
For every diet, we recommend our range of wholefoods, which provides nutritious, slow-releasing, long-lasting energy. Whatever you’re eating, make sure it’s packed with vitamins, minerals and goodness of all kinds. That way, your body won’t be crying out for empty calories.
Herbal teas are a great standby for people who are cutting out sugar in hot drinks, because they’re already beautifully (and naturally) flavoured. See our range of herbal teas here.
If you haven’t banned dried fruit from your diet, then it can be a great way to stave off a sugary craving. Dried fruit is sweet, certainly, but (unless it’s candied) doesn’t contain added sugar. It’s all natural and it’s really quite filling. Try some of our dates, apricots, raisins and sultanas. They’re packed with goodness anyway – and as your tastebuds adjust to a lower-sugar diet and begin to recognise natural sugars better, you’ll find that they’re even more delicious.
Thinking outside the box
It’s not always about food! It can sometimes be hard to distinguish between thirst and hunger, so make sure you’re properly hydrated. If you need a snack, try a sip of water first. If there’s a specific time when you particularly crave sugar, distract yourself with exercise (this oxygenates you anyway, and cheers you up!). One of my other favourite tips is to brush your teeth after the savoury part of a meal – it signals to your body that you’ve finished eating and you don’t reach for the biscuit tin.
Sugar withdrawal: why bother?
There’s pretty clear agreement among those who have withdrawn from sugar that the end results are worth it. Those who have cut down on sugar feel healthier, look healthier and have much more energy. If you want to give it a try, think carefully about how to manage it – and give some of the tips above a whirl.
Tags: apricots, date syrup, dates, dried fruit, Herbal Tea, honey, Nuts, raisins, Seeds, sugar, sugar alternatives, sugar free, sugar withdrawal, sultanas, Wholefoods, xylitol
This post was written by Yzanne