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When Overwhelming Sugary Treats Can’t Quench Your Crave, Time to Look for Sugar Detox!

When Overwhelming Sugary Treats Can’t Quench Your Crave, Time to Look for Sugar Detox!

We’ve all been there – bad grade at school, tough day at work, or a bad breakup, and we find ourselves bingeing on life-saving ice cream or chocolate. It is not rare that mood swings influence our need for sugar. This happens since our serotonin levels decrease in negative circumstances, and being quick gratification creatures we are, our bodies crave instant dose.

Since sugar acts miraculously quickly and is digested fast, it is no wonder that sugary treat is the first food that comes to our mind in times of emotional distress. As the 2016 study [1] suggests “Lower levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) in the brain elicit sugar craving, while ingestion of sugar rich diet improves mood and alleviates anxiety.”

This type of behavior can lead to serious sugar addiction, one not much different than a drug addiction. Although it is not entirely the same as drug addiction, sugar addiction affects human behavior in a similar manner. Most of us would simply mistake sugar addiction for sugar craving, yet the repetitive craving and indulging in sugary snacks, creates a vicious addictive circle, making each next craving much more intense.

Sugar affects our brain in a fast and powerful way. As with any other drug, dopamine levels are increased in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) – the reward center of the brain. [2] The brain then easily forms dependency and lessened sensitivity to sugar, which result in more intense craving and the need for greater dosage each next time. As a result, sugar addiction causes similar symptoms as drug addiction as it follows a familiar pattern that includes:

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Signs Where You Have to Re-Evaluate Your Sugar Crave

Bingeing

Larger amounts of the drug are needed due to greater tolerance. [3] Each time we consume food high in sugar, we develop stronger tolerance, and therefore, the same amount of sugar won’t be enough each next time. [4]

Withdrawal

Sugar withdrawal shows signs symptomatic of a drug withdrawal behavior. [5]

Craving

“Sugar deprivation effect” influences enhanced intake after abstinence [6] and greater urge to procure sugar.

Cross-Sensitization

Sugar addiction shows cross-sensitization with other drugs of abuse [7], which is a common drug addiction symptom.

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Even though sugar is not as seriously hazardous as drugs of abuse, removing it from our diet seems almost impossible due to its powerful effect on reward system in our brain. Since award craving is not just reserved for stressful situations, cutting sugar can be a truly challenging process.

However, there is no need for panic if your sugar cravings are not frequent or excessive, since not every single need for instant boost can be described as sugar addiction. There are clear signs of sugar addiction which are a warning sign that you may have become addicted to sugar. For most sugar addicts it is common to make unreasonable excuses for their dietary choice.

Additionally, buying, stashing and binge-eating sugar when alone is your daily habit. Moreover, you use sugar both as a reward and as a mood elevator. Finally, you are well aware that quitting sugar is almost impossible since you have probably tried it a couple of times, only to return to your usual pattern.

Although highly challenging, removing sugar from our diet is still possible. With the right medical advice, and by following some of the most effective sugar detox methods, sugar addiction can be overcome in a matter of days. Here are 5 most effective ways to deal with sugar addiction.

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Put a Curb to Your Bottomless Sugar Crave

Allow for one sugary meal a day

In order to control your sugar cravings, make sure to find a way to lessen the cravings caused by a sudden withdrawal. Instead of cutting all sugar from each meal or snack you eat during a day, opt for one meal a day method. By cutting one sugar infused meal a day, you will be able to gradually instill a more healthy diet.

Get rid of the hidden sugary paradise

Most sugary addicts have a secret sweets stash in their home and office. In order to not fall into the craving trap, make sure to get rid of any temptations.

Look for cleaner substitutes (Fruits will do)

Breaking a habit is quite challenging, particularly in situations that trigger our addictive behavior. I order not to relapse in stressful situations, always carry a piece of fruit with you. Fruit will give you enough sugar for your body and brain to cope with any situation, yet fruit sugar is a much healthier and cleaner choice.

Let magnesium do the job

As sugar craving is associated with lower levels of magnesium, include magnesium rich foods into your diet in order to reduce urge for sugar. Great sources of magnesium include dark leafy greens, tofu, legumes and nuts.

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You won’t binge if you don’t think about it

As with any other type of addiction, sugar addiction requires certain distractions to help overcome the initial withdrawal struggle. Create a distraction plan filled with enjoyable and mind-occupying activities such as walking in nature, reading, painting or swimming, to help you take your mind off of sugar craving.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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