Over the past few days, I have been talking with one of my clients who has been experiencing a host of problems. She was feeling angry, depressed, dizzy, tired, had headaches and the list goes on and on. I finally said to her “It sounds like you’re too sweet.” This stopped her dead in her tracks. She has a blank look on her face and wanted to know if that was supposed to be funny? While I found it funny, I was completely serious. I asked her if she recently quit using sugar, or if she gave up coffee? The blank look turned into a surprised expression. She blurted out that she was a day and a half into a sugar cleanse. There you have it.
Most people are unaware of just how powerful sugar is. When quitting, some mild to severe withdrawal symptoms can be expected. It’s true. Do you realize that not even a hundred years ago the average American consumed about 2 pounds of sugar a year? Fast forward to today, most are ingesting close to 152 pounds a year. Is there any doubt why we feel terrible when we decide to cut sugar from our diets?
Withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person. Some of the factors are a person’s physiology and how much sugar they were used to consuming on a regular basis. For those reasons, some people will move through withdrawal symptoms rather quickly, while others will not. One thing that proves true across the board is that quitting “cold turkey” in most cases brings about the harshest symptoms. If you were/are a heavy sugar user, it is best to cut back slowly to allow your body to adjust to these changes.
So just how long does it take to be symptom-free? Again, that will vary from person to person. For the heavy sugar user, it could take a month or more. Whereas someone who does not consume much sugar at all may be symptom-free in as little as a day or two. That said, when we cut out sugar, our dopamine levels drop. The result; we feel tired, dizzy, depressed and so on. To help with that, include in your daily (diet) intake a variety of nuts, seeds, and fruits. Also, stay hydrated and get some exercise in (Check with your doctor first).
Sugar addiction is real and it should be taken seriously. If you feel that you have an addiction to sugar, please consult with a professional. Or if you’re not sure, but for some reason, you’ve been overly tired and depressed lately, and your inner circle has made mention to it. You may just be too sweet.