We hear so much about sugar these days and how it is bad for us but giving it up or even reducing your sugar intake can be difficult and you can suffer withdrawal symptoms, but it is worth it if you want to be healthy and lose some weight.
It might not be easy!
But here are some tips on coping with sugar withdrawal.
When you first cut out sugar, you crave it, especially if sweet treats were part of your daily routine. You might initially feel tired, feel moody and have headaches but trust me these will pass.
Dealing with Sugar Withdrawal
Nicole Mowbray at The Daily Mail gave up sugar and talked a bit about the withdrawal period, including the technique that helped her most. We tend to view sweets as a reward, and shifting this way of thinking helped Mowbray a lot. She focused on weight loss, but you can also try thinking about the long-term health benefits of quitting refined sugar.
Headaches are a common sugar withdrawal symptom, and one that Mowbray experienced. If your headaches are severe, you can take an over the counter pain medication occasionally to get you through this initial tough part.
If giving up sugar is making you moody and irritable try going for a short walk; do some cleaning;or a job you have been putting off. This can help, but also you will be doing something positive rather than reaching for the chocolate bar.
You might want to find some alternatives and substitute a healthy snack and I have included a few suggestions at the end of this blog.
Dealing with Social Situations
When you’re quitting sugar, you start to realize how big a part it plays in social situations.
I think we have all had people saying to us things like ‘oh just have one it won’t hurt you’. If you can it is helpful to say something about the fact that you are trying to eat more healthily and cutting down on sugar but you can also use other tactics such as
I won’t thank you as I am full’ or
‘That’s very kind but I am eating later and don’t want to spoil my appetite
If you find you are given sweet things as a gift with words such as ‘I know you love cake/chocolate etc. so I bought you these’ there are a few lines you can use
‘That is really kind of you and I do like them and would love to share them with you/group of friends etc.
‘That is really kind of you but I am eating a lot less cake/chocolate these days so will save them for later (this may make people think about alternatives)
If you can get into the habit of doing this and opting for fresh fruit or having a warm drink instead of the sweet treat you will soon find that the withdrawal symptoms will decrease but also more importantly you will be learning new habits.
Some ideas for a healthier snack
Packed of Melba Toasts and Triangle of Dairylea or Laughing Cow cheese triangles
A Natural Yoghurt 125 mls
2 Ryvita slices topped with smoked salmon or low fat Philadelphia cheese
1 crumpet topped with low fat cheese
Small handful of mixed nuts
Olives in brine (10)
Nicole Mowbury as featured in the Daily Mail on line