How to beat a sugar addiction? – Well-being / slimming

Can’t finish your meal without a sweet or bite into a few squares of chocolate without finishing the bar? Follow the advice of Marie-Laure André, dietician, to find a reasonable consumption.

Why are we “addicted”?

Sugar triggers the secretion of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, two pleasure hormones, which activate the reward circuit. “Sugar calls for sugar. And in some, this circuit is altered: they need more and more sugar to find pleasure in it and increase the doses, which is the principle of all drugs, ”recalls Marie-Laure André, dietician. But there is also a more psychological dependence: from childhood, sugar consoles after a difficult moment, is seen as the “reward” when we have been good, is synonymous with celebration on birthdays… So many memories that determine our eating behaviors. While it’s normal to enjoy eating sugar, it’s a problem when you can’t stop, or have compulsions to devour an entire packet of cookies. In general, everyone eats too much, much more than the 25 g of added sugars not to be exceeded ideally each day (the equivalent of 5 sugar cubes). They bring nothing useful to the body, unlike the glucose in cereals or fruit, which gives energy and is part of the nutritional balance.

How long to detox?

Detox is actually quite “easy”. The most difficult stage to pass are the first 15 days, the time that the taste buds are renewed and that the palate becomes unaccustomed to the sweet flavor. Then, it is above all a question of work (which can take several weeks, even several months) to get rid of habits and automatisms.

Track added sugars

To avoid too brutal a shock synonymous with frustration, you can go gradually. For example, in stopping them sweet desserts (to be replaced by a fruit or a natural yoghurt), but keeping the sugar in the coffee at first, before moving on to half a sugar, then a quarter, etc. 80% of the sugar we consume comes from processed products. The idea is to eliminate large suppliers such as sodas, juices, buns, sandwich bread, ready meals, dessert creams, but also morning jam… Look at the labels and limit as much as possible products where sugar (or glucose-fructose syrup, fructose, corn syrup, etc.) appears in the first 3 or 4 ingredients.

Bet on low GI to avoid cravings

The high glycemic index (GI) of added sugars leads to a spike in insulin secretion, therefore a reactive hypoglycemia with a little slack, cravings, and a new craving for sugar… a real vicious circle! To bring enough glucose to your brain and add flavor without upsetting the GI of your meals, replace white sugar with low GI sugars: coconut sugar, honey, agave syrup or yacon syrup (a small new on the shelves). “But as soon as we can, the ideal is of course to no longer put any added sugar at all, for example in coffee or in our dairy products”, recalls Marie-Laure André. And to avoid cravings, consume enough starchy foods, cereals and wholemeal breads that stall permanently.

Finding Tasty Alternatives

Pieces of fruit or a few blueberries in yogurt, cinnamon powder or mint leaves on your fruit salad, two drops of natural vanilla flavoring in fromage blanc, a few almonds and dried apricots at the break afternoon… All these tricks allow you to keep a touch of sweetness for pleasure, but in a healthy way. On the other hand, avoid all fake sugars and sweeteners, chemicals that are therefore less well assimilated by the body, and which do not get used to the taste of sugar.

Manage your emotions differently

Working on listening to the body and its sensations, through yoga, meditation, sophrology… helps to recognize and distinguish physical hunger, the real need for energy, from this or that emotion that we are trying to satisfy. with a lot of sugar. Try to think ahead to alternatives for each situation at risk of nibbling. You’re bored ? Play a game on your phone, or a coloring that keeps your hands busy. You are sad ? Call a nice girlfriend who will cheer you up. Stressed ? Ask your spouse for a massage or do a cardiac coherence exercise on an app. It’s up to you to find the parries that work.

Keep small pleasures

Nobody said you wouldn’t get zero sugar anymore. Simply, processed sugar has to be casual to be a real pleasure. No question of seeing it as a “gap” or a “cracking”, it’s part of the balanced diet of the week: treat yourself, for example, to a tarte tatin or a chocolate mousse at the restaurant, 2 squares of chocolate dark with 70% cocoa in the evening or with coffee, homemade biscuits on weekends when you have a snack…

Calm a sweet craving

A drop of rose geranium essential oil. By regulating blood sugar, it helps to calm cravings (to be placed on a neutral tablet to swallow).

5 minutes of heart coherence. Inhale for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds, for 5 minutes. It immediately brings down the stress level… and the desire to open the cake cupboard.

brush your teeth. Once your teeth are clean, you think twice before falling for sweets again. And the mint from the toothpaste saturates our taste buds.

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