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Episode 51: Sugar Cravings Suck! Here are 3 Steps to Conquer Them.

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Sugar. It can be such a source of joy, comfort, and celebration, while it can just as easily transform into an uncontrollable source of weight gain, shame spirals, and some rough bouts of acne and bloating (I know... hot). 

And just like you, I've been there, walking that line between the good, the bad, and the ugly side of sugar. 

But why is it so hard to walk that line? Why is it such a slippery slope? And is there room for sugar in a healthy, well-balance diet?

I cover all that and more in this episode of the Life Unleashed Podcast.

3 Feedback Loops That Cause Sugar Cravings:

  1. The Bad Bug Feedback Loop: Sugar feeds bacteria and fungus in our gut, so they send signals to our brain to want more sugar so they get fed. This can lead to overgrowths like Candida Albicans. 
  2. The Endorphin Rush Feedback Loop: Especially now, our sugar has been engineered to aggressively activate the reward pathways in our brain. Natural sugar in fruit doesn't do this, but the overly processed, nutrient and fiber-poor sugar of today's candies, carbs, and baked goods do, making them that much more addictive.
  3. The Energy Feedback Loop: Many people start out their day reaching for a carb or sugar-rich breakfast like a bagel, donut, muffin, cereal, or sugar-ladden latte. This gives a quick burst of blood sugar and energy, but then, in a panic, the pancreas releases a rush of insulin to pull the sugar out of the blood, and you experience an energy crash a couple hours later. So you then reach for a candy bar, soda, or bag of chips from the vending machine to regain that lost energy. And round and round we go. 

Why is it so hard to break these feedback loops? 

    1. Sugar lights up the same parts of the brain as cocaine, and is considered equally addictive. In a study where rats were fed excessive sugar, they went through the phases of bingeing, tolerance, and withdrawal, showing signs like chattering teeth, tremors, head shakes, anxiety, and depression. 
    2. Even when you feel like you’ve given up sugar, you probably haven't. There are countless hidden sugars in your food that are still feeding the feedback loops.

What Can You Do To Break Your Addiction?

1. You can't go straight from borderline addiction right into a healthy, balanced relationship with sugar. You do have to go through a detox period to get it out of your system and to shutdown the feedback loops. 

This, as I'm sure you know, is not easy. Treat this like you're breaking a true addiction, because you are. You need support, you need help coping with triggers, you need people encouraging you when all you want to do is dive head first in a gallon of ice cream after a stressful day at work.

If you're nodding along right now, you're going to want to take advantage of the Dallas Girl Gang Self-Care Bundle that's coming out Friday May 22.

It'll only be available for 1 week and you'll get access to my 30-day UNLEASH Reset (plus a number of other wellness programs), for just $97. 

At the end of those 30 days, you're cravings will be all but gone, you're going to feel more energized and have clearer skin, the scale will be going down, and you're going to feel incredibly motivated to keep taking action long after the 30 days is up. 

2. You have to deal with the real shit that caused the addiction in the first place. 

If you started using sugar as a way to deal with your jackass boss, or as a way to feel in control when life feels totally out of control (like during a pandemic for instance), or to deal with feeling lonely when you don't have a significant other, you have to process those things head on. Otherwise you'll find yourself right back in an unhealthy relationship with sugar in no time. 

Anytime you do allow sugar into your life, make sure it's a dietary choice, not an emotional impulse. 

3. Eat a more nutrient-dense rich diet.

A lot of cravings can be traced back to insufficient vitamins and minerals in your body. 

Plus, eating a healthy diet filled with fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats turns those feedback loops we talked about on their head. 

These foods help feed the good bacteria in your gut, making it harder for bad bacteria to proliferate. They help give you sustained energy, instead of the spikes and drops of sugary food. And it helps rewire those reward centers in our brain back towards normalcy. 


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