Saturday, June 20, 2015

Kicking a sugar addiction

I am in the process of trying to kick my addiction to sugar. For almost seven months, since November 2014, I've done a pretty good job of reducing my ingestion of sugar of all forms, which means I've abstained from processed and natural sugars, alcohol and fruit. I've slipped many times. I've eaten desserts I knew I wasn't supposed to be having, but that's how it goes. The key was that I kept getting back on my sugar-free diet.

In the past six weeks I've reached a new level of freedom from sugar. I crave it and fixate on it less than ever before! I've done this kind of sugar-free diet a couple of times in my life and this is the closest I've gotten to breaking sugar's emotional as well as physical hold on me. I think kicking a sugar habit is a lot like quitting smoking: you might have to try and fail several times before you succeed, but if you don't give up, you can get there.

The past seven months have taken a lot of white-knuckling, but here are the things that have made letting go of sugar easier for me (some are proven to help with addiction):

1. Raw pain - hugely motivational.
2. Daily meditation - I couldn't have done it without Joe Dispenza's books and guided meditations.
3. Emotional Freedom Technique tapping - extremely helpful for reducing cravings.
4. Acupuncture - my practitioner is Dr. Ashley Frer.
5. Healing the emotional reasons I turn to sweets - this was critical. (If you really want to kick sugar out of your life, do not skip this.)
6. Cutting starches - bread, pasta, corn, rice and other grains act like sugar in the body and can trigger cravings.
7. Taking this supplement - twice a day. (If you order from iherb.com, please use my code: VKS670)
8. Eating fats, protein and vegetables with abandon! No calorie counting!
9. Time at home - it helps to not be in a work environment that triggers cravings. Also, the early weeks of cutting out sugars and starches made me feel fatigued. I took it slowly and allowed myself lots of naps.
10. Keeping my home free of sugar - easier when you live alone, I know. 

What also helped was that cutting out sugars and starches caused me to lose weight, which was certainly encouraging. I've now lost about half of the 50 pounds I put on in 2013.

There's no such thing as getting over an addiction quickly or easily. It's a long, tough slog and I don't know if my active determination to kick sugar will ever end. Maybe I'll always have to be vigilant. Maybe staying off the sugar roller coaster will always take effort and commitment, but I hope not. It would be nice to relax and just live, but maybe some of us don't get to do that. Diabetes runs in my family and I'm determined not to inherit it.

2 comments:

Leolin said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I have starting working on kicking my sugar addiction. I have read a lot about the damage that sugar does on one's body and I have recently been really feeling the effects myself so now is the time. Is there a SA (sugar anonymous) class because there should be! That is how bad this stuff especially the processed refined crap.

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

Leolin - good luck! Remember that it's okay to quit as long as you try again.