Do you ever crave sugar so intensely that you feel like you must be addicted to it? According to a Huffington Post column by physician and best-selling author Mark Hyman you probably are. Sugar consumption increases the amount of the amino acid dopamine in our brain, which in turn activates the dopamine receptor D2, creating the sensation of pleasure. It’s a cruel trick of biology, really: We like feeling pleasure, so we eat more sugar. And we all know the downsides to overindulging in the sweets department. What’s more, new scientific studies have shown that the dopamine receptors of some overweight or obese people require more sugar to become stimulated than those of thinner folks, causing the heavier folks to eat even more sugar to get their “sugar high.”
If that bit of news has left you feeling so depressed you’re about to dig into a pint of fudge brownie swirl, put down the spoon. The following are Dr. Hyman’s time-tested tips for a sugar-addiction detox:
1. Empty the sugar bowl.
And while you’re at it, toss that box of artificial sweetener too. According to Dr. Hyman, sugar is a drug just like alcohol, and going cold turkey is the only way to kick the habit.
2. Don’t let your blood sugar get too low.
By eating a healthy breakfast, stocking up on healthy between-meal snacks and including protein in each meal or snack you’ll keep your blood sugar stable and stave off cravings for sugary treats.
3. Get more sleep.
A full night’s sleep (7-8 hours) prevents those late night sugar joneses.
4. Get more Vitamin D & Omega 3s.
These help maintain a stable appetite and insulin control.
Source: The Huffington Post