In the last episode, I talked about giving up sugar. Today I want to give you some real practical tips to help you on that journey. I’d like to mention that most of the articles I’ve seen online about withdrawing from sugar are geared towards people who want to give it up suddenly, to just cold turkey.
My experience was that cold turkey caused other problems. I had been a sugar junkie for a really long time. When I was working, I was doing three Cokes a day and cookies & desserts for lunch! I mean, that was all and I had been eating sugar all of my life. And when the doctor told me to stop eating sugar if I wanted to stop being depressed, I did it practically overnight! And the results were that the depression went away.
But I wound up with a lot of other problems, although it wasn’t only due to the sugar withdrawal. I just want to make it clear that if you’ve been eating a lot of sugar over a long period of time, you might want to consider a slow withdrawal before cold turkey. I did the same thing with cigarettes.
I had only been smoking about half a pack a day. And I cut down to where I was just having two or three cigarettes a day. Then I stopped. It’s like when I was addicted to Valium, I had to do it slowly. And there are all sorts of groups online helping people withdraw from that drug, which is very hard to withdraw from, and they’re doing it over a really long period of time.
Sometimes you have to adjust to a new way for your body to adjust. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, then it might be a little easier to cold turkey. I was in my 30s when I quit cold turkey, and I had a lot of problems. So I just want to put that out and have you consider following your intuition.
If your intuition tells you not to do it suddenly, then do it slowly. As I suggested last time, by reading labels on your food, you get to see how much sugar you’re actually eating. And when you do that, you can measure out the number of tablespoons of sugar because there are 12.5 grams of sugar per tablespoon. When you see 39 grams on a can of Coke, then you’re going to have to measure out three tablespoons. I didn’t do the exact math because two tablespoons, which is an ounce, would be about 25 grams.
I did this with a young boy one time where he was having trouble in school. I think he was in the eighth or tenth grade at the time. He was depressed and wasn’t doing his schoolwork and his mother was having a lot of discipline problems with him. I was staying in their house and it was during my journey of withdrawing from sugar. So I measured out the sugar he was eating on a daily basis, and it turned out to be like half a cup of sugar every day. That’s a lot of sugar your body has to deal with, yet it’s not designed to deal with that much sugar!
Other Ways of Withdrawing from Sugar
So what are some of the other things you can do to help you in withdrawing from sugar other than doing it slowly?
I’ve found out that with both sugar and smoking, natural licorice root sticks, not licorice, actually help. However, you shouldn’t stay on it to long because it will affect your kidneys.
Licorice root sticks are sweet and taste like licorice. They have a sweet flavor and happen to be good for your adrenal glands. When you eat a lot of sugar, your adrenal glands become compromised. That’s why you would need sugar to get an energy kick because your adrenal glands are hurting.
One of the reasons why people keep going back to sugar is that like drugs, it causes a dopamine response. Dopamine is the pleasure molecule. And because it feels good to eat sugar, you’re going to keep going back to it and you’re going to build up a tolerance where you need more and more to get the same kick. And so licorice root sticks can help a lot with that.
The other thing I did in the beginning, which was very helpful, was that I would smell the foods that I didn’t want to eat …