I have to admit that my battle with sugar addiction was not as intense as others that I have seen. I mean, I hate to say this but I have seen people that are seriously addicted to the point where it’s just plain old sad. I’ve looked at people with this addiction no differently than a homeless man who’s addicted to crack and trying to bum a few dollars in order to get his next fix.
The sad reality is, chemically there really isn’t that much of a difference. I have read a lot of studies that seem to show that sugar addiction is a real thing on a chemical level. Sure, it has it’s emotional aspects, as all addictions do. However, there is literally an addiction that is based on the chemicals released from the reward center of your brain.
Ever seen a five-year-old fall on the floor and go into the worst temper tantrum because he didn’t get another cup of juice? That’s exactly what a drug-addicted five-year-old looks like, so let that sink in for a little bit. Take an addict that is adult age, take away their fix and watch the tantrum begin. Of course, adult versions of temper tantrums usually involve violence and eventually arrest.
I won’t lie, overcoming sugar addiction was not at all easy, it’s not like the cravings just went away within a few days. I think the thing that really did it for me was the fact that I was so scared as to what was going to happen to me. I thought my life was over, I was a man hanging on the edge of a cliff, about to lose his grip. Like I said in my first article, I didn’t have much money and no health insurance.
I think the fact that I literally had nothing to fall back on scared me enough to fight my way out. Even though I had cravings, I fought them tooth and nail while doing the best I could with my diet. Although I was highly motivated, I had to figure out ways to make the cravings easier to deal with. I needed to get that monkey off of my back.
I decided that I needed to “trick” my body into no longer wanting sugar, and this was not going to be an easy task. The core issue was cravings, neverending cravings that never seemed to stop. My body was craving the sugar, it’s all my body wanted. I needed to lose weight, kick the sugar, and reverse my diabetes, and I needed to do it right now!
Many of my friends preached the whole disciplinary model of diet, saying things like “you need to just be responsible and cut down on what you eat, everything in moderation”. Yeah, tell a cocaine addict all about moderation, let me know how that works!
The last thing I wanted to hear was moderation, responsibility, or anything along those lines. I was addicted, both chemically and psychologically. My serious level of addiction needed a very serious response, which leads me to my method if kicking sugar addiction.
When I tackled my sugar addiction, I decided to make that in itself my only task at hand. Step one for me had nothing to do with losing weight, it was all about kicking the addiction. I decided that if I was going to be successful, I really needed to take things one step at a time. It is a mistake to take on too much, only to fail and give up all of your efforts.
My technique was very simple. I hit the internet and began seeking out recipes that were healthy, moderate carbs and protein with plenty of healthy dietary fats. My overall focus was to find foods that were comparable to my already favorite foods from my old diet. Obviously buffalo wings were on that list, but I needed more.
I began cooking in large quantities and putting cooked food into containers in the refrigerator for reheating later. I made sure that there were plenty of foods that I could eat quickly and conveniently. Then I stuffed myself, over and over again.
I will say it again, I stuffed myself!
Now like I said before, this phase had nothing to do with losing weight, this was all about kicking my sugar addiction. My technique was all about stuffing myself with the right foods, not allowing any room for sugar. Many saw this part of my diet as grossly irresponsible, and would typically say things to me like “you’re never going to lose weight eating like that”. Although I never intended to lose weight at this point, it was simply a way to get rid of my sugar addiction.
I ate everything from fathead pizza to buffalo wings, plenty of spinach and broccoli, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and even sweets like cookies and brownies made with almond flour and Xylitol. I also made what I believe to be the greatest sugar-free ice tea I have ever tasted with stevia. I still drink this ice tea to this day.
Overall, I replaced the sugar-laden foods with other foods without sugar, then stuffed myself.
The amazing thing about this was I found my desire for sugar was quickly disappearing. Anytime I got cravings I would just stuff myself with the right foods, leaving my belly full. After my belly was full, my body just didn’t crave anything else anymore. It was almost like I tricked my body out of sugar.
Here is what I found amazing as I crawled further and further out of my addiction to sugar. Even though I was stuffing myself with way too much food, I noticed that my cravings started to dissipate. I remember one night making 12 buffalo wings and after eating about 7 of them, they got packed into the fridge. I also noticed that I stopped snacking, I just didn’t want snacks anymore.
Slowly it seemed like my body was changing its own habits and cravings. When I made a meal, I was no longer able to finish what was on my plate. Eventually, I started to follow my body and began making smaller meals, and in turn, watched my body crave even less.
Do you know what happened? My hormones began to normalize from being off of all of the sugar. I couldn’t believe that I was actually practicing portion control when making my own meals. Not that I was portion controlling for the purpose of losing weight, I was simply doing it because I recognized that my body was simply not asking for as much food.
I started to realize that I could actually listen to my own body when it came to eating. My body knows what it needs and when it needs it. At breakfast, if I was only a little hungry, I made a small breakfast and stayed full until lunch.