Sugar Addiction - Its a real, physical thing and has withdrawal symptoms.

Discussion in 'Food & Drink Discussion' started by Overmind One, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    Sugar addiction. Its a real physical addiction like heroin or cocaine. It has very real effects, but the worst of them (beyond the unhealthy weight gain and higher blood sugar) is the withdrawal. That is one of the reasons we continue to eat sugar even after starting diets. It's the reason most cheats are sweet cheats.

    I went to YouTube to find a video on this, containing mostly information. Here is an excellent one:



    Why this thread right now? Well, I have become addicted again to sugar! Eating breads, crackers and cheating with donuts did not necessarily add THAT much weight (it did add about 10 pounts bringing me to 190 from 180 at 5'9". There is so much sugar in breads, crackers, chips and of course, donuts. :) So, what happened when I cut them out two days ago? Massive headache (not migraine), lethargy, muscle aches, and an odd flu-like feeling which was not the flu. WTH? I called my doc and he told me I was going through withdrawal. Freakin WITHDRAWAL? From sugar? Then I remembered I went through it years ago when I first went low carb.

    http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/07/19/sugar-withdrawal-symptoms-list-of-possibilities/

    Pasted from article:

    • Anger: If you quit cold turkey, your mood may dip and you may notice that you are more angry and irritable than usual. The anger should not last more than a couple weeks, but may be difficult to cope with if it was unexpected.
    • Anxiety: Various individuals have reported feelings of anxiety when they drop sugar from their diets. It is known that sugar can have an influence on dopamine levels and activity – which could be the culprit for these feelings. Certain individuals are more sensitive than others in regard to experiencing anxiety upon discontinuation.
    • Appetite changes: Eating sugar can lead some people to experience increased cravings for carbohydrates. Additionally when you stop consuming sugar, you may notice that your appetite experiences some degree of fluctuation. Initially you may eat more or less than usual, but it should balance out.
    • Cravings: The most obvious effect when you stop sugar is that you’re going to crave it. The cravings for sugar may be intense and difficult to overcome. If you stay the course and stay self-disciplined, you will eventually reach a point where these cravings subside. It may help to remove sugar substances from your house and/or keep them out of sight so that you don’t fall victim to the cravings.
    • Depression: People can experience a crash in mood when they first come off of sugar. This dip in mood is typically not very extreme, but can feel like a low grade depression. Eventually your mood should bounce back and stabilize.
    • Dizziness: In more extreme cases of withdrawal, individuals have reported feeling dizzy when they stop consuming sugar. Most people will not feel “dizzy” when they stop including sugar in their diets, but more sensitive people can.
    • Fatigue: Sugar can provide some people with short-term boosts in energy. When a person quits including sugar in their diet, it is possible to experience some general fatigue and lethargy during the first couple weeks of withdrawal. Over the long term, a person should notice that normal energy levels return.
    • Flu-like: In some cases, people actually experience a severe reaction to cutting sugar from their diet that results in very low-grade flu-like symptoms. If you have this severe of a reaction, it should subside within a few days. Most people will not experience this particular symptom when they cut sugar, but everyone is affected differently.
    • Headaches: Initially some people experience headaches when they remove sugar from their diet. These headaches can be a result of tension and/or the changes you are going through by detoxifying your body from sugar.
    • Insomnia: Dropping sugar from your diet may temporarily result in changes in sleep patterns and arousal. You may notice that you are unable to fall asleep at a proper time because you feel anxious or your arousal has changed; this will eventually go away. Consider taking melatonin or using some sort of relaxation exercise before bed if it’s a big problem.
    • Irritability: During the acute phase of cutting sugar from your diet, you may become snappy as a result of not having the sugar that you crave. Sugar can influence dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure in the brain. When we are no longer getting the same stimulation, we may become irritable.
    • Mood swings: It is fairly common to experience minor mood swings when you initially cut sugar from your diet. The mood swings may consist of some minor depression, anxiety, and/or other negative feelings. Eventually your moods will stabilize without the influence of sugar, but it may take a short while for your brain to adjust.
    • Shakes: In some cases, people can actually shake when they drastically cut their sugar consumption. These shakes are usually a result of cold turkey withdrawal, but are typically not too severe; they will eventually subside. This is actually a fairly common symptom among people who stop consuming sugar that were previously consuming high amounts.
    • Sleep changes: The withdrawal process may affect sleep to a certain extent. During the withdrawal you may notice changes in energy levels, arousal, and mood. All of these factors are thought to influence our ability to get a good night’s sleep. Do not be surprised if your sleep is slightly influenced.
    • Weight changes: Most people notice that they lose weight when they drop sugar consumption. Weight loss is generally due to the fact that people stop eating unhealthy foods and drinking beverages that are sugar-filled.
    END PASTE

    Two ibuprofen eliminated the headache pretty quickly, and just this afternoon did I start feeling better in terms of the aches and flu-like symptoms. Mind you, this does NOT include sweeteners like stevia, Splenda and other artificial sweeteners. And it does not include natural sugars as long as they are consumed whole with their source (fruits).

    Sugar may take up to 10 days to leave the body (the processed type). The sugars you need to live will be made by the foods you eat. I have some Splenda sweetened tea in front of me right now, but that does not count. :)

    Note to Bluce: donut :tealcanime23:

    :anim_59:
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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  2. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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  3. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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  4. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    I'm still trying not to ingest too much sugar. I do drink beer and wine though so I'm sure that adds carbs. Of course I can't stand sweet liquids at all, including diet drinks. Incidentally, the other day someone had me try a handful of Fiber 1 cereal and it was so disgustingly sweet flavored I almost puked. Seriously, I can still taste the strong maple/brown sugar flavoring. It was disgusting.
     
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  5. Rac80

    Rac80 The Belle of the Ball

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    I have recently been doing a high protein lower carb diet to forestall type 2 diabetes (it runs in both sides of my family!) - no negative effects from cutting sugar but many great changes being seen - lost 30 lbs since last dec, blood sugar levels have stabilized lower, I have more energy and seem to be more resistant to illness. This hasn't been simply a "diet" but a lifestyle change! It's the only way to keep it going.
     
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  6. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    :anim_19::smiley_joy::smiley_squee: That was the EXACT same reason I went low carb. I was diagnosed as "pre-diabetic". It's been 5 years at least, and the change in my health is AMAZING. No more pre-diabetic conditions, no more high blood pressure or high blood sugar and 60lbs lighter, I have a whole new lease on life. You will keep it going because it just FEELS BETTER to be healthy! Most of us were unaware what got us to that unhealthy state because we just did not know any better and had no plan. Now, it's just part of my lifestyle.

    Advice: Watch out for "carb creep"! It's when you have lost all the weight, lowered your blood pressure and blood sugar and gotten comfortable with your new eating lifestyle. You will be able (once again) to enjoy full carb treats. BUT, they are meant to be maybe once a week or so. Carb creep can come in the form of regularly giving into a cheat more than once per week, or reviving a habit like drinking sodas or lots of bread and grain based products like crackers and pancakes.

    YAY on your new lifestyle!
     
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  7. Rac80

    Rac80 The Belle of the Ball

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    I have always had a weight problem (hell ask about any gal and she will say she has one :P ) and lost over 130 pounds about 12 years ago - then the carb creep got me again. I lost it by drastically cutting my calorie intake and exercising like a mad woman! I regained 60 pounds over the past 10 or so years. Now I am doing the "Lifestyle change"...not just watching my calories but writing down everything that goes into my mouth and making conscious choices to give up breads and pastas (my weaknesses)- I have a nutritionist friend advising me and keeping me honest (I send her my food diary every day) and it has worked well. Snookie (she's doing it to) and I had a pizza this weekend - 1/6th is one serving and we took the whole weekend to eat it AND gave our last two pieces to Mr Rac. And we agreed we're done with pizza (we love a nice chewy crust) for the next 90 days. We hadn't had any pizza in nearly that long. Our family USED to buy pizzas every friday night and eat them over the weekend. I've said goodbye to breads and crackers and we only have pasta once a week and only one serving of it. Loads more fruits and veggies and I've found some wonderful new recipes to keep us healthy with. mr. rac is working on it too- not as diligently as snookie and I but he's doing better and the doctor is starting to ease him back on his insulin. I made cupcakes for a kid at church (I had promised them to him) and wasn't even tempted to have one. They were all delivered intact today. I feel like I am losing my "taste" for the empty carbs. I have substituted a banana for brown sugar in my oatmeal in the mornings-- actually i worry my sugar will all crystallize since I have stopped baking. :P I have friends who might be able to use it. ;)
     
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  8. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    Over the past 5 years, I have come up with some really great low carb substitutes for late night snacks, breakfast, dinner and lunch. If you would like some ideas, just ask. :)

    Since you mentioned pizza, this one is from an old thread here and I still make these: http://www.gatefans.net/gforums/threads/so-how-was-your-day.23863/page-51#post-759099

    Low Carb Pizza

    I started with one large low carb whole wheat tortilla by Mission (7 net carbs):

    Here is the tortilla with the Ragu Pizza Sauce (less than 1/2 carb for 5 teaspoons of sauce)

    25433-fed7628dc657f589fc05bba475b47710.jpg

    25432-4911884d3fa8f2276b5ae0b753b3efb6.jpg

    Preheat the oven to 375 and top that tortilla with the sauce with your toppings. This one has Italian sausage (cooked from scratch), pepperoni wedges (made from quartering large pepperoni slices, I used three slices which yielded 12 wedges), grated mozzarella (ungrated cheese bought in bulk from Smart & Final), and pepper and salt and a dash of basil leaves. Here is the finished pizza after 15 minutes.

    You can make "pizzas" on Portabello mushrooms too, as well as veggies. Remember, fats are okay as long as you are burning them for fuel, and you will be if you are on a low carb high protein diet.
     
  9. Rac80

    Rac80 The Belle of the Ball

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    yeah i've seen the tortilla pizza...but honestly I want a chewy crust. so just going without. :P every now and then we'll buy a pizza I guess. :p
     
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  10. heisenberg

    heisenberg Earl Grey Staff Member

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    You forgot to mention crankiness, depression, nightsweats to poor sleep with low energy levels and eating a high protein lifestyle. :(. That's why high carbs are so important sometimes and we get that carb creep. Unfortunately, low energy carbs(vegetables) aren't enough to keep you happy. Your brain is a carb junkie no matter how hard we try - otherwise, we all feel miserable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
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  11. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    It's a balance. I followed Atkins to the letter when I started my low carb journey, but it proved to be only a guideline, much like BMI is. My healthy self where I feel happy and satiated and look fit, that is ideal for me even if it is not within the assumed parameters. I also add carbs when I know I can burn them off (that means knowing that a slice of bread is 16 carbs, and that there are 26.95 carbs in a medium banana). It's all about knowing the macros of the foods you eat, then burning the calories to balance your metabolism. Too many people coast through low carb without learning the foundations of it. It's very important. I made it a point to learn a lot about nutrition, and now I am very well versed in it. Many people would assume that eating natural bananas is better than eating a tuna sandwich in terms of weight loss, and they would be very wrong. Some people use TWO bananas in their protein smoothies, ruining the benefits to a great degree.
     
  12. Bluce Ree

    Bluce Ree Tech Admin / Council Member

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    Welcome to the United States, where one cannot escape sugar ever from anything. If they could figure out a way to shove sugar into raw meat, poultry and fish you know it would make it to the label.
     
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  13. Bluce Ree

    Bluce Ree Tech Admin / Council Member

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    Not me. :)

    I've gone low carb for so long that when I do ingest carbs I get a little bloated THEN I feel miserable. I'll have my junk every so often but damn it makes me feel like I overate.
     
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  14. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    I felt that way ONCE, when I first went into ketosis to start my low carb lifestyle. I felt the same flu-like symptoms as when I rolled back my recent sugar excess to pre-cheat levels. Headache, muscle fatigue and crankiness. But now the sugar is gone back to normal, that has passed and I am back to eating more sensibly and have already started dropping that 10 pounds I gained. :)

    Dinner last night: baked crispy spiced sesame chicken (thighs), and broccoli with pepper and Parmesan. Quick, cheap easy and very low carb.

    20160406_224614.jpg
     
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  15. Bluce Ree

    Bluce Ree Tech Admin / Council Member

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    That looks REALLY good!
     
  16. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    Easy peasy:

    Take two chicken thighs (if you must, you can use breasts, but it is not nearly as tasty). It has to be BONE IN SKIN ON. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with foil and spray cooking spray on top (or brush with a bit of olive oil or coconut oil).

    Combine:

    2 tablespoons of kosher salt
    1 tablespoon of pepper
    1 tablespoon of garlic POWDER (not garlic salt)
    1 teaspoon red chili powder
    1 teaspoon of onion powder (optional)

    Put these ingredients in a large plastic bag or paper bag large enough to shake the chicken inside. Shake each piece separately in the bag enough to coat. DO NOT use egg on the chicken or anything, you want there to be enough dry seasoning for the second piece. Shake the second piece. Place both pieces on the cookie sheet and then bake for about 1 hour or until the chicken is no longer pink at the bone. The skin should be crispy by this point. After cooking, you can carve the meat off the bone like I did, or you can leave it intact, depending on your taste. Spoon the drippings from the foil baking sheet over the top of the chicken. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the chicken, and that is done.

    Broccoli is a snap. Use frozen florets. Zap in microwave or steam for 5 minutes in bowl. Add melted butter to your desired level (I used about 1/8 stick). After the broccoli is buttered, dash it with a bit of pepper and then Parmesan cheese. Resist the urge to salt the broccoli, as the chicken will salt it if you balance your bites between them. Even have some on the same fork! :) It is as delicious as it looks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
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  17. heisenberg

    heisenberg Earl Grey Staff Member

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    Like I said, our brain is a carb junkie - no matter how hard you try, you will cave in eventually, but I guess it's down to the individual. However, I felt awful with it. I wasn't getting enough sleep, my brain was going at a million miles an hour and I couldn't function or think properly which made me very nervous. I was also getting grey hair too and my stress levels would go through the roof. I do limit my carbs but eat a significant amount when I workout though don't go overboard with it. I have 2 meals everyday with a high energy carb source - mainly breakfast and dinner.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
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  18. heisenberg

    heisenberg Earl Grey Staff Member

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    Yes it is but the whole point of the atkin's way is to re calibrate your metabolism. Once your body's thyroid has started to function properly, you can start to introduce high energy carbs in some of your meals. Most fat blokes get what is known as metabolic syndrome but this way of fat loss doesn't work for everyone. It might work for meat eaters, but the body puts up a fight if you were raised a vegetarian.
     
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  19. heisenberg

    heisenberg Earl Grey Staff Member

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    Tell you the other problem with a high protein diet. Your teeth! You get some serious plaque build up if you don't brush 3 times a day. Bacteria in your mouth seems to love that anaerobic respiration.
     
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  20. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    Actually, our brains are GLUCOSE junkies. The carbs just get turned into sugars for the brain. The key to low carbing is understanding the carb/ketosis threshhold. Your body can and will use ketones to create a secondary fuel for the brain and guess where that comes from? Burning fat! Your fat. If you are fat, then the fat stored in your body begins to be unpacked and used as fuel, just like nature created it to be. This state of ketosis can be controlled once you get the hang of it, and you must get Ketostix or some other measuring tool to determine if you are burning fat. There is no guessing. You are either burning fat or you aren’t, and the keto tool is empirical proof one way or another.

    Everything you are telling me spells an imbalance in your diet. The mood swings, the insomnia and the other things you have described.
     
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