Many people are fully aware of the basic side effects of consuming too much sugar on a regular basis; Weight gain, diabetes, fatty liver disease and neurological disorders; very few see their enjoyment of sugar as an addiction. While on the Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Nicole Avena shared the seriousness of consuming sugar in excess which are addition- like symptoms that include cravings and withdrawal.
During the April 14 episode of the Dr. Oz Show, Oz discussed the importance of understanding your potential for having an addiction to sugar. Oz has brought up topics similar to sugar addition in past shows in which he expressed the vast majority of Americans have an unhealthy relationship with food and tend to over indulge.
Dr. Oz shared a sugar detox challenge that will help one determine if they in fact have an addiction to sugar. During this challenge participants are encouraged to drastically cut sugar from their diet and replacing it with natural sweeteners, like agave nectar, honey and stevia. It may help to participate in the sugar detox challenge to determine your possible addiction level before starting the 5-step plan.
In order to gain success in the 5-step plan you must determine where sugar is lurking in your diet. Often- times sugar can be found in the most unlikely places like bread, savory sauces, salad dressing, and even “healthy” cereals. Dr. Oz recommends documenting the levels of sugar found in your foods on a notepad.
The first step to this plan consists of calculating the exact amount of sugar found on your food labels. 4 calories are found in each gram of sugar, multiply each gram of sugar by 4 to determine the number of calories from sugar in your meals.
Food labels can be tricky as calories are displayed as one serving, when there may actually be 2 or more servings per container. Multiply the number of calories by the number of servings listed.
The third step to the 5-step plan includes discovering, over the course of a week what the largest contributor of sugar in your diet. Eliminate the largest source of sugar within your meals daily.
If you do in fact have an addiction to sugar, omitting sugar from your diet so drastically will result in a number of symptoms. Feelings of tiredness, headaches and irritability may arise during the first few days of this plan but if you push through without giving in to sugar your body with naturally adjust to your new eating habits and your symptoms will subside.
The final step to the plan consists of curbing your cravings. Even after symptoms have subsided you may crave what your body once enjoyed so Dr. Oz suggests finding the source of your cravings and find a way to satisfy them without consuming sugar. Most diet plans encourage snacks that are crunchy because the crunchiness of food makes us feel satisfied quicker.
In order to make a lasting change within your body you must have a plan. If sugar is something you do not want to live without find recipes for healthy snack using natural sweeteners. Homemade granola and trail mix may be a satisfying alternative.