I’m happy to report that my 10-day candida diet ended two days ago, and I made it through without any major struggles. I did cheat a little: on day 6, I had the tiniest slice of my mother-in-law’s poppy seed cake, which was heavenly. But otherwise, I didn’t have much trouble sticking to the plan, and I didn’t experience any adverse effects. I am now allowed to slowly add foods back into my diet, one at a time, while still avoiding sugar and sweeteners as much as possible.
Naturally the cleaner your diet is on the onset of such a program, the easier it will be. But if your diet contains large quantities of refined sugar and grains, conquering the sugar cravings will be more difficult. Dr. Frank Lipman, author of Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again, writes that most of his patients are addicted to sugar without realizing it.
Sugar triggers reward signals in the brain and stimulate the brain to release endorphins. A 2007 French study found that rats even preferred sugar water to cocaine. But too much sugar can suppress the immune system and contribute to health problems such as anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, and sinusitis.
If you have an addiction to sugar, trying to suddenly remove it from your diet could trigger a healing crisis, marked by withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, tremors, and flu-like symptoms.
To curb sugar cravings, Lipman recommends starting your day with a breakfast full of protein, healthy fats, and phytonutrients, which will provide lasting energy and keep you feeling fuller longer. Eating regular meals can help prevent drops in blood sugar that lead to cravings. Drinking lots of water and taking L-Glutamine supplements every couple of hours as necessary can also help. Respond to your sugar cravings by eating a piece of fruit instead of baked goods or candy. For an afternoon snack, try an apple with some almond butter. And finally, be open to exploring the emotional issues behind your sugar cravings. Lipman notes that cravings for sugar are often born from an unmet emotional need.
Since I”m already doing pretty well on the no-sugar diet, I think I may finally attempt Lipman’s six-week Spent program . It’ll be difficult, but it’s something I’ve been needing to do for a while now.
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