End Compulsive & Emotional Eating
There is compelling evidence to suggest that sugars and simple carbs create havoc with our blood chemistry and therefore our brain chemistry and emotions. Some of us believe that that sugar is addictive and the use of it calms us with mock seratonin and endorphins.
Below is an article you may find interesting and perhaps educational as it contains information for regaining nutrient balance.
The Nagging Sweet Tooth
If you've got a sweet tooth, you know that it doesn't let you ignore it for very long. At least once every day or two, the boss lets you know who's in charge. You rummage around the kitchen for sweets, check the back of the refrigerator and dart out to the store if necessary.
A sense of sugar/chocolate deprivation sets in, and demands that you do something about it. In a perfect world, a sweet tooth would be satisfied for weeks at a time by an especially large dessert or other massive binge. Wouldn't that be convenient!
Why does this happen? How does a person who regularly indulges their sweet tooth end up feeling more deprived than those insufferably serene types who don't eat sweets?
It has to do with a process called homeostasis. When you eat a lot of sugar, your body notes that your blood glucose level is higher than normal. As a result, the pancreas secretes insulin, which packs this sugar away into cells that process it, in order to bring your blood sugar back to normal. When a lot of sugar is ingested, a lot of insulin comes out and packs it all away, which overcompensates and swings your blood sugar too low for a while.
This accounts for the afternoon brain fog (transient hypoglycemia) often experienced after a high-carbohydrate lunch. And this is when the sweet tooth (really, just a euphemism for a sugar habit plus a fluctuating blood glucose) wakes up and reminds you who's really the boss. Quitting Sugar in Three Steps
1. Substituting whole grain bread for white bread, steel-cut oats for other cereals, sweets with protein for sweets alone and similar substitutions makes the important first step of taking the sugar addict from the volatile glucose-insulin roller coaster of extreme highs and lows to a more moderate fluctuation of biochemicals and hence moods, cravings and sensations.
2. After these transitional foods, and once in the more moderate rhythm of blood analytes, the dieter is in a much stronger position to handle a reduction, then elimination of simple sugars. In Des Maisons' book, the last cold-turkey withdrawal is still a bit of a cliff jump, but she certainly strengthens the dieter toward that end more effectively than most other writers in this area.
3. The final step of giving up sugar with the help of chromium supplementation has been established as beneficial.1 It is also useful for the dieter to understand which other nutrients are affected by high sugar states and low sugar states (both of which are visited by the sugar addict on a daily basis), and to know how to substitute healthier foods that contain those same needed nutrients.
For example, sugar cravings and sugar rebound involve deficiencies of the following nutrients:
* Chromium, which may be found in broccoli, cheese, dried beans, calf liver and chicken
* Carbon, which may be found in fresh fruits
* Phosphorus, which may be found in chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and legumes
* Sulphur, which may be found in onions, cranberries, horseradish and cruciferous vegetables
* And tryptophan, which may be found in cheese, liver, lamb and spinach
In the case of chocolate cravings, magnesium is also deficient, and may be found in raw nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits.
The Final Answer
Ultimately, the way to win the eating game is to choose the healthiest foods possible in the widest variety available, with respect to your metabolic type. However, for the sugarholic, some extra care with the above substitutions will be a necessary component of breaking the chains of sugar addiction.