We all know that sugar is delicious. It’s in all of our favorite things — cookies, pastries, candy, soda, ice cream and even bread. Unfortunately, just like the moon, sugar also has a dark side. Eating too much sugar can change the makeup of the gut microbiome and lead to cravings, withdrawals, and binging.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard sugar described as “addictive” at least once or twice before. But what does that really mean? And how do you know if YOU are addicted? The hard truth is that sugar addiction is incredibly common, and you may be a sugar addict and not even know it.
That’s why this week, I’m diving into sugar addition, how to diagnose it, and of course — how to beat it. I’ll be sharing my #1 expert solution for rebalancing the gut microbiome and saying goodbye to sugar addiction — once and for all. The cool part? You can make huge progress fighting a sugar addiction in just 7 days.
How much sugar are YOU eating?
- 152 pounds of added sugar each year
- 3 pounds of added sugar each week
- 13 teaspoons of added sugar each day
If you read this and think, well I’m not sitting around eating dessert all day, so I’m probably okay! You might want to think twice. The tricky thing about sugar is that it’s not JUST found in desserts, it’s also hiding in everyday foods you might not think of as rich in sugar. For example:
- Bread, Pasta, and Crackers: Even if you don’t eat sugar in its pure form, if you’re eating pasta, white bread, crackers, or cereal, you are spiking your blood sugar in an unhealthy way. In fact, eating a slice of white bread is the equivalent of 2 teaspoons or 8 grams of sugar.
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate can be a healthy food when eaten in moderation, but you have to be careful with your purchases. Many products are labeled “dark chocolate,” but when you look at the ingredients list, they still contain dairy and a hefty dose of sugar.
- Milk (including oat milk!): Yes, really! Cow’s milk contains lactose, which is a form of sugar. In fact, did you know 1 cup of milk contains 7 grams of sugar? Yeah, that’s a lot!! But just because you opt for non-dairy almond, cashew or oat milk doesn’t mean you’re escaping sugar completely. Some brands of almond or oat milk contain upwards of 10 grams of added sugar per cup.
- Wine: I know none of you want to hear this one, but despite its antioxidant content, wine contains high amounts of sugar that will likely undo any of the benefits of the antioxidants.
- Granola Bars: This is a big one! Especially for people who are making an effort to eat healthy. Like dark chocolate, granola bars and protein bars often masquerade as “healthy” but the truth is that a single granola bar often contains more than 12 grams of sugar, and unless you’re really using them to replace a meal on-the-go, they just add to your daily intake of calories and sugar.
As I mentioned earlier, eating this much sugar can sabotage your gut microbiome. After not too long, sugar-eating bacteria (and yeast) start to grow out of control because of all the sugary-food available to them, and then when you try to cut out sugar, those bugs start to die and cause cravings, moodiness, and many other symptoms you may attribute to having a “bad day.”
5 Signs You’re Addicted to Sugar
Many people hear the words “sugar addiction” and think it’s an exaggeration. And I get it! We all love dessert. What’s the difference between having a sweet tooth and a full-blown addiction? Here are some common signs that sugar is a problem for you:
You think about sugar (a lot)
You get the 3 p.m. slump — bad!
When you’re stressed you reach for sweets
A day without sugar feels impossible
You have a blood sugar problem
As you read this, if you’re realizing you may be addicted to sugar, remember that it’s not your fault. An often-quoted study out of France showed that sugar’s effects on the reward centers in the brain are even more dramatic than those of cocaine. So, when you hear the words, “Sugar is more addictive than cocaine” — that’s not actually an exaggeration.
How to Beat Sugar Addiction In Less Than a Week
If you want to beat your sugar addiction, you have to take a holistic, full-body approach to beating sugar addiction for good. Luckily, I designed my HAPPY GUT® Reset for exactly that. This program is a quick detox to rebalance your gut microbiome and create more harmony in 7 days or less, without feeling like you’re starving or “dieting.” The HAPPY GUT® Reset includes probiotics to balance the gut microbiome, a cleanse shake to give your body a healthy dose of nutrients and protein, and other nutrients to heal the gut, cut sugar addition and get you back on track.
But don’t just take it from me! Here’s a note from Alessandra, who completed the detox last summer.
“I decided to do this program back in the summer — it was easy to follow and I didn’t feel hungry at all! I loved the delicious shakes. My weight has dropped (15 pounds) and so did my sugar cravings. No need for coffee to boost energy and I love the increased mental clarity. I have followed this detox program twice now. Both times successfully. I suggest this program to anyone needing to take off the last 10 lbs or just a quick reset, it works!”
Throughout the 7 days, you’ll be eating a clean, high-protein diet specifically designed to help you rebalance your microbiome and normalize blood sugar levels. As we’ve learned throughout this article, beating a sugar addiction isn’t just about cutting out sugar, you also have to correct underlying health imbalances — such as gut dysbiosis and the blood sugar rollercoaster — that make you crave sugar in the first place! The best way to do that is with a detox, like my HAPPY GUT® RESET: 7-DAY DETOX. It will help you jumpstart your body’s detoxification systems to beat the bloat, gain energy, clear mental fog, balance hormones, and crush sugar addiction in as little as 7 days.
When people hear detoxing, they hear “starvation.” The 7-Day Detox proved to be NOT THAT and more for Scott:
How does Dr. Pedre’s 7-Day Detox work?
With the 7-Day Detox, you’ll be cutting out common inflammatory foods, sugar, and alcohol. If you want to beat sugar addiction, cutting out alcohol is usually one of the most important and necessary steps. For one, alcohol is sugar in and of itself. And for that reason, it puts your body on the sugar rollercoaster. When your sugar levels come crashing down 30 to 60 min after a drink, you either crave more alcohol, or succumb to the late night munchies.
Alcohol can also affect your judgment, so you may end up binging on sugar (or crackers or chips) after a few drinks. I recommend cutting alcohol out completely, at least in the beginning, until you get your sugar cravings under control.
Throughout the program, I also recommend stress reduction practices like meditation. Why? Many of us turn to sugar in stressful moments. Instead, have another go-to strategy at the tip of your fingers that doesn’t involve reaching into the snack drawer. Instead, take three deep breaths to put your stress in check.
Sugar addiction doesn’t have to mean unending bloating, fatigue, mental ups and downs and/or weight gain; in fact, once you start reversing the cycle of sugar addiction, beating it is something that anyone can do! All it takes is saying “YES” to yourself to put the sugar addiction away for good. The process requires dedication, patience, self-forgiveness, and of course… building your foundation — which starts in the gut.