Many people attribute withdrawal symptoms to drug and alcohol addictions but believe it or not, some people have experienced withdrawals when stopping certain foods.
After reading an excellent article in U.S. News (http://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2017-01-03/is-food-withdrawal-a-real-thing) I felt I should also give a write-up on this same subject since I know I have a lot of readers abruptly changing their eating patterns and diets.
Nearly anything can be addictive, and that includes food. I want to first tell you there is a nationwide program for people suffering from food addiction. You can see more here: https://www.foodaddicts.org/
Do not be surprised if when you go on a regulated diet that you may have headaches, bowel troubles and even stomach aches. These kind of effects are quite prevalent in people who are cutting sugar and processed foods.
Studies have shown that sugars and processed foods react in the human brain in a similar way to drugs and alcohol.
But unlike some drug withdrawals, there are no dangers known of from going “cold-turkey.” But, we still recommend speaking with your physician before taking on any diet or quitting any food all-together.
Some tips from experts if you are truly addicted is to:
- Use slow changes. If you are addicted to (Brand Name) soda, and you drink say, 5 or 6 bottles a day. It may be easier if you go 1 week with just 3 bottles per day, the next week at 1 bottle per day and after just don’t purchase any. But for some people, just cutting it out all-together “cold turkey” is their best bet.
- Seek guidance. As you should know, I am here for you. If you believe you are addicted to any food source, contact me and we will work out a plan to break the addiction misery.
- Have patience. Withdrawal symptoms may seem overwhelming, but they will dissipate soon. Your body and mind were just “hijacked” with non-healthy foods and it is a readjustment stage for your mind and body. Be patient and the withdrawal effects will soon pass.
- Have cheats. Make sure you always have a healthy alternative near you. If you are suddenly getting a craving for sugar, maybe a handful of peanuts or raisins will take that withdrawal edge off. If you are addicted to processed foods, maybe a natural energy bar will break the pattern. And with soda, how about some fruit flavored water.
Before you put it in your mouth, think about what it is, what it has and if it is worth it.
I even suggest you go through your cupboards and refrigerator and throw away everything that could tempt you when you are in withdrawals.
Here are some good substitutes
- Instead of processed chips or microwave popcorn, try eating organic stove top popcorn
- Instead of using mayonnaise, use mustard
- Instead of candy, try dried fruit
- Instead of soda, drink tea
- Instead of a chocolate bar, how about some organic dark chocolate ( if you are having a chocolate craving, you may be low on magnesium)
- Instead of using vegetable oil, I recommend coconut oil
- Instead of using croutons on your salad, use almonds
- Instead of using white flour, try the coconut flour
- Instead of using Ranch dressing, mix olive oil with balsamic vinegar
- Instead of soda, mix mineral water with a little lime juice
- Replace regular salt with Himalayan salt
- Organic yogurt is much better than ice cream
- Replace peanut butter with almond butter
- Replace sports drinks with coconut water
- Even your milk can be better if you use almond milk
You will go through a battle when you decide to change your eating pattern, but keep focused on the goal.
As I said, I am here to help.
Just contact me, and be sure and subscribe to my blog for more advice.