Now that you’ve got breakfast under your belt, let’s take a look at Meal 2.
MEAL 2: 3/4 cup lean protein and 1/2 cup sweet potato.
Because you are eating 6 times a day on the Kickstart with 2-3 hours between each meal, lunch may be earlier than you are used to – eat anyway! This will help stabilize your blood sugar and help ward off hunger and cravings. Do not delay a meal. Increased gaps between your meals or fewer meals will most likely promote poor food choices and/or increased portion sizes. If you find that you are still hungry between meals, add more eggs at breakfast or increase your vegetable portions and…don’t forget to move!
By the way, how’s your water intake? Did you finish a full glass when you woke up this morning? If you’re not sure, now is the time to zero in on your water intake (minimum 72oz each day). You will struggle on this Kickstart if you are dehydrated. Black coffee and unsweetened tea count toward your water intake and a seasoned tea may help fight sugar cravings.
Let's Talk Sweet Potatoes
Sugar Withdrawal...it's for real
You may find that your symptoms are worse at certain times of the day, such as between meals. Stress is also known to trigger cravings for sugar, so you may find your symptoms seem worse during times of stress. Below are some of the symptoms of sugar withdrawal.
- Inability to Concentrate
- Changes in Sleep Patterns
Help Combat Sugar Withdrawal
- Quit Cold Turkey: a faster end of withdrawal symptoms
- Eat Lean Protein: helps avoid hunger and low energy levels
- Eat High-Fiber Vegetables: helps control blood sugar
- Get Plenty of Sleep: helps combat cravings for comfort foods
- Drink More Water: helps keep you regular
- Manage Your Stress: stress increases cravings for sweets
- Exercise: increases energy and reduces stress
What's Happening During a Sugar Detox?
A number of studies have found that sugar affects the brain the same way that addictive substances such as nicotine, cocaine, and morphine do. With the average American consuming 22 – 30 teaspoons a day — considerably more than the recommended maximum of 6 teaspoons — some withdrawal symptoms are to be expected.
Our brains have a reward system that helps us survive as a species. Food is a natural reward, and consuming something sweet stimulates our brain’s reward system. Though experts are still divided on whether sugar addiction is a real thing, animal and human studies have found that sugar triggers the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens — the same area of the brain implicated in response to heroin and cocaine.
Eating sugar regularly changes your brain so that it becomes tolerant to the sugar, causing you to require more to get the same effect. Sugar has also been shown to cause the release of endogenous opioids in the brain, which leads to a rush similar to that experienced when a person injects heroin. All of this leads to a vicious cycle of cravings and needing more sugar to feel good.
When you cut out sugar, your cravings get more intense and you experience withdrawal symptoms — at least at first. You may experience only some or most of these symptoms during the Kickstart. Hang in there and don’t let sugar re-enter your system. Shut. it. down.