This has been the toughest part of my sugar-free journey for sure. For decades sugar and processed carbs were my ‘friends’ both for celebration and consolation, they both accentuated my feelings and dampened them down as necessary.
Looking at the neuroscience only confirmed what I knew in my body; sugar and processed carbs light up the pleasure centre in the brain releasing and flooding the body with the ‘feel good’ hormone dopamine.
In response to this overwhelming ‘hit’ the body then down-regulates i.e. lessens the receptor sites on the cell membrane to stop any overwhelm occuring the next time.
What this means as ‘addicts’ is that each time we have sugar we need more of it to feel the same level of pleasure/relief.
The only way to stop this cycle is to step off the wheel and sit with the feeling and this can be a rollercoaster, what helped me was…
- Understanding what was happening in my brain so it became a conscious pattern rather than a habit
- Writing down my feelings when they became overwhelming
- Doing some simple Kinesiology/EFT tapping on myself to release the overwhelm.
- Celebrating and rewarding myself when I had overcome the craving in a non food way.
- Acknowledging that it was only a feeling and that if I stared it in the face it would dissipate pretty quickly
- After ‘staring at it and acknowledging it I got moving; dancing, walking, running up the stairs, anything to move the sensations through my physical body.
- Finally being kind and understanding to myself.
Does this sounds familiar to you and how do you deal with emotional cravings?