Sugar and You: Beyond Willpower

It’s not your fault. I know and I can relate: you have a sweet tooth, and late afternoon or after a meal you crave that comforting taste, you feel that life without that sweet pleasure is not not worth living, but because you want your health to thrive, you thought about avoiding sugar for a couple of days maybe and then failed, again, felt bad about yourself and went back to the vicious cycle. I hear you, and it’s not about willpower, is way beyond that into your brain biochemistry and psychology.

I knew sugar was not good for me, but it really became a concern after I read the book Sugar Blues by William Duffy over a decade ago. I was also pregnant for the 1st time and wanted to be the healthiest I could, I knew I had to do better in some patterns, I wanted to lead by example for my son, so at the end of the book

I was motivated to get ride of it once and for all, I tried to go cold turkey and, as you can guess, I failed miserably, it didn’t last 3 days.

However I was determined and thirsty to know more, so I kept studying the topic and after many trials & error attempts, few months after my son was born, I finally managed to stay completely off sugar for a year.

It was one of the healthiest years of my life! Mood swings and PMS just disappeared, I dropped extra weight, energy levels were higher than never, and that’s cos I had just had my first baby few months before, I supposed to be exhausted, but I was thriving.

Some people can stay away from sugar easily. I used to struggle. I am sugar sensitive as doctor Kathleen DesMaisons suggests, and for sugar sensitive people this issue is beyond willpower. As Dr DesMaisons describes in her extensive work,

sugar sensitive people overreacts to refined carbs, and also have lower levels of certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin that affects your mood and ability to say no, and endorphin that naturally soothes physical and emotional pain.

In other words, we can connect sugar with nurturing, and when we feel discomfort, physical or emotional, we instinctively want relief. Sugar triggers pleasure centers in the brain as much as alcohol and heroin, easing our feelings for a moment.

Are you sugar sensitive? *

  • Have you ever tried to cut down or control your use of sweet foods?
  • Are you using more sweet food than ever before?
  • If you don’t have your regular “dose” of sugar, do you get irritated and cranky?
  • Have you ever got upset when someone ate your special food?
  • Have you ever lied about how much sweet food you eat?
  • Have you ever gone out of you way to get something sweet?
  • Have you ever binged on sweet or white flour foods?
  • Have you ever felt you had a sugar hangover?
  • Is it just impossible to say “no” to sweet foods?
  • Is sugar controlling your life?

If you answered yes to 2 or more questions, it’s likely you are sugar sensitive.

In addition, nutritional deficiencies and some gut imbalances such as yeast overgrowth that can make you crave sugar more than usual, and more you eat sugar, more you feed the yeast, back to the vicious cycle.

At this point, you either feel hopeless blaming your own biochemistry or feel hopeful because know you know is not about your willpower and yes you can do something about it, you can get out of this cycle for good. I stick with the second option and invite you to come aboard with me in this wellness journey.

Cutting sugar off cold turkey does not work for most people.

First, you need to make sure to fix any nutritional deficiencies, address gut health and re-balance brain biochemistry with food and lifestyle. Removing sugar is actually the last step. What excites me the most is that all this can be done naturally, while you nourish and detox your body at the same time.

Here I leave 3 tips to help you get ready to reduce or eliminate sugar:

  • Eat three meals a day with protein – have adequate protein for your body weight and individual needs. Regular protein through the day helps you to stabilize your blood sugar and creates a steady state of amino acids in your body, specially tryptophan that is a key amino acid in this plan.
  • Include tryptophan rich foods in your diet – pasture raised turkey, chicken and lamb, eggs, wild salmon and cod fish, pumpkin and squash seeds, beans and lentils are some examples.
  • Take a good multivitamin and probiotic supplement to help your body re-balance your brain biochemistry and gut health.

If you are sugar sensitive like me, I would love to hear your story, and remember, you are not alone in this sweet journey.

About Km Simple Health

Katia Martinho is a professional certified homeopath and nutrition


Author: Katia Martinho

I first came across homeopathy in 1998, during my training in veterinary medicine in Brazil. I developed and published scientific research in homeopathy, moving to England few years later where I carried on my studies and practiced for years until moving to USA in 2011. I am committed to support our community health and well being based on homeopathy, nutrition and educational workshops.

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