How to quit sugar without going crazy

We're all familiar with the urge to reach for a sugary treat when we need a little pick-me-up - say, a few hours into your Monday morning? But, we're also pretty familiar with the warning that eating too much sugar can initiate a vicious cycle - tired, then high on sugar, and then the inevitable crash - that leaves us even more energy-depleted than we started out.

Why the vicious cycle? Because our bodies adapt fairly quickly to a diet that's high in sugar - and then react by actually craving more of the stuff. So, the best way to get off the emotional roller coaster that is the sugar rush, is to try to cut out the worst offenders. Easier said than done, though. Your body loves the easy source of energy that sugary treats provide and it will most definitely rebel when you take that simple syrup away - at least at first. But after a while, your body will begin to recalibrate, leaving you less susceptible to the mid-afternoon sugar slump.

More from Refinery 29: Could your sweet tooth actually kill you?

So, to make the transition without going crazy, here's what you need to know. First and foremost, take good care of your body in the process, making sure you're eating a well-balanced diet, hydrating, and getting some solid exercise time in. Also, be extra-vigilant about reading food labels if you're trying to make a clean break - there's sugar hiding in many salad dressings, tomato sauces, and other seemingly healthy foods. And know that sugar goes by many names - glucose, fructose, and high fructose corn syrup just to name a few - so, you'll need to know what to look for so you can avoid it.

You'll also want to get plenty of rest as your body finds its new sugarless homeostasis, and there are plenty of ways to make the process a bit less painful. Our friends over at MindyBodyGreen take us through their eight ways to kick the habit while retaining your sanity, ahead. (MindBodyGreen)

More from Refinery 29:
Should doctors be able to regulate our food choices?
What's the deal with sugar in fruit?
Why your sweet tooth isn't so sweet on your skin

Image: Courtesy Refinery 29
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