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 Homeopathy: Can You Kick the Sugar Habit? 

What's so sweet about sugar?

We have found in our hypnotherapy and counseling work with patients that the desire to eat something sweet often goes much deeper than meets the eye. We may try to use sugar to console ourselves or escape when our lives are too stressful, aren't going the way we want, or we feel unhappy or disgusted with ourselves for one reason or another. The sweetness of sugar may make up for the bitterness of our lives. Some of us nurture our inner child by feeding it sugar or chocolate, much as many of our parents did with us, or use sweets to find the love we never received. Compulsive sugar consumption can be a self-destructive behavior through which we punish ourselves and literally make ourselves sick. Or it may be a way for the rebellious, angry parts of us to let us know that something's not right with our lives. It's very important to understand our underlying motivations for overindulging in sweets and to resolve those issues in a positive and healthy manner. If not, your giving up your sugar addiction may not be successful or may result in a substitute addictive behavior.

So, how do I "just say no?
Understand your personal relationship with sweets. As mentioned above, first figure out, on your own or with help, why you're so drawn to sugar. What is the inner message which is being broadcast by your subconscious mind? If necessary, get help in resolving and releasing your underlying psychological attachments to sweets. Pay attention to what you eat. Take a good look at how much sugar you're actually eating. Keep a sweets diary in which you record exact quantities and types of treats eaten. Be honest. Record in your diary how you feel or what happened immediately before and shortly after you indulged in the sugar. Make a plan. Decide how much sugar, specifically, you wish to remove from your diet. Cold turkey is probably best if you're really hooked. Consider a detoxification diet. It is often helpful to do a cleansing diet (eliminating all sweets, refined foods, caffeine, red meat, and, if you wish, chicken, fish, and dairy) or to fast prior to giving up sugar. Once you clean yourself out and feel really healthy, it often becomes clear how much you really don't need sugar in your body. Eat lots of whole grains and vegetables (preferaby organic) and don't smoke. The more you clean up your diet, the less sugar will appeal to you. Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise will improve your overall health considerably, thus decreasing the desire for addictive foods. Relax and manage your stress so you're not using sugar to do it for you.

If you're still saying "yes" to sugar
There are some nutritional supplements which may help balance your body and decrease your sugar cravings. Taking a B-complex is often helpful to stabilize blood sugar and for increasing general energy. We recommend chromium, a trace mineral which helps insulin transfer glucose from the blood into the cells, to help correct blood sugar imbalances. Pantothenic Acid, which nourishes and strengthens the adrenal glands, is also helpful. There is an Ayurvedic herb called Gymnema sylvestre, recently on the market in this country, which is reported to decrease sugar cravings. We haven't yet used it with enough patients to know for sure. We have found homeopathic remedies, as prescribed for the overall constitution of the person, to frequently change food cravings for the better. As the individual's vital force comes into balance, the sugar crav ing may simply fall away as an unnatural habit.

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 About The Author
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND, MSWJudyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, MSW is a licensed naturopathic physician board certified in homeopathic medicine. She graduated with a degree in ...more
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