How To Beat A Sugar Addiction
Breaking a sugar addiction begins with reducing the amount of added sugar that you have in your food. Sweetened beverages are one of the main culprits, including sodas, energy drinks, and sweet iced tea. Opt for the sugar-free versions of your favorite drinks, or add sweetener yourself, gradually reducing the amount youre putting in your drink. Also consider reducing the amount of alcohol you drink. Beer and wine have a lot of sugar in them, too.
You may also like water with a few flavor drops added in. When you become dehydrated, its easier to cave and say yes to sugar. However, switching to foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners may delay the amount of time it takes to kick a sugar addiction.
Opt for the sugar-free versions of your favorite drinks, or add sweetener yourself, gradually reducing the amount youre putting in your drink. Also consider reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.
You can also stop buying desserts and sweet treats. If you think youll have a hard time moderating how many cookies or pieces of candy youll eat, simply stop bringing it into the house. If others in your family are asking for treats, ask them for their cooperation in helping you beat your sugar addiction. Or, you can buy small packages of your favorites instead of a large family-sized container.
When you feel a sugar craving coming on, try to do something to distract yourself. Exercise is a natural mood booster and can help take your mind off the craving for a sweet treat.
I Tell My Nutrition Clients To Start Thinking Sugar = Weight Gain
70% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese . I meanthis is shocking. This basically means that the average American is overweight.and its the exception in todays society to be at a healthy weight.
Sugar drives both fat storage AND making the brain think it is still hungry, creating what University of California San Francisco Obesity Expert Dr. Robert Lustwig calls the most vicious cycle.
Say Goodbye To Your Java Drink
That morning vanilla latte? It could contain close to 30 grams of sugar.
The good news is you dont have to quit caffeine. Simply skip the syrups, the gourmet frozen drinks, and, of course, the extra packets of sugar.
Instead, go for coffee or tea with milk or an unsweetened alternative, and sprinkle a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon on top to help regulate your blood sugar.
If its really hard to cut back on your sweet morning brews, its OK to take it slow. Cut your sugar intake in half for 1 week, then cut it again the next week, and keep at it until youve completely forgotten about your latte routine.
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Why Is Sugar Addictive
From the first bite, consuming sugary food triggers a cascade of neural events that leads to a powerful urge to keep eating. Within the midbrain, pathways release dopamine, driving sugar addiction by rewarding and reinforcing consumption. Studies have shown that the neural chains transmitting pleasure from eating sugar are very similar to those activated by cocaine and heroin indeed, neuroimaging has shown structural similarities between the brains of obese people and those with established hard drug addictions.
Scientists have known for many years that by feeding sugar solution to rodents, it is possible to reduce their appetite for cocaine. What researchers did not know for some time, however, was whether sugar was in fact equally as addictive as cocaine. In a fascinating experiment conducted in 2007, a team at the University of Bordeaux sought to test just that. Forty-three laboratory rats were given the opportunity, eight times each day over fifteen days, to choose between two reward levers. When pressed, one lever allowed them to drink a sucrose solution for twenty seconds the other administered a small dose of intravenous cocaine.
Undeniable Signs You Have A Sugar Addiction
Everyday I am talking with women about their nutrition and I hear the same thing from many of them:
- I feel addicted to sugar and sweet foods.
- My sugar addiction symptoms are getting out of controlI crave sweets all day long!
- I dont know how to stop sugar cravings.
And its no wonder!
A recent study shows that sugar addiction has strong similarities to drug addiction . Numerous animal studies support the claim that sugar is a HIGHLY addictive substance. The release of dopamine experienced with sugar consumption gives you a high which is then followed by symptoms of sugar withdrawal without another hit.
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If Youre Truly Hungry Eat A Healthy & Filling Meal
If you really are needing energy and calories, instead of snacking on a cookie, reach for a protein-packed snack like a hardboiled egg, celery and all-natural peanut butter, or an apple with some cheese.
Make sure youre not starving yourself of good nutrition throughout the day when youre eating a healthy balance of macronutrients, most cravings will naturally fall away.
Opting for protein and fat instead of added sugar will keep you satiated longer without the need to fill up on empty calories and sugar, and its much better for your blood sugars!
Why Is Sugar So Problematic
This wouldnt be a big issue if sugar wasnt so bad for your health. More and more information is coming out every year about just how dangerous sugar is for our minds and bodies.
In addition to contributing to poor blood sugars in people with diabetes, increased sugar intake, over time, also contributes to the development of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in people without existing diabetes, and the development of dental cavities, higher blood pressure, heart disease, whole-body inflammation, dementia, weight gain, fatty liver disease, and even cancer in the entire population.
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Tip One: Opt For Fruit Instead
When the sugar cravings inevitably strike, pick up a piece of fruit instead. Fruit is packed with vitamins and nutrients that regular processed sugary treats dont have.
I love slicing up an apple, spreading on Granola Butter, and topping with hemp or flax seeds. Youll be surprised how delicious and satisfying this combination is!
Keep in mind that fruit still contains sugar, so limit your intake to three servings per day. Also, consider opting for low-sugar fruits over high to help lower your sugar intake even more.
Why Dont I Overeat Bananas But I Binge On Candy
A few things are at play. First, those blood sugar spikes leave many people feeling hungry again not long after eating, which often leads to overeating.
Second, studies show that refined sugar can be addictive. One study used PET scans to look at the brain activity of obese individuals and found they are less responsive to dopamine, similar to drug addicts and alcoholics. Without that dopamine surge, people keep craving sugar long after theyve reached their limit.
The good news? Its possible to break the cycle.
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Additional Tips For Cutting Sugar Out Of Your Diet:
- Drink plenty of water! Its a common mistake to assume your body is craving sugar when really its just dehydrated. Stick to the 8×8 rule and see if your sugar pangs are naturally dissolved.
- Boost your serotonin. Serotonin, also known as the the happy hormone, can be increased through diet, regular exercise, and a sensible sleep schedule. When your body gets plenty of serotonin, it no longer craves sugar as a pick-me-up.
- Stabilize your blood sugar by eating several small, healthy meals throughout the day, rather than the usual overloaded breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a common method for avoiding dips in blood sugar, which tend to result in reaching for the quickest processed snack for a quick boost.
- Dont be fooled by low-fat and fat free options. New York-based nutritionist and founder of Clean Plates Jared Koch warns, Just because a product is labeled fat-free or low-fat doesnt mean its healthier or even lower in calories. In fact, most low-fat or fat-free foods will have sugar and chemicals to make up for the loss in taste, which renders them poor nutritional choices.
Lets face it, sugar is everywhere and for a good reason: its delicious. Add to that the inexpensive accessibility and its hard to give your pantry the full clean sweep.
Fortunately, more and more dining establishments and food brands are cluing in to the harmful effects of refined sugars and making it easier than ever to find healthier options.
To Overcome Sugar Addiction Is A Challenge
Like with a cocaine addiction, harming your body and compromising your health doesnt really matter all that much when youre faced with a box of donuts.
Thats a serious problem. Then, as with any highly addictive drug, there will be unpleasant withdrawal symptoms as you start to wean your body off of sugar.
Dont believe me? Give it a try. Cut out all added sugar for a couple of days.
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Your Sugar Intake: How Much Is Too Much Sugar A Day
The American Heart Association suggests an added-sugar limit of no more than 100 calories per day for most women and no more than 150 calories per day for most men.
A Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappuccino has 55 grams of sugar. So basically Becky from Accounting is blowing her blood sugar levels out of the water each day before 9am.
And heres where shiz gets crazy. Many processed foods, especially snack foods, are designed to be addictive. The food industry has put a lot of effort into making sure that once you pick-up the package, you dont want to put it down until its empty. Theyre hoping and praying you dont start to pay attention to the grams of sugar on the labels
Dont even get me started on the hidden sugars in foods that have been marketed as healthy. For instance, I dont buy milk for Cooper because its essentially sugar water
So one cup of milk would already put your child over the 12 grams of sugar limit the AHA has recommended for kids. And yet weve been told for years that milk does a body good! So no wonder its a little confusing
Sugar Withdrawal And Diabetes
Sugar addiction and binging can lead to a range of health conditions, including diabetes. It is also possible that diabetes is what caused addiction to it, and for that reason, one needs to restore balance. Regardless of the situation, as with any addiction, it is safer to gradually reduce the dosage. This is the same with sweeteners. A drastic reduction can enhance withdrawal symptoms and sometimes even be the trigger for diabetes.
If a person does have an addiction to sugar and is looking to get help, one should tell a doctor about any health conditions experienced or any family history of diabetes. This will help a doctor to recommend the best method of cutting down or quitting sugar.
This substance can be just as addictive and as problematic to withdraw from as any drug. In a world surrounded by advertising for sugar-based products, it can be difficult to recognize what is the right amount for our bodies and what is too much. This substance is not only addictive but pleasurable to eat, so quitting even temporarily will not be easy.
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Sugar Is A True Addiction For Many People Get Help Please I Mean It Here Are 10 Steps To Help You Break The Addiction
Drink Water: Sometimes the signal that is sent to the brain tricks your body into thinking you want sugar when in fact, you may just be thirsty. Sipping water throughout the day is good way to keep hydrated and keep the cravings down. Also, by drinking water all day, youll avoid all those sugary drinks that add up very quickly, and the fact is, water is the ONLY liquid your body needs.
It is a DRUG: Treat it that way. The more concentrated the sugar, the more addictive it becomes!
Build the Adrenal Glands: Get my handout on Adrenal Exhaustion! The proper functioning of this gland is key. Adrenals balance blood sugars and mineral levels in the body.
Get Minerals: Chromium! This metabolizes sugar properly for your body. Mineralizing the body will cut down on cravings. Your body needs nutrition, and the main reason you need good nutrition is to get the minerals your body needs on a daily basis. In addition, sugar greatly affects mineral absorption and causes major deficiencies. Anyone who eats sugar on a daily basis needs to replenish their mineral levels to avoid this vicious cycle and maintain balance.
Leafy Greens: These will build your health AND change your taste buds!
Proteins, Not Starch: A quality protein source is always a better choice than processed white flour products that are sugar in the body. Protein gives more sustainable energy over complex starches which cause blood sugar imbalances and leads to cravings.
No More Soda No More Sugar In Your Coffee No Candy No Cookies No Donuts
Youll also want to avoid all foods with added sugars like bread, most salad dressings, ketchup etc.
Cut all those foods out and dont eat anything without checking the label for added sugars. See how you feel after a few hours:
- It starts off with a little headache that wont leave.
- Youll start craving something sweet and then you cant stop thinking about it.
- Next, that little headache will start to grow into a full blown pounding head along with joint aches.
- Some people also experience nausea and mood swings.
- People will even have flu like symptoms and start to shake a day into their sugar detox.
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As Well Avoid Artificial Sweeteners Like:
- Stevia Stevia is natural, but most packages also contain bulking products that trigger cravings.
- Sucralose Brand name Splenda. Contains bulking agents.
- Aspartame Brand name Equal. In many diet foods like sugar free gelatin products or diet/sugar-free soda.
- Saccharin An old -timey diabetic sweetener, only available in pharmacies in pill form.
- Acesulfame-potassium/Ace-K A food additive used by food manufacturers only.
- Sugar alcohols Erythritol, Xylitol, Malitol, Isomalt, Polydextrose, Sorbitol. Natural or manufactured causes gastrointestinal distress in some people
Tips For Cutting Back On Added Sugar
If youre used to regularly eating sugary foods like cake, ice cream, sweetened breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies and regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages, it may take time to reduce your reliance on added sugar.
For some people, cutting all forms of added sugar from their diet is helpful. However, others may find this method too extreme.
Fortunately, even making small changes to your sugar intake can significantly affect your overall health. Follow these helpful tips to slowly reduce your added sugar intake over time.
The tips above can help you slowly cut back on added sugar and improve the quality of your overall diet.
Here are some tips to help you beat the side effects and avoid or at least limit some of the symptoms related to cutting sugar out of your diet.
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Make Rules Around Dessert
Planning ahead is a helpful strategy, says Eich. For instance, only have dessert after dinner, never lunch. Only eat dessert on odd days of the month, or only on weekends, or only at restaurants. If you have a long tradition of daily desserts, then make it your rule to have plain fruit at least half the time. As you cut back, youll notice your cravings slow down too. Or, pick one of these lower-sugar desserts.
Welcome To Fearlessly Holistic
My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
It is my hope to inspire you to make daily changes.
Why? Because eating fresh, seasonal food and getting some sunshine is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life.
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Get On A Good Sleep Cycle
The benefits of a good nights sleep are innumerable: improved immune system, better metabolic functioning, and overall increase in energy and mental clarityjust to name a few.
But studies have long linked sleep patterns with certain cravings, and because we often attribute sleep deprivation to stress, guess what we reach for as relief? Yep, sugar.
John Douillard writes for his LifeSpa newsletter: When under stress, the adrenals go shopping for energy. Their favorite stop is the pancreas, where stress generates insatiable cravings for sweets to create the energy the adrenals can no longer provide.
The human body is designed to burn protein-derived fat throughout the course of the day and into the night, as healthy fat burns at a slow, steady rate that can sustain it for long periods at a timedefinitely during a good nights sleep.
Sugar and carbs, however, burn much more quickly, and for those who consume more of the latter than former, long periods of sustainable sleep are next to impossible, resulting in a kind of cyclical sleep-sugar dependence.
A diet high in protein, combined with at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, means your body is burning healthy fuel, eliminating the need for middle-of-the-night and morning sugar fixes.
Embrace A Gratitude Mindset
Its very difficult to replace a bad habit with a healthier lifestyle choice if we dont enjoy it. You can retrain your palate to enjoy healthier foods you may not have liked in the past. Get excited about feeling better and taking better care of yourself!
I find meditation to be a useful tool in changing subconscious thought patterns and breaking unwanted habits.
At the height of my unhealthy relationship with food, I thought of food in a negative way. I was so obsessed with it, that I would not even eat a banana, because it had too many carbs and too much sugar.
When I changed my perspective to understanding that food is good, beautiful, nourishing, strengthening, things changed for the better. While I no longer crave or even really enjoy sugary foods, I feel no guilt about eating a few bites of cake on a birthday, or even a double scoop of gelato on vacation. I dont believe in having any foods off-limits as we often want the things we cant have. Its the forbidden fruit syndrome.
I started to think like an athlete. Rather than dieting and exercising, I started training and eating. Can you feel the difference? The former is restrictive, while the latter empowering.
Think, know, and feel this: I feel best when I nourish my body and mind with whole foods. Sugar and processed foods make me feel sick, and Im tired of feeling sick.
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