Sugar Addiction And Binge Eating
A particularly worrisome aspect of sugar addiction is binge eating. Binge eating is eating too much and too rapidly followed by feelings of guilt, shame, and disgust. This can include a focus on sweets for the same mood-regulating and self-medicating effects of binge eating non-sugary foods. It is critical to remember that food, especially sugar, is a short-term fix for emotional conditions. If you or someone you love is struggling with depression and using food as a crutch, consider therapy or rehab.
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Side Effects Of Eating Too Much Sugar
While sugar is satisfying to the taste buds and the soul, the constant spikes in blood sugar and crashes that follow a binge can set off a host of effects, including fatigue, irritability, and anxious thoughts, among others, according to Sanford Health.
Blood sugar highs and lows can also perpetuate sugar cravings. When you’re consuming sugar, then you end up getting onto this whole roller-coaster ride of blood sugar dysregulation and that in and of itself can perpetuate physical stress, which then causes you to have more sugar cravings, says Dana Elia, RDN, an integrative and functional nutrition doctor in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and author of The Sugar Detox Diet for 50+.
Added sugar, which Americans tend to eat too much of, can be particularly insidious for health. According to a November 2016 study in the journal Nutrients, consuming too much can increase the risk for obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cognitive decline, and certain types of cancer.
The 20152020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugar intake to a maximum of 10 percent of your daily calories. This is the equivalent of 200 calories, or 12 teaspoons , if youre eating 2,000 calories per day. One can of Coke contains about 9 tsp of sugar, for example.
A Fluctuation In Blood Sugar
If youre craving sweets all of a sudden, most likely you are experiencing blood sugar fluctuations, Goodman explains. When your blood sugar drops, your body may be trying to get you to give it more fuel to keep your blood sugar levels stable.” To keep your blood sugar balanced, she recommends eating a healthy amount of protein and adding more high-fiber foods, like beans and legumes, to your diet, along with complex carbs. This will give you the fuel you need without the blood sugar spikes, she promises.
When your blood sugar drops, your body may be trying to get you to give it more fuel to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
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Not Eating Enough Earlier In The Day
This is probably the biggest one by far for my clients. If you are under-fueling or restricting at breakfast or lunch, then those sugar cravings will come on strong in the afternoon and evening.
Make sure that both breakfast and lunch include a mix of carbohydrates , protein , and healthy fat .
For example, a typical first half of the day of meals from a client dealing with sugar cravings in the afternoon/evening might be cereal and almond milk for breakfast and a salad for lunch.
Then, sugar cravings start in the afternoon and continue after dinner. Hereâs why: cereal + almond milk is essentially only carbs â no protein or healthy fat. That means that youâre getting a blood sugar rush and subsequent crash and are likely hungry again in an hour.
To make that more satisfying, try adding nuts and seeds on top. This will add healthy fat and a little protein, too. Donât skimp on the serving â the extra nutrients will go a long way with keeping you full.
Then for lunch, add a carb to the salad. Brown rice, wheat berries, barley, sweet potato, and quinoa are great on salads, or have a piece of bread or crackers on the side.
Also, make sure there is some protein on there, too. And donât forget the healthy fat! Add some avocado if youâre into it, and use a full fat salad dressing â not fat free or low fat â on top.
Here are some more tips to keep you full & help you avoid sugar cravings:
A Big Warning For The Exercisers And Athletes
OK, OK, a little more bad news first before we get to the good and helpful sugar-busting solutions. Weve long heard that exercise can help to combat obesity and may stabilize unwieldy blood sugar levels. Exercising after dinner may even help type 2 diabetics lower their risk of heart disease, according to 2015 research from the University of Missouri-Columbia.3 But on the other side of the coin, we rarely hear about the effects that refined sugar can have on exercisers hoping to increase endurance and build muscle mass, including what it can do to the heart.
Yes, the heart is a muscle one of particular importance if youre hoping to increase your fitness levels through exercise. In 2013, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston researchers discovered that eating too much sugar can stress the heart and open the door to heart failure by affecting its ability to pump.4 This sugar overload can be notoriously problematic for the exerciser, the athlete, and the bodybuilder, all related to muscle growth. Sugar causes an insulin surge in the body that suppresses two important hormone groups: growth hormones and glucagons.5 The body relies on these hormones to burn fat and support muscle development. When sugar takes over and insulin spikes, muscle building falls by the wayside.
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Neurotransmitter Brain Support Supplements
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers neurons that move around your body to ensure everything signals correctly. They play a key role in managing many body processes, as well as central actions that take place in your brain, such as mood, learning, memory, and cognition.
If you are very stressed, you do a lot of emotional eating, and youre craving a lot of carbohydrates , your brain might need a little bit of help in the form of supplements, which literally tell your brain to calm down and quit craving a quick energy fix from carbs.
These supplements include amino acids, gamma-aminobutyric acid , and D-phenylalanine.
How To Get Rid Of Food Addiction 10 Tips To Beat And To Overcome Food Addiction
The vast majority of people currently suffer from some type of eating disorder. According to studies, more than half of the people on the planet are obese, and more than 90% of them are due to overeating. At the same time, probably every person suffered from food addiction, permanently or temporarily.
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Food addiction is a condition where a person is satisfied not because of hunger, but to improve their mental state. Food addiction develops most often in people who are prone to negative thoughts or who are in low vibrational frequencies and sometimes have a depressive syndrome. For example, the work of G. Musante found that women suffering from food addiction developed depression. To feel better, these people are forced to turn to food for an emotional boost. Research N. Krasnoperova called constant food intake “a sophisticated method of suicide.”
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You Use Sugar To Soothe
If youre craving something sweet after a break-up, sad movie or a bad day, watch out. A psychological symptom of a sugar addiction is when individuals continuously turn to sugar as a means to cope with life stressors, boredom or other psychological issues such as depression or anxiety, says Lin Anderson, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M and Aaron Sternlicht, LMHC, CASAC, licensed therapists specializing in addiction at their private practice Family Addiction Specialist. Indulging in sugar to acquire such emotional relief is unhealthy, as it does not allow the individual to feel their emotions or deal with them properly. And one recent study suggests it doesnt even boost your mood.
We Become Conditioned To Need Something Sweet To Feel Complete Or Satisfied And Continue To Self
In stark contrast to this clinical assessment is the fact that, for most of us, something sweet is a symbol of love and nurturance. As infants, our first food is lactose, or milk sugar. Later on, well-intended parents reward children with sugary snacks, giving them a treat, turning a biochemically harmful substance into a comfort food. We become conditioned to need something sweet to feel complete or satisfied, and continue to self-medicate with sugar as adults, using it to temporarily boost our mood or energy. But as any addict knows, one quick fix soon leaves you looking for anothereach hit of momentary satisfaction comes with a long-term price.
The bottom line is that sugar works the addiction and reward pathways in the brain in much the same way as many illegal drugs. And, like other drugs, it can destroy your health and lead to all sorts of ailments including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, and premature aging. Sugar is basically a socially acceptable, legal, recreational drug, with deadly consequencesand like with any drug addiction, you have to have a flexible but structured plan to beat it.
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Ditch Sugar For 14 Days
14 days. It only takes that long for your taste buds to re-set and help you get rid of sugar cravings. After two weeks with no refined sugar, your palate will retune the way it perceives most sweets and all the treats you used to enjoy will simply taste too sickly sweet!
TRY THIS: A 14 day sugar fast is the best way to get off sugar. Simply get rid of it. NO sodas, sugary snacks, sweet treats. No traces of sugar related ingredients on your foods labels. Yes, you might experience headache and some kind of withdrawal symptoms such as strong cravings for sugary treats, but thats even better! Because they will make you more aware of the addictive properties of sugar and the level to which it is pervasive in our diet.
If you dont feel ready for such a substantial step, you can opt for transitioning your palate from really sweet to not so sweet and eventually sugar free in a more progressive yet long lasting way that will lead you to ditch sugar for good!
Start by making small changes: less sugar in your coffee, half the amount of cookies, unsweetened teas. Keep reducing the amount of sweetness from your diet little by little. Your taste buds will slowly adapt and will make you feel ready for a substantial change.
Sugar Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
Numerous studies have found that added sugars can produce changes in neurochemistry and behavior similar to those of other addictive drugs. When initially cutting out sugar after long-term use, one may experience withdrawal symptoms. Sugar detox symptoms should resolve within a few days, but may include:
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Win The Inner Battle With Sugar
Sugar cravings, as well as cravings for reward, solace and celebration, are natural. Remember its ok to use sugar to deal with lifes problems some of the time most people do. Difficulties occur when sugar becomes the go-to way of dealing with problems it wasnt designed to fix. By figuring out what you are truly craving, and developing a range of ways of dealing with it, you will be in control, not the sugar.
Sugar Addiction And Emotional Eating
People may find sugars ability to provide instant energy, combined with the good taste of sugary foods, enticing. Sugar provides some with a quick fix during a long and stressful day. People who are enduring breakups or other emotionally stressful situations often turn to chocolate or pints of ice cream to comfort themselves during the difficult time. However, those who turn to sugar to deal with emotional issues are more likely to become addicted. Other indications of sugar addiction for emotional relief are weight gain and difficulty focusing on daily responsibilities. These side effects can damage self-esteem, cause feelings of helplessness, and lower self-worth this in turn leads to more sugar consumption and a more severe addiction.
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Be Prepared For Toxic Hunger
It may be a tough 72 hours, but you wont be left without a life raft. We are going to be putting some great foods, in sugar’s place that will minimize the discomfort and arm you with what you need to make the transition easier. And, over time, your taste buds and food preferences change, and the old addictive drives and cravings fall away.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Better
Artificial sweeteners, which are sugar-free and typically lower in calories than sugar, might seem like healthier options, but that idea is controversial. A 2012 scientific statement from the AHA concluded that using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame , saccharin , and sucralose can reduce the number of calories in your diet, thereby helping you lose weight.
However, there’s also evidence that eating these sweeteners, which are generally hundredsor even thousandsof times sweeter than sugar, can make you crave sweets even more. You undermine the benefit of using artificial sweeteners, for example, if you use a glass of diet soda to justify having a bowl of ice cream.
However, if artificial sweeteners can help you cut back on calories in a meaningful way, then they can be helpful in controlling weight and blood sugar. “For people who are trying to make small changes to their diet, artificial sweeteners are sometimes a good stepping stone, but they’re not a permanent fix,” Dr. Hauser says.
You may wonder which artificial sweetener is best. All of the sweeteners on the market are considered safe. There were reports during the 1970s linking saccharin to bladder cancer in rats that were fed extremely high doses of the sweetener. However, later studies didn’t find any evidence of the same effect in humans. Aspartame was also linked to cancer at one time, but that association has also been disproved.
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What Can Your Sugar Cravings Say About Your Health
As discussed above, a sugar craving could mean that your body is lacking a vitamin or nutrient, or that your blood sugar levels are off.
Registered dietitian Farah Fahad recommends adding more protein to your meals, so your blood sugar levels dont drop. The body is a well-built machine, and if you are not giving it the right foods, it will say, Give me sugar! she explains. It wants energy for all the thousands of biological processes that are happening.
Phase : Eliminate Sugary Beverages
Time: 1 to 2 weeks
Why: There are many culprits: soft drinks, sweetened waters, coffee drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, and even apple juice. In fact, apple juice can be a combination of apple flavoring and 100% sweetener derived from concentrated fructose from the apple, so it can be called 100% apple juice.
One problem is that the size of these beverages can be deceiving they also can be a way in which more sugar and calories can sneak into your diet without your knowledge. A conventional 12-ounce serving of a typical sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage, for example, is approximately 150 calories. But people rarely drink one serving. In fast-food chains, convenience stores, and movie theaters, these beverages are offered in portions that can contain around 300 to 500 calories.
Even cutting just one serving per day has been shown to produce a weight loss of 1.1 pounds at six months, and 1.4 pounds at 18 months. That might not sound like a tremendous amount, but remember that many people are not drinking just one 12-ounce serving per day. Approximately half of Americans drink sugary beverages on a given day, and within this half, about 25% derive 200 or more calories from them.
Make a list of all the sugary beverages you drink and create a plan for substitutes so you dont feel tempted to cheat. Pour the ones you have at home down the sink, and take them off of your shopping list.
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Donuts And Other Sweets Are Common Sources Of Added Sugar
If you usually have a hankering for something sweet after meals, find it hard to pass up dessert, or rely on sugar-filled coffee drinks for an afternoon pick-me-up, youre not alone. A study published in June 2017 in Appetite found that 86 percent of people who had food cravings thought about high-calorie foods specifically, those containing chocolate.
The good news: Reaching for healthy foods high in nutrients like protein and fiber can help stave off unhealthy hankerings.
Here are some of the foods that can help keep cravings for sugar at bay:
- Seeds, such as sesame and chia
- Pulses, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas
Below, find a full list with the scientific reasons why they may be effective. Plus, learn more about what may be behind your sugar cravings in the first place.
I Used To Be A Complete Sugar Binge Eater And It Even Seemed Like I Had No Hope To Get Rid Of This Habit
But NOBODY can claim they have no hope. Because if I managed to get rid of my sugar addiction, so can everybody else, including you! You CAN stop eating sugar and you will.
And trust me. After you start your sugar cleanse, you will definitely notice a huge difference in the way you feel in terms of health and happiness, like I did! So let me explain this sugar detox in more detail and answer the big question:
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