How To Address Sugar Cravings
The average adult consumes 17 teaspoons of sugar in a single day. That’s far more than the USDA’s recommendation of no more than ten teaspoons of sugar per day.
Here are some tips for reducing daily sugar intake:
- Read food labels carefully, familiarize yourself with the multiple names for sugar, and choose food items that contain the least amount of added sugar
- Skip sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and juice choose water instead
- Serve smaller portions of sweets and sugary foods you enjoy
- Avoid offering sweets as a reward try to “level the playing field” so that sugary foods lose their luster
- Talk to a Registered Dietitian to help determine how you can make adjustments to your diet to reduce your sugar intake
Can Artificial Sweeteners Help
Some studies suggest artificial sweeteners may leave you craving more sugar. That could make it harder to control your weight. The problem is, some experts say, that artificial sweeteners don’t help you break your taste for sweets. Pay attention to your body. Are sweeteners making you crave even more sugar? If so, look elsewhere for that sweet taste.
Relief For The Keto Flu
If your goal is to transition to a ketogenic diet, then you will have to give your body time to adjust.
The ketogenic diet may have health benefits, especially for some people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. If you are starting a ketogenic diet for health reasons, you may have to suffer the uncomfortable symptoms for a little while. Think of it like an actual fluyou just have to bear it. If your symptoms dont improve after three weeks, talk to your doctor.
If you are following a low-carb or keto diet for weight loss, consider altering your approach. A low-carb diet has many of the same health benefits as a keto diet, including weight loss. The only difference is that your body will not enter a state of ketosis.
Ketosis can lead to rapid weight loss, but it is usually temporary. Always consult with your healthcare provider before transitioning to a ketogenic diet.
To transition to a low-carb diet and put an end to the keto flu, all you have to do is eat some fruit. When the body has access to glucose , it no longer needs to burn fat for fuel.
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Do You Keep Your Sugar Habit A Secret
Most of us are aware of the fact that sugar is bad for us. However, we often fail to realize just how bad it really is. We even fail to understand that it can be one of the biggest threats to our organs and overall physical health. We are completely blind to this fact. There are also a lot of people who tend to share a love-hate relationship with sugar. We know that it’s bad for us, yet we keep going back for more. In fact, many of us tend to hide our sugar habit from other people, like family and friends. Isn’t it? So, if you are also one of those folks who tend to keep their sugar intake a secret, you must realize that you might be a sugar addict. In this case, you must consult your healthcare provider and try to look for options to deal with your sugar addiction.
Our Uncontrollable Sweet Tooth Wasn’t Always Like This
Two hundred years ago, the average American ate two pounds of sugar per year — today, we’re up to 152 pounds per year. How did that much added sugar get into our diet in the first place?
Unfortunately, American sugar addiction has less than sweet roots. Back in olden times, sugarcane was a labor-intensive crop that had to be cut by hand and immediately harvested for juices. In 1795, a New Orleans farmer figured out how to granulate the first sugar crystals, and it became a product that could last longer than just a few days before spoiling. Sugar plantations appeared on both sides of the Mississippi River, and thus the proliferation of the sweet stuff became just another marker of the United States’ legacy of slave labor.
The factors that led to our state of sugar consumption are further entwined with American history. During the Prohibition of the 1920s and ’30s, people turned to soda to replace their nightcaps, and sugary drinks became a staple in the American diet. By the time Prohibition ended, we were too hooked on soda to let go.
When we added alcohol back into our drinks post Prohibition, we kept the soda and sugary juice too.
Long story short, sugar addiction has its roots in the foundation of the United States. Even though it’s hard to beat, that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.
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Know If You Are Addicted To Sugar
Eat sugar Too much is a bad habit that hurts your Health , your teeth and your silhouette. Also, according to the University of Chicago , the sugar makes the brain produce serotonin which is one of the hormones related to happiness, this substance can create a dependency of the body towards the sugar . GetQoralHealth have a test so you can find out if you have this addiction .
1. If you feel down, what do you eat?
a) Chocolate tablet b) Yogurt and fruit c) Cookies
2. What is your greatest temptation?
a) Dark chocolate b) Chocolate filled with caramel c) White chocolate
3. How do you consider your energy level? a) Good b) Fair c) Bad
4. You consider the food as: a) Source of energy b) Source of pleasure c) Source of consolation
5. What is your daily breakfast?
a) Juice of fruits and cereal b) Coffee and whole grain c) Coffee and a sandwich
6. Do you eat between meals? a) Never b) Only when you are very busy c) Yes, whenever you feel depressed
7. What do you eat when you are away from home? a) Salad b) Pasta c) Everything depends on your mood
Majority of A: Consumes sugar to keep you energized however, it does not provide you with any nutrient necessary for your organism. The best thing is that you bring a diet healthy so as not to suffer from deficiencies.
What were your results? If you have noticed that you are addicted to sugar It is important that you adopt new eating habits to take care of your Health . Remember that to achieve it you only need 21 days. Good luck!
What Causes Us To Be Addicted To Sugar
So what exactly causes us to get addicted to sugar? After all, sugar is not an illicit drug, but the brain acts in a similar manner to other substance abuse and addictions. One of the first and most noticeable causes of sugar addiction is that your brain wants something sweet. The brain needs sugar as a fuel source and will continuously attempt to get glucose as a way to prevent a potential shortage of this nutrient. If you notice that you have sugar addiction symptoms, the primary culprit is your brain controlling your movements and thoughts.
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Constant Thoughts Of Sugar
Do you find yourself daydreaming about sugar or refined snacks?
Do you find it hard to keep your focus off of them even when youre surrounded by friends and fun activities?
Constantly thinking about eating sugary treats is one of the signs that you may be addicted to sugar or the refined foods that quickly convert to sugar inside of you.
Refined foods include bread, pasta, and soda or the three Cs: cookies, cakes, and candies.
Do You Walk Or Drive Out Of Your Way Or Get Out Of Bed At Night In Order To Eat Sweets
One of the hallmarks of addiction is what researchers call “an enhanced motivation to procure an abused substance.” In other words, you’ll take extra steps, even destructive ones, to get your mitts on what you crave. If you notice that you’re doing things to procure sweets that you wouldn’t do to get other forms of food, that’s a sign of addiction.
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The Price Of Convenience
Unfortunately, sugar addiction can happen simply because of convenient food purchases made at the grocery store.
One of the downsides of being addicted to sugar is that you may have never had a choice in the first place. Sugar is added in high amounts to virtually every food you can find in the grocery store, including bread, pasta sauce, and foods that have no reason to have sugar. As a result, purchasing foods that contain sugar is far too easy to do. If you take a look at the price of certain foods in the store, you may notice that healthy, organic, or sugar-free foods have a higher cost. Why is this? A big reason is that corn is subsidized in the U.S., which means manufacturers include high-fructose corn syrup in foods because of their lower cost. Also, adding sugar increases the chances that you, the consumer, will continue to purchase that food because it tastes great and it is cheaper for your budget. The price of this convenience probably has had a major impact on your life, and sugar addiction is likely not something you could have controlled in the first place.
Do You Binge On Sweets
Do you tend to binge on sweets? Do you often struggle with the urge to eat more and more desserts? Is it hard for you to control yourself when you are around sugary snacks or desserts? If so, then you may be a sugar addict. You must know and recognize the fact that sugar addiction is a serious problem and one that is often glossed over. Identifying that you are a sugar addict is the first step to getting over it. One sign is your frequent urge to binge on sweets and that you can’t live without them. You can also test this by having a sugar-free day. If you cannot make do with a sugar-free day, you are probably a sugar addict and you need to see your healthcare provider or a counselor as soon as possible.
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How To Break Sugar Addiction
Now that you know all the negative things associated with consuming sugar, its time to look at how to break sugar addiction for good.
There are many health consequences tied to being addicted to sugar, and while it may seem like it should be easy to just stop eating it, remember that sugar is as addictive as illicit drugs. With that said, there are some things you can do to break sugar addiction. One of the biggest challenges that adults face when trying to break the addiction is when cravings set in. Cravings can be a major challenge in the fight against addiction, but there are ways to fight them. In addition to those foods, read on for some helpful tips to help in your successful journey to breaking a sugar addiction.
History Of Binge Eating
The feeling of being out-of-control around food can lead to binge eating.
While there is a range of causes for binge eating, we see that sugar creates changes in the chemistry of the brain making it hard to stop eating.
It is more challenging to binge on steak, which is a food that is high in fat and protein than it is to binge eat donuts, which are high-sugar foods.
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Restriction And Exposure May Influence Response
Another review of studies on rats to determine sugar dependence and addiction found that only rats who were deprived of a sugar solution for 12 hours binged on sugar during the feed window, while rats who were given 24-hour access to the sugar solution controlled their intake. It’s also worth noting that in both groups the rats reduced their chow intake to compensate for the calories ingested from the sugar solution, therefore, their weight remained the same.
To make sense of this, the rats who binged on the sugar solution were restricted from it in the first place. This suggests that restrictive-style diets often lead to binge eating and disordered eating patterns.
Signs Youre Addicted To Sugar
Chances are you are addicted to sugar, but if you consume it in a healthy manner coming mostly from whole forms this doesnt need to be a bad thing. It may even be one of the most healthy addictions you can have!
In natural foods, fiber is almost always found with sugar, with many of the most sweet fruits containing considerable amounts of soluble fiber. Some of this sugar found in fruit is called fructose, a unique function of which is its ability to be absorbed by the body without needing to interact with the hormone insulin. Low insulin levels are associated with healthy weight and longevity. Insulin is an anabolic hormone which means it can help us put on mass, and this is one of the reasons why protein powders work so well for those trying to gain muscle. This is because concentrated protein requires a significant insulin response. On the other hand, those who are looking to lose weight should try to keep their insulin at a relatively low level. This can be accomplished by consuming large amounts of raw fruits which contain the sugar fructose as a main source of calories.
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Sign #: You Crave Comforting Foods During Dinner
A very sneaky way for your addiction to show itself is by making your brain crave simple carbohydrates, because after you eat them they quickly convert into sugar, feeding the addiction.
This can especially happen at dinner, when you want to feel comforted after a long day and enjoy a yummy bowl of pasta and other high simple carbohydrate foods.
Reduced Immune System Function
Your immune system is the main line of defense against invading organisms in your body, and it is always working hard to keep you healthy. However, there is a link between sugar addiction symptoms and reduced immune system function. High sugar consumption can have multiple impacts on your immune system it can prevent you from getting adequate sleep at night as well as increase inflammation . If you are struggling with sugar addiction and have noticed that you have been ill more frequently, chances are your immune system could be feeling the negative effects of being addicted to sugar.
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You Crave Carbs In The Morning
Eating a carbohydrate-rich breakfast can send you riding the blood sugar roller coaster for the rest of the day, resulting in frequent hunger and sugar cravings.
Craving something sweet first thing in the morning, in the middle of the night, or when you wake up from a nap may be a symptom of a secret sugar addiction, hypoglycemia, or low adrenal function.
The solution: Eat a protein-rich breakfast that contains healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables. Eating your starches with dinner, however, can help to promote sleep and weight loss.
You Love Carbs All Of The Carbs
Sugar comes in many forms, and this is something that people forget. Sugar, or glucose, is our bodys primary source of fuel and is derived from all forms of carbohydrate-based foods. Carbohydrates, specifically refined carbohydrates, are processed into sugar very quickly and easily by the body and can quickly feed your sugar addiction. Items like crackers, granola bars, and breads may seem like a healthy choice compared to refined sugar, but if you are someone who already has a problem with sugar they will only perpetuate the cravings. In the end, these forms of refined and processed carbohydrates only disrupt our blood sugar, making our body depend on sugar for fuel, and therefore only feed into further sugar addiction. Instead, swapping things like pasta, bread, crackers and granola bars for items such as rice, potatoes, veggies and fruit will help to increase your fibre and nutrient intake and slowly balance your blood sugar over time.
3. Your taste buds are dulled to sweet foods.
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You Love Starchy Foods
You love starchy foods like french fries, potato chips, pasta and bread. Starches are quickly converted to sugar in the body, but dont have enough fiber or protein to slow down the breakdown of starches into sugar. Without good foods like veggies and foods with lots of fiber, starches can cause surges and crashes.
Do You Have Concerns About Or Have You Ever Been Treated For Drug Or Alcohol Abuse
People who develop dependencies on one type of drug are more susceptible to developing dependencies on other substancesfor example, those with an alcohol problem are more at risk for becoming addicted to prescription pain medication than the general public. This is known as “cross-sensitization.” And because sugar affects neural pathways in a similar way to drugs, those of us who have experienced immoderation in one thing can easily become overeaters of sweets. Animal studies have shown that sugar can be a gateway to alcohol abuse. It’s also been shown to be cross-addictive with both amphetamines and cocaine.
There Is Hope For You
Change begins with realizing that there is a problem with ones sugar addiction. Modifying ones diet and practicing self-control can help, but going cold turkey isnt ideal. Someone with a sugar addiction, especially if they have another substance abuse disorder or a co-occurring mental health condition, will likely have difficulty in ridding themselves of cravings. If you or someone you know has a sugar addiction, especially if complicating factors are present, please contact a therapist today to find out more about your options.
Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: November 6, 2019
Deborah Montross Nagel
Deborah has a Masters Degree from Lesley University and has been certified as an Addictions Counselor in PA since 1986. She is currently a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor CAADC. She is nationally certified as a MAC Master Addictions Counselor by NAADAC . Her 37 years of experience and education are in addiction, recovery, and codependency. Addiction affects the entire system around the addict. There is no “bad guy” in the system. Fight the addiction, and help the addict. I help loved ones restore sanity to their lives and hence encourage change. Recovery is possible!