How To Quit Your Sugar Addiction: 10 Reliable Tips
Have you heard the news?
Addicts are lining up on every street corner, queueing up one-by-one for their latest hit. Doctors have tried all they can, but unfortunately, their efforts go to waste.
Believe it or notyou are living in the middle of a sugar addiction pandemic.
If youre struggling to curb your sugar cravings and want to beat your sugar fix, then step this way for rehab. Keep reading to find out EXACTLY how to quit your sugar addiction and lose weight fast.
S To Kick Your Sugar Addiction
Today, I want to share with you my secrets to reduce sugar cravings and food cravings so you can kick sugar addiction. This is a chronic problem in America today. In fact, I would say the No. 1;cause of people falling off diets and something that stops or even reverses weight loss efforts is when people have cravings.
Lets be honest. A lot of people know what they should eat. We should eat more vegetables. We should eat more fruit. We should eat organic. But a lot of times when Ive asked patients over the years, Why could you not stick with a diet before? they would say, Because of the cravings. I started craving sugar so much.
Give Your Mouth Something To Do
Another great way to stave off sugar cravings is to give your mouth another distraction. Whether it’s chewing sugar-free gum, drinking a cup of warm herbal tea, or just doing something else, allow the craving to pass. “Allow enough time to pass while you drink or wait for the piping hot tea for you to think through the craving,” Moreno says. Most cravings last no longer than 30 minutes.
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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.
Neuropsychiatrists Show How To Eliminate Sugar Cravings
Its 3 oclock in the afternoon and all of a sudden, you get hit hard with a craving. You wantno, you needa sugar fix (chocolate, cookies, cake, you name it, youve got to have it! You dont want to give in to the craving, but the memories of the sweet taste try to hijack your brain, and dopamine, the pleasure and motivation brain chemical, pushes on an area of your brain that drives you to the kitchen cabinet where your sugar stash is stored.
The cravings win again.
If you have a sweet tooth and havent been able to conquer your cravings, youre not alone. One patient at Amen Clinics, the global leader in brain health, said she would rather get Alzheimers disease than give up sugar! Why are sugar cravings so powerful? The neuropsychiatrists at Amen Clinics say the answer lies in the brain.
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Treat Underlying Mental Health Conditions
Craving sugar, sweets, and refined carbs have been associated with anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric issues. A number of studies, including a 2019 review in the journal Antioxidants, have found a link between high-sugar consumption and depression. And according to 2016 research in the journal Appetite, a diet containing more high-glycemic foods was associated with a higher incidence of depression and fatigue. In addition, when youre feeling anxious or stressed, youre more likely to crave sugar. ADD/ADHD has been associated with dopamine deficiency, which can cause people with this condition to seek out activities and foodssuch as sugarthat stimulate dopamine. Addressing these conditions can help you conquer sugar cravings for good.
Anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, and other mental healthissues cant wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to normal is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.
At Amen Clinics, were here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.
Why Is Sugar Addicting
What’s wrong with sugar, you ask? Everything. Outside of making things taste better, sugar has no nutritional value and is full of empty calories. These calories can create weight problems and, in turn, heighten your risk of heart disease and stroke.
That’s only the physical downside. The psychological component is real, too. Sugar releases dopamine and can increase serotonin production, a hormone that can boost your mood.
In reality, sugar isn’t any different than comfort food or a satisfying fast food meal loaded with simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are high on the glycemic index, meaning it takes less time to turn them into glucose. During this quicker digestion process, you may feel good in the short term, but hunger will quickly set in since sugary foods lack nutrients and leave you unsatisfied.
It can turn into a vicious cycle. At first, the sugar you eat tastes good, bringing on a “high” when your brain initiates the dopamine release. Then, the sugar causes your insulin levels to increase, leading to a drop in blood sugar levels. As your blood sugar falls, your appetite and hunger levels increase. Your body then craves sugar again to fix any hunger deficiencies or feelings of unease, even if the fix is only temporary.
Set A Daily Sugar Quota Where It Matters Most
Eating and drinking too much sugar can lead to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, note the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So focus on eating sweets when you enjoy them most. For many people, that means desserts. Dont waste it on hidden sugars in dressings, spreads, peanut butter, breakfast cereals, and soda, or added sugars in coffee or tea.
Once you reduce your sugar intake for the day, it will help you lose your sweet tooth. Again, sugar is incredibly addictive: The more you eat, the more addictive it becomes and the more it takes to satisfy you. The opposite is also true. As we eat less sugar, our tastebuds adapt and can be satisfied with less sweet options, says Eich.
Why Am I Addicted To Unhealthy Foods
I dont know about you, but Ive never seen self-help books based on salad addiction or the feel-good effects of brown rice. Why might this be? Ah yes, good old diet culture!
If youve never heard of the term diet culture before, heres a definition:
Diet culture refers to the glorification of losing weight and achieving the thin ideal while demonising certain ways of eating and food choices. It is not simply being on a diet, but the principles that underlie our understanding of wellness or health.
Sugar being deemed unhealthy and even seen as a reason for the supposed ob*sity epidemic shows the demonising of this food group against the thin ideal.
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Find Out About Hidden Food Allergies
Hidden food allergies and food sensitivities can trigger cravings and make you fall back into old habits. For example, did you know that gluten and milk allergies can decrease blood flow to the brain and decrease your judgment? In addition, food allergies can cause concentration problems and anxiety, which can increase cravings. To find out if you have any food sensitivities, try an elimination diet. Stop eating corn, soy, dairy, gluten, artificial sweeteners, and food colorings for 3 weeks then introduce them back into your diet one at a time and see if you have any reactions.
When Rats Were Given The Choice Between Water Sweetened With Saccharin And Intravenous Cocaine 94% Chose The Saccharin Water
One study out of France, presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, showed that when rats were given the choice between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, 94% chose the saccharin water. When the water was sweetened with sucrose , the same preference was observedthe rats overwhelmingly chose the sugar water. When the rats were offered larger doses of cocaine, it did not alter their preference for the saccharin or sugar water. Even rats addicted to cocaine, switched to sweetened water when given the choice. In other words, intense sweetness was more rewarding to the brain than cocaine.
The American Psychiatric Association defines addiction to include three stages: bingeing, withdrawal and craving. Until recently, the rats had only met two of the elements of addiction, bingeing and withdrawal. But recent experiments by Princeton University scientist, Professor Bart Hoebel, and his team showed craving and relapse as well. By showing that excess sugar led not only to bingeing and withdrawal, but to cravings for sweets as well, the final critical component of addiction fell into place and completed the picture of sugar as a highly addictive substance.
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Reset Your Insulin Levels
Refined carbs and sugar spike your insulin levels as your body tries to convert the glucose into useful energy.
Unfortunately, too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance. This is where your body stops listening to the right signals and, in effect, stops converting the glucose in your blood stream.
This leads to all types of health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, but can also lead to increased sugar cravings.
To reset your insulin sensitivity and cut cravings, youre going to need to detox from all major sources of sugar in your diet.
Try a week long detox, and then reintroduce healthy complex carbs back into your diet, making sure to stick to the points mentioned before.
Craving Sugar Your Body Is Probably Lacking This Nutrient
In This Article
Like most people who think about food constantly, I take snacking very seriously. Growing up, Id gravitate toward salty and crunchythe crisp bite of a Lays potato chip or whatever those disturbingly orange, peanut butterfilled biscuits were. Lately, however, Ive noticed my salt tooth taking a decidedly sweeter turn, and its baffled me to no end. Suddenly Im craving chocolate, doughnuts, candy, those green Haribo frog gummies that are inexplicably peach-flavored The list goes on. Surely this must mean something about the inner workings of my body.
This cant be a good thing, right? According to research, sugar is said to be as addictive as some street drugs, with similar effects on the brain. Excess sugar consumption may also lead to cavities, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and a slew of other health problems. Knowing all of this, I was determined to stop eating sugarbut each day, Id get tempted by a new sweet delicacy and thus, fall off the wagon . Why cant I quit something thats so clearly bad for my health, my brain, and my body? All around me, my fellow sugar worshippers bemoan the same question, all while stuffing more chewy morsels of Momofuku birthday cake into their mouths. I was determined to get to the root of the issue, and consulted two top nutritionists to help me find out what my sugar cravings mean, and hopefully, quell them.
Meet the Expert
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Sugar Addiction And Mental Health Issues
Sugar addiction is linked to anxiety and depression. Excessive intake of sugar has been shown to potentially contribute to depression, whether it is a pre-existing condition or one that is actually created by the excessive sugar itself. Part of the reason for this is because foods that are rich in sugars and carbohydrates actually interfere with the neurotransmitters that help stabilize an individuals mood.
Is Sugar Addiction Real
Imagine an alien came down to Earth to do a survey for the intergalactic community. What would he report back?
All humans, whether young or old, consume copious amounts of a substance that is slowly killing them. They put it in their food, they put it in their drink, they advertise it on the small square box in their living rooms. They know its bad for them, yet they cant seem to stopwe must never let this reach our planet!
The truth is, sugar addiction is very real. It has a similar chemical affect on our brains as recreational drugs, such as heroin, do. Every time you consume sugar, the pleasure centers in your brain reward you with a little dopamine hit.
But you dont need science to prove that to you. How often when youre feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, do you reach out for some Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream? Sugar makes you feel good, which is why cravings can be even more difficult to kick.
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Dr Frank Lipman On Sugar
As a serious sugar addict still struggling with my addiction I know first hand how difficult it is to get off sugar, and to stay off it. Part of the reason its so hard to kick the habit is that over time our brains actually become addicted to the natural opioids that are triggered by sugar consumption. Much like the classic drugs of abuse such as cocaine, alcohol and nicotine, a diet loaded with sugar can generate excessive reward signals in the brain which can override ones self-control and lead to addiction.
Enjoy A Piece Of Fruit
“I don’t know if it’s possible to eradicate sugar cravings because they’re part of being human. But I do think that nature gave us fruit for a reason,” Largeman-Roth says. “It’s naturally sweet and loaded with fiber to help us feel full. It also delivers a host of benefits, including antioxidants that help our bodies and skin stay young and healthy.” Training your body to crave fruit instead of processed sugar will be greatly beneficial to your overall health.
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The Neural Cravings Circuit
A wealth of research, including a 2018 review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, shows that sugar is addictive. Researchers now say that sugar 8 times more addictive than cocaine and inside the brain, it works in the same areas that react to morphine.
Sugar cravings involve multiple brain regions and neurotransmitters, including:
When cravings hit, theres a sort of tug of war that happens inside your brain. The pleasure centers, emotional centers, and the neurotransmitter dopamine compel you to head to the freezer for the ice cream. Meanwhile, the PFC tries to put on the brakes.
Which part of your brain do you listen to? It depends.
In a healthy brain, a strong PFC provides good judgment and emotional control so you can say no to the ice cream. When the PFC is underactive, however, the pleasure and emotional centers can hijack the brain and take control. When this happens, you cave to the sugar cravings again and again and again.
Even if your brains pleasure centers and emotional centers have wrestled control from your prefrontal cortex, you can learn to strengthen your PFC and train your brain so you can overcome sugar cravings. Heres how.
How To Break The Sugar Habit
Our sugar-laden diet is literally killing us. That’s the conclusion of a study reported at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in March 2013. The study authors attributed 180,000 annual deaths worldwide25,000 in the United States aloneto sugary beverages. Sodas and fruit drinks aren’t our only sources of sugar. The average American eats between 22 and 30 teaspoons of added sugar each day, according to the AHA.
“The harmful effects of sugar are primarily due to the weight gain from added sugar in the foods we eat and sugar-sweetened beverages,” says Dr. Michelle Hauser, certified chef and nutrition educator and clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Most of the deaths are related to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.”
How much sugar do we actually need? According to AHA guidelines, women shouldn’t get more than 100 of our daily calories from added sugar. In reality, “you don’t need any added sugar,” Dr. Hauser says.
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How To Break Free From Addiction To Sugar
This process can be difficult, not just for the addict, but those who are being affected of his/her behavior. But to simply putâ¦ Addictions begin with triggers. Either stress, anxiety, or any unpleasurable experience. These can cause someone to go to other resorts to deal with challenges in life. Someone can play video games for 15 hours a day just to avoid problems. Another person can go to a casino just to avoid problems. Whatever the activity, like eating sweets, theyâre rewarding. And they become an escape for someone who is not willing to face the real issues of real life.
after some trigger-reward cycle. The trigger changes. Ring the bell, feed the dog. An alcoholic can be triggered by seeing bottles of liquors. Again, downward spiral. So, to put an end to this cycle of trigger-reward. Addicts need to tackle the problem, instead of running away from it. The only thing that addicts need to run away from is their addiction. This might be easier than done. But I can help you with it. If youâre Cannot stop eating sugar, or someone you care about. You can get help. Iâll tell you more about this later. The answer is to take your mind off your eating sugar. And do something productive instead. Your cravings for sugar can be âtranslatedâ into something productive.
I wish you good luck!