How To Fix A Sugar Addiction
- Eat regularly. Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they dont eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry, and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
- Choose whole foods. The closer a food is to its original form, the less processed sugar it will contain. Food in its natural form, including fruits and vegetables, usually presents no metabolic problems for a normal body, especially when consumed in variety.
- Have a breakfast of protein, fat and phytonutrients to start your day off right.Breakfast smoothies are ideal for this. The typical breakfast full of carbs and sugary or starchy foods is the worst option since youll have cravings all day. Eating a good breakfast is essential to prevent sugar cravings.
- Try to incorporate protein and/or fat with each meal. This helps control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each.
- Add spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
Know The Difference Between A Craving And Hunger
Oftentimes when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just having a craving. What’s the difference? Next time you want to reach for that chocolate cake, ask yourself: if the only thing I had to eat right now was an apple, would I eat it? If the answer is “no,” then you’re probably having a craving and not actually hungry. When you’re hungry, what you’re willing to eat is flexible, when you’re having a craving, it’s not. The next time you answer “no” to that question, take 20 minutes before you act on it. Often you’ll find that the craving goes away if it doesn’t then allow yourself to mindfully indulge.
“You can also try to replace that craving with a healthy substitute,” says Kien Vuu, MD, a performance and longevity doctor and the author of Thrive State. Whenever I experience a craving, I’ll either go for a walk or sip on sparkling water. I find that if I don’t act on my initial craving and allow some time to pass, my craving will usually dissipate on its own.”
When flavored water doesn’t do the trick, Cassetty tells her clients that one of the easiest ways to lower your added sugar intake is to swap out your usual dessert for something like Lily’s Sweets. “They’re botanically sweetened chocolate treats with no added sugar. A sweet like this doesn’t count toward your daily added sugar intake.” Note, however, even botanically sweetened treatsaka stevia-sweetened onesshould be consumed in moderation, as previously mentioned.
Quiz: Are You Addicted To Sugar
Is your relationship with sugar pretty much fine, totally out of whack, or somewhere in between ? Our throwback-style quizdevised with the help of registered dietician Ilyse Schapirowill help you figure out the answer.
1. How often do you eat or drink sugary foods or beverages ?A) Once or twice a month, at most. I’m not big on sweets.B) I’ll have dessert a couple of times per week, but I rarely drink regular or diet soda.C) Pretty much every day.
2. What’s your typical breakfast like?A) Scrambled eggs with vegetables, avocado toast, or even last night’s leftovers.B) Greek yogurt, oatmeal with fruit, or a smoothie.C) Sugary cereal, a muffin, or a breakfast cookie.
3. How much sugar or sweetener do you usually add to your coffee?A) None.B) A teaspoon or one packet.C) Two teaspoons or two packets. At least.
4. How often do you go out of your way to get something sugarylike stopping at the store just to buy candy?A) Almost never.B) Every once in a while, if I get a crazy craving for something.C) Oftenlike, at least once a week.
5. Do you ever eat sugary foods secretively?A) No. If I’m having dessert, it’s part of a meal or an event with others.B) A couple of times a year I definitely feel like polishing off a pint of ice cream on the couch by myself.C) I usually wait to eat dessert until I’m alone, so I can really chow down without anyone judging me.
OK! Now it’s time to add up your score. If you got
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Do You Ever Find Yourself Binging On Sweets Feeling Cravings For Sugar Or Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms When You Can’t Get Your Hands On Them
Binging, withdrawal, and craving are the three stages of addiction, according to the American Psychiatric Association. It boils down to this: If you overeat sugar on more than a very occasional basis, or if you ever feel anxious when you can’t get your hands on it, you may be struggling with addiction.
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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These Are The Signs That Your Sweet Tooth Might Actually Be A Serious Sugar Addictionand Something You Need To Address
Sugar in all its forms isnt just bad for your shape, but research shows it boosts your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetesit may even increase your risk for some cancers, too. Sugar addiction is no jokebrains can rewire themselves to crave sugar, and you can end up withdrawal symptoms when you dont get enough of the sweet stuff.
Sugar addiction is a measurable, physiological phenomenon many people suffer from, says Ken Berry, MD, author of Lies My Doctor Told Me. Sugar addiction makes it very difficult for many people to make the dietary improvements needed to improve their health. Watch for these foods that are surprisingly high in sugar.
You Hide Your Sugar Habit
Some people with a sugar addiction may recognize theyre eating too much, but instead of finding ways to cut back, they hide it. Making excuses or making deals with yourself concerning sweets and desserts is a definite sign of sugar addiction, Dr. Berry says. No one hides broccoli in their closet if you hide sweets, or sneak to eat them, you might have a sugar addiction.
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What Does This Mean
Restricting food may cause sugar addiction behaviors like binge eating, withdrawal symptoms, and increased cravings. How ironic is this? The trendy diets that may claim to help you detox from sugar may lead you to addictive eating behavior.
Diets arent the only thing to blame though. Have you ever gone the whole day at work without eating lunch? Skipping meals can be another form of food restriction. What happens we get home or even later that night? We want sugary treats.
Skipping meals, paired with the standard American diet is a recipe for disaster when it comes to sugar addiction behaviors.
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.
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Eat A Healthy Breakfast
Each day that you’re cutting back on sugar, it’s important to set yourself up for success. Plan your meals ahead of time and make sure to focus on a healthy breakfast with plenty of protein.
“Many of my female clients who are attempting to cut out sugar don’t eat enough, which can lead to cravings,” Laura Schoenfeld, a holistic nutritionist, told Prevention. “Simply loading up on enough healthy whole foods at all three meals, breakfast in particular, can greatly reduce these. Eating plenty of protein at each meal, especially breakfast, is also crucial, as it helps keep blood sugar stable and is the most satiating macronutrient.”
Some good sources of protein for breakfast include eggs, egg whites, vegan protein powder, and turkey bacon.
Restriction Leads To Sugar Addiction Behaviors
Most of the studies on sugar addiction are done on animals. In one main study, the rats were deprived of food for around 12 hours before giving the sugar solution. Once given sugar, the rats would eat large amounts of it in the first hour . Scientists also noticed signs of withdrawal once the sugar was removed mostly in the form of anxiety and depressive behavior.
Researchers also gave a different set of rats unlimited access to sugar. Heres where it gets interesting
Both sets of rats increased their intake of sugar. You would think that the rats with unlimited access to sugar would eat more than the other group, right? Nope! The rats who were food restricted ate as much sugar in 12 hours as the unlimited group did in 1 day. In addition, the rats brains who were intermittently restricted from sugar constantly released dopamine each time they ate sugar. The rats who did not have a severely restricted diet had a lower dopamine response meaning their reward center was not as stimulated.
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You Try To Quit And Have Unusual Symptoms
Sugar addiction can be both a behavioral addictionyou get used to eating sugar after meals or at certain times of the dayand it can also be a chemical addiction. When you quit or interrupt your normal schedule, your body may show signs of distress or withdrawal. Quitting sugar too abruptly can cause your body to have withdrawal symptoms, says Adam Kadela, founder of Dexafit.
Some of the most common sugar addiction symptoms may include headaches, lethargy or feeling tired, cravings, muscle pain, nausea, bloating and even insomnia. In most cases, these symptoms intensify after 24 hours. The best way to give up sugar is slowly, by cutting back a little at a time. Here is what happens when you try to give up sugar for a month.
Retrain Your Taste Buds
You don’t need sugar as much as you think you do. In fact, you can train your taste buds to enjoy things that aren’t as sweet. Try cutting out one sweet food from your diet each week. For example, pass on dessert after dinner. Start putting less sugar in your coffee or cereal. Over time, you will lose your need for that sugar taste.
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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.
S To Fewer Sugar Cravings
Are you someone who cant stop eating sugar, once you start? Are you plagued with constant food cravings, especially for sweets or refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or potato chips?
I understand! I was a compulsive sugar addict for over 20 years, as well as having 20 years of eating disorders My journey with sugar was a profound wrestling match. Today, it is a wrestling match that I value for how it helped me grow, face the holes in my being, and discover myself.
If youre looking for help with sugar, here are some tips to begin your journey. You may also want to explore this free video course on finding healing with sugar. For more help, please read on for a beginners ten steps:
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How Do I Combat The Cravings
Dont let your cravings for sugar undo the hard work it takes to kick the booze. There are a few strategies to help, along with foods and supplements, to get you over the hump while youre bringing your body back into balance.
1. Eat in regular intervals, every 4 hours, to stabilize blood sugar. This is SO important. If you go too long without eating or skip meals, your body releases a cascade of stress hormones in response, causing a spike and crash in blood sugar levels that leaves you irritable, tired and wired, and craving sugar.
2. Caffeine and nicotine aggravate hypoglycemia and disrupt blood sugar balance. Do not drink coffee on an empty stomach, and do not substitute meals for coffee. If you drink coffee, always drink it with a protein-based meal, and consider swapping it for green tea a few days weekly. Do not drink coffee after 12pm.
3. Use Glutamine supplements. 500– 1,000 mg of glutamine taken as needed can help ward off sugar cravings.
4. B vitamin complex can help the body adjust to stress. Here is what I recommend.
5. Crave Arrest Supplement. This supplement can help you overcome cravings for sugar and nicotine. It helps balance serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. Take it daily to help build up neurotransmitter levels.
6. An essential fatty acid supplement. This can reduce inflammation caused by alcohol, boost your mood, and nourish the brain.
Why Am I Addicted To Sugar
Sugar is a nutrient that is essential for our survival. Our body can harvest it by breaking down carbohydrates and polysaccharides. In addition, we can consume sweets to take a shortcut and get the glucose we need by eating. What happens when you eat glucose-rich food? Your tongue receptors send positive signals to your brain. The small intestine will absorb the supplements and inject them into your bloodstream. A highly concentrated dose of sweetener causes the brain to stimulate the cerebral cortex. This part of the brain will then produce dopamine, the chemical associated with pleasure and satisfaction.
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Homemade Oreos + My Current Thoughts On Sugar
Did you hear the news? Oreos are just as addictive as cocaine!
I was kind of shocked to find that out, actually, because its not at all my experience with Oreos. I generally feel more of a heroin-like effect when I eat them. Oh, waitthats probably because sugar is the same as heroin to the body. Yeah, it all makes sense now.
Ok, friends, I hope you know I am totally joking here. I have zero experience with either cocaine or heroin . Im going to share a recipe for Homemade Oreos with you in this post, but first I have some other things to say.
Im getting really tired of all of these this food is the equivalent of a street drug references out there . Im sick of all of the articles that scare people into thinking they are poisoning themselves if they consume cookies or anything else containing sugar, too, without any mention of context or dose.
Below are some quotes folks left on just the other day:
Addictions are all the same! They control your life and often ruin it! Sugar is an addiction!
Proven fact sugar addiction is as tough as heroin
This whole country is addicted because our food manufactures add sugar to everything
People can become addicted to simple carbs just as they can to smoking or alcohol
My intention here is not to call people out for being ignorantits to draw attention to how damaging it can be to not have correct informationto be trapped in dogma thats not evidence based.
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6. You have a love-hate relationship with sugar.Overdoing it here and there is normal, but if you continue your habit of eating a second bowl of ice cream despite negative consequences, like how full you feel, an upset stomach, guilt, or impaired sleep or workouts, this could signal a sugar dependence, says McDaniel.
For someone who is at healthy body weight and is confident about their health, a food addiction might actually not cause a negative experience, she says. However, for those who are trying to lose weight or have a chronic condition like diabetes, the consequences then become negative.
7. Youre going through withdrawal.Its one thing to miss sweets if you decide to cut them out, but if you experience withdrawal symptoms like feeling moody or in a mental fog, or you have headaches or involuntary shaking , then yes, you are definitely addicted to sugar.
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