Food addiction is real and so is sugar addiction. Addiction may be a harsh word, but let’s face it that’s exactly what it is. Breaking sugar addiction, just like quitting any other addiction be it alcohol or drug, is not going to be easy.
Going through sugar binges and crazy sugar cravings and even withdrawal, just like a drug, sugar stimulates the brain activating endorphins. The consequent sugar high or sugar rush may last momentarily, but it’s exactly that rush that stimulates an almost euphoric feeling.
Sugar acts like an analgesic drug, commonly known as a painkiller, so easing the pain with a sugar rush is not uncommon. The body needs carbohydrates to turn into energy to power basic body functions. Excess sugar gives us excess energy; our bodies become tolerant to the sugar intake and need more and more to function, thus our bodies become very reliant on that sugar fix.
Sugar is in just about anything, there are the sugars we know we consume and the sugars we don’t realize we are consuming. We know about the sugars in pop, juice, sports drinks, yogurt and even breakfast cereals, but what about the sauces and the ketchup, and the salad dressings? All those things on the side that we eat without thinking that have lots of sugar in it.
Sugar consumption should be 100 calories or 6 teaspoons, for women, and 150 calories or 9 teaspoons for men. Now when you look at one can of regular pop it has 8 to 10 teaspoons of sugar, that’s 130 to 150 calories. Now think about how much pop you drink in a day, not including the cookies, muffins, donuts, chocolate bars and cakes, and consider how much sugar you devour in one day. It will surprise you, or it might not.
Steps in Breaking Sugar Addiction
First thing about sugar addiction is acknowledging that you have a problem. Once you’ve accepted that, you are on your way to breaking sugar addiction.The dangers to having a high sugar intake consist of an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, low(good) cholesterol, heart disease, depression, migraines, poor eyesight and osteoporosis.
Building a tolerance to sugar makes you intake more and it’s your dietary habits and food choices that can create sugar addiction. It’s a major source of energy for the body, so a high intake equals a chance to abuse sugar, and that makes sugar harder to kick than one might think.
After you acknowledge that you have an addiction to sugar, try to learn the truth behind it. Stress or emotional trauma can set off a food addiction, we eat according to our moods, and we eat when we are happy and when we are unhappy. Whatever reason you have for your sugar addiction, explore what’s behind it, even if that means facing something tough.
You can’t just stick one foot in and hope for the best. There are many reasons to beat sugar addiction; one great reason is to be healthy. If you feel like you need support to kick your sugar habit, don’t be afraid to consult your family doctor or psychiatrist and get all the resources you need to access support groups and good health advice.
With beating any addiction, there is a natural process of withdrawal to get through. There are a number of withdrawal symptoms one will encounter when breaking sugar addiction: fatigue, headache, depression, moodiness and an overall unwell, shaky feeling. Our normal blood sugar rises and falls along with our moods, so you can imagine how this can affect these areas.
There are a few things you can do to help ease the withdrawal process first, drink plenty of water. Dehydration leads to depletion of energy so it will up your cravings. Keep busy and keep moving, go for a walk, take up a hobby, exercise, and don’t isolate yourself. The hardest thing about withdrawal is not knowing when it will be over, so don’t give up, it is worth it.
Breaking sugar addiction is tough, but it can be done. It will be an emotional roller coaster ride, but strap in, hang on and soon the ride will be over. There are lots of books dedicated to sugar and food addiction that can be extremely helpful, and remember different things work for different people.