Why is it So Darn Hard to Overcome Sugar Addiction?
by Erika Slater
Sugar and carbs addiction is serious on your health and leads to many weight loss management issues – this article discusses ways to overcome these addictions.
Many people are addicted to sugar – the white, refined, crystallized sugar often times found in junk foods, or added to coffee and soda, or to carb-loaded foods such as pasta and breads known as complex carbohydrates.
If that isn’t enough, people are also addicted to products containing corn syrup, which have high amounts of sugar.
When you speak to people about sugar most know, and admit, it’s one of the unhealthiest substances they could consume, but they still use and over-indulge in it. Many just can’t seem to break free from their addiction to it!
There are a few reasons why sugar can be highly addictive for some individuals. Let’s look at how folks end up addicted to sugar and carbs and the impact it has on your body…
HOW YOU GET ADDICTED TO SUGAR AND CARBS AND ITS IMPACT ON YOU:
Keep in mind, when discussing sugar as an addiction, we’re talking about sugar in the same vein as a true substance addiction such as; alcohol, drugs, or even nicotine. The same type of drive and need for these substances can be experienced by a sugar need.
Now there are natural sugars found in fruits and we’re not singling out these here, as at least food science at the moment categorizes these differently. Certainly not all fruits are created equal when it comes to amount of natural sugars they contain, so moderation is advised in consuming anything containing natural sugars. For example bananas are good for you but contain a lot of natural sugars so consuming a bunch in a sitting is overkill!
Since sugar is in almost anything that’s ‘sweet’ (processed foods, pastries, beverages, etc.) most people assume it’s ‘just food’ – and part of a food group. If it’s sold to eat, then it must be okay, right?
Well, cigarettes are also sold with some restrictions, but nobody today would argue they’re healthy – not even the tobacco companies! But the food industry continues to sell and develop new products drenched in processed sugars. No warning labels from the surgeon general on foods… yet! Generally, the food industry is all about profits and not worrying about your health.
These companies have huge clout in Washington to further their agenda, and influence attempts at releasing studies, highlighting the damage to the nation’s health, processed sugars is injecting in foods we consume.
I mention this here so you’re aware you can’t rely on your government or the food industry to give you full disclosure on the impact contents of the food you consume has on your body. Unfortunately, the impact to your body on refined sugars is nothing less than devastating.
Processed sugar makes bland foods taste good, and keep you coming back for more, and more… and more! Get the picture?
Many individuals actually have no idea how much sugar they consume. Sure, there’s ‘nutritional’ information on product packages, but how many people really understand what 78 grams of sugar really means to the body and the negative influence it can create?
After all, how many times have you read on a food label this contains your daily allowance of sugar per serving, when the packet contains 3-4 servings and you consume the whole packet in one sitting or at least much more than one serving size! If you’re like most – and me – opening a box of peanut M&M’s has to be completed in one sitting regardless of number of servings! And then when it comes to complex carbohydrates such as pasta – if it’s cooked it has to be finished, right? Ugh, go straight to the sugar and carbs addiction jail and do not pass go!
The health consequences of taking in refined sugars is catastrophic on your body. While the recommended daily allowance for refined sugar consumption is 150 calories for men and 100 for women, the average consumed in America is 335 calories per person. The fact is your goal should be total elimination of processed sugars.
Refined sugars have these impacts on your body: obesity, tooth decay, hypoglycemia, diabetes, and vitamin and mineral depletion. Singularly, none of these are good, but because of our diets in America, many are impacted by more than one of these issues on their health today, or heading that way unless we switch off the addiction now!
Many individuals who have tried to limit eating foods containing processed sugars, or stopped adding sugar to their coffee or soda, miss having it. They’ll assert the food doesn’t taste the same, they get less enjoyment from consuming sugar-free products, or they just can’t cut down on their sugar consumption.
Truly these folks are hooked!
Did you know once addicted to sugar and carbs, it’s much similar to being addicted to a drug such as cocaine?
You see, just like using cocaine for a prolonged period of time, your brain will require more and more sugar to create the same “high” it causes for you.
You have dopamine receptor cells in the brain that are responsible for how you feel – your moods of highs and lows. Sugar increases dopamine to give you the “high,” but over time, your dopamine receptor cells become less sensitive to the amount of sugar you’re consuming, and so you need more to “feel” the way you did.
This creates an addiction to sugar and when you try to cut back, or quit consuming sugar, you effectively go into “withdrawal.”
This makes it difficult to quit!
I admit I love chocolate. But I’m not addicted to it I just like the taste. “Oh, really dear” – my inner critic said to me?
This was me talking about a year ago. But I realized it just wasn’t true. I was always looking for something sweet in the afternoon or in the evening after dinner. So I quit. I haven’t had chocolate or cookies for almost a year… and I feel great.
So, what ways are there to overcome the sugar and carbs cravings so they’re banished for good?
WAYS TO OVERCOME SUGAR AND CARBS ADDICTION:
The number one best way to quit your intake of sugar is to remove it from your house. If you can’t get your hands on it easily then you’re more likely to resist. You need to treat it the same way as if you’re quitting smoking. Smoker’s who are stopping shouldn’t leave a pack of cigarettes around just to test their resolve.
If you’re buying cakes and cookies for somebody else in the household then just realize you’re going to have to devote a lot of your willpower to resist. Like a smoker trying to quit when their spouse is still smoking it’ll be tough and unfair to you from the start. Have a discussion with the other person about processed sugar and tell them you’re not bringing it into the house in any form, and they’ll need to go elsewhere to get their own sugar fix!
Don’t buy products with added sugars such as anything on the label with: brown sugar, corn sweetener or syrup or syrup on its own, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses, raw sugar, sugar, sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose). This list was extracted from an article on the Go Red for Women website and I’ve included a link to the full article in the resource section below.
Replace ‘sugar’ products with natural products loaded in nutrients and vitamins that’ll create a natural energy boost. It may take some time to ween yourself off of your sugar consumption, however once you do, you’ll notice how much better you feel… both physically and mentally, and how much more alert you’ll be!
Here are some food alternative suggestions for you:
- Chia Seeds.
- Sweet Potatoes.
While many people with a sugar addiction also struggle with their weight, loving sugar doesn’t always translate to a weight problem, particularly if you exercise a lot and/or have a naturally high metabolism rate. However, just because you’re not overweight doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Eating healthy and maintaining your ideal body weight should go hand-in-hand, and not taken to mean either… you need to do both.
So, now you’re straight on this and know what to do, the rest is easy, right?
Of course not!
Knowing what to do and actually doing it, isn’t easy for most of us. If you’re one who needs some “coaching” and constant reminders and reinforcements then there are a few more options that can help, and these involve seeking out weight loss services and hypnosis.
Joining a weight loss service or club to help you eat healthy makes sense as it’s not all about calorie control and eating less. In fact, much of the time it’s about eating more of the right foods than consuming less.
A shorter path to consider though is to seek out a local hypnotist that specializes in weight loss and sugar addiction. Emotional eating and sugar addiction can benefit from a change in habits and mindset around food. Hypnotherapy is all about habit changing and mindset and so look into services of a local hypnotherapist. I’ve been offering a sugar addiction service for a number of years and so you can see the type of service to consider as I’ve included a link to my service page in the resource section below.
Whatever you decide your next step to be, understand it doesn’t have to be so darn hard to overcome sugar and carbs addiction – effort… yes, hard… no!
Added sugar is in so many of our foods these days its difficult to avoid consuming any, and it has the same bad impact on our bodies as addictive drugs. The cure is to change the foods we consume and eat healthy.
But when sugar and/or carbs becomes an addiction you need to take serious steps, and remove all temptation, and wage a war on what the food industry tries to sell you, and be vigilant on what goes into your body.
Seek outside help and join a weight loss service or group that takes food education seriously rather than sell you expensive foods. Consider help from a hypnotherapist who can give you the tools to change your eating habits and mindset around food.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SUGAR ADDICTION:
Erika Slater CH
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