How to break a sugar addiction – Recovery To Control
How to break a sugar addiction in a few simple steps. But don’t be fooled, simple does not mean easy. Sugar is addictive, therefore your body will not want to give it up. Prepare for craving and withdrawal.
Is Sugar Bad For You
Let’s keep it simple, we are going to avoid science terms and try and give a few short and sweet reasons it’s bad for you. Your body has a pretty set amount of things it can process depending on your activity level. And sugar has pretty much no nutritional value. It is what is known as an empty calorie.
A calorie that does nothing for you. Sugar is one of the main reasons soda is bad for you. You end up ingesting a bunch of useless material that your body can’t really do much with. So it stores it in fat. Carb = energy. Unused energy = fat.
So if you were very, very active you may be able to justify a high sugar intake by saying “I’m super active, so I need lots of sugars” And you would be partially correct! Except, your body also has a sensitivity factor. The more often your body is subject to sugar exposure, the less effective it is. When you eat a carb it should be something more hardy, instead of a pure substance. Your body does better that way.
Some studies even suggest that sugar can increase your blood pressure. Yet another reason to stay away from the stuff as much as possible.
This isn’t to say that sugar is all bad. Just look at it as an everything in moderation thing.
Why Is Sugar So Addictive
Little is known about addiction in the first place. What we do know is sugar makes you release your “feel good” hormones. We think has to do with how your body functions, how it wants energy to continue going. So to your body, it makes sense to continue consuming what gives you the energy to survive.
So simply put, your brain gets rewarded when you eat it, so you want to keep eating it!
Your body craves things it thinks it needs. So food, sleep and one other thing that’s not so kid-friendly to mention. It only makes sense that it wants super energy packed sugar more than super nutrient dense broccoli. One clearly tastes better than the other, and it gives you a high. In your bodies metaphorical eyes, the answer is quite clear.
It may just be an evolutional trigger we’ve kept from eons past. Essentially our bodies trying to keep going no matter what.
Bottom line we know it is addictive, why is a little murky. There are a few studies that suggest some reasons. We can get into those here.
Sugar Addiction Studies
A quick scholarly google search revealed many dark secrets sugar holds.
First of all, it is extraordinarily difficult to measure the effects of sugar on humans. Because the effects of sugar are so similar to others, it hides and is difficult to follow.
Here is a summary of a study that found addiction was present in rats.
Not only was it addicting, they found it was more addictive than other drugs that were tested, like cocaine. So imagine an addictive substance with few side effects (comparably) that tasted good and was extracted from an easy to grow plant. You get sugar
Here is a summary of a study that draws parallels to alcoholism and sugar addiction. It also mentions that Alcoholics have a sweeter preference. Specifically in sucrose heavy foods, and also that their children also have this preference.
As you can see, we know sugar is addictive. The real question here is how to fight it. One more question might be, why haven’t we as a society rejected it altogether given recent studies? Both excellent questions, sadly I don’t have those answers for you.
With sugar addiction being real and active. This can obviously lead to obesity and other illnesses. This needs to stop, and soon, you’ll learn how.
Treating Sugar Addiction
First, to treat the addiction, we need to understand a little bit of the inner workings. When talking about fruit sugars it’s fructose, and cane sugar is refined sucrose. Fructose holds many more benefits and fewer downsides than sucrose. Fructose is found in many fruits and vegetable, whereas sucrose is an extract from cane sugar.
Very different from other addictions, this is one you can keep a small amount of. We know that smaller amounts of sucrose-type sugars won’t really affect you too much.
Treating your addiction comes with something called “Training your palate” This is a rule of taste, the more often you taste something, the more you’ll like it. Unfortunately, this works. So-called acquired taste is a real thing, who knew?
Breaking the sugar addiction will start with you daily additives and work down into your actual meals. By additives, I mean snacks, drinks, and candy. Firstly comes coffee, oh yes coffee. You must try and decrease the amount of sugar in your coffee. Caffeine isn’t the only thing helping you out in the morning its sugar.
The first step is ordering half syrup/sugar. when getting your mocha(Or anything for that matter) Get half syrup and half sugar, your barista should know how to do this. and over time, ask for less and less until you have very little in your coffee and you are satisfied with it.
Next comes snacks. Snacks are filled with sugar. From chips and salsa, all the way over candy and popcorn. It all has sugar. How do we go about reducing this, you might ask. Well, the first step is getting off of the convenience train. Just because you can buy prepackaged food, doesn’t mean you should.
You’ll have to look at the labels. Limit your sugar consumption in snacks to around 10g per snack(The entire snack) a very easy alternative is getting a healthier sugar replacement, like fruit!
Lastly, we have our other drinks. Soda, juice, and things the may be alike. All are filled with sugar. I looked at the bottle of a soda the other day, per serving it has 43g of sugar in one serving. It’s not even the good kind. Just cut it out. Leave soda alone. It’s terrible for you and you shouldn’t drink it.
Instead, replace it. Get some carbonated water and squeeze a fruit juice of your choosing into it. It helps if you still crave the nice bubbly loveliness of soda.
Sugar Addiction Recovery – Withdrawal
This is the hardest part. You have cut your sugar consumption at this point. You have done all of the things you believe you should have. Why are you still craving sugar and sweets?
The simple answer is because you still want it. Your body isn’t going to stop wanting it as much as you think. Yes, over time your palate will be conditioned toward other flavors. But don’t expect a change over one week. it really takes time.
In the meantime, you may experience:
- Severe cravings
Luckily that’s about it. If you have any pain or are feeling sick, see a doctor! Don’t hurt yourself, this can be a long process for some people depending on the severity.
Control Your Sugar Addiction
After you’ve fought your battles, you’ll soon realize it’s a war. Sugar is in everything from milk to sausage. It really is hard to avoid. Luckily the sugar in milk is a type of fructose that occurs normally within it. But look for abnormal amounts of sugar in milk, it is very possible that they may have sugar loaded that as well.
Controlling your sugar addiction comes down to pure willpower. Find your inner superhero and save yourself from sugar!
After being off of sugar a while, most people actually can’t handle full sweetness anymore. Their taste buds change to a more savory inclined set. This is months down the road though. Don’t expect this change overnight.
And it may be a good idea to pick up some self-control habits. You can find articles about that on the main page of HealthWealth!
We’ve detailed exactly why sugar is addictive, treat, recover and control your addiction. Here is a review.
- Look at labels, they will tell you exactly what’s in your food. Sugar is in quite a lot of things
- Reduce your daily sugar intake by small amounts each day
- Find your willpower to stick with it
- Change your tastebuds gradually, acquire new tastes for better things
And that’s really it! Ensure you are taking care of yourself. Over here at Health is Wealth, we just want to help you overcome the challenges of unhealthiness and unhappiness. If you have any questions feel free to ask below in the comments!