You can’t live without it? You can’t control yourself? The more you get, the more you want? You need it in the morning, noon and night? You always need a fix!
A sugar fix that is!
Of course, it can be hard to resist all those sweet treats, and here in North America we are the highest consumers of daily sugar with an average consumption of 126g per day according to the Diabetes Council. (Add the source please Diana)
Check this out for thought, the amount of sugar found in one 12oz soda (Example: Coca Cola) is as much sugar as if you consumed 1 orange, 16 strawberries, and 2 plums. Take a minute to think about that…that’s one drink being equivalent to more fruit (good foods eat) than you probably consume in one day! The big difference is that the soda is refined artificial sugar vs the fruit which is natural healthy sugar that you want and should be consuming.
As noted above with the soda vs fruit example, you need to remember that not all sugars are bad. You get natural sugars from fruits and vegetables and foods that contain milk (lactose) like yogurt and cream. However, it’s the artificial sugars you need to be concerned about and watch your consumption of. These artificial sugars are found in things like candies, sodas, fruit drinks, cookies, baked goods, processed foods and so many more.
Sugar addiction has been compared to cocaine addiction as it affects the brain similarly.
Here a few signs to determine if you’re addicted to sugar :
- You have Low Energy: Have you ever experienced a “sugar crash?” Well the chocolate bar or cookie might give you that momentary boost that you thought you were looking for by raising your blood sugar levels, but it doesn’t last. That boost of energy ends up resulting in a large “crash” when your body tries to regulate again, and the more sugar you consume the harder it is for your body to regulate. Your body needs energy, but sugar is not the “fuel” that’s going to keep you going long term. It can also affect the way you sleep with the International Sleep Foundation explaining that the more sugar you consume during a day, the more you will wake-up in the middle of the night. Even if you don’t fully wake, the sugar in your system, can prevent you from reaching the deep sleep that you need to avoid being tired the next day. Start thinking about how much sugar you’re consuming and when during the day if you’re feeling tired, not sleeping well, or having midday crashes.
- You Crave Sweets: Are you eating healthy meals but always feeling the need to have some type of dessert when you’re finished? Maybe you always have those chips or a few pieces of chocolate as your afternoon snack and have been telling yourself that it’s normal you just need a little pick-me-up to get thru the day. Well this is a sign that you might be addicted to sugar. When your blood sugar drops it actually increases your cravings and the more sugar you’ve been consuming the more you’re going to crave it. Start observing how often you crave sweets and if it happens at certain times of the day, how often it happens, what’s your mood and most important how do you satisfy that craving? I’m going to bet most of you aren’t grabbing that piece of fruit over that cookie.
- You Crave Salty Foods: Suddenly you’re reaching for the pretzels or Tostitos instead of the chocolate bar, why the change you’re thinking? Well one answer can be that when you are addicted to sugar, your body is not actually getting enough of the nutrients that it requires. You are most likely not eating enough proteins and healthy fats that your body requires for fuel. The change in craving to salty foods is your bodies subtle way of telling you, that you are depleted and need to help your body rebalance. The reverse can also occur in that if you normally eat to many salty products and start craving sugar and simple carbohydrates, you are lacking in nutrients as well.
- No Sugar = Not Feeling Well: Have you ever gotten “withdrawal” symptoms like headaches, nausea, feeling lethargic, or bloating when you don’t have sugar? Well any of these symptoms can be signs that you have a sugar addiction. Your body is showing distress because you are altering the way you normally eat and trying to essentially detox. In order to help lower the severity of the symptoms, a great way to detox off of sugar is to slowly reduce vs going cold turkey.
- Weight Gain: Yes, the dreaded weight gain can be linked to sugar consumption. This can be attributed to so many reasons as sugar affects you in more ways than you are probably thinking. 1. It is empty calories and not filling: as noted above you could have 3 different types of fruit which would be more filling than that one soda, 2. You’re choosing a “treat” over having a healthier option that is rich in vitamins and nutrients, 3. The potential to overeat is increased, 4. It impacts your blood sugar and hormones, 5. Increases risk of obesity and other diseases.
Can you relate to one or multiple of the symptoms above? If you just said YES, this is your sign that you might be addicted to sugar! You can over come your sugar addiction with changes to your diet and some will power to start, but think about how great you will be feeling with natural energy not that 3pm pickme up! Leave a COMMENT BELOW to let myself and other readers know how you address your sugar addiction!
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