I had a serious problem with sugar most of my life.
Growing up I had at least 2 sodas a day as well as having sweetened iced tea or Snapple. I loved my Halloween bags, Easter baskets, and Christmas stockings because I’d have candy for days. For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with chewy candies like Twizzlers, jelly beans, Airheads, and Starburst. I had a candy drawer in our house in case I needed a quick sugar rush. I used to need something sweet for dessert every night and got in the habit of drinking a few diet sodas a day (which is filled with those terrible chemical sweeteners). These things turned into a need, not a want, and sugar and diet soda were things I could not do without. The sugar releases endorphins that give us that natural “high” and I loved my sugar rushes.
crash and you become tired, fatigued, and lethargic.
I had no idea it could happen but I was actually addicted to sugar.
Sugar qualifies as an addictive substance for two reasons:
Sugar causes inflammation in the body. Some health issues caused by sugar are:
Suppressed immune system
Increased risk of osteoporosis
Higher risk of prostate and ovarian cancer
How I finally kicked my sugar addiction
1. The biggest aid in fighting my addiction was doing a detox. Since I was not “allowed” to have sugar on the program, I didn’t have if for a whole week. Sure, the first few days were really hard but I got through them and by the end of the week, I did not feel the need to have any of my previous sugar obsessions. I now limit my sugar intake because if I have too much, I want more. When I do indulge a bit too much, I do one of my detoxes to reset myself and I feel better in no time.
2. Once I finished my first detox, I knew I couldn’t have sugar around the house much. It’s best to identify sugar in the products you eat so you know if any sugar could be hiding. Sure we know that ice cream and cookies have sugar but may people would be surprised how much sugar is in other products you purchase without even realizing it. Read food labels and check to see if the words sugar, syrup, or any of the “oses” like dextrose, sucrose, glucose, lactose, etc. come up – especially in the first 5 ingredients. If they do, be careful when buying these products if you have a sugar problem.
3. You can also train your taste buds to enjoy things that aren’t as sweet. You don’t have to give up all sweet things, just get it from other sources than processed sugars. Natural sugar, like the kind you find in whole fruit, contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber and will not spike your blood sugar like the processed sugar will. Berries and melon contain some of the lowest sugar content whereas bananas, dates, cherries, and grapes contain some of the highest.
4. Eating protein is an easy way to curb sugar cravings. High-protein foods digest more slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer so you have less of a craving for sugar. I notice when I have nuts or beans my sugar cravings are greatly reduced.