When most people think of an addiction they think of abusing alcohol or drugs, but the truth is that a large portion of the population is addicted to a simple food that we use every day. Sugar. Is it any wonder that we are becoming an obese planet? Sadly, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave, the fatter you become and the more likely you are to suffer from chronic disease.
Brain Altering Sugar
Researchers have found that sugar affects the brain in the same way that alcohol and drugs do. Studies show that high intake of sugar triggers a chemical in our brains called serotonin, which makes us feel good. Eating a sugary or high carbohydrate food makes you feel happier and more energized. Unfortunately, that feeling is very short lived, and is followed by a crash which leaves most people feeling tired and a bit listless, so they eat another sugary treat. After a while your body craves more and more sugar to give you the same good feeling.
As the amount of sugar you eat increases so does your risk of serious problems including obesity, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. After a while, eating too much sugar may alter the brain receptors that actually regulate how much we eat, leading to constant overeating. A sugar addiction can leave your weight and your health spiraling out of control, leaving you feeling depressed and battling serious health problems.
Breaking The Sugar Addiction
Breaking a sugar addiction is not as straight forward as breaking other addictions. If you are addicted to drugs then to break that addiction you need to stop taking the drugs completely. However, it is almost impossible to quit eating sugar completely as there are many foods that contain hidden sugar.
While some sugar detox diets call for drastic measures such as just eating broccoli, or some other vegetable until you lose the sugar cravings, such a diet is neither healthy nor realistic. After all, it takes days to break a physical addiction, and much longer to break the psychological dependence of an addiction.
Keep in mind that when you begin to decrease those sugar levels two things will happen. You may have some withdrawal symptoms such as feeling jittery and even headaches. You can also experience increased hunger if not replacing sugary foods with healthy alternatives. Replacing that sugary or high carbohydrate treat with a protein food such as a hard-boiled egg, a handful of nuts, or a little lean chicken or turkey with hummus, will help battle that hunger without sugar. The withdrawal symptoms are short lived and can be made more bearable by refocusing your attention on things such as exercise.
The best way to break that sugar addiction is to eat a healthy diet that includes, plenty of lean meat, fresh fish, eggs, vegetables, and limited number of whole grains.
When you decrease the amount of sugar intake, your body and brain will begin to adjust and you will begin to notice that there are a lot of foods that taste sweet without that added sugar. Your sugar cravings will lessen, you’ll feel less tired and your health will slowly begin to improve. In a month or two down the road, you will find that you won’t even miss that excess sugar and you’ll be experiencing a massive difference in your health and wellbeing.