You’ve heard of people being alcohol addicts, drug addicts and even gambling addicts but have you heard of anyone being a sugar addict? It’s a term these days that tends to hold a bit of a controversial standpoint because on the one side there are people who have suffered from what they say is an addiction to sugar and high carb foods and on the other side there are people like scientists who claim that sugar addiction is an unclaimed occurrence and instead they claim people must have an emotional eating disorder.
While this addiction may not YET be deemed a real diagnosis it is widely agreed upon that everyone reacts differently in their response to carbohydrates. It is also worth noting that while some people can get along without feeling dependent on sugary foods, others seem to indeed be more addicted to it and having strong cravings, needing to have to have it. Sometimes when feeling emotional and others all the time, as they feel a sense of withdrawal or like something is missing if they do not have it. Like the meal isn’t complete with a sugar fix added to it. This is different to emotional eating disorder.
Research claims that white sugar and white flour also interferes with the bodies natural signals to the brain that you a full. Meaning that you can eat high volumes of sugar and bread and a few hours later feel hungry again due to the sugar crash and the fact that the signal from your stomach to your brain that you are satisfied has not happened as it should. I don’t want to get scientific here as this is not the point, the point is sugar and bread addiction can be very real for many people struggling to lose weight to deny this and call it an emotional eating disorder causes harm in some cases as some people don’t need emotional eating help, they are happy.
I am sure there are many people like me who never would have categorized myself as addicted to sugar until it was pointed out to me as I was eating savory items. I didn’t equate drinking wine at night and eating bread throughout the day as sugar. I thought that sugar addiction was about wanting to eat biscuits, sweets, ice cream and chocolate but I was wrong. Starchy foods like bread, pasta etc converts to sugar in the body so the sugar craving and spike is the same as eating sweet things. When I did realise and began to cut out certain foods I became free from the physical cravings and stopped binging. That was amazing to be free and not be constantly needing a sugar fix. Then I could assess did I need emotional eating help or not.
I personally don’t believe that labels help anyone, so it’s totally ok if you don’t like the term sugar addiction or sugar addict. It’s about the change you want and nothing else. I recommend if you are relating to the words sugar or bread addiction or emotional eating disorder instead of focusing on the idea that you feel like you have an addiction – because this can leave us feeling helpless and down – look to ways that you can combat this habit towards sugary foods by having a list written out of all the foods that you can eat and love.
If you do have a physical addiction and an emotional craving for sugar you are likely to go through a withdrawal, I’ve done a sugar detox twice and it was hard for about 7 days ,the 5th day being the worse where I felt so cranky, tired and moody I could have punched someone. Thankfully with sugar addiction there are no long-term changes in the neural circuitry of our brains in the same way that other addictive substances seem to affect it. So after about 10 days of a sugar detox you can become free.
I recommend if you are finding yourself overeating on sugar to check out the symptoms below:
You look for carb loaded comfort food
While most people look forward to dinner as a general rule, no matter what they are going to be eating, you might specifically look for comfort foods in the form of carbohydrate-rich foods. While you may think you are just craving a specific kind of comfort food that you enjoy, your body is actually giving a sign that it is craving for sugar.
You constantly look for sugary soda’s or sweet beverages
When you are feeling extremely thirsty, what appeals to you more? A nice tall glass of water or an ice cold coke? People who depend on sugar will always lean towards soft drinks instead of healthier options like water. Sugar-free is included in this catergory too. Being addicted to sugar free is another common food addiction and the problem here is that the drink usually tricks your mind into thinking it is consuming this sugar it seems to be craving but it only leaves you wanting more sugar and thirstier.
Your full but you Justify sugar treats to yourself
Have you ever found yourself justifying why you want to drink that coke instead of choosing a healthier option? Or maybe you work on an system of internal rewards where you ‘reward’ yourself with a sweet treat after doing something like going to the gym or you’ve had a hard day at work? Keep in mind this kind of reward system is only reinforcing a good habit with a bad habit and is not an ideal long-term strategy. For me it was coming to the realisation that it is never a treat to overload my body with food or high sugar, as 2 hours later I am craving more and my stomach can’t cope with it and body wants real nutrition and not the crap I gave it that it then has to eliminate.
You’ve tried to stop, but couldn’t
This is probably one of the biggest reasons people refer to this as an addiction because they truly feel like they cannot break the cycle. They make promises like, I won’t eat bread or sugar tomorrow only when tomorrow comes they find themselves at the store buying more food or raiding the cupboards for left over carbs they can find. Maybe at some point, you’ve tried to cut all sugar out of your diet or at least cut it out majorly but you’ve always broken it and gone back to eating and drinking sugary stuff sometimes in weeks others in days or hours. Sometimes don’t know about you, but I feel I have to have it, I’d go to the supermarket just for one item if I ran out as I feel peace knowing I can have it. Many women I work with to break free from cheese addiction and sugar addiction help, share similar stories, promising they will quit but don’t and then blaming themselves for lacking motivation.
I find people struggle because they are focusing on what they don’t want and cant have rather than positively looking at the benefits. Through my coaching and hypnotherapy I guide men and women to see the benefits of changing their habits. This is the mindset mental focused part of my eating coaching, it’s important to shift the mindset, look at the emotions and physical addictions. These three parts are essential and if the person I work with is spiritual then
You binge on sugar when alone and hide sugary treats
When there is no one around, do you go overboard? Consume things that you would not ordinarily consume if you were surrounded by friends or family? I am sure we all do, well I certainly did and still can if I don’t check in with myself emotionally as to why I am doing it and what I am feeling or avoiding.
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