We all look for a sweet fix now and then. I know I do! And having a sweet tooth craving once in a while is common. But, how do you know if you are addicted?
What is sugar addiction and why should You be concerned?
Simply put, a sugar addiction is the psychological or emotional reliance on sugary foods and drinks. When you eat sugar, your brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine and you get a short-term good feeling and boost of energy.
The addiction comes into play when you begin to count on those feelings. The problem is that your brain starts to adjust and so you then need to eat more and more sugar to get that same feeling.
Eating sugar in moderate amounts is not too bad. However, recent studies are showing a growing trend of excessive sugar consumption. For those who indulge in sugar, this can lead to multiple health and psychological issues such as heart disease, obesity, and depression.
So how do you know if your body is addicted to sugar?
You consume large amounts of food or drinks loaded with sugar
Eating this way is one of the most obvious telltale signs of sugar addiction. Here’s just a small sampling of foods laden with sugar.
- Juice or juice drinks
- Fruit (fresh, dried, canned or packaged)
- Sports, vitamin, or energy drinks
- Protein, cereal, or snack bars
- Sauces (tomato, spaghetti, barbeque)
- Condiments (ketchup)
- Salad dressing
- Low-fat processed foods
- Chocolate milk or hot cocoa
- Flavored coffee
- Iced tea
- Breakfast cereal or granola
- Flavoured yogurt
You need to eat or snack all day
It many not be just candy, cake, and chocolate that you are craving. All carbs, including the carbs in fruits and vegetables, turn into sugar in your body. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, intense cravings throughout the day for bread, pasta, chips, and baked goods could be a sign of sugar addiction.
You make excuses
If you find yourself coming up with reasons to justify why it’s ok to consume specific sugary foods or drinks, it could be a telling sign you have a sugar addiction. Here are a few common excuses you may notice yourself using to explain why you’re eating or drinking sugary foods.
I’ll just have a little.
I can stop any time.
It’s a protein bar (some bars are high in sugar)
You hide the sugary goods
Do you hide the sweets in the back of the cupboards or the far corner of the pantry so no one can see them? Or sneak around to eat your sugary treats and desserts? Do you lie to yourself or others about what and how much you eat? These are typical signs of an addiction.
Oh, I can remember doing that. I thought I was getting away with it when, in fact, I was only hurting myself. It is crazy how we can fool ourselves!
You can’t get enough
Every time you eat something sweet, your body craves more. You start to need more and more sugar to satisfy your craving, and your sugar cravings increase the longer you go without it.
It could be a sign your brain has become desensitized, and you’ve built up a tolerance for sweets.
If I can stay away from sugar during the day, I am good. But, the minute I eat something sweet, that’s it, I crave it for the rest of the day!
You’ve tried to quit and went through withdrawal symptoms
If you’ve attempted to quit or cut back before, but experienced headaches, nausea, mental fog, involuntary shaking, or mood changes when you didn’t have your typical treat, it could be signs of withdrawal.
Other symptoms to look for include cravings, insomnia, muscle pain, lethargy, gas, and bloating.
More telltale signs of sugar addiction
- You crave sugary food and drinks or high-carb foods.
- You think about and want sugar every day.
- You eat when you’re bored or stressed, become hyper then crash or feel sluggish or fatigued.
- You’re overweight and carry excess fat around your abdomen.
- You have wrinkles.
- You have tooth problems.
- You have gut issues.
- You have sore joints
- You have inflammation
If you see yourself in any of this, it does not mean you are doomed! Take it as an eye opener and start to cut back on your sugar consumption.
Now that you know some of the common signs your body is addicted to sugar, I’d love to hear from you.
Can you relate to any of this? How has it affected your life and the people around you? Let me know in the comments.
If you would like help breaking up with sugar, feel free to reach out to me and I can help you with your break up!
Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach
Certified Workplace Wellness Consultant
https://www.facebook.com/groups/anitasagingwithvitality/ (40 and over)
PS. Join Anita’s Aging with Vitality Facebook group and pick up some more tips and strategies to help you cut back on sugar.
PSS Starting Oct. 9, 2019, join me in a 6-week Focus on Healthy Eating and Mindful Living Program. Learn how to make lasting lifestyle changes that will have you feeling good, looking good and overall healthy! For more information, click the link below.
When I started the FOHE program I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am so glad that I decided to sign up! The program helped me to identify my food related challenges and work on them without cutting out all the food I love. I am walking away from the program with so many more tools (and drinking more water!) to continue living my 80/20 lifestyle! Definitely worth following.