How To Break Your Sugar Addiction For Better Health And Wellbeing
Why Food Addiction Is Such A Big Problem
Food addictions can lead to obesity and complications such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, when people think about their health as it relates to food, they rarely think about sugar as being one of the core issues.
They think about sugar as an addiction even less. If you are concerned about yourself or a family member, and that sugar addiction may be a core cause of issues, here are some things to consider about what sugar addiction actually is.
Brain versus Food
The first thing to know about sugar addiction is how the brain works on sugar. It truly becomes a battle of your brain versus food. Sugar can cause your brain to have a large release of dopamine.
Dopamine works with the regulators in your brain, and when large amounts are released these regulators are dulled. This means that it takes more and more sugar to get the same feeling as the first time. So, where as a small cupcake may have been enough for you, overtime it will take two or more to get the same feeling.
Sugar can give you a sense of having energy, like you would get from an energy shot or natural energy. The truth is, it is false energy. Sugar gives your body a rush that allows it to get a small boost. When this boost is gone, you have what is known as a sugar crash.
This crash can leave you feeling tired or it can leave you feeling tired along with having a migraine or light headedness. This crash is hard to get over and, in some cases, can leave you with no alternative but to end your day and get some rest.
Sugar addiction causes an overstimulation of the system. It causes your body to have a reaction that makes you jumpy or anxious. This can, at first, be confused with just being excited or energetic. The problem is that you need to have more and more sugar to get that same reaction. This ties directly to the release of the dopamine and how more than your brain reacts to it.
Your nerves, cells, and body system as a whole become used to the sugar and begin to crave it. It makes your body feel like the only way you can get the boost you need is through sugar. In this way, it is just like any other drug addiction, tricking your body into needing the chemical to keep going.
These are not all the signs and key points of sugar addiction. However, these are the most common and most noticeable. They can also be easily reversed by lowering your sugar intake and noticing your sugar levels throughout the day.
The Dangers of Being Addicted to Sugar
You may think sugar addiction is something that only has side effects such as obesity. The truth is, there are many other angers related to being addicted to sugar. These dangers can cause a variety of health issues an issues in your daily life. In fact, you may not even realize what foods and sources of sugar are causing your addiction, or at the very least contributing to it.
Here are a few dangers to consider, where the hidden sources may be located, and what to do to reduce each danger risk.
When you eat a large amount of sugar your brain reacts to that sugar. This can cause a number of reactions, including energy bursts. When this happens, your regulators are dulled over time. This means that you are not feeling the full effects of the sugar and what it is doing to your system.
It also means that more and more sugar is needed overtime to get you the energy you need or the reaction you once had to the original amounts of sugar. When you do not have the amounts of sugar your body has now become used to, you end up with a migraine headache. If you already get headaches, you may notice a severe increase in these headaches and the headaches getting worse.
Hypertension is a severe danger with a sugar addiction. This danger refers to the increased amount of high blood pressure in the system. High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and circulation issues throughout the body. It can also cause your blood vessels to become smaller and narrower which affects your entire body and the blood flow through it. By reducing just a small amount of sugar, for example omitting sugary drinks, you can avoid this danger and reduce the risks.
One of the dangers that most people do not consider are the effects sugar addictions have on your metabolic system. These dangers include fat deposits in your cells that can cause problems with obesity, weight loss and problems with the way certain cells function in your body. It also causes fat deposits in the blood which can make circulation and blood flow difficult, especially with hypertension dangers that may already be present.
These are the most common dangers. There are many other dangers to consider. If you feel that you or a family member has a sugar addiction, consider taking steps to remove or reduce sugar content in your daily diet and get your health back on track.
Hidden Sources of Sugar
You have been working on your diet and doing well. You are working towards a healthy diet and clean eating. You are even working toward goals like 5k runs and exercise groups.
The problem is, you have been told by your nutritionist or doctor that your sugar levels are still not in a good range. You have removed soda, processed sugars, and sweets. Now you are left with wondering where the sugar is coming from.
Here are a few hidden sources of sugar and what you need to do to remove them from your daily diet.
Fancy Coffee Drinks
You may not think about coffee when you think about hidden sugars in your diet. The truth is, your one packet of sugar that you do not think about adding, can add up during the day. You can end up with a large amount of sugar if you drink several cups of coffee a day.
On top of that, coffee drinks that are specialty drinks may have much larger amounts of sugar than you think. Though you can request the nutrition facts, there may be artificial flavors that have sugar in them that are not listed separately.
You may think that you are being healthy by picking up a juice instead of a soft drink. The truth about pre-made juices is that many of them do not contain real juice. Most of them contain a small percentage of juice combined with a large amount of sweeteners and sugars.
This is something that many people do not consider. Instead the thought of drinking a healthy fruit juice is the only thought that comes to mind. To avoid this issue, consider getting a juice that is organic and full juice and check the grams of sugar on the nutrition facts before you buy.
Frozen and TV Dinners
Frozen dinners rarely come to mind as a hiding spot for sugars. In many cases, sugars are used as more than just a sweetener for the small amount of dessert. Sugars can be found in most frozen dinners, even savory ones. For example, dinners like lasagna and meatloaf or salisbury steak have sugars in them to help sweeten sauces and gravy.
To avoid this, you can make your own frozen dinners and that way you know what is going into your pre-made food. It also gives you the option of having food on demand instead of making the choice to get something quick that can be heated but may be loaded with sugar.
Ready -Made Health Drinks
Health drinks, like smoothies, are like pre-made juices. They may seem like a healthy choice and good idea but they are not necessarily a good choice.
Some smoothies contain sweetened milk as well as sugar based yogurts or fruits with very high natural sugar contents. Instead, make your health drinks like protein based drinks as well as smoothies at home. You know exactly what is going into your drinks and you can control the fruits and natural sugars.
There is always an alternative to sugar that is healthy. You do not have to go with a chemical sugar substitute either. Keep that in mind when you begin to remove sugar in these hidden sources before you jump to the conclusion that there is no replacement option and that these hidden sources will just have to stay in your diet.
The Stages of Quitting Sugar
When you read magazines and health reports online, you are given the picture that quitting sugar is a simple one step process. Just find or use an alternative and quitting can happen overnight. The truth with this is that there are actually stages of quitting sugar. You can not just drop it without side effects and backlash from your system.
Here are the stages of quitting sugar, how to start them, and what to know about making each one work for you in your daily life.
Removing Known Sugars
The first step to quitting sugars is to remove all the known sugars in your diet. This means removing drinks, even diet drinks that contain sugars. You also want to remove sugars that are artificial. Both cause health risks and dangers.
Remove processed foods that contain high sugar contents as well. By just removing known sugars from your diet you can reduce the amount of risks and sugars that are causing you health issues. This may seem like the simplest and easiest step, but honestly t can be the hardest step for some people and the hardest to make choices during.
The second step is the detoxing process. You need to do a cleanse that removes the buildup from your system. There is no precise amount of time the detox process can take. One day, three days, or up to a month may be necessary to remove the buildup in your system and reset your system. One of the ways to do this is a clean eating diet that gives you good food, solid nutrition, and vitamins. Once you go through this process you can move onto a healthy diet.
There are certain side effects that you need to prepare for. One of the most common is headaches. Headaches from the lack of stimulation and sugar can start within the same day and can become increasingly painful as time goes on.
One way you can deal with the headaches are natural methods like meditation or essential oils. This can help reduce the effects or help you get through the headaches that may last for several days or weeks depending on how long your sugar addiction has lasted.
By taking it stage slowly, you can ensure that you will be able to handle the process easily. It will not happen overnight. It will take time and you do need to be patient through this process. You will be rewarded with a higher health score with your doctor and the removal of risk factors related to sugar and sugar addiction.
Tips For Getting Through Sugar Cravings
Sugar cravings are the hardest part of starting a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true if you are dealing with sugar addiction related to hidden sugar in foods or high levels of sugar in your daily diet. In fact, sugar cravings can lead to you going off your diet plan and to completely derail from your health goals. If you need to remove sugar from your diet and cut down on the sugar cravings, here are some tips to help you.
Have an Alternative
One of the easiest ways to get over or through sugar cravings is to have an alternative.
You want something to grab instead of the bad choice, so that you can still get the sweet taste without the side effects. Some options are fruits, dried fruits, flavored powders for foods, and things like greek yogurt instead of ice cream.
All of these options can be a suitable alternative for your normal sugar cravings. Remember, there are healthy choices like pure organic honey, cinnamon, and natural flavored powders.
Smell Instead of Tasting
Sometimes your brain needs to be near the sugar and that is enough. This plays into the idea of smelling the sugar instead of tasting the sugar.
You can get sweet scented items, go to a bakery, or to a grocery store. Just smell the cupcakes, the sweets, and the chocolate. This can sometimes trigger something in your brain that stops the craving, and lets you move onto a better choice.
In fact, often times the frostings that are used on cupcakes or cookies can be so overwhelmingly sweet that the smell stops the craving and makes you feel a bit ill just smelling the craving you are having.
Drink Infused Water
You may have heard of infused water, but it usually refers to a method of getting
more water into your system. What you can do with infused water is use natural fruits to sweeten the water. You can then have it on hand when you have a craving for something sweet.
You are getting the sugar taste when you drink the water all while hydrating your body and getting some nutrients from the infused fruits that you need. Some options are apple cinnamon infused water, orange and mint, or lemon.
By incorporating these tips and combining them into a plan, you can ensure that you are covered through any sugar cravings you have. You will also move towards healthier choices to replace sugars and help your body reach the goals you have set.