Breaking Sugar Addiction

By Maria M. Moller

If you can't say no to candy, cookies and soda, you may be one of millions of people who are addicted to sugar. For some people, sugar acts like a drug in the body, and like any other drug, can cause an initial high followed by withdrawal symptoms.Symptoms of sugar addiction include,powerful cravings for sugar, refined carbohydrates or alcohol,mood swings,anxiety,depression,irritability or anger,fatigue,headaches,dizziness,feeling better after eating sugar,It's not just lack of willpower - it really is an addiction,Studies have shown that sugar has a similar effect to cocaine, morphine and other drugs of addiction. Eating large amounts of sugar releases a brain chemical called dopamine that makes you feel alert, energized, motivated and enthusiastic. But over time, sugar reduces the brain's sensitivity to dopamine and you start to become addicted to sugar - you need more dopamine just to feel normal and without a sugar hit to boost your dopamine production, you feel sluggish, tired, foggy and irritable.[]

This helps to explain why anything that is pleasurable can potentially also be addictive. If you want to break your sugar addiction, I therefore recommend a two-pronged strategy. On the one hand you need to deal with the psychological side of your addiction, but you also need to think about how to reduce your cravings physiologically, by doing things that will help to make healthy alterations to your brain chemistry.One of the most pernicious aspects of sugar addiction is that it can easily foster binge eating in general. Repeatedly consuming large amounts of sugar can cause your insulin system to become somewhat reactive and unstable. Dips in blood sugar bring about general food cravings, and tend to push your appetite to get out of control. The presence or absence of an addiction to sugar can well make the difference between being able to control your eating habits, and being completely out of control

L-Glutamine is an amino acid (a building block of protein) that the brain can use for fuel when blood sugar is low. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. 2 tsp taken three times a day between meals is usually enough to eliminate cravings, but if you do still get cravings, try sprinkling a little glutamine powder underneath your tongue and letting it dissolve - your cravings will disappear almost instantly.Research has shown that 3000 mcg per day of a B vitamin called biotin helps eliminate cravings and stabilize blood sugar in people with both low blood sugar and high blood sugar. In addition, zinc, vitamin E, several other B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids can all help maintain blood sugar and reduce cravings.

Signs and symptoms you're a sugar addict.Up to 60% or more of your diet is made up of high glycaemic carbs.You have strong cravings for sweet, sugary foods throughout the day.You struggle to give up bread, chocolate, alcohol and sugary drinks.You often finish whole packets of sweets or biscuits in one sitting.You serve yourself extra portions of rice or pasta even when you're full.You finish leftover bread, rice or pasta from other people's plates.You buy chocolate or sweets for your family but eat them yourself.When you are denied access to sugary foods you become irritable and low.When you eat sugary foods after withdrawal just one piece triggers a binge.The moment you eat sugary foods after withdrawal you feel an instant rush.

If you find it hard to eat fruit, as I used to (partly because if you eat a lot of artificially-sweet things like chocolate and ice-cream, fruit will not taste very sweet to you), try making fruit salads. Chop up your favorite fruits, mix them together and enjoy a generously-sized bowl every day.Be aware that fruit varies in quality, so you may need to hunt around to find fruit that's to your taste. Not all apples are created equal! Also make sure your fruit is ripe before you consume it. You may need to leave fruit in your kitchen to ripen for a few days after buying.

If you find preparing fruit boring, experiment with finding the fastest ways to prepare salads (you should be able to get preparation time down to around 5-10 minutes with a little practice), and get into the habit of preparing them at the same time every day. You can keep a fruit salad reasonably fresh all day in an air-tight plastic container. Even fruits like apples and bananas, which turn brown if chopped and left out in the air, will remain fairly fresh if mixed with juicy fruits such as chopped oranges or grapes and sealed in an air-tight sandwich box.

Good combinations to try for fruit salads are:apple, banana, orange,melon, grapes, banana,Peach, orange, melon Don't be tempted to use canned fruit. For reasons that I don't understand, it just doesn't seem to curb sugar cravings in the same way. And as for dried fruit -- stay off it! It is so high in sugar that it may make your cravings worse.You also have to be careful of fruit smoothies, which can be high calorie if mixed with cream. However, sometimes when I find myself back in the grip of a strong addiction, I like to use the 'nuclear option' of banana milkshakes to help get myself off sugar. Use a kitchen blender to blend ripe bananas with semi-skimmed milk. You can also freeze ripe bananas and blend them while still semi-frozen for a deliciously-sweet drink that tastes so good you won't believe it's good for you.Alongside consuming fruit daily, also consider getting aerobic exercise. Aerobic, or cardiovascular exercise ("cardio") has powerful appetite-suppressing and craving-suppressing effects. Amazingly, recent studies show that this type of exercise even causes parts of your brain to grow in size, leading to higher mental acuity.

Sugar Is as Addictive as Cocaine.Studies show that sugar activates reward centers in the brain very similar to cocaine. It's time to take control of your health. You have the choice. The craving for carbs like bread and pasta creates the same response as eating sugar. When you eat high calorie carbohydrates like a plate of pasta, it leads to spikes in blood sugar followed by the inevitable crash which leads to more cravings for carbs.

Why Manage Sugar Addiction.The good news is that if you lower your consumption of sugar, you will also lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. But for many of us, this is easier said than done. Most Americans eat and drink sweets without giving much thought to damaging effects it has on the body. This is why you need to end your sugar addiction starting now!

To help deal with your cravings psychologically, try to replace your regular sugar consumption with doing something else enjoyable instead. Watch TV or play computer games if you have to; do whatever you need to, to get through the first difficult couple of weeks of craving.If you are overweight, ask yourself whether you want that chocolate bar or you want to be thin. You probably can't have both. Don't allow yourself to think that you can defer the challenge indefinitely; recognize that your cravings have to be faced head-on. If you particularly crave sugar at certain times of the day, brace yourself for a battle.If you prepare sufficiently by eating fruit and preferably exercising too, you can reduce your cravings to a manageable level, then you can start winning your battle with your cravings. After a few weeks you won't even remember why you had such terrible problems in the first place.Change Your Life Scientifically.Break sugar addiction, lose weight, ditch your boss or move to another country.At Fascinating Experiments we discuss how to gain control of your life so that you can do the things that you want to do.Among other things, we look at ways of making money at home, how to get more money in your existing job, how to change career, and how to lose weight and increase your energy levels; with a focus on concrete steps you can take without spending any money and without signing up to dubious programs or buying dubious products.

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