The complexities of overcoming a sugar addiction are often misunderstood and underestimated by the addict as well as others around. It’s just sugar after all; all you have to do is stop eating sugary stuff! This could be a common misconception that many of us could have.
Understanding is the first step towards overcoming a sugar addiction
Research has shown that sugar consumption can act like an analgesic drug on the brain. Sugar addiction is known to create a measurable physiological state by activating certain opioid receptors in the brain. This is why, one can become as dependent on sugar as some drugs.
The sweet taste of sugar is seen to stimulate the beta endorphin receiver sites within the brain, rather like the kind of stimulation offered by morphine and heroin which is why overcoming sugar addiction can be so difficult.
Because sugar impacts dopamine and opioid in the brain, it has the potential to become addictive and is known to cause craving, bingeing and withdrawal symptoms as well.
Rats were fed sugar solution along with their food and after a month, they became dependent upon the sugar solution, choosing to have more of it than their regular food.
Tips for overcoming a sugar addiction
- Make diet modifications to eliminate simple sugars and gradually replace these with complex sugars found in fruit and dried fruit. Replace colas with unsweetened whole fruit juice, rather than ice cream, have frozen pureed fruit.
- Keep your diet varied so that you are getting adequate nutrients from complex carbs such as whole grain, from lean protein and healthy fats. Nutrient deficiencies could trigger cravings so avoid these and help yourself in overcoming a sugar addiction.
- Take a multivitamin if required, so that you have no nutrient deficiencies triggering your sugar cravings.
- Don’t get sugary stuff into the house. Not only sugar, but also brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup – avoid buying foods will all of these sugary ingredients.
- Don’t let yourself get ravenously hungry because this will trigger the kind of cravings that may be more difficult to control. Remember this when you go out especially. If you’re hungry when you’re out, it may be easier to give in to the temptation of a sweet treat.