Advertisement

addiction to sugar

10 Tactics for Overcoming Sugar Addiction

Breaking an addiction to sugar isn't easy, but you can do it—and feel better afterwards.

By Jeffrey Rossman, PhD


10 Tactics for Overcoming Sugar Addiction

Too much sugar? The average American eats up to 30 teaspoons a day.

Are you addicted to sugar?

When I ask that question, most people attending my weight-management lectures raise their hand. Addiction to sugar is stronger for some people than others, but the truth is sugar is a powerfully addictive substance. If you’ve overindulged in cookies, candy, cake, or ice cream—and who hasn't, at some point—you know its seductive pull. Food manufacturers bank on it when they load sugar into soft drinks, breakfast cereal, soups, salad dressings, spaghetti sauce, energy bars, and even catsup. As a result, most of us develop a strong craving for sweets, without even realizing how much sugar we consume on a daily basis.

Addiction to sugar is probably more common than you think. Americans consume an average of 20 to 30 teaspoons (about ½ cup!) daily of this substance, which has been linked to a variety of health problems, including obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), attention and memory problems, hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression. Every month a new study comes out adding to the list of dangers posed by consuming sugar and its cousins, high-fructose corn syrup, maltose, and dextrose. Despite the risks, we continue to eat sugar because it is so addictive.

In fact, sugar meets all the criteria for an addictive substance:

• It stimulates release of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, in a manner similar to alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs of abuse.

• People eat it compulsively, despite negative consequences and the intention to stop.

• With continued use, people develop a tolerance to its effects.

• Heavy sugar consumers have trouble functioning without it.

• When consumption ceases, withdrawal symptoms occur.

WHAT IT MEANS: Breaking free from a dependency on sugar is easier said than done. Because the roots of sugar addiction are both physical and emotional, you need a combination of physical and psychological approaches. The less you eat sugar, the less you will crave it. If you get withdrawal symptoms, know they will only last a few days and then you’ll feel more balanced and energetic than ever.

These 10 recommendations will make it easier to get a sugar problem under control.

#1: Keep sugar and sugar products out of your house. This includes white and brown sugar, corn syrup, and maple syrup.

#2: Eat enough healthy food to satisfy your hunger. Eat healthy, whole food snacks like fruit, carrots, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, dates, and dried fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. Drink plenty of water, too. Add a little fruit juice to sweeten iced tea, carbonated water, and other sugar-free drinks. Frozen fruit, whole or pureed, makes a delicious alternative to ice cream. Once you have cleared sugar from your system, your taste buds will become more sensitive, and these whole natural foods will taste sweeter and more satisfying. If you slow down and eat mindfully, you’ll enjoy these foods even more.

#3: Eat three regular meals each day that combine complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole grains, and fruits), lean protein (poultry, fish, meat, dairy, tofu) and healthy fats (milk, cheese, omega-3’s, olive oil and other cold-pressed oils). This will help you maintain a steady blood sugar level throughout the day and reduce your sugar cravings. Eating a diet high in fiber also helps to reduce sugar cravings.

#4: Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Chromium picolinate and l-glutamine help to reduce cravings for some people.

#5: When you go out, make sure you are not ravenously hungry, especially if sugary sweets will be the only food available. Bring your own healthy snacks with you, or eat before going out.

#6: Get regular exercise, plenty of sunlight, and adequate sleep to reduce sugar cravings.

#7: Learn to identify and manage cravings that are not a result of physical hunger, but instead are rooted in stress or anxiety. Develop alternative ways of managing stress: Take a walk, call a friend, read a book, play with your pet, watch a movie. Breathe, meditate, listen to music, or take a hot bath to activate your body’s relaxation response. Relaxation helps to balance your blood sugar and reduce cravings.

#8: If you have turned to sugar to deal with uncomfortable feelings, learn to identify the specific feelings and respond appropriately to them. If you are tired, take a break or rest, rather than trying to persevere in the face of fatigue. If you are bored, find something stimulating to do. If you are lonely, reach out to a friend. Overcoming your sugar addiction involves really paying attention to what you are feeling, and giving yourself what you really need instead of using sugar as a substitute.

#9: If you do overindulge in sugar, acknowledge that you slipped, and get back on track as soon as possible. Let go of the guilt and shame. Eating sugar is unhealthy, but it’s not a sin. As with other addictions, it doesn't matter if you need multiple attempts to quit, just that you keep trying until it sticks.

#10: Be kind to yourself. To end the struggle with sugar, learn to nourish your body well and respond compassionately to your own feelings. The best sugar substitute is genuine self-acceptance.

Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, is director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts, and author of The Mind-Body Mood Solution.

Filed Under: MIND-BODY-MOOD ADVISOR, NUTRITION

Published on: June 1, 2010



More from our Authors

Break the grip that hidden sugar has over your appetite and cravings, and lose up to 16 pounds in 32 days! Have you been sugarjacked? Click here to learn more.

meizitang botanical slim Much

meizitang botanical slim Much less chest troubles meizitang botanical slimming soft gel weight loss is quite meizitang botanical slimming a lot less chest, botanical slim that is true, specifically botanical slimming gel operating and jumping rope, meizitang botanical slimming strong version both of these sports botanical slimming gel activities is still injured meizitang botanical knee.

It’s hard to find

It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
essay help | essay writing help | uk essay writing

ggod to avoid sweet..

Ya.. specially at teen age we all get attracted to chocolates and cookies which contain high calories due to major amount of sugar. And its very difficult to avoid such food. But ya at certain agr we all feel need to reduce sugar items. your post is good on this topic. Thanks for sharing.
ISO 14001 audit

RE:

If you get withdrawal symptoms, know they will only last a few days and then you’ll feel more balanced and energetic than ever. logo Design Pros

RE:

As a result, most of us develop a strong craving for sweets, without even realizing how much sugar we consume on a daily basis.WEVAC University

RE:

You happen to be always extremely kind to readers like me and aid me in my lifestyle. Thank you.accredited high school diploma

Oslo Hotels

Many thanks for being our instructor on this area. I actually enjoyed your article greatly and most of all liked how you handled the issues I widely known as controversial. You happen to be always extremely kind to readers like me and aid me in my lifestyle. Thank you. Oslo Hotels

toulouse guide

I am speechless. It is a superb weblog and very engaging too. Nice paintings! That’s now not truly so much coming from an newbie publisher like me, but it’s all I may just say after diving into your posts. Great grammar and vocabulary. No longer like other blogs. You truly recognise what you?re speaking approximately too. Such a lot that you made me wish to explore more. Your blog has grow to be a stepping stone for me, my friend. Toulouse Hotels

Rimini travel

Throughout the great pattern of things you get an A+ just for hard work. Exactly where you lost us ended up being in the particulars. You know, they say, details make or break the argument.. And that could not be much more accurate in this article. Having said that, allow me inform you what did give good results. Your text is actually highly powerful which is probably why I am making an effort to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Second, whilst I can certainly notice a jumps in logic you make, I am not sure of just how you appear to connect your details which help to make the actual final result. For now I shall subscribe to your point however hope in the near future you connect the facts much better. Rimini Hotels

travelguide_ostend

I’ve been reading your entries right through my morning holiday, and I will have to admit the entire article has been very enlightening and very well written. I believed I would will let you recognize that for a few explanation why this blog does no longer view smartly in Internet Explorer 51. I want Microsoft might forestall converting their software. I’ve a query for you. Could you thoughts changing blog roll links? That will be in point of fact neat! Ostend Hotels

Niceblog, Alicante

I’m impressed, I have to say. Really rarely must i encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and ok , i’ll tell you, you have hit the nail to the head. Your idea is actually outstanding; the issue is something that insufficient people are speaking smartly about. I am very happy we stumbled across this in my seek out something relating to the following. Cheap Hotels in Alicante

Niceblog, Bilbao

Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor. Cheap hotels in Bilbao

goodwebposting

I have been studying your entries all the way through my morning holiday, and I should admit the entire article has been very enlightening and very well written. I assumed I’d mean you can understand that for a few reason this blog does not view smartly in Internet Explorer 8. I want Microsoft might prevent converting their software. I’ve a question for you. Might you mind changing weblog roll hyperlinks? That may be in reality neat! Interlaken Hotels

niceweb, Basel

I’ve been reading your entries right through my morning holiday, and I will have to admit the entire article has been very enlightening and very well written. I believed I would will let you recognize that for a few explanation why this blog does no longer view smartly in Internet Explorer 49. I want Microsoft might forestall converting their software. I’ve a query for you. Could you thoughts changing blog roll links? That will be in point of fact neat! Basel Hotels

Sugar

Yes, being addicted to sugar is definitely one of my biggest problems. I really liked your tip, the less you eat sugar, the less you will crave it. Let's hope it works :)
וילות נופש

such great information

What a great article. I definitely struggle with this at times myself. Though I am really helped when I stop and contemplate what it is doing inside my body once I ingest it. For example, especially when you are sick it can keep you from getting better as quickly. It also contributes to my belly fat, messes with my blood sugar, and my ability to focus after the crash.

I have to stop and ask myself how it is contributing to my body's health, which of course it's not. There are times, however, when consuming small amounts of less-processed sugar can be useful, specifically in regards to exercising.

And if I am going to splurge, I like to use blackstrap molasses. It is 60 calories a tablespoon, and is high in potassium, magnesium, iron, and even has some calcium in it. It has a deliciously strong flavor that I really enjoy in some instances.

As a side note, honey is in fact higher on the glycemic index than sugar and while if it's local is purported to help with seasonal allergies it otherwise has little documented benefit to offer.

One other option to explore might be agave syrup. While it is not sugar-free, it is significantly lower on the glycemic index and still sweet to most people.

The biggest thing to remember is to consume things in moderation, which requires you to be cognizant of what you are putting in your body. Food is supposed to be fuel for your body, not a craving that you satisfy. There are countless ways to enjoy food without consuming too much sugar.

Honey is sugar

Honey won't cure a sugar addiction. It will feed it.

Mind-Body-Mood Advisor: 10 Tactics for Overcoming Sugar Addictio

Thanks a lot for the informative and interesting publication first of all. Actually I was looking for this information for a long time and finally have noticed this your entry. Reading this great post I have found so many new and useful information about the 140 Character Essay Winner, which I have not known before. I am so glad that I have bookmarked this website because I see that it is full of various and attractive information about everything. Thanks one more time for this publication, it was really interesting to read it. Regards, David Gregor ( aka pariuri sportive ) from Missouri

You must replace sugar with honey

I think the best idea is to replace the sugar with bee honey.Is a good advice for your health, especially if you have health problems. hotel Bucuresti

The risks

Despite the risks, we continue to eat sugar because it is so addictive. book report writing | theses

Overindulged

If you’ve overindulged in cookies, candy, cake, or ice cream—and who hasn't, at some point—you know its seductive pull. Food manufacturers bank on it when they load sugar into soft drinks, breakfast cereal, soups, salad dressings, spaghetti sauce, energy bars, and even catsup. Admission essay | dissertation

Advertisement
Start Your Wellness Journey!
Sign up for updates on Rodale Wellness and get your FREE wellness journal to help you find your path to vibrant health. Click here to start your unique journey!


Advertisement
Free Newsletter
Sign up for our FREE daily newsletter to stay up to date on all of our wellness news.

  The Daily Fix
Useful news and practical tips to help you live a healthy life on a healthier planet.

  Maria's Farm Country Kitchen Newsletter
Get cooking tips, learn about healthy living and even raising chickens—Maria does it all!



You may unsubscribe at any time.

Your Privacy Rights. About Us.



BE SOCIAL WITH US!