Alcohol and drug addictions seem to be the more commonly known addictions, right? But sugar? Doesn’t quite seem possible, does it?
Today’s obesity rate has skyrocketed, and more than ever, Americans are battling the bulge. We are also less active than we used to be, say, twenty-five years ago. Modern convenience and instant gratification are at the top of our needs. The food industry has dialed into this, and processed food (pumped full of unnecessary sugars) has taken off like widespread hysteria.
In recent months, we have seen numerous “sugar detox” diets, fads, and scams. Is it hype or hope? Sugar addiction exists and is progressing at a dangerous rate.
Those Who Rise…
How do you know if you may be suffering from sugar addiction?
Sugar fuels every cell in our brains. Our brains also see sugar as a reward, which then makes us want MORE of it. Those who consume unhealthy amounts of sugar are adding fuel to the fire and create a habit that’s tough to break.
That quick “high” you receive when you consume sugar is because sugar, a simple carbohydrate (often found in soda and candy), is quickly turned into glucose. Your blood sugar levels spike upon consumption, giving you that quick burst of energy.
In order for your body to feel that burst of energy, it needs to move the glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells. In doing this, your pancreas produces insulin (a hormone). As a result of that, your blood sugar levels may take a sudden nosedive. This is why you suddenly feel shaky and wiped out, and begin looking for another sugary treat.
Quitting a sugar addiction cold turkey is tricky, as it usually requires you to immediately cease consumption of all sugars. This includes those found in dairy, fruit, and refined grains. Sudden dramatic and unrealistic changes in your diet also open you up to failure. You have to begin in baby steps and implement changes you know you can stick with! Think of these as lifestyle changes. Not a diet. The word
DIET makes anyone feel unhappy and deprived! Lifestyle changes will keep you on track for years to come.
Focus and Determination!
Because sugar addiction is a fairly new (but quickly growing) topic, we are going to cover more information in our upcoming blog posts. So check back often for more information regarding diet and exercise ideas that will help kick that sugary monster! Contact us to learn more.
~ Pamela Moore, MA, LMHC
Client Care Coordinator