Like heroine, cocaine, and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread. – William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues
Here’s a little story about my sugar addiction.
Back in my early 20’s I couldn’t have ice cream in my home because I’d eat it straight out of the tub and would eat a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting!
I couldn’t just have a half cup serving – I was out of control. I was addicted to skittles, jelly beans, and fun size Snickers bars.
I was also addicted to bread, cheese, muffins and bagels. As a result, I was always “puffy,” constipated, fat, and had awful acne.
But it wasn’t until my mid twenties that I realized that I was actually kind of depressed.
I had ended a toxic relationship with my boyfriend at the time, left my job and moved across the state all by myself to finish my college degree.
During that time I was also in debt and had zero savings! Not only was my health a mess but my life was a big ol’ mess too. I hated my job and had no purpose in life. That was a very dark period in my life that I really don’t like talking about.
Long story short, I was able to end my addiction to sugar after a few years and now I’m happily married, have a thriving career and business, and my finances are a lot better – whew. The point in sharing this with you is because so many people don’t understand the underlying issues of their addiction.
What causes addiction
People go on frustrated because they’re so addicted to sugar and sweets but don’t realize that brain neurotransmitter deficiency is the cause of all addiction. What that means is that it has a lot to do with your stress levels and happiness.
As our powerful appetite -and-mood optimizing neurotransmitters are depleted by our diet and our stress levels, we become addicted to drugs like sugar, alcohol, and heroin for temporary relief from the depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia that result.
People go on frustrated because they’re so addicted to sugar and sweets but don’t realize that brain neurotransmitter deficiency is the cause of all addiction.
And of course it also doesn’t help that sugar is in almost all processed, convenient, and fast foods. Not to mention soda, juices, energy drinks, etc., The most addictive form is sugar is high fructose corn syrup. Not only is high fructose corn syrup twice as sweet as sucrose, but it’s also twice as addictive as sucrose and is equal in liver damage to alcohol!
Not only is high fructose corn syrup twice as sweet as sucrose, but it’s also twice as addictive as sucrose and is equal in liver damage to alcohol!
This is how to break your addiction to sugar in 3 steps:
1.) Take time to examine your levels of stress and triggers. What is causing you stress? Take notice of the times where you crave sugar and sweets the most? Is it after a long and stressful day at work? Is it when you’re stuck in traffic? Is it when you’re kids are throwing tantrums, the house is a mess and you have a list of things to do? Exactly how are you feeling the moment you reach for the sweets? Make a plan to manage your stress more effectively and take action. Try going for a walk, taking deep breaths or journaling.
2.) Focus on your environment and daily habits. Do you keep sweets and treats in the home “for the kids?” Do you know who at the office has the candy “stash” in their cubicle or office? Do you always get the same high sugar coffee drink at Starbucks out of habit? Start by eliminating all sabotaging foods in the home and find ways to slowly change your lifestyle habits.
3.)Cut out all sweetened foods to below 10% of calories, less than 250 calories per day. In other words, consume a diet higher in protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber. Neurotransmitters are synthesized from amino acids obtained from the diet. High protein foods and protein powders increase the levels of all these amino acids and decreases the synthesis of serotonin in the brain.
I’m not saying this is going to be easy but it will be worth it.
I also want you to know that breaking your addiction to sugar doesn’t mean you can never have sweets and treats ever again. It simply means that you will be in control versus the sugar having control over you. This is a very powerful feeling.
Sign up below to register for the 3 Day Sugar Smackdown Detox Challenge where I’ll provide you with a 3 day meal plan, grocery list and a 4 week plan to slowly incorporate natural sugars back into your diet. We start January 3rd!
I’d love to hear your comments below on how sugar addiction has played a role in your life.