I'm Addicted To Sugar

By Milla Playfair

A client wrote, "Help me! I thought I was finally getting a handle on my weight issue but the sugar is killing me. I had an awful day. I won't even tell you what I ate today because it is just so unbelievable. All I will say is that 90% of my food today consisted of sugar! I really, really need some help getting past these cravings. I am no doubt a sugar addict. If I could get past this there is no doubt that I will reach my goal."[]

Most people don't realize that alcohol is actually the quickest acting sugar on the brain. In short, a "buzz" is actually a sugar high. The first research on sugar addiction in 2001 was conducted at Princeton University, and scientists have come so far since then that research is now focusing on how to address the problem (not whether or not it exists).

Sugar tends to affect the same part of the brain that heroine, cocaine, and other hard drugs do when a person uses them. The two main neurotransmitters involved with sugar addiction are serotonin and beta endorphins. We think of serotonin as the depression hormone, but it's also responsible for concentration, attention, and impulse control. When your serotonin levels are lower, you may become less able to say "no." Beta endorphins are that feel good chemical that is released after exercise, but this neurotransmitter is also associated with self esteem. Those with lower levels of beta endorphins who have excellent insight and are well accomplished might still have great difficulty with self esteem.

Here's what I did instead. I experimented with "sugar-free" goodies. In moderate doses.It helped, believe me. Temptation was greatly reduced because sugar-free candy is harder to find than the regular kind, and the selection isn't quite as yummy either.Once I made the commitment to forego all sugar, it was easy. Eating sugar was not an option, yet I knew if I wanted a treat, I could get it later (or sometimes even bring it along). It's easy to say "no" when the answer is clear. It's much harder to negotiate portions, at least for me.

In addition, the sugar-free candy didn't trigger my addiction. I got the flavor, but my body didn't get involved. it didn't clamor for more, more, more.This may vary a bit though, from person to person. I found that stevia works best in terms of not triggering addictive reactions. Many people have found aspartame more problematic. You'll just have to experiment -- and be observant and honest with what you find.

Here's the way I have weaned myself off sugar.First of all, for many of us, sugar is addictive. Period. Just accept it. You eat it, you want more. That's what it used to be like for me. Still is. Except I don't eat sugar anymore, and so I no longer have a problem.So, hard as it may seem, the easiest way to get off that roller coaster is to quit cold turkey. But you knew that and you didn't want to read THAT here, so I'm not going to stop there.

There's no reason you should have to put up with being so stressed that you feel the urge to self-medicate with sugar or cigarettes. Get the information you need to effectively get rid of excess stress right now. Just click on the link for Elisabeth Kuhn's FREE stress-busting strategies report and reclaim your inner calm, like countless others have done before you.It's a known fact that sugar contributes to obesity. High blood sugar, the result of eating large amounts of sugar, leads to the need for the body to store that extra sugar, and that storage occurs as fat, which most often leads to an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.

A study done by Sibylle Kranz, PhD,, a registered dietitian and assistant professor of nutrition sciences at Pennsylvania State University found that:On average, added sugar intake was 14 teaspoons per day for kids aged 2-3 and about 17 teaspoons per day for those aged 4-5. The highest level of added sugar for the younger kids was 23 teaspoons per day and more than 26 teaspoons per day for the older kids.

Then one day I chanced to see physician on television, talking about the controversy over sugar's hypothesized effect on mood and behavior. I began my research and found a description of my own health picture. With a glimmer of hope, I copied all the names in which processed sugar (simple sugar) appears: Sucrose,Dextrose,Lactose,Fructose,Crystalline fructose,Corn syrup,High-fructose corn syrup,Turbinado,Raw sugar,Brown sugar,Molasses,Malt syrup,Maltol,Maltodextrin.Immediately I eliminated from my diet all processed foods that contained any of the list. The only "sugar" I consumed was moderate amounts of fresh fruits (complex sugars) and carbohydrate vegetables, but only in combination with protein, to mitigate any minor sugar reaction, and with lots of water. The first several days without my precious sugar I was screaming inside my skull. Something down deep inside like a caged rat gnawed at my soul, eating me alive from within. I would find myself physically doubled over, hugging myself, rocking back and forth in psychic agony. Then, on the fourth day of my self-torture as I awoke and habitually reached for my analgesics, I realized I did not have a headache. Wow! This was the first time in 20 years.

Yes, studies have recently shown that sugar substitutes aren't as helpful for weight loss as we all would have liked, so they're not the ultimate solution.Still, for many of us, they may help with that first step, and eventually, you'll find it easier to reduce the sweet stuff even more, especially when you find that your weight goes down faster (or stays off better) when you keep the sweet treats, even sugar-free ones, at a minimum. And if someone offers you cookies or leaves their candy jar sitting on their desk in the office, you just think of how good it will feel when you fit in your bathing suit again.

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