How often have you told yourself that you will stop eating sugar tomorrow, only to find yourself elbow deep in chocolate the next morning?
How many times has someone mentioned that you simply lack willpower and it’s just a matter of keeping your mouth closed? If only it were so simple!
The taste of sweetness is addicting because of its direct impact on the pleasure centers of the brain. When eating sugar, the food causes a release of dopamine, the same feeling one gets when exercising, being hugged or getting a fix of cocaine. As with any addictive drug, you are made to want the same feeling over and over again. Worse than that, as with drugs, the more you use, the more you need to continue to maintain that pleasurable sensation.
So how does this translate into nutrition? It appears that no matter where one gets their sugar, whether from unhealthy high fructose corn syrup or a piece of fruit, the sweet taste continues to impact our brain receptors. Individuals that are more inclined to sweet cravings cannot seem to function without revolving their entire day around their next sugary snack.
From a metabolic perspective, these intense sugar cravings can override your normal hunger and satiety hormones causing you the feeling of constant hunger to the point that you spend your entire day thinking of food. Your concentration diminishes while your waistline increases, and you are never fully satisfied.
So how does one go about releasing themselves from the vice of sugar? Unfortunately, it is not an easy or quick fix. It takes time and determination, especially since many people experience the classic withdrawal symptoms of headaches, cravings, brain fog and mood swings, to name but a few. Most importantly it takes education and awareness. Nowadays, sugar has been added to almost every processed and packaged food out there. It is important to take responsibility and read every single label in a grocery store to check for added sugar. If it is in the ingredients list, do not buy it, since even those small, but more often than not, big amounts of sugar will continue to sabotage your progress. See below a list of the many names of sugar.
I recommend my clients set aside a solid 10 days to focus on this work. Be prepared for the above symptoms and have actionable steps to help counteract them.
Should you require help to get over your own personal addiction with sugar, reach out to us here at Intuitas Integrative Wellness. Life is sweet enough without needing the addiction to sugar, and to break free from that pattern is true liberation.