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Strategies for Overcoming Sugar Addiction

Updated on September 21, 2013

Why do I crave sugar?

We're not dealing with some lethal or prohibited substance here, we're dealing with sugar. Despite the fact that it's considered non-toxic compared to other substance, sugar, when use in excessive amount, can potentially cause a number of health problems: excessive cravings, uncontrolled eating, excess weight and heart disease for example. According to the USDA, the average American consumed 155 pounds of sugar in 1999 - an all time high. Consequently, consumption has decreased moderately and in 2011 the average American consumed 135 pounds. (To make things clear, consider that the number was just 5 pounds in the year 1800) Roughly fifty percent of the sugar we use comes from sodas, fruit juices, and sports beverages. The rest sneaks into our diets in the form of ketchup, sauces, chocolates and the plain sugary items like pastries, desserts, frozen treats and even breakfast cereal. Shockingly, some "healthy foods" like yogurt and oatmeal can pack in 25-35 grams (6-7 teaspoons) of unwanted sugar! It appears like we're plunging in sugar, and no one is wearing a life vest.

There are various things that could possibly causes you crave for certain food however it appears that stress is the main factor for sugar cravings. Stress is often biological or emotional.

One example is, not having enough sleep, being not properly hydrated or being hungry are common biological stresses. Emotional reactions like disappointment or being worried can bring about feeling of stress possibly contributing to sugar cravings.

There also exist external triggers that we have to understand. Triggers are often additional however they are overpowering. A good example of external trigger is going to a movie.

Once you enter a movie theater often the first thing you observe is the demanding flavor of buttered popcorn. Next you turn straight into the counter and witness the colorful boxes of all sorts of candies and sweets you can imagine. You see the overstuffed boxes of popcorn you can also hear more corn getting popped by the second.

Weaning from Sugar Addiction

With its habit-forming power and regarded socially as a worthy addition to nearly all the food we eat, it’s very hard to wean from sugar. However sugar hasn't normally been a fundamental part of the human diet -there was a time when sugar was difficult to obtain in nature, so our bodies didn't develop an off-switch for its consumption. And while a hundred and fifty years ago we enjoyed no sugar, today the average person is consuming more than 2 pounds (1 kilo) of sugar for one week!

Also though you cannot find any physiological need for us humans to consume refined sugar, we're handcuffed to crave sugary foods, with our sweet taste receptors situated just on the tip of our tongue ( probably for the reason that sweet foods were safer for early humans while sour foods were often poisonous ). Further, in a recent report in the British Medical Journal , sugar was mentioned as hazardous as tobacco, with a recommendation that it be re-classified as a bad drug; as a matter of fact , sugar on the tongue produce morphine-like toxins in the brain that deliver a natural high, which makes it really hard for us to fight the crave.

Consuming less sugar means safeguarding your health. Excess sugar is linked to numerous health problems from dental cavities to diabetes and can cause energy decline, hyperactive disorders and a source of useless calories, which we convert into unwanted weight around our bellies (it is in our stomach where fat storage process begins) .Reducing its role in your life can simply be beneficial to you and the people that surrounds you.

Reach a decision to put an end on your sweet cravings.

Your motivation might be to reduce those excess weights, feel fit, to get rid of a yeast infection or merely to set a good example for your children. There are plenty of good reasons to reduce the sugar you're eating every day. Health and well-being is always a top reason, since too much sugar consumption is connected to many poor health conditions and diseases, this includes dental problems, acne breakouts, infertility, a number of cancers and heart disease .Sugar is likely to have a role in triggering depression, mood swings, low energy, memory loss, osteoporosis, vision loss and kidney complications It is difficult to understand a need for any additional reasons to minimize the amount you are consuming.

  • The World Health Organization recommends that the daily human intake of sugar in an average diet be no more than 10 percent, with parameters for only 6 percent. That amounts to roughly 7 1/2 teaspoons of sugar per day for a 2000/calorie diet.
  • A number of people tend to be more unstable to sugar-effects compared to other people. This is often reflected in having excess weight, fatigued, having poor skin and hair, frustration or mood swings and a low energy. If some of these factors are hammering you, sugar could be a concern, however consult your doctor about other potential causes. If sugar is a risk factor for you being great shape, lowering or eliminating it from your diet will bring remarkable benefits, including reduced cravings in the long run.

Identify the foods that are high in sugar and find ways to completely eliminate or reduce gradually.

There are a number of possible culprits here are a few of them:

  • Ready-meals and processed foods: Ready-meals and processed food producers put sugar to cause you to want more. Three teaspoons of sugar is added to a single serving of processed food.
  • Cereals: They may have nutritious sounding labels but when they contain sugar, they usually have a lot.
  • Bread and baked goods
  • Canned foods
  • Juices and canned fruits
  • Flavored milk products
  • Ready –to-eat and convenience meals
  • Soft drinks and other processed liquid refreshments.

Remember some of these sugar names.

Sugar isn't only white death in a small sachet. It bears other guises considerably more clever. A few of the other sugar-types are absorbed more slowly than sugar but make sure you research before considering any are worth maintaining in your diet after all they're all still sugar . When inspecting your food labels inside your cabinet, watch out for these other sugar names:

 
 
 
Brown sugar
Cane sugar
Mannitol
Invert sugar
Caramel
Refiner’s syrup
Corn sweetener
Carob syrup
Sorbitol
Maltose
Corn syrup
Sorghum syrup
Sucrose
Corn syrup solids
Turbinado sugar
Glucose
Date sugar
Yellow sugar
Mollasses
Diatase
 
Syrup
Diastatic malt
 
Dextrose
Ethyl maltol
 
Honey
Fructose
 
Raw sugar
Fruit juice
 
Barley malt
Fruit juice concentrate
 
Beet sugar
Glucose solids
 
Brown sugar
Golden sugar
 
Buttered syrup
Golden syrup
 
Cane-juice crystals
Grape sugar
 

Reduce sugar intake by avoiding products that have sugar in the first four ingredients.

If sugar is mentioned a couple of times in the ingredients avoid that product. Be watchful about a product saying it is made from organic materials. Alternative to sugar such as sweeteners normally include calories and don't provide nutrients to your diet.

  • If a product says to be "reduced-sugar”, ignore it. Even using half of what was previously added remains too much and the things that’s included to help support the reduction won't be good for you either.

Check your kitchen and separate whatever sugary food inside your food cabinet.

This is the challenging crave stage but you need to endure it to be able to switch to healthier alternatives. In the event you can't make this happen because those around you disagree or you're not in-charge over the household food, then place all of the other people’s sweet foods in a cabinet or shelves concealed and preferably out of mind.

  • Inform everyone and what exactly you are doing and for what reason. There is a good chance, people will support you and make things simpler and easier.
  • If you have a significant other, telling him/her might be a wise idea to make sure they don't buy you cakes or are displeased when you don't eat the cake they buy.
  • If you've stored sugary goodies elsewhere, make sure you get rid of them soon.

Exclude sugary drinks in your diet.

Start at the point that will let you handle best the situation and that is containing your beverage consumption. You don't need sugary beverages, no more no less. This includes soft drinks, fruit juices and energy drinks. Substitute fruit juice with the real piece of fruit and get the benefits of the dietary fiber bonding with the fructose to decrease its effect on your digestive system.

  • If you feel distressed for not drinking fruit juice, consider how much fruit is in a glass of juice. One regular glass of orange juice can consist of as much as four oranges. Can you eat four oranges in a row as fast as you possibly can drink them? Absolutely no, this explains why processed juice is unhealthful because it is very easy to consume and it lacks fiber and other nutritional elements found in fruits.
  • Sip your coffee or tea without sugar. It is possible to just put creamer (not suggested if you intend to lose weight) , and/or honey to your tea . If you're accustomed to putting in a lot of sugar, then reduce slowly by using a small teaspoon or packet. Eventually you'll get comfortable with it and you will see the more tasteful flavors of coffee or tea that were weighed down by sweetness before.

Avoid snacks packed with sugar.

Sugary snack foods have a stealthy way to get into your regular diet and all kinds of amazingly harmless techniques. Your morning muffin, the afternoon bubble gum and the night time candies. All these eventually tally up, and mindless nibbling is damaging for your health. Try to include healthful snacks like carrot and celery sticks, hummus, a handful of nuts, and apple, etc. Be aware of dried fruit; it's packed with calories and fructose.

  • If you’re having problem abandoning your candies, then chart your sugar consumption every day. Determine the amount of sugar you will take. For example, on Mondays you need an extra energy in the coffee so you can put 2 teaspoons of sugar in it. Or on Saturday you allowed yourself to have a dessert. You can decide on whether your graph is restricting or not.
  • If intentionally helping yourself (contrary to mindlessly pouring in loads of sugary), remember that by not placing limitations for yourself that involve not having the candies or sugar, you risk slipping back into eating considerably more than you planned.

Don't skip your morning meal and make sure it's a nutritious treat.

Consume a nutritious breakfast of toasted bread or all-natural cereals or oatmeal to give you energy through day. These foods release energy moderately, which means you are going to crave less sugar.

  • Stay off from sugary cereals. That means most of them. Consume all-natural cereals that will help you avoid sugar. Or cook different varieties of porridge recipes, from groats to quinoa. A number blueberry sprinkled on top makes it all delightful!

Cut down on the amount of sugar used in preparing food and baking.

Unlike yeast, flour and fat ratios, lowering the amount of sugar usually does not have a unfavorable effect in cooking food, aside from getting familiar to the less sweet flavor. And many of the main courses, breakfast meals and snacks can benefit from fewer or no sugar. Try some new recipes and simply prefer dishes that don't use sugar.

  • Use additional spices to enhance flavor. Sweeter spices can enrich your tasting enjoyment. Try these spices like vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, tarragon and angelica to create unique flavors.
  • For desserts, add one fresh chunk of fruit instead of sugar; strawberries are a terrific addition, particularly if they're overripe and good for little else!
  • Toast or bagels with pieces of fruit on top or a thin coating of sugar-reduced jam will be a wholesome substitute for sweets cravings.

Maintain your sugar-reduced lifestyle.

Be prepared for occasions with a lot of foods. Look ahead to those activities where slight indulgence may go some distance. Naturally, don't indulge by doing so every weekend - as with alcohol, moderation is entirely the key (and consider, various kinds of alcohol contain much sugar). And never bring feast foods into your home as daily snacks.

Always keep in mind that you have the right to have sugar-less life, and don’t feel deprived. The great thing about having a less-sugar approach incredibly exceed the early struggle of going without sugar and the more time you stick to less-sugar in your regular diet, the more it feels totally right and you will be more healthy. You are responsible for your eating not to mention your destiny and goals.

Additional tips to beat sugar addiction.

  • Examine the ingredients on most canned/packed foods you are buying - the most unlikely foods that have sugar added to them are baby/infant foods, tinned vegetables, crisps. These are the sneaky sugars that do a great deal damage to our health because we neglect to manage it.
  • In cases you eat in a restaurant or food store, share to your friends or companion anything that is sugary. By sharing some of your sweet foods you can reduce sugar intake by not eating it all alone.
  • Determine your goals and then hold on to those goals. Do not allow exceptions!
  • Adding black pepper on some fruits cause them to taste sweeter. Additionally, there is an herb known as Sweet Cicely - very special for people with diabetes- which does the similar thing.
  • Another option is a natural sweetener called Stevia , which is popular in Japan and South-America ; it might be difficult to find in some grocery or supermarket . You have got to conduct your own study into the usefulness of these sweeteners for your diet and search your local grocery stores to try it.
  • Don't turn into a sugar-hating person. The goal is to bring down your sugar intake in significant amount but you will encounter some celebrations where there is a chance you’ll eat and drink and get that extra sugar you are trying to avoid. All the things in moderation must be included in your slogan, or alternatively maintain the amount of sugar in the right perspective. To illustrate, a bottle of sauce may contain significant amount of sugar, however if you're only adding a drop, you're taking in small amount.
  • It is best to check your BMI or Body Mass Index. If you are planning to start a diet then try your best to not become underweight.
  • Be particularly careful not to use too much sugar as well as not to have very low sugar since it can cause blackouts.

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks for stating so many tips. I should cut down on sugary snacks and sugar in my beverages too. Yeah, i should check my kitchen to make sure that there aren't any sugar drinks or food. Could be hiding somewhere that I had long forgotten. Voted up

    • howtostayhealthy profile image
      Author

      howtostayhealthy 3 years ago

      peachpurple Thanks for visiting my hub. I really appreciate your wonderful comment. Because of our busy schedules, most of us forgot to monitor our sugar consumption that often put us in a high or low gear mood. I'm a frequent sufferer of low energy mood resulting from my unrestricted use of sugar. My coffee will give me a kick for an hour then slowly draining me. It's better we control our sugar consumption than having some kind of physical distress or anything like that.

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