As society slowly starts to go back on their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy, sugary snacks may be finding their way into a lot of people’s diets. While these treats may taste delicious and be satisfying in the moment, the long-term effect that this substance has on your body and overall health can be frightening.
In today’s blog post from The Online Drugstore, we’ll discuss exactly what a sugar addiction looks like and how to beat the intense withdrawal that comes with removing sugar from your diet completely. Shockingly, sugar can have similar effects on your brain that illicit drugs do, so a sugar addiction is something to be taken very seriously.
What is Sugar Addiction?
When it comes to the effects that sugar has on your body, it’s important to understand that the brain uses glucose (sugar) for immediate bursts of energy. Without glucose, the brain would have trouble functioning properly. The hypothalamus plays a huge role in sugar cravings — causing people to crave or even eat certain sugary foods more than they should.
Overeating anything — sugary sweets or not — can be a sign that you have some sort of underlying addiction. If you find yourself constantly craving sweet snacks or eating dessert after a meal that makes you full, you’re probably suffering from a sugar addiction.
There can be obvious and not-so-obvious signs of a sugar addiction — it varies person to person. Paying close attention to what you are craving and what you eat can make a huge difference in understanding your health. Some of the symptoms of a sugar addiction include:
Craving Comfort Foods
A big sign that you may have a sugar addiction is that you crave comfort foods towards the end of the day. Craving a big bowl of pasta for dinner may not seem like a symptom of a sugar addiction, but simple-carbohydrate foods can be especially enticing to someone suffering from this type of addiction. Your brain may be craving the glucose that is processed from the carbs you eat. By paying special attention to your cravings — sweet or not — you can become more familiar with the form your sugar addiction may take.
Soda and Other Sweet Beverages
It’s no secret that soda is a terrible thing to put in your body. Not only does it contain high amounts of sugar, but it’s sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Many sodas also contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners that can be up to 600 times sweeter than table sugar. The more you consume these sweet beverages, the more likely it is that you will develop a sugar addiction (or that you already have). If you ever have doubts about the amount of sugar or artificial ingredients that your beverage may have, a good rule of thumb is to stick to drinking water. You can’t go wrong with water.
Excuses are a huge reason why a lot of diets fail these days. “I ate good all day so I can have a treat,” is a classic sign of an addiction to sugar. Not only are you giving into these sugar cravings, but you’re feeding the sugar beast in your brain.
The Negative Effects that Sugar Has on Our Bodies
Breaking an addiction to sugar is not something to be taken lightly. Like previously mentioned, a sugar addiction is similar to a drug or alcohol addiction in the sense that your desire to consume sugar can become aggressive and overwhelming at times. When you have an addiction to sugar, your body is consuming more food than it needs. This can lead to excess fat storage. Your body is capable of storing endless amounts of fat. So, it will continue to store excess sugar as fat as long as you keep consuming excess amounts. Excess body fat is associated with many different health problems including cancer, heart disease, and other health conditions. Even if you switch to a low-fat diet, it’s important to watch your sugar consumption closely.
Breaking Through a Sugar Addiction
Conquering your addiction to sugar isn’t something to be taken lightly. As important as it is to get your sugar consumption under control, there has to be an understanding that there will be withdrawal symptoms that make the process extremely difficult — especially if you plan to cut out sugar cold turkey. Here are a few tips to get you started and encourage you along the way:
1. Clean Out Your Kitchen
The best way to start is by getting rid of all the sugary sweets that you keep in your cupboards or refrigerator. We don’t mean eat everything so that it’s gone. Throw it out completely so that it isn’t there to tempt you anymore.
2. Choose Healthy Alternatives
A great way to curb your sugar cravings is by choosing healthy alternatives and more natural sugars instead. A great example would be to eat an apple with natural almond butter. The natural sugar that comes from an apple can absolutely curb your craving for a sweet treat.
3. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Cutting back on your alcohol consumption is always a wise choice, but in this case, consuming alcohol can only make it more difficult to make wise choices when it comes to the food you are putting in your body. By decreasing the amount of alcohol you drink, you can pay better attention to the food you are eating.
4. Make a Plan
The best way to be sure of what goes into your body everyday is to plan out your meals. When you make a documented plan for what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even two midday snacks, the likelihood that you veer away from that plan becomes slim. You can even make a plan for what you will eat when you experience your extreme sugar cravings — which you will, we guarantee it.
Don’t Give Up
When it comes down to it, beating an addiction to sugar is something that you can be proud of. Not only will you be taking full control of your health, but you will more than likely lose a significant amount of weight once you cut sugar out of your diet. It is not an easy process, but the benefits far outweigh the damage that you are causing your body by continuously consuming large amounts of sugar.
Choose The Online Drugstore for All of Your Health Care Needs
The Online Drugstore wants to help you get through your sugar addiction successfully. With a large selection of vitamins, supplements, and herbal teas, you can find what you need to support a healthier lifestyle. Shop today and start living your best life!