I started the new year with a resolve to clean up my diet not only to slim down, but also to improve my mood, for greater vitality, to boost my digestive health and for clear, glowing skin. However, there's one food that I just can't seem to ditch - sugar!
It seems that no matter how hard I try, I often find myself sneaking chocolate bars into my shopping basket or munching on leftover cake after an office party (eek!).
This has left me wondering - is my willpower just really weak, or am I downright addicted to sugar? According to my nutritionist, it's neither. Instead, he says these three invisible forces in my life are dictating my food choices on an everyday basis...
Three reasons why you can’t stop eating sugar
#1: You believe you have no control of your intake of sugar
For years I was convinced that I was genuinely addicted to sugar – then I learned that sugar isn’t addictive. That’s right – while there’s one study that proves that saccharin (a non-caloric sweetener) is more addictive than cocaine, there’s no solid evidence that sugar is addictive.
is kind of addictive – so if you find that you’re constantly craving foods that combine sugar with fat
(like butter), there’s a pretty good chance you’re hooked on fat. The bottom line is that while you may feel like you’re addicted to sugar, you’re not – you have complete power over your sugar intake!
#2: You haven’t tried to understand why you always crave sugar
Before consulting my nutritionist about my so-called sugar “addiction”, I’d never taken a moment to try and understand why exactly I crave sugar. Here are a handful of potential reasons for your non-stop sugar cravings:
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You’re just bored, sad or feel ad though you need to eat sugar to perk up or reward yourself;
Your blood sugar levels are unstable because you’re stressed, don’t sleep well or follow an unhealthy diet;
Your gut bacteria is unbalanced or you have an overgrowth of yeast in your microbiome (yeast survives on sugar); or
You’ve simply created a habit of eating sugary foods – for example, you have a chocolate bar after dinner every night.
Once you get to the root cause of your sugar cravings and address it, you’ll find it easy to stop eating sugar. My nutritionist helped me realise that I eat lots of sugar because my gut flora was unbalanced. By going on a one-week cleanse and incorporating a probiotic supplement into my nutrition plan, I’ve managed to reset my microbiome and I no longer have such intense sugar cravings – it’s amazing!
#3: You don’t think twice about using artificial sweeteners
One big mistake I used to make? I used to give artificially sweetened drinks and eats like diet soft drinks – which are sometimes more damaging than sweet foods because they bypass your satiety mechanisms – a free pass. What this essentially means is that they don’t signal your brain that you’re full and satisfied.
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And the same goes for non-caloric sweeteners like Canderel and Sweetex. These sweeteners change how your body regulates glucose and can disrupt the composition of your gut microflora. Even worse, they can make it more difficult for you to lose weight (ironic, I know!).
If you can relate to feeling like you’re addicted to sugar, I hope these three pointers help you realise that sugar addiction isn’t a real thing. And that by addressing the invisible forces that are always tempting you to indulge in sugary eats and treats, you can put your sugar “addiction” to an end – for good!
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Note: 5 of 1 vote