Why Do I Crave Sugar? Is Sugar Addictive? Reasons why you could be addicted & How to break your addiction to sugar

Why do I crave sugar - Is sugar addictive - Reasons why you could be addicted & How to break your addiction to sugar

Could you be physically addicted to sugar? Could this be the reason why you crave it all the time? Here you will learn why sugar is so damn addictive and how you can break your addiction to sugar once and for all

 

What does it mean to be Addicted to something?

Addiction is defined by the impaired control over reward seeking behaviour or drug use, despite the adverse effects it can have. Overuse of drugs such as nicotine, alcohol, morphine & cocaine can lead to compulsive use or abuse of these drugs. Some potential non-drug addictions can include things like addiction to gambling, exercise, food, or even the computer

Most addictions are characterized by a habit that seeks short term gratification, but is followed by negative consequences in the long term

 

Classic Signs of Addiction are:

1. Tolerance

Tolerance is the body getting used to a substance, needing larger amounts to get the same, original feeling of pleasure

2. Withdrawal

Withdrawal is experiencing uncomfortable symptoms when reducing or suddenly discontinuing a substance

In other words, your body becomes dependent on that particular substance or behavior

Symptoms of withdrawal generally include: anxiety, irritability, intense cravings for the substance, nausea, headaches, and tremors

 

So, is sugar as addictive as drugs?

Yes, sugar is like a drug and has addictive properties similar to those of illicit drugs

Here’s why:

Studies has shown that when large amounts of sugar is consumed, it releases an opiate-like substance that activates the brain’s reward system, producing a euphoric like effect. Sugar stimulates the brain’s release of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that controls pleasure). This drives reward seeking behaviour, similar to what occurs in alcohol or drug addiction. Sugar has even been shown to be as addictive as cocaine and studies have shown that rats that consume high amounts of sugar can become physically addicted it

 

Possible causes of Sugar Addiction

Scientists have postulated that being constantly exposed to certain foods (most of which contain sugar) can overstimulate and blunt the reward (dopamine) system of the brain. This means that you would need to eat more of the food to get the same effect due to the inability to experience that same feeling of pleasure as you did before. It is essentially your body telling you to eat more of those sugar-containing foods to be able to release more dopamine & is why they are highly addictive

 

How do I know if I am addicted to sugar?

If you consume high amounts of sugar in your diet and experience symptoms such as tiredness, brain fog and irritability shortly after you stop eating sugar, chances are you are experiencing the ‘withdrawal symptoms’ of a sugar addiction. Sugar addiction can occur in a lot of people but some people may be more susceptible to it than others

Sugar cravings are different to having cravings for food when you are hungry, because you crave sugar despite not being hungry. A physical addiction to sugar means that you crave sugar, not because you are hungry, but is because of the addictive properties of sugar

 

Watch this video to learn in more detail why sugar is addictive and can lead to sugar addiction

Watch the Full ‘The Skinny on Obesity’ video Here

 

Another reason why you crave sugar all the time

Eating refined sugars also cause your blood sugar levels to drop (also known as the ‘sugar crash’) and can leave you feeling tired and increase your cravings for sugar

Why do I crave sugar Is sugar addictive - Reasons why you could be addicted & How to break your addiction to sugar

 

How to Break your Sugar Addiction

Sugar is everywhere & hard to avoid, but here are some tips to help you eat less sugar & curb your sugar cravings

 

Tips for Breaking a Sugar Addiction

#1 Don’t drink soft drinks

#2 Avoid artificial sweeteners – They increase your appetite, sugar cravings and inhibit or decrease fat metabolism

#3 Don’t buy junk food in first place

#4 Eat fruits – Unlike other sugary foods, fruit have a low to medium glycemic index so is not going to cause a rush of energy and energy will be more steady

#5 Exercise – Exercise can help you metabolise and keep blood sugar stable

#6 Break the emotional association – We associate sugar with happiness, joy & romance and tend to indulge in high sugars foods on certain holidays. We need to separate the emotion from the food

#7 Taper off intake slowly – Eat less and less overtime to avoid & overcome the intense withdrawal symptoms

#8 Don’t fall off the wagon – If you manage to curb your sugar cravings, don’t give in to the temptation of consuming high amounts sugary foods again – it is easy for these cravings to start again

#9 Eat low glycemic foods – Cut out sugary, high GI foods out of your diet (which are typically all the processed foods). Learn more about the Glycemic Index and Low GI Foods to get an idea of healthier food options

 

Some More Helpful Tips are outlined in this Infographic

Why do I crave sugar - Is sugar addictive - Reasons why you could be addicted and How to break your addiction to sugar

Summary

We have discussed the reasons why you crave & can become addicted to sugar – it is simply because sugar is addictive. Eating high amounts of sugar can lead you to experience similar effects that drugs have. Consuming it (or even thinking about it) creates a euphoric effect due to stimulating the production of dopamine in your brain (a neurotransmitter that controls pleasure, and is responsible for reward seeking behaviour). As well as learning how to reduce your intake of sugar, the tips and advice outlined in this post can help you break the cravings for good, but will need to occur gradually overtime. The good news is that once you get rid of the sugar, your body will not crave or need that refined sugar ever again

How Bad is Sugar for You Symptoms & Effects of Eating Too Much Sugar and Why to Reduce your Intake - product

How Bad is Sugar for You -Symptoms & Effects of Eating Too Much Sugar and Why to Reduce your Intake - Product

 

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