My name is Kami, and I’m an addict. It’s been less than 24 hours since I last consumed my drug of choice. Even though ‘once an addict always an addict’, I’m now able to control how much I consume and when. Now, I can look at it straight in the eyes and flat out refuse it. Okay, it doesn’t have eyes, but go with me… My drug of choice? Sugar.
“Really, Kami? Sugar?!?! (Insert eye roll) Addicts are people who are dependent on substances like cocaine, heroine, cigarettes, alcohol, and even pornography NOT sugar!” Oh, my dear friends. Unfortunately, you most likely are addicted to sugar and artificial sweeteners too. There are reasons those Diet Cokes, cookies, and the candy jar at work (shout out to my husband) cause us to keep coming back for more. Not convinced? Here are some signs you may be an addict:
- 1) Increased Tolerance: Do you drink more soda and eat more sweets than you use to? Do you need to add more sugar or just have ‘one more’ cookie to satisfy your sweet tooth?
- 2) Withdrawal: Have you ever completely given up sugar? Was it difficult? How did you feel?
- 3) Over Use: Do you eat more cake and cookies at a party than you originally planned? Are you unable to resist eating something sweet?
- 4) Loss of Control: Are you able to control how much sugar you intake? Or do you ‘need’ a Diet Coke to get going in the mornings or to eat a candy bar when you feel stressed?
- 5) Exceptional Effort to Obtain: Have you ever gone to extreme measures because you needed a Diet Coke?
- 6) Over Prioritization: Does drinking soda or eating candy take priority over making healthier choices like working out or preparing a healthy meal?
- 7) Ignoring Negative Consequences: Do you keep drinking soda and eating junk even when you know it will only lead to being overweight, unhealthy, and illness?
Did you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions? I know how it feels. Remember, I’m a recovering addict myself. I finally realized that I hate how I feel after eating too much sugar. I get a headache, stomachache, tired, sluggish, feel chubby, unmotivated to make healthy choices, AND just want to keep eating more. I feel disgusting! Like I said above, I still eat sugar occasionally BUT I definitely control when and how much I eat.
Hey you, diet soda drinkers… don’t tune out just yet. “You think, ‘Oh, I can drink another one because I’m not getting more calories,'” says Harold C. Urschel, MD, an addiction psychiatrist. “Psychologically you’re giving yourself permission.” Artificial sweeteners are possibly even more addicting and even worse than sugar. Dr. Mark Hyman explains how artificial sweeteners trick your body.
- 1) Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, activating our genetically-programmed preference for sweet taste more than any other substance.
- 2) They trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. This causes your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat.
- 3) It also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so you burn fewer calories every day.
- 4) It makes you hungrier and crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta.
- 5) In animal studies, the rats that consumed artificial sweeteners ate more, their metabolism slowed, and they put on 14 percent more body fat in just two weeks — even eating fewer calories.
- 6) In population studies, there was a 200 percent increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers.
So… I’m an addict, now what? There’s hope! Just like a 12 step AA program, admitting to yourself that there’s a problem is the first step. I can help you! I want to help you! The main way I’ve learned to control my sugar addiction is controlling what I buy when grocery shopping and by choosing what food is available in my own home! Read these choosing health and step by step posts to start getting ideas on how to change TODAY! Don’t let the devil on your shoulder lie to you about your future. YOU have the power to change!
In America, 70% of adults are now overweight or obese. We have a sugar problem. We have a lifestyle problem. We have a lack of self control problem. It’s time to re-gain control over our appetites! It’s time to commit, get motivated, and decide to change. YOU have power to choose what you eat. YOU decide what will and won’t enter your body. YOU are strong, capable, and deserve to enjoy the glorious side of healthy living!
Do you think majority of Americans have a sugar addiction? What are some tips and suggestions on how you control your impulse to eat too much sugar?