The battle over diet and obesity rages on. More and more people are struggling with maintaining a healthy weight. The science is in on this one: we have become addicted to sugar.
I’m not going to bore you with all the details about dopamine and receptors and addiction. But recent scientific studies have proven that food, and specifically sugar, can cause the same effects on the brain as addiction to hard core drugs.
This might worry you, but it also might help you. Drug addicts have found a way to recover from addiction and if you’re a sugar addict, you can too.
There are steps to take. But recognizing that you have a problem is the first one. Some of the signs that you might have a sugar addiction can include:
- persistent sweet tooth
- sugar cravings that result in binge eating of sugary foods
- being unable to control your eating and feeling defeated and sabotaged after ward
- irritability when avoiding sugar
Once you recognize that you have a sugar addiction there are steps that you can take to help control your addiction. These steps are different that then the simple will-power tactics you might have tried (and failed) in the past. Will-power is important. But you must take it one step further, ok 5 or 6 steps further.
1. Avoid temptation: control your environment to the best of your ability to make sugar unavailable. Don’t buy it, don’t watch other people eat it, if you’re at a party, stay physically away from the dessert table.
2. Plan ahead: preplan your meals, and bring healthy snack alternatives with you when you’re on the go. Nuts, seeds, and fruit are easy to pack. And if you can manage a protein snack even better.
3. Distract: when you feel the need for some sugar, do something else that will prevent you from eating. Something like dancing, playing a musical instrument or other full body activity that makes it difficult to eat.
4. Exercise: include a regular dose of exercise in your weekly regime. Daily exercise that either gets your heart rate up, or builds or stretches muscles is great. Think walking, dancing, yoga, pilates, or anything else you enjoy.
5. Hydrate: insuring that your body is properly hydrated is a good step to stemming cravings. Many times our body mistakes our thirst cue as a hunger cue.
6. Meditate: calming and enabling, meditation is a good way to quiet cravings and enable us to feel empowered. It really is all in your head!
If you let sugar take you over, jump in on any one of these steps and then add the others in as soon as possible. Before you know it, you’ll be a recovering sugar addict!