Even when you’re a very healthy eater, a sweet tooth that has been left out of control can lead to cravings that can continually hold back your efforts to lose weight. Although there is no need to eliminate sugar from your diet, as that is rarely a realistic goal, breaking your addiction to sweets is an important step not only for dropping excess pounds, but also for keeping it off once it’s gone.
Controlling a Sugar Addiction
Learning how to keep your sweet addiction in check is one of the best ways to make sure that you will lose weight as quickly as possible, and quite easily, as well. It is also quite good for your overall health. There is now a growing number of doctors who are starting to follow the conclusions of medical studies that show high doses of sugar are actually a poison to the body. Though the refined sweetener can be tolerated in moderate amounts, past a certain point, it can start to be damaging.
How Much Sugar Do You Eat Every Day?
Start to think about how much sugar you are actually eating. Keep in mind that it is an ingredient in many of the products that you eat on a regular basis – from muffins to spaghetti sauce.
- Are you adding a sprinkling to your sugar or your oatmeal?
- Are you slathering it on in the form of jam or jelly on your toast?
- Have you stirred a tablespoon or two into each cup of coffee?
- Do you grab an occasional cookie or donut from the coffee shop on the way to work?
Each of these activities, on its own, is likely harmless, but they rapidly build up, skyrocketing your calories and encouraging those cravings to continue.
Risks from a Sugar Addiction
If you are indulging your sugar addiction to every day, you’re making it harder to lose weight and easier to gain weight, while you increase your risk of heart conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Sugar is comprised of about equal parts fructose and glucose. When you eat it, it causes the pancreas to secrete insulin, which is a part of the process of turning glucose into energy. However, if more glucose is consumed than is needed for energy, the excess that isn’t burned off is converted to fat, instead.
Beyond the glucose, though, fructose could be very problematic. According to Dr. Robert Lustig, MD, a University of California, San Francisco professor of pediatrics and endocrinology, the fructose contained in sugar is particularly damaging to the body, weight, and overall health. The reason is that fructose isn’t properly digested by the body, meaning that it is the liver that primarily metabolizes this substance. It causes the liver to work very hard to try to break it down, increasing strain on that vital organ. This can increase the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and problems with the liver, itself.
For this reason, making a concerted effort to shrink your sugar addiction – simply by weaning yourself off of it over time – will not only reduce your cravings, but also your risk of obesity and other health conditions, while making it easier to lose weight.
Tips to Overcome a Sugar Addiction
If you’re already struggling with a sugar addiction, use these handy tips to help you overcome it.
- Eat a nutritious, filling meal if you’re feeling hungry
- Take a shower and brush your teeth to overcome cravings
- Head for a quick brisk walk now and again throughout your day
- Drink some water
- Skip artificial sweeteners
- Have a piece of fruit
- Make sure your macronutrient balance is a healthy one
- Make a concerted effort to get some sleep on a regular basis
- Vent about your craving to a supportive friend
- Use stress management and anxiety coping techniques
- Get to know your triggers and avoid them
- Take a multivitamin to avoid potential deficiencies that can lead to cravings
- Create a list of reasons for eating healthy and read that list when you’re feeling cravings
- Avoid fasting or eating too few calories every day.
By using these tips and discovering others that work for you, it can become much easier to get through your cravings and beat your sugar addiction.