Are you a sugar addict? Can you go one day without a sweet treat?
Did you know that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine, heroin, or LSD?
Yet, you can buy it at every grocery store, gas station, or vending machine across this country. The more sugar you eat, the more it will overcome your addictive pathways, making you want more. Once this substance hits your bloodstream, it tells the brain to release the chemical dopamine, which helps you feel a rush or high.
Sadly, the buzz you feel from sugar only lasts a short while. In the time it takes you to finish that piece of chocolate cake, your dopamine levels have already fallen, and the craving for more sets in. Therefore, you don’t need it, but you must have that second piece of cake.
No matter how full you are, your body wants more sugar. So, you indulge in giving those feel-good receptors another buzz. The scary part is that the signals that tell the brain that you’re full is now saturated in dopamine, and your body listens to the sugar cravings instead of actual hunger pangs.
Another problem is that the on and off switch for hunger is now malfunctioning, and you will eat way more than you need. When you become a sugar addict, one piece of cake won’t do. Even if you’ve just had a big meal, you still need the sugar to complete it.
The more sugar that you consume, the more your tolerance only intensifies. Like cocaine or other drugs, you will need more to give your body the same boost after extended use.
15 Signs You Are a Sugar Addict
Just like someone who is addicted to drugs, sugar addicts show similar patterns. Many people believe they like sweets, but they don’t have a problem as they keep things under control. Sadly, denial is a big part of any addiction, even one that involves something considered safe. Another factor to consider is that your children are watching and learning your bad habits.
Thankfully, there is help for you. Here are 15 ways to tell that you have a problem with sweets.
1. You Hide So People Don’t See You Eating Sweets
As with any addict, you’ve started hiding so that people don’t know your secret. You slip into the pantry to polish off a whole box of snack cakes before getting caught. You don’t know how much you eat because you’re eating in a binge method for the little time you have to yourself.
2. Your Attempts to Cut Down Have Failed
You’ve been on every diet from Keto to Weight Watchers to get these sugar cravings under control. However, the late-night snacking and endless cravings won’t stop. You become so desperate for sugar that you will do just about anything to get it.
3. Everyone Is Worried About Your Sugar Consumption
Friends and relatives have said things to you about your sugar consumption. Your doctor is worried that you may be a sugar addict and considers you to get counseling to help. You’re tired of hearing the helpful banter from the concerned, urging you to change your eating habits.
4. You Have a High Sugar Intolerance
While everyone else at the dinner table takes one modest piece of the pie, you watch the leftovers and dare anyone to touch it. The other people feel satisfied and overfilled with one slice, but you can do 2-3 pieces without issue. Your sugar tolerance is much higher than those around you as you have been an addict for some time.
5. You Have Withdrawals If You Don’t Eat Sweets
If you run out of sweet treats at your home, you will start to have withdrawal issues. You feel famished often, but it’s not healthy food your body wants. You must feet the junk food junkie inside, and if you don’t get your sugar fix soon, you will have headaches and all sorts of issues.
6. You Find Your Emotions Are Tied to Junk Food
The first thing you run to when you are feeling any emotion is sugar. You find yourself pouring over a half-gallon of ice cream when your day was terrible. You find that every emotional moment from happy to sad revolves around sugar.
7. You Have Health Problems from Being a Sugar Addict
Your doctor warned you that your pre-diabetic or had developed diabetes. You’ve eaten so much sugar and packed on a few pounds that your body cannot process all the extra glucose. Things have really gone downhill, yet you don’t know how to stop.
8. You Don’t Mind Making Sacrifices for Your Sugar Rush
Sure, it doesn’t mean anything to you to drive an hour to get those gourmet cupcakes that melt in your mouth. You will spend frivolously and go out of your way to feed the sugar demons inside.
9. You Ruminate About Eating Sweet Treats
While some people have cravings for comfort foods and down-home cooking, you dream of chocolate cake with German chocolate frosting, donuts as big as your head, and bowls of ice cream that could feed four people. Is it any wonder that you have an issue with late-night snacking?
10. You Reduce Temptation by Avoiding Social Scenes
You want to get this sugar addiction under control, so you’ve started to avoid settings where you know you won’t be able to control yourself. Forget birthday parties where there are cake and ice cream. You know that you will keep going back for more and make a spectacle of yourself.
11. You Hide Snacks So No-One Can Get Them
You’ve resorted to hiding food so that no one in the house eats your stash. You have cookies in your sock drawers and popsicles in a green bean bag in the freezer. By now, you’re an expert in keeping all things secure so that no one eats your treats.
12. You Feel Lazy and Sluggish After Eating Sugar
You feel famished and give in to your cravings, and then you feel so tired that you can hardly function. Your body wanted that sugar so bad, and now you feel as if the only energy you have is enough to take a nap.
13. Sugar is Dominating Your Life
You know you have a problem, everyone around you knows you have a problem, but you can’t break free. Sugar is becoming an essential part of your life. You can’t imagine going one day without something sweet. You’ve got so desperate at times you’ve eaten a can of icing or brown sugar out of the bag.
14. Your Mood Fluctuates and Tanks Without Sweets
Your moods are like a roller coaster all day long. If you don’t get sugar, then you will be an emotional wreck. What you don’t know is that because of your addiction, your brain now needs that sugar to regulate your dopamine levels.
15. You’re Constantly Worried About How Much Sugar You Eat
You’ve become cognitively aware that you have a problem. You start in the morning, counting how many carbs or sugar grams you’ve eaten. However, you don’t care and binge thinking that you’ve already ruined today and will try again tomorrow.
Taming Your Addiction
When you review the list of these 15 common behaviors of the sugar addict, do you feel like it was written about you? Don’t feel upset with yourself because you have a problem as you can get help. Robert Lustig from the San Francisco branch of the University of California conducted a study.
He found that about ten percent of the population has a sugar addiction and needs help. Don’t be so quick to think it’s always the person that is overweight is the one suffering. People of all shapes and sizes can have this monkey on their back.
When you want a sweet treat, try one of these foods to satisfy the craving:
- An apple
- Canteloupe or honeydew melon
- A handful of grapes
These are healthy sweets that your body will digest more easily but satisfy your urge for a treat.
The 411 on Artificial Sweeteners
One trick that many people try to do to avoid eating sugar is they load up on artificial sweeteners. Now, it sounds like a good idea as you’re not getting the calories or fat, but it can be counterproductive to your brain.
When manufacturing companies use Splenda and aspartame, it may not have the caloric implications, but the brain still registers it as a sweet. It can feed your sweet tooth and make you crave sugar. The concept behind it is good, and they work great for some people.
Sadly, artificial sweeteners can still make you crave sweets. How many times have you seen someone drinking a diet soda while they washed it down with a pizza, breadsticks, and a candy bar? Try using all-natural options like stevia and xylitol.
Addiction is a derogatory term that means that someone has lost control over something in their life. Some people medicate their troubles with cocaine, heroin, or opiates, and others turn to the local vending machine or bakery to get their high. Both types of addiction will kill you, but the sugar addict is more socially accepted.