Some women “cannot survive” without sweets – secretly eating chocolate and suffering from sugar cravings. It is sugar addiction. According to some studies, sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. Some women are more sensitive than others, but the more sugar you consume, the more addictive you become.
Once sugar appears in the bloodstream, it stimulates release of very specific brain chemical “dopamine”, which makes you “happy” and satisfied – it is just short-term feeling which trigger cravings for more sugar. The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you need for same “happy” feelings, the more your tolerance adapts and you end up appearing in the pathological sugar addiction cycle (similar to drug addition and alcohol addiction).
During sugar addiction at brain level the biological signals that would normally control hunger and satiety (fullness) are confused by dopamine stimulation and body starts “listening” only sugar fluctuations, ignoring the fact that you have already eaten far more than you need.
Some women become obsessed with sugar during stress – eating more and more sweets to feel better and get “fixed”. Actually sugar addiction is not just unhealthy habit or compulsion or to brain chemistry. Sugar addiction is pretty strong emotional bond – when you are emotionally bonded to sugar and sugar becomes your best friend insuring stress relief, comfort, soothing and pleasure. Paradoxically sugar helps you to feel safe and secure.
Some scientists suggest that sugar addiction connected to mineral imbalances, candida overgrowth, unhealthy gut and hormonal disbalance. It means there is a physiological predisposition (component) to a sugar addiction.
Sugar addiction signs
Does sugar help you to relax and manage stressful situation while you are stressed, pressured, overwhelmed or depressed?
Would you be anxious or panicking if you would be deprived of sugar?
Do you need sugar when you are scared, lost, and unhappy or when you are asked to do something very difficult or when you experience something new (unknown)?
Does sugar consumption help you feel happy, safe, calm and relaxed?
Are you looking forward for dessert after dinner?
Are you considering sugar as a best friend?
Are you eager to find sweets (sugar) after you haven’t eaten it for a while?
Are you always buying chocolate, sweets, cakes, brownies or ice cream during food shopping?
Does eating sugar brings relief from emotional pain and arouses feelings of warmth?
Sugar addiction could lead to health problems including obesity, diabetes, menstrual dysfunctions, bulimia, binge eating disorder, body dysmorphia and psychological pain (feeling guilty for being addicted to sugar).
Sugar addiction – the way out
If you truly decided to stop suffering from sugar addiction, first, you should recognize your problem and second, you should be strong enough to make the decision to stop pathological sugar addiction cycle. Healing the sugar addiction is not easy.
Start daily food dairy; track your sugar consumption and connections with your feelings. Try to discover what trigger your desire to eat sweet products.
Support your body in healing from sugar addiction – eat breakfast every morning, include proteins, fiber and fat to your daily diet, drink 1.5-2 liter water every day (instead of juice and sodas), don’t miss food time and eat small portions.
Fresh vegetables and fruits should be a part of your daily diet.
Get enough daily sleep (7-8 hours) and never go to bed late.
Keep your bedroom dark, quite and comfortable – no food, no mobile, no computer and no tablet should be in bedroom.
Forbid yourself to eat in front of TV.
Be honest with yourself and discover exact timing of taking candies or ice cream or other sweets. Develop a plan how to avoid it by changing your schedules or keeping busy with something important and interesting.
Schedule physical activities for periods when you need sugar most.
Develop personal specific ritual for periods when you need sugar most – drink water or jump 10 times or go out or have pleasant bath or use non-sugar snack to eat during this time.
Try meditation – it can strengthen your mind and can greatly help in creating a greater capacity to fight sugar addiction.
Ask your family members or close friends help you – organizing activities before your sugar craving time. Your loved once can provide warmth and comfort instead of the sugar.
At the beginning you could experience some withdrawal symptoms such as slight physical discomfort, headache, cravings for sugar and carbs BUT stick with your plan and everything will pass. After few days you will feel full of energy, your physical well-being will improve, you would have better digestion, clearer head and improved mood.
Changed habits and improved lifestyle will make you healthier and happier.
There are several different theories concerning causes of sugar cravings. Some experts link sugar craving with food allergies, some with stress, some with adrenal fatigue and some with hormonal fluctuations…
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.