I always wonder why is it that even though most people know that sugar is very detrimental for their health, they think their excess of sugar consumption is acceptable. Everybody knows that sugar not only makes you fat and is bad to your teeth, but it can also cause insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Many studies even suggest that sugar raises your cholesterol and gives you heart disease. So why do people keep consuming high amounts of it? Don’t they realize that they are addicted? Then I thought, I didn’t realize how addicted to sugar I was until I saw my blood test results! But honestly, it didn’t come as a shock. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t feeling well and that something was going on with my health. Since sugar is as addicting as heroin or cocaine (some studies say sugar is even more addictive than cocaine!) denial comes as a normal behavior…
So how can we find out if we’re addicted to sugar? Here are 5 clues to help you learn the truth before it’s too late.
1. Just can’t say no to sugar. Can’t refuse the nice piece of cake at your friend’s birthday party? Can’t say no to the dessert menu at the restaurant? If you don’t buy it and you don’t have it at home, do you make it and bake it (like I did!)?
2. You feel guilty after eating something sweet. You should not eat it but you do! Instead of being kind to yourself and just say, “I shouldn’t have, but I did. I ate it, it was delicious, and I enjoyed it!” We punish ourselves over and over and feel guilty.
3. Think about how you reward yourself. To reward yourself, you don’t get a massage or a new pair of shoes, you reward yourself with something sweet. Maybe a chocolate cake because you did well on that test. A big ice cream cone because you finally finished that project. Or (again, as I did) my favorite dessert after I’d lost a kilo…
4. You eat or binge sweets when you are alone. Time to finish that box of cookies now that nobody is watching!
5. Do you feel tired or low when you don’t eat sugar for a long time? Do you feel as if your life is missing something? Do you feel depressed? Wondering where the spark in your life has gone?
6. You go out of your comfort zone or do weird things to obtain something sweet. Even though at one point I decided to get rid of all processed food and sweets in my house, I used to wake up at 3 a.m. and search every single kitchen cabinet for a piece of chocolate or a cookie!
7. Sugar makes you happy, even on a crappy day. Feeling sad? Lonely? Tired? Depressed? Sugar is always there to make you feel amazing! Just open the fridge and get those yummy doughnuts! You feel like sweets will always be there for you to comfort you, make you feel good and suppress any ugly feelings.
Do any of these 7 points resonate with you? So maybe you are addicted to sugar after all. Being aware and acknowledging that we have an addiction is the first step to do something about it. Start making small changes or just go cold turkey (if you can) and quit consuming sugar, but always remember to be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes, and if you start binging like crazy after a craving, just start again the next day. You will get there – and its going to be awesome!