Sweet Cravings: 8 tips of sugar addiction

Did you know the average American consumes over 152 pounds of sugar per annum? Sugary foods are big business, and their clever marketing can seem to tempt you at every turn. But how do you know went the odd treat turns into an addiction?

The truth is that many people do not even realize they are addicted until it is far too late. Read on as we discuss the must-know signs of sugar addiction. 

1. You Crave Sugar Even When You Are Not Hungry

There are certain times when it is fine to crave sugary foods. After exercise, when your energy levels are low, or at times when you really need to satiate your hunger. However, it only becomes a problem when you start reaching for the sugary snacks when you really don’t need them. 

If you find you are eating meals, then developing a lust for sugar afterward, it can be one of the main sugar addiction signs. You may find that you are not even hungry, but are reaching for chocolates and candy regardless. Finally, if you find yourself thirty but just have to drown your sorrows in soda, addiction is at hand. 

2. You Try to Hide It

One telltale sign of any addiction is denial, especially to family and friends. Part of this can involve trying to mask the signs. When it comes to being addicted to sugar, this usually manifests as secret stashes.

If you find yourself setting up hidden tins of cookies and treats then you may have a problem. If you hide them in places that you use in emergencies, such as your work desk, bag, or car, then it could be an addiction. To help prevent the temptation, clear these places out and limited the places you keep these foods to your home.

If you feel you really do need snacks, then replace them with much healthier ones. Start to swap foods for ones that have less sugar in your cooking, such as sugar free maple syrup or low sugar ready-made products. 

3. Addiction Is a History

Cross sensitization is a term used to describe how our neural pathways work in relation to addiction. Many people who have developed dependencies on one thing, be it drugs or alcohol, can start to develop a dependency on other items. Our brains work in a way that if we have an addictive personality, we can often switch the substance. 

Unfortunately, sugar can be a gateway to the abuse of alcohol. A study at Princeton University found it can have the same impact to that of drugs in addiction as well. If you have overcome these problems before, then you may be relapsing into bad habits. 

4. Do You Exhibit Binge Behavior?

People who find themselves addicted do not have to consume sugar constantly. In fact, they may have periods of abstinence followed by a large binge. However, this cycle can actually be worse for you. 

This is because the brain stops thinking of sugar as a food. It starts to think of it very much like the brain would a drug. Instead of realizing the body has stopped eating and is full, it simply braces itself for the next big sugar rush. 

This cyclical binging alters the opioid receptors in the brain. More worrying, it is more than addiction but is qualified as an eating disorder

5. Your Energy Peaks and Troughs

The level of sugar in your blood has a direct impact on your energy levels. If you eat a large amount of sugar or carbs, then the body produces insulin. This helps metabolize blood sugar. 

If you are metabolizing large amounts of sugar in one go, you will feel a huge spike of energy. However, as this sugar metabolizes quickly, the sugar is used up very fast. This means the period will be followed by a huge dip in energy, which will make you feel lethargic and fatigued.

This can pull you into a cycle. You will start to think you need sugar to bring your energy levels back up. However, slow-burning carbohydrates and proteins will be much better for regulating energy levels than your candy and fizzy drinks. 

6. You Have Missed the Carb Connection

Sugar does not just arrive in the form of chocolatey snacks and soda. Glucose is one of the bodies sources of fuel, and it mainly comes from carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are just as bad for the body as traditional sugary foods, as they convert to sugar quickly in the body. 

Because of this, many people could have a sugar addiction and not even realize it. If you find that you are eating refined carbs such as bread, pasta, and granola bars regularly, then it is exactly the same. You need to start changing these for healthier choices. 

Swap these snacks out for more fruit and vegetables. Potatoes and brown rice can be used instead of pasta, or the many other grains available. Try to use wholewheat bread and pasta instead of the plain white variety. 

7. You Often Feel Bloated

Feeling bloated often, particularly after meals, can be caused by many problems and could be a sign of digestive problems. However, one of the most common causes is that of sugar fermentation. Both refined and natural sugar can cause problems for people if they are consumed in large quantities. 

Our digestive system has a very fine balance of bacteria that assist it in its functions. Too much sugar can feed the bad bacteria, upsetting the balance. This gives us an inability to digest properly, bloating our gut. 

8. You Can’t Stop

It seems obvious, but it is one people often overlook. If you can not stop at one cookie, or you have to eat the whole bar of chocolate, then you have an addiction. Over time, this can impact hormone production in your body, including insulin and leptin. 

Combating the Signs of Sugar Addiction

The signs of sugar addiction are not always easy to spot, but now you know them, you can decide if you are addicted. If you believe you are, try to bring in good behaviors that break the cycle. Clear out the stashes of sugar and introduce better routines. 

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