If you had asked me if I was addicted to sugar before I started my sugar free journey, I would have laughed at the idea. Addiction was for the weak and sugar wasn’t addictive, or so I thought.
Little did I realize that under an MRI machine, eating a sugary treat causes the brain to light up like a Christmas tree in exactly the same way it lights up when you give a cocaine addict a bump of coke. In fact it really wasn’t until I decided to cut sugar out that I realized how deep my addiction went. For the first few days, it was literally all I thought about. I kept coming up with rationalizations and round-about ways I could get a little “hit” of sugar. It was eye-opening to say the least. Even now, 4 months into a no sugar lifestyle, I still have the occasional urge to grab a quick dessert.
Here are 4 Questions You Can Ask to See if You Are Addicted to Sugar
Just like with any addiction, the first step to conquering it is admitting you have a problem but how are you supposed to know if you are addicted? Fortunately there are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if you have a problem.
1. Do you struggle to pass by a sugary food without grabbing one?
This was definitely me. It was as if saying “just one” to myself was some kind of magic spell that would make what I was eating not be fattening. And it was never “just one”.
2. Have you built routines around your sugar consumption?
I remember when my youngest son was growing up, he got it in his head that you were supposed to eat dessert after every meal. (Can’t imagine where he picked that up.) It wasn’t until we let him spend the night at his grandmother’s and she called us the next day to tell us that he asked for dessert after a breakfast of pancakes and syrup(!) that we realized we weren’t doing a good job of modeling good eating habits to him. Do you have to have dessert every night? Do you eat a candy bar in the middle of every day? Do you have to have a sugary drink or snack after a workout?
3. Are there times when you feel like you can’t go on without a sugar hit?
For me it was that 3PM lull between lunch and dinner. I was pretty much powerless against the siren call of a Reese’s peanut butter cup. (Plus, peanut butter is full of protein so it was practically healthfood, right?)
4. If you are forced to go without sugar for a day, do you develop headaches or mood swings?
I would have had no way to answer this because I can assure you that I NEVER went a full day without sugar! Now I know that mood swings and intense cravings happen when I cut sugar out but I sure am glad I did it.
Here’s the horrible truth, if you answered yes to ANY of these questions, you are probably addicted to sugar. It’s time to get that sugar out of your life! If you need more convincing, here are a few ways fructose (sugar) is making you fat and sick and here is my story about how I broke free of my sugar addiction.
Thanks to David Gillespie for this list