Obesity And Sugar Addiction

By Hieke Huiskes

As consumers of roughly 160 pounds of sugar per person annually, according to recent reports, we need to be asking what the cost of our consumption is on our bodies and our health. Whether it's the sugar in what we eat or drink, and this includes the lattes, juices, sodas, and some alcoholic beverages-we owe it to ourselves to understand that sugar is making us fat and disrupting our body organs. Another more subtle but equally detrimental effect is sugar's action on the brain.[]

Some general signs you need to know are,a strong drive to eat sugar when you are depressed: when you feel upset or stressed you automatically turn to sugar for comfort.obsession with sugar or sugary food: no matter where you are - working at office, walking in the park, partying with your friends - your thoughts are constantly stolen by sugar or sweet food.sugar triggered defensive mechanism: you don't want to be told about not eating sugar. You don't want people criticize your addiction. The slightest comment about eating sugar or sugar addiction symptoms upsets you and generates defensive reactions.

What happens when we consume it? For most people, it sets off a craving for more sugar. This is the law of sugar in action. There are very few of us who haven't felt the urge for more cookies or chocolate, after just having one. I have met a few individuals who don't eat sweets at all and generally these folks fall into three categories. They've either gotten a handle on their sugar consumption and avoid it entirely or they never had an issue with it in the first place. Other people consume alcoholic beverages regularly and get their daily sugar from that source. It makes sense: most recovered alcoholics will tell you they discovered a significant sweet tooth after they got off the alcohol. That's because many alcoholic beverages already contain a high sugar content.

Why should you take sugar addiction seriously? Well, you already know you have a weight problem, right? Addiction to sugar may be at the very core of your problem. Obesity alone should be enough motivation to "lose the sugar habit" but if it's not, how about diabetes? Cardiovascular disease? Possibly cancer? Hyperactivity? Depression? Tooth decay?

Avoid salt foods. They induce sugar cravings.Eat more fruit and vegetables. There are sweet vegetables, too. Buy smart: Read the labels on the foods you buy.Eat whole grains. They contain complex carbohydrates (millet, barley, brown rice).Ice-cream fans: eat only ice-cream that is reach in healthy ingredients and not high flavored, high sugar ice-cream.Don't give up sugar: the only thing you'll get is a powerful crave.High protein breakfast: in the morning eat high protein foods.

Firstly you aren't alone; sugar addiction is probably more common than alcoholism, drug addiction and gambling. Why? Simple, sugar is everywhere, not just in your cup of tea, cake, biscuit or can of coke. Sugar has sneaked its way into the most unlikely of foods such as soups, bread and even ketchup.Secondly sugar acts in the same way as certain illegal drugs. At least if we are as closely related to our cousin the rat as scientists seem to believe. Researchers showed that a whopping 94% of rats preferred the taste of sugar and sweeteners to cocaine. Food addiction is plausible because brain pathways respond to sugar in the same way as addictive drugs act.

Thirdly sugar is toxic; by now you are probably beginning to see the bigger picture. Sugar is addictive and like any addictive substance it is toxic. The reaction mightn't be as obvious as what comes with a cocaine overdose, but don't be lulled into a false sense of "it's only sugar", overtime excess sugar consumption is deadly. Teeth decay, diabetes, bad skin, nutrient deficiencies, obesity all come hand in hand with sugar addiction.

There is a school of thought that says you shouldn't "shock" your system by eliminating all sources of excess sugar in one fell swoop, and an opposing theory that states quitting sugar cold turkey can make ending addiction easier and more effective, in the end. Let's take a look at both methods for ending sugar addiction. The Easy-Does-It Approach: This approach has been recommended for people who have a serious addiction to sugar - those who drink several sugary beverages each day, or who tend to eat mostly processed foods full of added sugars.Gradually decrease the number of sodas you drink each day, and replace sugary foods with healthy ones. This method is said to help ease cravings and make the transition to a healthier lifestyle easier.

The Cold-Turkey Approach: This approach is recommended for anyone who is tired of feeling tired and sluggish, and who feels that they have sufficient willpower and drive to eliminate as much sugar as possible from their daily diet, all at once.When you take the cold turkey approach, you clear your home, your car, and your office of any foods that contain excessive amounts of sugar. You restrict your sugar intake without restricting your caloric intake - this way, you feed your body well as you go through the withdrawal process. Most people who try this approach feel intense cravings at first, which gradually decrease as hours and days pass.

Just be aware that if you take up the challenge, you'll have to step out of your comfort zone for awhile. For awhile, you'll miss it like an old friend who has moved away, but like anything else, you'll get used to it. And I promise you, once you experience the wonderful clarity of mind and feel the natural energy your body provides without sugar's artificial high, you will never want to go back.

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