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Sugar Addiction Tips

All About Sugar Addiction

Dr. Sunil Kumar 86% (25 ratings)
Ph.D - Psychology, M.Phil - Clinical Psychology, MA - Psychology
Psychologist, Chennai
All About Sugar Addiction

Scientists have concluded that sugar stimulates the exact same centers of the brain, which derive pleasure out of heroin or cocaine. For those who are addicted to sugar, getting off it leads to intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If you have an uncontrollable urge to devour something sweet, you probably have sugar addiction too. Sugar is known to release dopamine and opioids, which not only makes it addictive, but makes it extremely difficult for you to overcome the withdrawal symptoms. 

Mentioned below are 5 signs to figure out if you are addicted to sugar: 

  1. Despite being full or not hungry, you consume certain foods due to cravings
  2. You worry about consuming certain foods and cutting down on them 
  3. You overeat and then feel fatigued or sluggish 
  4. Despite negative consequences that affect your health and cause social problems, you continue eating or overeating certain foods
  5. You try to eliminate any negative emotion by consuming the foods you crave and experience pleasure. 

If you suffer from the aforementioned problems, you should seriously consider sugar detox or food rehab. Sugar and foods containing high levels of sugar causes behavioral changes, nutrient deficiency or imbalance, impairs your body and immunity system leading to an increased risk of illnesses and diseases. Sugar is also known to feed cancer cells and obesity. Fungi, which are living organisms, thrive on sugar and feed on it to reproduce and function properly leading to most infections. However, it is never too late to break your sugar habit. 

Mentioned below are 5 ways to fight your sugar addiction:

  1. Substitute sweets with whole foods
  2. Ditch artificial sweeteners 
  3. Clean your house
  4. Create a backup plan 
  5. Manage your magnesium levels 

Although, sugar withdrawal symptoms vary from individual to individual, they usually last for about 3 to 4 weeks. Withdrawing from sugar can be extremely difficult and causes the following symptoms in you, which will sorely tempt you into giving in to your cravings: 

  1. Feeling lightheaded
  2. Craving for sugar 
  3. Binge eating 
  4. Anxiety 
  5. Depression 
  6. Headaches
  7. Irritability and moodiness
  8. Fatigue and tiredness
  9. Muscular aches
  10. Flu symptoms
4543 people found this helpful

Can You Get Addicted To Sugar?

Dt. Ankita Gupta 88% (21 ratings)
Masters In Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics (MCND)
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Hyderabad
Can You Get Addicted To Sugar?

Simple sugar is also known as monosaccharide, is the basic unit of carbohydrates. The simplest forms of sugar are usually colourless and crystalline and exist in forms of glucose, fructose and galactose. Simple sugar is deemed to be a major concern according to all health nutritionists.

Here are five reasons why you should avoid them:

  1. Sugar is the biggest cause of obesity: Sugar present in all kinds of junk food is considered to be the biggest cause of obesity as fructose easily converts into fat inside your body. Consuming too much sugar can put too much pressure on your liver as it is responsible for converting fructose into fat. Large amounts of sugar are directly converted into fat, thus, putting you at a very high risk of becoming obese.
  2. Increases risks of contracting heart diseases: Consuming too much sugar throughout the day causes a hike in your insulin levels which can further affect your nervous system. An excess of sugar in your blood stream also causes your blood pressure to rise which makes you more likely to get a heart stroke. Thus, to avoid cardiac problems at a young age, you must cut down your sugar intake.
  3. Weakens immune system: Sugar is a major reason for inflammation which affects the central immune system adversely. With an excess intake of sugar, the body becomes less effective in dealing with infection and common cold because phagocytes (white blood cells) cannot do their job properly of engulfing dangerous bacteria. Thus, you should aim at boosting your immune system by cutting down on sugar completely.
  4. Sugar can make you age faster: The sugar content in your body creates molecules known as AGEs (Advanced glycation end products) which attack the fibres in elastin and collagen (the building blocks of the cells on your skin). A study also proved that consuming too much sugar can result in acne as the collagen in your skin weakens. Thus, to maintain youthful looking skin for longer, you should remove sugar from your diet completely.
  5. Sugar can be addictive: Most people who consume too much sugar get addicted to it. According to a study, the addiction to sugar is very similar to addiction to tobacco and drugs. You might start craving sugar and depending on it to change your mood more often than required.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2562 people found this helpful

How to Deal with Sugar Addiction

Dt. Deepika Kohli 92% (22 ratings)
M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
How to Deal with Sugar Addiction

Sugar addiction is basically a relentless sugar craving that is triggered in the brain due to mental hunger or an inherent sweet tooth. Yet, excessive sugar is not a good thing in the long run. It can lead to diabetes and various other issues like high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity. Also, people whose grandparents have suffered from diabetes need to be especially careful of such sweet cravings as it may trigger the same problem in them too. So how can you cut sugar out of your life? Here's a list of tips.

  • Detox or Gradual Scaling Down: While many people are in favour of gradually scaling down your sugar intake and slowly cutting it out of your life in a matter of weeks and months, there are experts who believe in stopping intake of it. A clean break from sugar is said to have a beneficial detox like effect on the brain and body. Many experts recommend cutting sugar out of your life in one clean swipe.
  • Replacements: Using other substances like honey or even extracts from the Stevia plant are known to be a good replacement plan for cutting down your sugar addiction. You can start by introducing your system to these replacements in your daily beverages like tea, coffee or lemonade, before moving on to the use of organic honey for desserts and baking, as well as other sugar-free desserts and puddings.
  • Fruits: The best way to get your sugar indulgence fixed is to have a good dose of fruit. This can help in giving you a good amount of dietary sugars which are natural and do not harm the body in the long run. Also, fruits are a healthy way of ingesting sugar even as you get valuable nutrients, vitamins and mineral - one arrow, many targets!
  • Clean Up: Take a walk around your home and find all those secret candy stashes. Also, look for your dessert and pudding trays in the fridge. Now take all this out and give them away or trash them. Once you remove the option of snacking on sugary treats, you will be in a better place to avoid it altogether.
  • Magnesium: Your chocolate craving might actually be a call for magnesium that your body is missing out on. Similarly, a mental hunger pang may actually be a need for water or some solid food. Avoid the sugary rush and take the healthy route instead, with the help of nuts and dairy.

Controlling your sugar addiction can save you from various ailments even as it gives you a healthier lifestyle.

Related Tip: How too much sugar can adversely affect your sex life?

4979 people found this helpful

Tips To Overcome Sugar Addiction

Dt. Ruchi Meena 89% (179 ratings)
M.Sc -Food and Nutrition, B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Tips To Overcome Sugar Addiction

You can be very much addicted to having sugar that many a times you might find it difficult to cut down on the amount of your intake. You might find it impossible to stop eating sugar. You might crave to have anything which has a lot of sugar in it.

Why is it bad?

Sugar is a fattening compound as it contains fructose. Sugar causes you to overeat, which in turn causes weight gain. It can bring anatomical changes in the brain, which gets you into an addiction. Sugar addiction is just like any other addiction, like that with nicotine or any other drugs. The only difference is the substance being used. Sugar can mess with the chemical balance of the brain to make you crave for it more.

How to overcome it?

To overcome sugar addiction, here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Observe yourself: This is the first step you should take. Observe what you eat, how much of sugar it contains. Take a note of how you feel after having sugar or something, which is laden with sugar. Keep a diary entry of whatever you observe about yourself and your sugar consumption.
  2. Practice self care: It is extremely difficult for any sugar addict to transition into a diet without any sugar or low sugar content. You will have to take it slow and add regular practice of self care. Do not avoid breakfast every morning. Remember to add in the required amount of fats and proteins (learn more about the Importance of Protein). Do not skip out on meals. Drink a lot of water and fluids like fresh fruit juice and sleep for at least 7 hours or more so that you get proper rest.
  3. Be honest with yourself: If you are trying to get rid of the sugar addiction, you have to be extremely honest without yourself. If you succumb to temptation and end up eating a few too many candies, then be honest with yourself and admit it. Make it a point to overcome the temptation the next time.

If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult the doctor and ask a free question.

3460 people found this helpful

Sugar - Why Do We Become Addicted to It?

Dt. Shimpy Srivastava 89% (10 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), Msc. Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Lucknow
Sugar - Why Do We Become Addicted to It?

Are you addicted to sugar and all sugary items? Have you tried cutting down your sugar intake, only to realize how tough, and sometimes impossible it is? These facts make it evident that something in your brain does not function normally, or in its usual way when it comes to sugar and sugary food items. This occurs because of several factors.

  1. Sugar addiction is caused by the overstimulation of your brain’s reward center
  2. Sugar is fattening in a unique way because of its high fructose content. There are various ways in which sugar causes you to overeat, leading to weight gain. The primary reason for developing an addiction to sugar is because of its impact on the brain’s reward center.
  3. When you eat sugary food, a large amount of dopamine gets released into the Nucleus Accumbens, which is a certain area of the brain. When you consume these food items frequently, the dopamine receptors become slow in regulating. As a result, the receptors for dopamine get lessened. This indicates that the next time you consume these specific food items, the effects of the receptors become blunt.
  4. For receiving the reward of the same level, you will be tempted into eating more sugary food. Sugar rich food function quite similarly to drugs of abuse such as nicotine, cannabis, amphetamine and cocaine. Similar centers of the brain come into play in both these forms of addiction.
  5. People having some sort of predisposition towards addiction are likely to get more addicted to such sweet and sugary food items, having no control over consumption.

This is the way in which sugar hijacks your brain chemistry, making you crave for more and more sugar, and in turn influences your behavior. 

In some people, certain anatomical changes in the brain take place, when frequently exposed to food rich in sugar. It ends up in full fledged addiction in many people. According to the experiences of drug addicts who have been substance abusers for several years, the addiction to sugar and food rich in sugar content is exactly the same as any kind of drug addiction. There are no major differences, except that the substance of addiction and the consequences are totally different.

Several recovering drug addicts have stated that they crave for sugar, junk food, and any sweet food item in the same way they craved for alcohol and other drugs. This proves the level of addictive sugar, and it is recommended for everybody to abstain from consuming too much sugar. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.

2320 people found this helpful

Sugar Addiction - Tips To Overcome It!

Diet Clinic 91% (2547 ratings)
B.Sc.(Hons), P.G.Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist,
Sugar Addiction - Tips To Overcome It!

You can be very much addicted to having sugar that many-a-times you might find it difficult to cut down on the amount of your intake. You might find it impossible to stop eating sugar. You might crave to have anything which has a lot of sugar in it.

Why is it bad?

Sugar is a fattening compound as it contains fructose. Sugar causes you to overeat, which in turn causes weight gain. It can bring anatomical changes in the brain, which gets you into an addiction. Sugar addiction is just like any other addiction, like that with nicotine or any other drugs. The only difference is the substance being used. Sugar can mess with the chemical balance of the brain to make you crave for it more.

  1. A 2009 study from the University of California shows how a high-fructose diet can cause you to build new fat cells around your heart, liver, and digestive organs in just 10 weeks, plunging you into the early stages of diabetes and heart disease (whereas a high glucose diet did not have the same effects) 
  2. Excess fructose consumption is a major contributor to insulin resistance and obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer, arthritis, and other diseases 
  3. Fructose is metabolized very differently in your body from glucose; all of the metabolic burden falls on your liver, in much the same way as for alcohol, and your body becomes a sea of toxic by-products. 
  4. Glucose, on the other hand, is your body’s nearly ideal source of fuel, meaning it has none of the damaging metabolic effects of fructose; glucose also suppresses your appetite, unlike fructose, which stimulates your appetite and encourages overeating and the accumulation of excess body fat

How to overcome it?

To overcome sugar addiction, here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Observe yourself: This is the first step you should take. Observe what you eat, how much of sugar it contains. Take a note of how you feel after having sugar or something, which is laden with sugar. Keep a diary entry of whatever you observe about yourself and your sugar consumption.
  2. Practice self care: It is extremely difficult for any sugar addict to transition into a diet without any sugar or low sugar content. You will have to take it slow and add regular practice of self care. Do not avoid breakfast every morning. Remember to add in the required amount of fats and proteins (learn more about the Importance of Protein). Do not skip out on meals. Drink a lot of water and fluids like fresh fruit juice and sleep for at least 7 hours or more so that you get proper rest.
  3. Be honest with yourself: If you are trying to get rid of the sugar addiction, you have to be extremely honest without yourself. If you succumb to temptation and end up eating a few too many candies, then be honest with yourself and admit it. Make it a point to overcome the temptation the next time.

If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult the doctor and ask a free question.

7083 people found this helpful

5 Ways To Fight Your Sugar Addiction!

Dr. Mahima Bhomavat Innani 87% (32 ratings)
MA - Psychology, Certificate Course In Application of Counselling Therapies
Psychologist, Mumbai
5 Ways To Fight Your Sugar Addiction!

Scientists have concluded that sugar stimulates the exact same centers of the brain, which derive pleasure out of heroin or cocaine. For those who are addicted to sugar, getting off it leads to intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If you have an uncontrollable urge to devour something sweet, you probably have sugar addiction too. Sugar is known to release dopamine and opioids, which not only makes it addictive, but makes it extremely difficult for you to overcome the withdrawal symptoms. 

Mentioned below are 5 signs to figure out if you are addicted to sugar: 

  1. Despite being full or not hungry, you consume certain foods due to cravings
  2. You worry about consuming certain foods and cutting down on them 
  3. You overeat and then feel fatigued or sluggish 
  4. Despite negative consequences that affect your health and cause social problems, you continue eating or overeating certain foods
  5. You try to eliminate any negative emotion by consuming the foods you crave and experience pleasure. 

If you suffer from the aforementioned problems, you should seriously consider sugar detox or food rehab. Sugar and foods containing high levels of sugar causes behavioral changes, nutrient deficiency or imbalance, impairs your body and immunity system leading to an increased risk of illnesses and diseases. Sugar is also known to feed cancer cells and obesity. Fungi, which are living organisms, thrive on sugar and feed on it to reproduce and function properly leading to most infections. However, it is never too late to break your sugar habit. 

Mentioned below are 5 ways to fight your sugar addiction:

  1. Substitute sweets with whole foods
  2. Ditch artificial sweeteners 
  3. Clean your house
  4. Create a backup plan 
  5. Manage your magnesium levels 

Although, sugar withdrawal symptoms vary from individual to individual, they usually last for about 3 to 4 weeks. Withdrawing from sugar can be extremely difficult and causes the following symptoms in you, which will sorely tempt you into giving in to your cravings: 

  1. Feeling lightheaded
  2. Craving for sugar 
  3. Binge eating 
  4. Anxiety 
  5. Depression 
  6. Headaches
  7. Irritability and moodiness
  8. Fatigue and tiredness
  9. Muscular aches
  10. Flu symptoms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychologist.
3220 people found this helpful

Why To Take Less Sugar

Dr. Kapil Dev Gupta 89% (39 ratings)
BHMS, MD - Homeopathy
Homeopath, Chandigarh
Why To Take Less Sugar

Simple sugar is also known as monosaccharide, is the basic unit of carbohydrates. The simplest forms of sugar are usually colourless and crystalline and exist in forms of glucose, fructose and galactose. Simple sugar is deemed to be a major concern according to all health nutritionists.

Here are five reasons why you should avoid them:

Sugar is the biggest cause of obesity sugar present in all kinds of junk food is considered to be the biggest cause of obesity as fructose easily converts into fat inside your body. Consuming too much sugar can put too much pressure on your liver as it is responsible for converting fructose into fat. Large amounts of sugar are directly converted into fat, thus, putting you at a very high risk of becoming obese. Increases risks of contracting heart diseases consuming too much sugar throughout the day causes a hike in your insulin levels which can further affect your nervous system. An excess of sugar in your blood stream also causes your blood pressure to rise which makes you more likely to get a heart stroke. Thus, to avoid cardiac problems at a young age, you must cut down your sugar intake. Weakens immune system: sugar is a major reason for inflammation which affects the central immune system adversely. With an excess intake of sugar, the body becomes less effective in dealing with infection and common cold because phagocytes (white blood cells) cannot do their job properly of engulfing dangerous bacteria. Thus, you should aim at boosting your immune system by cutting down on sugar completely. Sugar can make you age faster: the sugar content in your body creates molecules known as ages (advanced glycation end products) which attack the fibres in elastin and collagen (the building blocks of the cells on your skin). A study also proved that consuming too much sugar can result in acne as the collagen in your skin weakens. Thus, to maintain youthful looking skin for longer, you should remove sugar from your diet completely. Sugar can be addictive: most people who consume too much sugar get addicted to it. According to a study, the addiction to sugar is very similar to addiction to tobacco and drugs. You might start craving sugar and depending on it to change your mood more often than required. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult me.

Dr. Kapil Dev Gupta
Homoeopathic Physician 
Ramashram Homoeo Care
Chandigarh

1 person found this helpful

Sugar Addiction - 5 Ways That Can Help Manage It!

Dt. Shweta Sharma 87% (178 ratings)
Certificate In Food & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Noida
Sugar Addiction - 5 Ways That Can Help Manage It!

Sugar addiction is basically a relentless sugar craving that is triggered in the brain due to mental hunger or an inherent sweet tooth. Yet, excessive sugar is not a good thing in the long run. It can lead to diabetes and various other issues like high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity. Also, people whose grandparents have suffered from diabetes need to be especially careful of such sweet cravings as it may trigger the same problem in them too. So how can you cut sugar out of your life?

Here's a list of tips.

  1. Detox or Gradual Scaling Down: While many people are in favour of gradually scaling down your sugar intake and slowly cutting it out of your life in a matter of weeks and months, there are experts who believe in stopping intake of it. A clean break from sugar is said to have a beneficial detox like effect on the brain and body. Many experts recommend cutting sugar out of your life in one clean swipe.
  2. Replacements: Using other substances like honey or even extracts from the Stevia plant are known to be a good replacement plan for cutting down your sugar addiction. You can start by introducing your system to these replacements in your daily beverages like tea, coffee or lemonade, before moving on to the use of organic honey for desserts and baking, as well as other sugar-free desserts and puddings.
  3. Fruits: The best way to get your sugar indulgence fixed is to have a good dose of fruit. This can help in giving you a good amount of dietary sugars which are natural and do not harm the body in the long run. Also, fruits are a healthy way of ingesting sugar even as you get valuable nutrients, vitamins and mineral - one arrow, many targets!
  4. Clean Up: Take a walk around your home and find all those secret candy stashes. Also, look for your dessert and pudding trays in the fridge. Now take all this out and give them away or trash them. Once you remove the option of snacking on sugary treats, you will be in a better place to avoid it altogether.
  5. Magnesium: Your chocolate craving might actually be a call for magnesium that your body is missing out on. Similarly, a mental hunger pang may actually be a need for water or some solid food. Avoid the sugary rush and take the healthy route instead, with the help of nuts and dairy.

Controlling your sugar addiction can save you from various ailments even as it gives you a healthier lifestyle.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4201 people found this helpful

How To Deal With Child's Addiction To Sweets?

Dr. Rabi Kumar 89% (24 ratings)
MD - Paediatrics, DNB (Pediatrics)
Pediatrician, Rourkela
How To Deal With Child's Addiction To Sweets?

If your child has become increasingly addicted to sweets and other sugary items, this addiction can lead to certain behavioral problems (like mood swings, irritability, anger, etc) in children. Moreover, a high sugar intake can lead to your child falling prey to serious diseases and conditions, including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. 

Here's what you can do to break your child's indulgent habits and wean him from ill-health causing culprits like cakes, ice creams, candies, chocolates and rich and creamy desserts etc.

1. Practice what you preach -
In order to develop healthy eating habits in your child, it is imperative for you as a parent to lead by example. When it comes to weaning your child from sugary foods and sweets, you yourself should limit your intake. So, if you tell your child to avoid sweets but love sweets yourself, you'd be setting a bad example by eating them yourself and not letting your child have them. The best thing to do is to be a role model to your child as children learn everything from their parents. 

2. Curb consumption of sugar by deferring intake to a later date -
Instead of depriving your child completely, it would prove to be more useful to tell them that they could have sweets on some other day. This is because if you deny him his indulgence, your child would invariably go on an eating spree the moment an opportunity arises. A study on a group of restrained eaters and non-diet individuals revealed that restrained eaters were found to consume more food than the non-dieting individuals. Not knowing when they could have their favourite foods again, they went on an eating spree.

Make frequent yet small offerings of sweets while explaining to him the importance of moderation and why he/she shouldn't overindulge but space out sugar intake.

3. Try the 90/10 rule - 
Teaching older children the 90/10 principle is another sure-shot way of breaking your child?'s addiction to sweets. The rule calls for 90% of the diet to be made up of healthy food with the remaining 10% being devoted to foods your child wants to indulge in such as junk food, sweets or foods with high sugar content. The total calorie intake that arises from consumption of about 10% or 1-2 fun foods is only about 100-200 calories everyday. 

4. Present your child with healthy alternatives to sugary items -
The next time your child wants to indulge in his sugar craving, instead of giving a processed sugary food, give healthier sweet foods like dates, honey or a fresh sweet fruit. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1825 people found this helpful
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