It’s one o’clock in the morning and you can’t seem to dispose of that repetitive thought of having a chocolate digestive right before bed. No matter how hard you try, the satisfaction of having that treat is constantly there like a scratch you just can’t reach. Why do you need this biscuit so bad? Is a biscuit seriously having this much power over you? That’s it – your will power has gone just as quickly as scoffing the last crumbs of that 90kcal thrill! Okay, time to turn our attention to 5 Ways to Identify a Sugar Addiction!
The real question you need to be asking yourself is, “Can I really be hooked on sugar?”
And the answer is yes. Yes, you most certainly can.
Sugar, as well as any other white, refined substance has been scientifically proven by masses of research to show that it can stimulate the same sensitive receptors of the brain to produce pleasure – just as much as heroine or cocaine would!
Sure we’ve all noticed the rise in awareness of how dangerous sugar is and its negative effects, but it’s time now to stop underestimating its crucial ability to become an actual addiction. It may be hard to believe but just like hard core drugs, becoming addicted to sugar can cause serve withdrawal symptoms and cravings that will send you raiding the cupboards past midnight for that packet of digestives!
Could you be a sugar addict?
Here are some surprisingly common signs that show you are addicted to sugar:
1. You find it almost impossible to stop eating after having one sweet bite?
I’m sure almost everyone loves to indulge in a delicious dessert every now and again, whether it’s for a special occasion or wanting that little extra sweetness after dinner – it would be rude not to have some birthday cake right? One slice turns into two, three, and before you know it you are left scraping the last treacle and icing from the plate. If this is a regular thing for you and feel like you have no sense of control when it comes to saying ‘no’, then this may be a symptom of current sugar addiction.
2. Have more sugar lows than sugar highs?
Sugar addictions provide a high, just like other explicit substances such as heroin; you experience both the highs and lows. Your mind is calling for that extra bit of sugar, it’s not your body telling you. So it’s what is going on mentally and once you have given in to this infectious mindset you become set on experiencing a level of satiation from that substance. This is because sugar feeds every cell in the brain, causing dopamine receptors (happy hormones), to be released in the central nervous system.
Now that the sugar is in your bloodstream, your pancreas detects a sugar rush that signals a hormone called insulin to tackle this problem of excess sugar. It does this by regulating the correct level of sugar in your bloodstream, storing all of its glucose in the liver and muscles, however if excess sugar is entering the blood stream more insulin is required. The results of this sugar drop cause drastic feelings of fatigue, fuzziness and lack of focus and concentration.
3. Do you occasionally get intense cravings for something sweet?
It’s all well and good to admit that you are someone who subjugates what people tend to call a ‘sweet tooth’, (I’m biggest of them all!) but saying that, there is definitely a fine line between favouring something sweet over savoury compared to always wanting something sweet to eat. If you feel like your mind is constantly siding with the sweeter things in life -even after a hefty, nutritious meal, this is likely another sign of sugar addiction to take into consideration.
4. Do you get cravings for something extremely starchy and meaty?
On the other side of the spectrum, do you ever have that broad lust for something saltier? Perhaps a handful of salted pretzels, a bowl of pasta, crisps? This is your body trying to balance out the food compounds being consumed, those starchy cravings are your body’s way of saying; ‘Hey I can’t cope with all of this sugar, feed me something else – ANYTHING!’ Too much of one food group creates a craving for ‘contraction food’ and as you can imagine, this works both ways as well between sweet and savoury foods. It’s an ongoing cycle. So if you do find yourself wanting to have sudden bursts of salty food then this could mean that your body has had enough of the high sugar intake and needs other foods to keep well and balanced.
5. Do you ever feel bloated and gassy after eating?
Bloating and excessive gas is often caused predominantly by a high intake of sugar. Your digestive system can take a beating by a large amount of sugar consumption -don’t forget that sugar can be found in complex carbs as well (such as bread, white rice and pasta). With this in mind, problems can be caused by breaking down glucose from carbohydrates in the small intestine and enter the large intestine instead, causing uncomfortable abdominal bloating and excessive gas in the bowel.
If you have ticked ‘yes’ to the majority of the questions above and have a hunch that the reason why you have been feeling sluggish and podgy around the middle is down to your devoted sugar consumption, then I have a sneaky suspicion that you may have the symptoms of a sugar addict.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one, there’s a whole army of mental tendencies out there ready to give-up and lose in the constant battle with the sweet poison! I strongly believe that sugar addictions shouldn’t ever be underestimated. An addiction is an addiction, whether it’s via hard-hitting drugs or constantly wanting something sweet, withdrawal symptoms and cravings will definitely arise like any other form of quitting while on a detox.
The most important thing is first to be aware of your addiction to sugar, that way you can work on building a better attachment with the sweet stuff; one instead that won’t leave you feeling like the antagonized and agonising cookie monster!