I have always LOVED sweets! Literally anything sweet is my downfall…Cookies, cake, ice cream, icing…I love it all. It’s all my weakness. In fact, I have always enjoyed sweets so that I love to spend hours in the kitchen whipping up new ways to enjoy sweet treats!
It wasn’t until much more recently that I discovered the “hold” that sugar had on me. I would find myself craving a sweet treat even when I had been doing really well sticking to my healthy eating plan otherwise. It was like I literally had no power over my sweet tooth.
The more I’ve learned about food and how it affects our bodies, the more I’ve become aware of how detrimental sugar can be to our progress. Literally, recent research indicates that sugar isn’t just something we enjoy. It is an addictive substance! In fact, scans of the brain of someone who is addicted to cocaine are almost identical to those of someone who is addicted to sugar; however, the sugar addiction shows up as much more intense! Now, that tells me there is something wrong with my “sweet tooth.” I don’t want to be “addicted” to anything, and I’m sure you don’t either. So, how can we overcome our addiction?
Well, it isn’t easy to get off the sugar habit, but it is possible. Trust me, as a former sugar addict I know how tough it is, so I want to share my best tips for kicking the addiction with you as well as offer my support in whatever form you feel would be most beneficial to you.
1. Be vigilant.
The primary component of overcoming the addiction is vigilance. You have to want it bad enough to carefully watch your consumption, change your eating habits, and stick to your plan to be able to overcome. You also have to be willing to work at it every single day. This isn’t one of those things that you’re going to be able to just slap a Band-Aid on and be done with. You’ll struggle with this addiction every single day, so get ready for it.
2. Focus on nutrition.
The problem with our desire for sweet or even salty foods isn’t really that we’re craving that taste at all. The issue is that we satisfy the craving with the wrong foods. Instead of satisfying our sweet craving with a sugary treat, we should instead satisfy it with a naturally sweet treat like fruit. This relationship can be looked at as “false fixes” versus “healthy fixes.” Our body naturally craves nutrition, but we often misread that craving. By supporting our cravings with healthy, natural foods, we can retrain our brains and overcome the addiction. Think about it as rewarding your cravings with the right foods instead of the wrong ones.
3. Get moving.
One reason our bodies crave sugar is because it releases dopamine into our system, which is a chemical that helps us feel or experience pleasure. Another way we can trigger release of dopamine in our systems is by getting moving! It doesn’t have to be structured exercise all the time, though that is beneficial. A quick walk around the office, a dance to your favorite song, or a stroll through the park is often enough to release a little dopamine in your system and reduce that craving for a sweet treat. Use movement as one of your defense mechanisms against your addiction.
4. Get accountable.
I say this all the time, but accountability really does make all the difference with helping us stick to our healthy habits, especially when it comes to overcoming an addiction. So, whether it’s a friend, a coach (like me), or a group of people, find someone to hold you accountable to your goal to overcome this addiction. You might let yourself down, but you’re not going to let your best friend, your spouse, your sister, or your coach down…
Enjoying sugar isn’t just an inclination is an addiction. Use these tips to help you get started breaking the cycle of addiction, but remember, this isn’t a quick fix. Sugar addiction is going to be something you struggle with every single day. You can overcome, though, and you’ll feel so much better once you do!
Ready to kick the habit but need some support? Great! I’m hosting a FREE Beginner’s Guide to SUGAR Detox, and I’d love for you to participate! Fill out the form below, and I’ll get you added to the group!