Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So What's Behind a Sugar Addiction Anyway?

I woke up this morning ready to go. I was going to do it! I was going to stay under my recommended carb levels and everything was going to be ok. And I made it...about halfway through the day. And then I had a wild craving for something sweet. I resisted for an hour or so. I distracted myself with my favorite tv rerun, doing homework, ate a protein-filled snack...I even ate some fruit to try to help, but...3 oreos and the bottom of the bag of cheesy puffs was pretty hard evidence that I had failed.


I definitely felt worse after I caved than before! I felt like I was weak. Like I had failed myself (and the myfitnesspal.com charts...I hate those red numbers yelling at me!). Guilt, guilt, guilt...make it stop!

Obviously willpower was not a strong enough weapon to defeat the carb addiction demons. So I enlisted the help of the internet to try to find some explanations. Here is some of what I came up with...

The following is a video from TED, about the science behind sugar addiction. It was pretty interesting! And not too long or dense either.

And an excerpt from this Psychology Today article says about the same thing (click here to read the rest of the article):
 "But what if you decide you want to resist the temptation of the sweets? Then the drop of blood sugar comes with two very unwanted side effects: cravings to eat, and decreased energy to resist. The result? It's much harder to say no, and you may even need to eat to feel normal. Much like the cigarette addict who needs to smoke, or the pain medication addict who needs to take a pill, just to feel normal."

Several Signs you might be addicted to sugar...

Increased Tolerance. As the TED video above explained, the more sugar we eat, the more we crave. Take my horrible iced tea habit, for example. I wasn't able to enjoy iced tea without dumping in 5 or more sugar/sweetener packets, which my husband pointed out was ludicrous. 
Experiencing Withdrawal. That candy bar calling from the kitchen? Feeling tired and irritable without a bite of something sweet? Yupp, that's withdrawal alright.
Loss of Control. That withdrawal feeling putting you on edge? Can't seem to say no to the ice cream in the freezer? Succumbing to your cravings and binging on carb-laden foods despite your best intentions is a sign of a lack of control, which is a sure sign of addiction.
Obtaining a "fix" at any cost. Waiting in a long line for a treat? Going all the way to the grocery store just to get something sweet? Searching the house for anything you can put in your mouth? People addicted to sugar are willing to pay a high price to get it.
Over Prioritization. Ever been late to an appointment or meeting so that you could get your hands on something sweet? Going over budget, forgetting to complete other tasks, just to grab a bite?
Ignoring Negative Consequences. Sugar is the cause of many different medical diagnoses, we all know that. But to excessively consume sugar and carbs knowing that you may have a family history (or are even currently diagnosed with) one of them is a sign of being addicted.

Some people might see this article as an excuse for giving in to cravings, but really it's just a testament to how seriously the issue of a sugar addiction needs to be taken. To succeed, looks like we'll have to bring out the big guns.

No comments:

Post a Comment