Have you ever asked yourself "Am I addicted to sugar?"
You might recognise that feeling, the unstoppable urge, that overwhelming craving, that intense desire for something sweet - anything sweet!?
You try to fight it, knowing that what you are about to eat probably isn’t too good for you? But then you go ahead as usual, and start munching on whatever sweet treat is handy, until that craving has gone?
And now perhaps that feeling is replaced by guilt. Maybe a little sickness in the stomach and an energy slump a few hours later?
And then you do it all over again.
Does any of that sound familiar? Well if it does, that is sugar addiction. And it's also the reason I developed my 21 Day Sugar Detox Program.
How to tell if you are addicted to sugar
Here are some of the symptoms of sugar addiction:
You eat food when you are not really hungry because of cravings or habit.
You feel tired after you eat.
You can eat large quantities of sweet foods even if you are not hungry.
You feel self conscious about what you eat.
You often regret eating some types of food after you have eaten them.
You are secretly ashamed of some of the types of things you eat.
You regularly eat certain foods even though you know how bad they are for you.
You eat foods for emotional reasons such as feeling upset or depressed.
These are just some of the indicators that suggest you might have a sugar addiction - keep reading for the full list below.
Even though being hooked on sugar is one of the worlds biggest addiction problems, have you ever stopped to think about how why you might be addicted to sugar, how it came about, or why you might feel it’s so difficult to stop?
And more importantly, what you can actually do about it!
You might imagine someone addicted to sugar would be constantly chugging down and of fizzy drinks and chomping on doughnuts and chocolate, but with sugar now in a reported 75% of processed and packaged foods, you may be hooked without even knowing it.
So read on and I'll let you know just how and why you might be a sugar addict, how to spot the telltale signs, and what you can do about it if you feel you might have a problem with eating too much sugar.
So how addictive is sugar?
If you do have any of the symptoms I've listed above, lets look at why you might be addicted to sugar.
Whenever we eat something sweet, the sugar activates the pleasure and reward part of our brain which makes us feel good by releasing a hormone called dopamine - dopamine is what makes us feel happy.
Studies have shown that it’s this craving for the dopamine hit that makes the cycle of eating sugar into an addiction.
And it’s not just rats, the results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a high sugar milkshake created cravings and hunger without fail, compared to another milkshake with exactly the same nutritional content, fat, carbohydrate, protein and calorie content.
During these tests, brain scans showed that without fail the pleasure part of the brain (nucleus accumbens) lit up like a Christmas tree in every participant after every high sugar milkshake - every single time.
So we certainly shouldn’t feel guilty if we are addicted - it’s the chemical process that’s going on in our body!
And it might be down to your personality!