I was a sugar addict for most of my childhood and a large part of my adult life. Before I finally stopped eating sugar I would arm myself with all sorts of reasons it was all OK and just shove the issue under the carpet or stick my head in the sand.
I knew what I was doing but I just wanted to rationalise my behaviour. In other words I was making excuses.
There might be plenty of excuses you use to carry on eating too much sugar even though you may well have heard about all of the negative effects that it can have on you and your overall health.
I totally understand, I’ve been there (and it's why I developed the 21 Day Sugar Detox Program.)
Too much sugar makes you tired, makes you look old, makes you fat, causes mood swings, prevents quality sleep and can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer.
There really are few dietary changes that you can make that can have such an impact on so many areas of your health and wellbeing, not to mention your looks.
Yet more so than ever before, humans are consuming insane amounts of sugar, sometimes without even realising it and global diabetes and obesity levels are through the roof.
A large part of the reason so many people eat so much sugar is simply down to ignorance, most people don’t realise the harm that excessive amounts of sugar can do as well as not realising how much they are eating because it’s hidden in so many of today’s foods.
But a lack of knowledge or understanding is one thing, realising it’s a problem and then making excuses is another thing altogether!
So below, I have outlined 6 of the best excuses I used while I was feeding my addiction and making myself sick. See how many of these you use yourself and maybe ask yourself if it’s time you stopped?
EXCUSE 1: 'I Just Love Sweet Stuff!'
Of course you do. But do you know why? Do you have any real idea just why you think you love chocolate, sweets and sodas? You love it because it’s addictive, and the reason it’s addictive is because it reacts with your brain in exactly the same way that drugs, alcohol and nicotine react with your brain.
In fact sugar has been shown to be as addictive as cocaine in lab tests!
When you eat or drink anything sweet, the fructose in the sugar triggers the release of dopamine, which is the ‘pleasure’ hormone. It tells your brain that this thing is enjoyable and basically begs you to do it again. So people who drink, or smoke, or take drugs could use the same excuse - “I do it because I love it!”
But is that really an acceptable excuse? Especially if it does so much harm? I think not.
I used to smoke - did so for years - and when I finally quit it was by reading a great book called 'The Easy Way To Stop Smoking by Alan Carr'.
The principal was to explain exactly why a person smokes and thinks it’s enjoyable - the enjoyment simply comes from the process of satisfying the craving and not from the burning an inhalation of smoke from tobacco and chemicals!
Even though I thought I really enjoyed each cigarette, I was actually just enjoying the release from the craving.
I was enjoying the sensation of my addiction to nicotine becoming satiated. That’s what happens when you get a craving for sugar and you eat or dink something sweet - one of the main sources of pleasure is because you are satisfying the craving.
Now don’t get me wrong - eating a piece of chocolate if FAR more pleasant that inhaling smoke, however the principal remains the same.
I quit smoking over ten years ago and it was one of the best things I ever did (other than quitting sugar!), it’s just a shame it took me so long to understand and realise my addiction to sugar was just as bad!
Several times a day I would get that ‘I fancy something sweet’ feeling. I just though I had a ‘sweet tooth’. I had no idea just how much I was hooked on sugar until I tried to stop!
And here’s the thing, once you do quit sugar, you won’t need to say ‘I just love sweet stuff’, because you won’t have cravings and you will no longer be addicted. You will also have reset your tolerance to sugar, and quite frankly, even more than a small amount of sugar will reveal itself for exactly what it is - too sweet!
EXCUSE 2: 'I Deserve Treats!'
This was a big one for me. The thought that you ‘deserve’ a treat maybe after a hard day at work, or after finishing a big project, or because you are on holiday, or because you fell out with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or because you’re at the cinema, or because… I could go on and on.
I always used to concoct all sorts of