Did you know that sugar is highly addictive? Consider this:
White sugar’s chemical formula is C12H22O11.
Pure cocaine’s chemical formula is C17H21NO4.
The resemblance is quite striking, isn’t it?
Scientists are still disputing the effect sugar has on our brain and body. Nonetheless, its addictive component has been recognized, helping us understand why lowering our intake of carbohydrates can be so hard.
Many of us are hooked on sugar. We consume it almost all day long. Not just as snacks and sweetened drinks, but also in our main meals that are often packed with refined sugars found in white pasta, noodles, white flour, and rice. We eat sugars almost without realizing it. Also, many Americans tend to socialize over food and in front of the TV, so your caloric intake can quickly spiral out of control.
Why is Sugar Bad for You?
Not all carbohydrates (or sugars) are unhealthy. Nutritionists often speak of simple and complex carbs. Natural, simple carbs, which can be found in fruits, are entirely acceptable (unless consumed in extreme quantities). However, complex sugars from vegetables are a better source of nutrients, especially if you are trying to shed pounds.
What you need to stay away from are the refined sugars, which are produced artificially. Refined sugars are a source of empty calories and get digested quickly. In other words, the calories are there, but they are devoid of any nutritional value.
Foods that contain empty calories (such as sugary cereals and different pastries) do not give you the sustenance a healthy body runs on. When ingested, they make your blood sugar spike sharply, causing the hormone insulin to work hard. Unless you are going to work out, most of the sugar will not get used by the body. It will just transform into fats, making your efforts to lose weight harder.
As already mentioned, sugar is addictive. You want more and more. However, when giving in to the urge, you are putting too much strain on your vital organs. After all, they were not designed to be overflown by sugar.
How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake?
Here are some tips I have found helpful for reducing my daily sugar intake:
- Maintain your blood sugar levels. The best way to do this is by not skipping breakfast, and by eating at regular intervals. If your sugar levels are stable, you are less likely to crave sweets and naughty snacks. Opt for nibbling that has a low glycemic index, such as hummus, nuts, rolled oats, and fresh fruits. Also, make sure you include enough healthy protein in your meals and snack (eggs, meat, plant-based sources of protein).
- Get enough sleep. To function well, you require time to recuperate. If you are sleep deprived, you will likely crave more food the next day. So, establish a sleep routine that will work for you and stick to it. For example, make sure you always go to bed at 10 o’clock. See it as an act of kindness toward yourself.
- 3. Sweeten it with honey. If you do crave sweetness, why not substitute white table sugar for a natural sweetener? Honey is associated with weight loss, has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, is excellent for your immune system, and aids digestion. You can use it to sweeten your tea, coffee, desserts, and drinks. Just make sure you use raw honey, as filtered honey lacks all the healthy substances.
Remember, life can be fun, even when you are watching your calorie intake. Just do not put all the focus on the food. And do not be too hard on yourself as you work on developing new habits.
If you require assistance in the process of decreasing your sugar intake, contact us for a free screening and see if hypnotherapy sessions are right for you.
DiNicolantonio, J. J., O’Keefe, J. H., & Wilson, W. L. (2018). Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 52(14), 910–914.
Lustig, R. (2017, January 4). Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child’, yet we let it dominate the breakfast table. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/04/sugar-alcohol-child-breakfast-diabetes-liver-disease-corporate