Drug and alcohol addiction are real struggles people are facing. But what about sugar? Sugar addiction isn’t real, right? Wrong! Many people struggle with sugar.
Like any addiction, there is a craving. The love of cookies, cakes and ice cream and any form of sweets. Just a little becomes a lot and more is better. Until the sugar is impossible to resist.
Signs and Symptoms of a Sugar Addiction
As with any addiction, there will be a struggle with cravings. What are the symptoms that go with a sugar addiction?
- You need to eat sugar just to feel normal.
- It’s hard—if not impossible—for you to say no to desserts and other sugary foods.
- You turn to sweet foods when you feel upset or stressed.
- You have to eat more and more sugar to feel satisfied.
Being addicted to sugar means that the tolerance level increases so to eat more and more of it is to get the same effect. From ketchup to sweetened cereal, sugar is in so many different foods. As the tolerance level increases, so does the number of sugary products needed to consume. The brain becomes desensitized; eating a bowl of ice cream after dinner every night just doesn’t cut it. And the sweet taste is also desensitized so more sweet food is needed to satisfy.
Quitting sugar creates withdrawal symptoms. A sugar addict will experience withdrawal, such as headaches, digestive issues, and fatigue. They might also struggle with feeling anxious, fearful, and depressed.
Solutions to a Sugar Addiction
After doing the hard work of cutting out sugar and going through withdrawal, now what? Take it a step further—avoid eating white foods altogether. Steve Arterburn, Founder of New Life Ministries and author of Lose it for Life, calls this the ‘North Pole Diet‘.
What’s the North Pole Diet? The North Pole is white—it has snow on it. So, the North Pole Diet restricts all white foods. Most white foods convert into sugar. What are the white foods to avoid? Avoid eating foods such as:
- white sugar
- white bread
- white pasta
- white rice
- table salt
Don’t eat brown sugar—it’s still sugar. Other things to also limit or avoid altogether include honey, artificial sweeteners, sodas, sports drinks, fruit juices, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, and fried foods.
What’s left to eat? First, have a serving of protein—chicken, fish, beef, or a plant-based protein. Make sure that it is grilled or baked, not fried. And avoid or use sparingly sugar-laden sauces.
Second, add a serving of complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes. Watch your portion sizes—too many complex carbohydrates can stall weight loss.
Third, eat a generous portion of non-starchy vegetables like salad greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and Brussels sprouts. Finally, don’t forget to add some healthy fats such as avocados, organic olive oil, nuts, and coconut oil to the meal. Healthy fats helps brain health!
Want something sweet to eat? A healthy snack? Stick with fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats. Eat apples, berries, a handful of nuts, frozen grapes, vegetables with hummus, or baked pears. If still wanting something sweet, try dark chocolate—it will provide a mood boost.
By cutting out all of the white foods and making healthier choices, a steady level of blood sugar can be maintained. This helps reduce the craving and uncontrolled sweet eating; and, of course, provides for a healthier life!
If you need more help overcoming sugar addiction, attend our Lose it for Life workshop. Also, Steve Arterburn’s book, Lose it for Life, outlines a complete, faith-based program to help you lose weight and keep it off for good! Finally, get support by joining a Life Recovery Group in your area. To find out more, call us at 800-NEW-LIFE.