Break Free From Your Sugar Addiction

Eating sugary foods can become ingrained into our lifestyle and routines. Think about it. Do you enjoy your coffee without two scoops of sugar? Are you more often than not, looking forward to dessert more than your actual dinner? Think about how many of your basic everyday eating habits involve sugar and you’ll most likely realize it’s a lot. If you’ve ever tried to cut back on sugar in the past and found it to be a difficult task, you may have a sugar addiction.

Sugar activates the brain’s reward system, which makes you keep wanting more. If you eat sugar a lot  and often, you’re increasing your brain’s dependency for sugary rewards, which makes the habit harder to break. Additionally, when large amounts of sugar are consumed, it lulls the body into a false sense of wellness. Every time sugar is consumed, dopamine is released into your body promoting a sense of wellness that may be misleading. There was a study conducted recently with rats that emphasized how powerful a sugar addiction can be. The rats were initially given cocaine for a few days to the point where they became addicted to the drug. The rats were then given the same amount of sugar water for approximately the same length of time.  Within three days the rats had flipped from an addiction to cocaine to an addiction to sugar water, because it gave them the same high, but didn’t necessarily have the same withdrawal symptoms. A sugar addiction is no joke and something that must be taken seriously.

Are you addicted to sugar? Here are 4 warning signs to watch out for. If any of these describe your behavior, you may have a sugar addiction:

  1. When you have a craving, you make special trips to the convenience store to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  2. For motivation, you reward yourself with something sweet.
  3. You have a secret candy stash or binge on sweets when you’re alone.
  4. You’ve tried to stop eating sugar and can’t.

Excessive consumption of sugar may also be a leading reason why you are storing unwanted body fat. A way to measure how likely a food is to turn into stored body fat is by using the GI index. The GI index is a measurement of carbs in foods (on a scale of 100) according to how they affect your blood sugar levels. The higher the number the item is on the GI index, the more likely your body is to store it as fat. Below is a list of a few sugar alternatives with their respective GI index rating:

  1. Stevia: 0
  2. Agave: 15-20
  3. Organic Raw Honey: 30
  4. Honey: 50

The index rating for table sugar is a whopping 87! For obvious reasons, Stevia is my sweetener of choice. It  scores a solid zero on the GI index meaning my body has zero chance of converting the carbohydrates from the sweetener into body fat. It’s a win-win! Try incorporating some of these alternatives into your daily life and your body will thank you for it! Until next time…

-xo JJ

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