Sugar Addiction Is More Serious Than You Think: Ways To Deal With It

Sugar addiction can be a nightmare if ignored. Here's what you need to know and how you can deal with the problem.

Sugar addiction- Yes! That's a thing.

Just like any other addiction to caffeine or cocaine, sugar is pretty addictive in nature too. We have modern science to prove that sugar is indeed one of the strongest addictions known for humans and while one tries to get off sugar, he/she may also experience withdrawal symptoms. As surprising is the fact that we don't eat sugar just because of its sweet taste, the reasons for this addiction will surprise you further!

Reasons Why Sugar Addiction Happens

Here are some of the common reasons why people develop sugar cravings:

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Isn't this what most people try to chase? The feeling of being high, or simply happy. This feeling is provided by neurotransmitters released from your brain known as dopamine and serotonin. Sugar has the ability to release these hormones in huge amounts, making us crave it more.

Lack of sleep

When you don't sleep enough, your brain is overworking and overburdened. In such situations, the brain needs fuel to keep going, and that fuel is in the form of simple sugars like glucose. Have you ever been jet lagged and craved some chocolates? Well, that's a prime example of this similar situation.

Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium plays an extremely important role in the utilisation of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. One of its predominant functions is to control cravings, hunger and anxiety. A deficiency which can easily make you turn towards sugar for a quick fix.

You are thirsty

Thirst signals are often misunderstood as hunger signals. The end result of which is your body turning to quick sources of energy, one of which is sugar and sugary products.

Emotional satisfaction

Emotional imbalance or unexpressed emotions which could be a result of poor family, social or romantic life often makes one embrace sugar as their only friend and joy. A pint of ice cream is what many people like to go home to, rather than people.

Intestinal microbial dysbiosis

When the bad bacteria in your intestines flourish more than the good bacteria, they end up ingesting most of the sugar and carbohydrates from your food and multiply further. This results in your craving and reaching out for more sugar. The good thing is, like any other addiction, sugar addiction can be reversed too! One can be completely off sugar in as less as 10-14 days. Follow these simple 10 steps and see what a difference they can make in your life:

  1. Follow the "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" practice. Get rid of all the chocolates, cookies, deserts, soda, and ice cream.
  2. Instead, keep some dark chocolates (>70 per cent cocoa) or jaggery handy with you.
  3. Always drink a glass of water when you start getting any cravings.
  4. Make sure all your 3 big meals are loaded with fibre and protein. Skipping either will end up with you reaching out for a desert.
  5. Target to have 2-3 mid meals daily. They can be some healthy snacks or fruits.
  6. Add probiotics to your daily diet for better gut health.
  7. Load up on magnesium-rich foods like nuts, banana, spinach & beans.
  8. Get continuous 7-8 hrs of good quality sleep daily. Preferably follow the circadian rhythm if you can.
  9. Talk your feeling out with someone. It can be a friend, a family member, a spouse or a therapist.
  10. About 20 mins of workout/ yoga can be really helpful for balancing your hormones and energy metabolism.
  11. The most important tip for today's generation - STOP eating while binge-watching on Netflix/ etc. It may seem cool to do for a day or two, but when it becomes a habit, it's more dangerous than we think.

(The article has been contributed by Kajal Wattamwar & Bushra Qureshi, Dieticians and Co-Founder of Healthy Steady Go)

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