Sugar Addiction And How To Fight Back Against Our Favorite Sugary Snacks

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New addictions, that really aren’t that new, continue to surprise us in the news on a frequent basis. Yes alcohol, tobacco and drugs are the ones we know the most about but there are a few others that are worthy of mention. Gambling, sex, pornography, shopping and for the focus of this article: Sugar. Yes, sugar, something nearly everyone enjoys on a regular basis but it seems it’s joining the ranks of other big time addictions like booze and drugs. Sugary snacks are everywhere. Whether it’s an ice cream truck rolling down our streets on a hot summer day or perhaps the numerous vending machines that line the halls of our offices, it really is everywhere. Enjoying a small treat after a healthy meal is one thing, but many of us struggle to limit our intake of sweets because like any other addictive substance it initially brings us joy but can quickly turn into a nasty substance that can have a severely detrimental effect on our lives and health.

Too much sugar can lead to a number of serious health issues like heart disease and diabetes, so it makes sense that we’re now being warned more and more about the dangers of indulging in our cravings for sweets. Like any other addictive substance some people can limit themselves while others can’t, which is further proof that sugar addiction belongs right up at the top with the other big boys of addiction.

Luckily there are strategies available to deal with our over-indulging of sugar:

 

  1. Choose wisely: If you’re going to indulge, go for seasonal sweets that you know you can’t get when it’s not the holidays. “You can have chocolate any time of the year,” says registered dietitian, nutritionist, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Tamara Melton. Go for a seasonal dessert you crave all year, like a treat from an ice cream truck in the Summer or pumpkin pie in the Autumn. Just remember that just because these treats are only available for a limited time doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Practice portion control by having a plan, Tamara advises.
  2. Think positive: Set yourself up for success by telling yourself that you got this. “Words are powerful,” says Kathie Dolgin, author of Sugar Savvy Solution: Kick Your Sugar Addiction for Life and Get Healthy. “If you think resisting sugar is going to be hard, it will be hard. Change that negative self-talk if you are going to take control of your diet and your health. Believe you can do this!”
  3. Not being hungry is key: Don’t want to chow down on the entire candy bowl? Set yourself up for success by eating a balanced meal or snack every three to four hours, Tamara says. Simone Gloger, a registered nutritionist and Dukan Diet nutritionist, recommends three protein-rich meals and two protein-rich snacks every day to help you resist cravings. “I usually pack my lunch and snacks each day so I don’t give into the temptation that is all around me,” Simone says.
  4. Know that cravings might be something else: Before you reach for that peanut butter cup, think about what you really need. “People mistake thirst for hunger or cravings,” Kathie says. “That dip in energy that sends you hunting for a snack is often just a sign of dehydration. So hydrate and drink water, not juice or fizzy drinks.” Kathie recommends spa water — water infused with your favourite fruits — to hit sugar cravings the natural way. If you are craving a treat, opt for a small piece of dark chocolate or a single-serving yoghurt that comes with sweet mix-ins like chocolate or granola, Tamara advises.
  5. Don’t dwell: Tried your best, but couldn’t resist the siren song of holiday treats? Don’t beat yourself up about it. “Forgive yourself and get back on track,” Kathie says. “Forgiving and being kind to others (as well as yourself!) boosts self-esteem and gratitude for what you have (thus combating the negative self-talk that can send you running for the cookie jar) and gives you the same endorphin rush as sugar.” Afterward, make sure your next meal is only when you are hungry, Tamara says. “Resolve to eat healthier at your next meal, then load up on plenty of fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Be sure to also include lean sources of protein, which help to keep you satisfied.”

 

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Sugar Addiction And How To Fight Back Against Our Favorite Sugary Snacks

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