Is it possible that an addiction to sugar could be at the root of the dangerous increase in belly fat that is so prevalent these days? Anyone who is trying to lose belly fat or who is searching for more information on how to get a six pack, needs to understand the role sugar plays in their diet.
There is no doubt that an addiction to sugar can be much stronger in some people than in others; but, the fact that sugar is an extremely addictive substance remains clear.
Many food manufacturers use this powerful addictive capability of sugar to their advantage. They load heaps of sugar into breakfast cereals, soups, spaghetti sauce, salad dressings, energy bars, soft drinks and even in ketchup.
Could it be a Sugar Addiction?
Sugar addiction is probably much more common than most people realize. Americans consume approximately 20 – 30 teaspoons (that’s about ½ cup) of sugar on a daily basis. Sugar has been directly linked to many health problems, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, memory and attention problems, obesity, hyperactivity, depression, and anxiety.
It seems that a new study is released every month which adds to the already long list of the dangers that are linked to eating too much sugar. This includes the related substances known as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and maltose. However, despite all of these risks, people continue eating sugar because of its addictive nature.
Sugar meets the criteria necessary to be classified an addictive substance:
It stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, in the brain. Sugar does this in a way very similar to other addictions, such as alcohol addiction, cocaine and other abused drugs.
People consume it compulsively without regard to its negative consequences or their desire to stop.
With ongoing use, a tolerance is developed to its effects.
People who consume heavy doses of sugar have difficulty functioning without it.
Withdrawal symptoms occur when consumption is stopped.
Breaking an addiction or dependency on sugar is not as easy as some would suggest. The roots of a sugar addiction encompass both the physical as well as the emotional aspects of physiology, so the approach necessary to break the addiction will require a combination of both physical and psychological elements.
The good news is that the less sugar you eat, the fewer cravings you will have for it. You need to realize that any withdrawal symptoms will last only a few days, but you will feel much better and more energetic once you have broken the sugar addiction.
Ten Steps to Beat Your Sugar Addiction:
Keep all sugar and sugar products out of the house. This includes not only white and brown sugar, but maple syrup and corn syrup as well.
Make sure that you are eating enough healthy food in order to keep your hunger satisfied. Eating healthy, whole foods like fruit, cherry tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, dried fruit and dates will help to keep a sweet tooth satisfied. Make sure you drink an adequate amount of water. Once you have eliminated sugar from your diet, your taste buds and system will become much more sensitive and you will find that whole natural foods taste sweeter and are more satisfying.
Eat three meals a day and be sure to combine complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with lean protein and healthy fats. Eating regularly will help maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day and reduce sugar cravings. Eating a high fiber diet will also help reduce sugar cravings.
Take a multivitamin. I-glutamine and picolinate have been known to reduce sugar cravings for many people.
When going out, be sure that you don’t head out hungry, especially if sweets will be available. Bring a healthy snack with you, or eat something before going.
Get plenty of exercise and sunlight as well as adequate sleep to help reduce sugar cravings.
Many cravings are not a result of hunger; learn to identify why you are feeling the craving. It could be that you are stressed or anxious about something. Find alternative ways to manage stress, like going for a walk, reading a book or watching a movie. Some activities can help provide relaxation; take a hot bath, listen to music or meditate. Relaxation helps balance blood sugar levels and reduces sugar cravings.
If you have been using sugar to deal with feelings that make you uncomfortable, try to identify what those feelings are and respond to them appropriately. If you feel tired, rest or take a break. If it’s boredom, find something that will stimulate you. If you are feeling lonely, call a friend. When trying to overcome a sugar addiction, you need to pay close attention to your feelings and give yourself what you need instead of continuing to use sugar as your substitute.
If you slip and end up overindulging in sugar, just acknowledge your mistake and jump right back on track. Don’t let the guilt or shame keep you from getting back to your goal of beating the sugar addiction. It doesn’t make any difference if you need to try again, just keep trying until you beat it.
Be kind and gentle to yourself. To overcome your struggle with sugar, you will need to learn how to give your body proper nourishment as well as how to respond with compassion to your feelings. The best substitute for sugar is self-acceptance.
Lose Weight Naturally by Beating Your Sugar Addiction
Eliminating a sugar addiction can be a very effective addition to any weight loss program. It will also play an important role in helping to keep you healthier and feeling better overall. The sugar busters diet uses a sugar free diet to help lose weight, but it also results in conquering a sugar addiction by utilizing a strict no sugar diet. The best way to lose belly fat is by eliminating sugar, as much as possible, from your diet.