One of the most difficult things to resist is sugar. The reason for this is that we’re all born with a “sweet tooth.” What we humans have is a natural preference for anything that’s sweet, this because we think our brains need sugar to properly function. We think our body needs sugar to supply the energy it demands.
Our individual cells are encoded to be more sensitive towards certain tastes, and sweetness is one of them. If you happen to have a low sensitivity to sweets, then you’re likely to need more to feel satisfied. It begins from childhood, as any reward that they’ve been conditioned to, involved something sweet.
So what we all crave for is what makes us feel better. Kids will tolerate broccoli because they know there’s dessert after dinner. We enjoy fat laden foods such as ice cream, cakes, and chocolate, and it’s white sugar that enhances their flavor.
There are some who can control their sugar intake, but for the majority, this craving becomes insatiable, which leads to weight gain and obesity, while increasing the risk of developing chronic health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
Once the sweetness, any sweetness hits the tongue, there’s pure joy and glory, as it becomes irresistible for many, even addictive.
Can Sugar Become Addictive
What some studies prove is that what sugar has is the same chemical reaction in the brain, that occurs with the use of addictive substances.
What sugar releases is the same naturally occurring opiates in the brain, notably endorphins, which produces feelings of commitment and fulfillment.
What absorbing sugar does is releases the chemical messenger dopamine, which is a neurochemical that motivates us to crave more food.
What excess sugar also blocks is the production of serotonin, which is a brain chemical that reigns in dopamine, which prevents us from overeating. For many, this becomes an unstoppable uncontrollable cycle, causing feelings of being addicted to sweets.
An Addict Is An Addict
Since it’s a biological reaction in the brain, there are some who will battle their sugar craving, similar to how a gambler avoids the slot machines, or how a recreational drug addict struggles not using.
The obvious cure is trying to stay away altogether, but most will usually go backwards on a binge. What they’ll do is give in and eat more sweet food, which then triggers the craving for indulging.
I Like To Eat
What most believe is that they’re just hungry, and not really addicted to sugar or food. What the experts claim however, is that sugar entering the brain is highly addictive.
This addictive behavior that is sweets, is cheap, readily available and tame in nature when compared to other addictions.
Just as there’s a big difference when it comes to a social drinker and a full blown alcoholic, there’s a difference between someone who likes a sweet dessert after dinner, to someone who compulsively overeats. Someone who scarfs down an entire cake at one sitting.
It Makes Me Feel Good
What research shows is that those who binge on sugar, then are suddenly deprived of this sugar, what doing so develops are pleasure inducing chemical receptors in the brain, which motivates eating behavior.
What happens is that it makes them feel better once they eat more sugar. What then results is the all too familiar craving, this to continue that high.
Once these receptors become blocked, what’s displayed are the signs of typical withdrawal symptoms, causing changes in brain chemistry that’s common to anyone who’s deprived of a chemical, that they’ve become dependent on.
What’s known is that an addiction is an addiction, this regardless of what the substance or the element is, and can have long-lasting effects on the brain, which causes those affected to develop an increased sensitivity to other addictive substances.
Altering The Brain Chemicals
In addition to the brain alteration, there are other factors which influences us to consume more sugar, including the social pressure of eating with others, or the need to handle stress or certain emotional issues, forcing us to seek reward.
What’s known is that there’s messages of hunger, craving, more sugar, that’s communicated from the control center that’s relayed from the gut and sent to the brain, and then back again. How or why this happens isn’t completely known.
What these signals does is drives our preference towards consuming more sweets. While there are a variety of ways on how you can handle a sugar craving, there’s no one single reason why you crave sweets, or why you give in.
To Resist Sugar Cravings
To break any habit, the easiest method while difficult to do is distracting yourself until the craving goes away. What’s known is that any craving can take up to 20 minutes to dissipate. During this time, go for a walk, do housework, etc.
Develop a regimen of eating three balanced meals a day, spread out four to five hours apart. Make sure you’re eating plenty, as it can reduce your craving’s frequency and intensity.
Supplement these meals with snacks in between which has a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein, which can potentially diminish the chemical changes in the brain which stimulates cravings.
Sporadically eating randomly, is what gets you in trouble, so try controlling the amount you eat. Include a small portion of sweets, mixed in with a well-balanced meal or snack.
Realize that craving, binge eating, and overeating are emotional reactions. If you constantly give in to your cravings to sweets and thus surrender, the root cause is usually because of how you’re feeling.
So if you’re able to get to the root cause of your underlying issues, is a start to eliminating these cravings.