[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Did you know that sugar addiction exists? Does it cause health problems? That it is difficult but not impossible to get rid of it?
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Sodas, biscuits, candies, industrial fruit juices, pastries, ice creams, industrial prepared meals… All these foods contain sugar, we are talking here about simple sugar, quick sugar, in short, the white square that we add to coffee or tea (not to be confused with the slow sugar found in pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, etc. Which does not make you addicted but gives energy to last throughout the day).
As a Dietitian Nutritionist I observe in my patients a need to consume sugar, it is urgent, sometimes uncontrollable. I see them suffering because of these disorders over which they do not feel like they have any control. Being chained to these foods, troubled by them, having food impulses that guide their eating actions is hard, it’s humiliating, it makes you feel guilty! It’s my daily battle to help them free themselves from it!
Sugar calls for sugar: free yourself! Through this article I will explain to you how.
How do you know if you are addicted to sugar?
What is an addiction? There loss of freedom to abstain. Not to be confused with pure pleasure eating in full awareness/snacking which corresponds to food intake without hunger which will have no impact on your health.
In addiction, people are unable to control their consumption despite the unfavorable consequences on their physical, psychological or social health (work, school, family, leisure, etc.).
To begin, you can identify your intake of simple sugars over the day or week on a sheet in order to gradually reduce your intake (get help from a professional to better identify these foods).
Tip #1 for freeing yourself from sugar: list the benefits of freeing yourself from sugar
Start by realizing that a sugar-free life has many advantages:
– This will allow you to discover the authentic taste of food : without sugar you will finally be able to enjoy the real aromas and flavors of all the foods you had deprived yourself of until now! A diet too rich in sugar prevents you from really enjoying food and all its flavors!
– At the nutritional level, life without sugar has the advantage of not benefit from added calories. 1 square of sugar (5 grams) is approximately 85 calories. Imagine all the savings this represents at the end of the day… This will automatically impact your weight!
– Free your mind so that it is no longer obsessed with the thought “I need sugar”: a thought that becomes automatic! Free yourself from addiction.
– Consuming fewer sugary products will be particularly beneficial for your long-term health. Less risk of diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, disruption of intestinal flora, etc.)
– Find energy ! Without industrial sugar you will free yourself from your chronic fatigue, acute flemmingitis which pushes you to stay on your sofa in front of the TV…
Reread this list every time you lose motivation or are on the verge of breaking down. It will give you the strength to continue your goal of quitting sugar until you are free. Add other advantages that are personal to you (guilt, the financial aspect, the feeling of freedom, etc.).
Tips #2 to free yourself from sugar: gradually reduce the quantities
Getting there gradually is essential: “Rome was not built in a day” and it’s the same for your good resolutions!
Giving up sugar overnight will only increase frustration and breakdown and therefore demotivate you.
Make sure to gradually reduce the number of sugary foods you consume daily (perhaps using the list previously made) to allow your palate to gently get used to the new flavors and these changes.
Tips #3 to free yourself from sugar: use a healthy alternative to sugar – New habits!
There are many ways to sweeten your life without using industrial sugar.
Think about: honey, fruits, almond/hazelnut purees, etc., agave syrup, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, wholemeal bread, oilseeds (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.), dates, natural yogurts, etc. in !
The idea of using healthier alternatives should only be temporary. These should allow you to break the habit of sugar but they should not maintain your addiction to sweet taste!
Be careful light and the sweetened foods are not an alternative !! These are false friends who hide other forms of sugars and are sometimes as high, or even more, in calories than the original product!
Add to your new habits: physical activity, hydrate yourself (1.5 liters of water/day), stop consuming industrial products and start cooking! It’s easy and it tastes so much better.
Have you thought about trying flavored drinks?
Flavored coffees (caramel, hazelnut, chocolate, etc.) have the advantage of being less bitter. The choice is vast and will give your coffee a gourmet touch.
Think of the same thing for teas and infusions, each one more delicious than the next! The choice is wide to please you.
Be careful, however, to read the labels carefully. Some manufacturers add sugar in the preparation of these flavored coffees (this is particularly the case for cappuccinos). If this is the case, these drinks should remain for occasional consumption!
How to do ? Read the list of ingredients of your products, it is classified in descending order: the first foods are those found in the greatest majority in the final product. Sugar should not be in the first ingredients!
Sugar addiction is an evil of our time. Overconsumption is harmful to your health. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to consult a Dietetics and Nutrition professional in order to assess the situation together.
Getting out of it is possible!! Believe in yourself.