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Sugar is everywhere. It's in our food and drink, and even in foods that we think are healthy. We sugar every single day without even realizing it, in fact, an average takeaway cappuccino contains over 21 grams of sugar, that's almost your whole recommended daily allowance in one cup of coffee!
But since the legal regulations concerning sugar are so relaxed, it can't be that bad right? It couldn't possibly be addictive; otherwise there would be tighter laws that govern the use of sugar in food and drink, wouldn't there? Sadly, it is true, sugar is that bad, it's a drug. And for anyone who wants to argue with me, the Oxford-Collins definition is "a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body."
Using that definition, sugar is one of the most widely used and poorly regulated drugs in the entire world, and it is highly addictive, and I know this because I am addicted to sugar.
Sugar addiction is very real.
You might think that I am just greedy, or maybe I just have no willpower, believe me, I thought all of these things before I admitted the truth to myself. For years I refused to admit that I had a genuine problem with sugar and I couldn't control myself around it. And I knew I wasn't the only one, there are millions of people all over the world who have the same problem as I did.
And it happens to so many people because sugar slips right under the radar, the addiction isn't easy to notice because sugar is so widely accepted. We are encouraged to have sugar every single day. In fact, there are businesses all over the globe that rely on our need for sugar. And people battle sugar addictions for so long because they have no idea where to turn to when they need help; They feel like they can't talk to a doctor about it, because they feel like they won't be taken seriously.
How can I tell if I am addicted to sugar?
You think about it all the time.
Do thoughts of sugar occupy your mind for a significant part of the day? If it is one of the first things you think about when you wake up and you find yourself wanting it all throughout the day, this could be a sign of sugar addiction.
I have recently found myself eating sugary food before I have even brushed my teeth in the morning; I have to admit that was a bit of a wake-up call.
You get irritable if you don't have it.
If you feel edgy and anxious when you don't have sugar, it is a definite sign of an addiction. You are starting to use up all the sugar in your system and your body is going through withdrawal symptoms, just like a drug addict would.
You get headaches.
If you get headaches when you are craving sugar then you are addicted, they are intense and only sugar will stop them. If you ever get one of these headaches, you should consider cutting back on sugar.
You are relieved when you do have sugar.
Eating something sweet should be a nice sensation because of the flavor; It should be enjoyable, it should not be necessary. If you feel a sense of overwhelming relief when you have sugary food, it's time to take action.
You need more sugar.
Just like any substance, you can build up a tolerance for sugar, meaning you will need a higher and higher amount to get the same effect. If you can eat huge amounts of sugary foods and feel no different, you have built up a tolerance to it.
You hide it.
You hide sugar like an alcoholic hides drinks; You eat it in secret because you don't want anyone to know about it.
You reward yourself with sugar.
No matter how small your achievement, you reward yourself with something sweet.
You have tried to cut down.
But you can't, I have tried to cut down so many times and I always end up eating sugary foods again. I justify my behavior by telling myself "It could be worse, I could be an alcoholic or a drug addict." But the reality of it is that sugar can kill too, it just does it slowly and quietly.
Can I get help for my sugar addiction?
Yes, you can, speak to your doctor and tell them the seriousness of the situation, and if they don't listen, then you need to speak to someone else until someone pays attention. Don't let anyone try to belittle you, it's a serious condition. Meanwhile, cut back on sugar but don't cut it out completely. Going cold turkey is rarely effective and cutting down gradually gives better results.