I- am- addicted- to -sugar. There, I said it.
I remember reading a conversation between some folks who were very angry about someone saying they were addicted to sugar and that it was as bad as drugs. Those who were angered by the statement made their point with the discussion on how drugs cause one to do some very illegal things, not to mention that drug abuse is illegal where sugar is not. Point made. However, there is this, Research Shows Cocaine And Heroin Are Less Addictive Than Oreos
With the full understanding that there is a difference in those addicted to drugs or alcohol and being a junk food junkie, I have decided to make some changes in my diet and cleanse it of sugar as much as possible. Yes, even the chocolate/ peanut butter cups must go.
A lot of people know how much I love my coffee. For years I added cream and sugar, a lot of cream and sugar. Then I started considering what I was putting into my system and began cutting back. Finally the sugar went completely, then I accidentally found out that there was a lot of sugar in that powdered cream. So the powdered creamer went as well, and since I don't do dairy, my coffee is now consumed black. Unless I'm at a restaurant where the coffee walks itself to the table, then I will add what ever cream is available.
I no longer purchase those to die for desert trays that I see at the local warehouse club that I shop at. They rarely last over two days once they get here so its best they are left where I see them. Going by the local donut shop is pure torture, but again, temptation is best left alone. Chocolate covered, cream filled or the apple cinnamon just call my name. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate covered raisins, thoughts of chocolate just set my mouth to watering.
I have bought candy in the past, and stashed it in my desk. My mother makes the best chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge at Christmas. I have brought my share home and hidden it in the refrigerator behind or under things like, celery. When the cravings would strike I would wander into the kitchen as if to make a cup of coffee, when I was alone, I would grab a handful of fudge and quickly slip back into my little office to enjoy my guilty pleasure in solitude.
At one time, I could go through an entire bag of chocolate kisses in a day, same with a bag of m&m's. A bag of trail mix, maybe three days.
Then I hit the big 5-0 and the weight gain started. Then a relative was diagnosed with diabetes. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. During the cancer battle was my first real escape from sugar. I couldn't go near it. That sugar rush thing? It never happened. During the time I was undergoing radiation treatments, if I consumed any junk food, I immediately crashed. My energy levels were nonexistent anyway, but that nearly put me under. So I did without, and I did fine.
But, once I was healed, sugar slowly crept back into my diet. A little here, a little there. Suddenly it was as if sugar was in everything. It nearly was. Until I began doing research and reading more labels, I had no idea how many ways sugar is hidden in our food.
So here I am, not trying to go cold turkey, but definitely trying to cut back on the way to cutting out. I read labels. I read articles. I seek out recipes that are low to no sugar. I have tried to eat healthier ever since the cancer thing, but even that slipped a bit.
I did notice this, when I don't eat it, I don't want it as much. If I break down and buy one pastry at work, then I want one every break. If I break down and buy a tray of goodies, I will binge eat every one of them.
Sugar addiction is different than drug addiction. I know that, but there are still bad side effects from this addiction. It causes health problems, diabetes and weight gain being the two biggest. Your diet suffers, and your body does not get the nutrients that it needs. And you do begin to crave more and more sugar. You can go into a form of withdrawal just the same as with drugs or alcohol should you try to quit cold turkey.
So I am trying substitutes. If I get to craving something sweet, I grab a banana, or I drink a small glass of dark chocolate almond milk. If I must have something in my water, I make sure that it is low sugar or honey sweetened. A healthy diet is not easy, cutting out sugar is not easy. It is however, not impossible. I know that with just what I have cut back on so far, I feel better. I know that as I continue along this path of going as near sugar free as possible, I will continue to improve and feel better and be able to do more than I have lately.