I’ve always had a really bad sweet tooth, and it’s probably part of the reason why I was overweight as a kid. I have this philosophy that probably isn’t the smartest: if I don’t eat it now, I’ll just eat it later, so what’s the difference?
Yeah, that basically throws all portion control out the window and feeds each and every sugar craving.
The only thing going for me is that I don’t like chocolate, not a fan of whipped cream and absolutely hate cheesecake and other creamier desserts like pumpkin pie.
Even so, that leaves a lot of candy and sweets on the table that I can eat! I feel like my cravings for sweets have gotten even worse in the past year or so and I’m not quite sure why. All willpower to say no has basically gone away, especially if it’s a) free and b) Skittles.
I’ve done some digging on the internet thanks to Doctor Google and found a few different things about why cravings for sweets may be so intense.
For one, it’s an addiction. After all, a researcher came out a few years ago and said that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. His research found that the average American eats about 1/3 pound of sugar a day. Ugh, when you put it that way it seems gross and too much.
Part of that is because our lovely food manufacturers are hiding sugar wherever they can to basically make us think that their foods taste better than they do. There’s no reason why you should have a glob of sugar in your salad dressing.
Secondly, other research has shown that people eat sugar as a way to reduce stress.
ME! So guilty of this.
Oh today was so stressful… as I reach for a soda.
I don’t even know how I’m going to get through the rest of today… as I grab a packet of Skittles to snack on.
Research shows that sugar actually reduces levels of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. So, you get stressed and your cortisol goes up and your body is like hey! I know what I can have that will make me feel better… SUGAR. So instead, you grab your 1/3 pound of sugar, and create an even bigger issue.
Lastly, sugar is everywhere. In your salad dressing. Your bread, your cereal, your drinks. Basically anything you want to eat, sugar is there unless it’s something that you grew yourself out of the ground. Who knows, maybe even the pesticides we put on our vegetables have sugar in it.
How can you avoid sugar cravings when you can’t seem to escape it? Obviously, clean eating is a huge and great start.
And yes, I feel like I’ve made enormous progress in eating cleaner. You might say it’s not a priority, but I say that there are just times when it’s impossible in our current life. It’s all about balance, and I’m working on balancing more of the healthier days versus the unhealthier moments.
In my Google MD research, I also came across this interesting chart:
I think it is interesting that your craving may not indicate what you actually want and instead, represent something that your body needs. I do like the idea of focusing on eating fresh fruits and other alternatives instead of grabbing a soda, Skittles or other favorite sugary food.
All I know is that it takes time. You need to celebrate the small victories as you break away from living and dying for sugar cravings. We’re all human, and in our sugar-crazed world today, it’s not something that you can turn off (I’ve tried) and will take a test of willpower AND support just say no and finally get sugar out of your head.
Do you prefer sweet or salty? What’s your favorite candy?
Have you kicked a sugar addiction? How did you make it happen?
What’s your worst eating habit?
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