The Feeling of Health: Part 3

The Feeling of Health - Beating the Sugar Addiction

Confession: I was once addicted to crack. Seriously. Go do a search on Pinterest for crack, I’ll wait. That’s right, crack brownies, chocolate crack cake, Christmas crack, you name it. (It actually annoys the heck out of me that they call all of this crack, addicting as they are. I highly doubt any if these housewives even know what crack looks like, myself included.)

I was addicted to sugar.

I never understood why all of my dieting efforts never lasted long-term. I was always lured back to the dark side by my mom’s “Almost Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies”. I. Needed. Sugar! I was a lover of all thing sweet: Oreos, ice cream, cupcakes. I think you get the picture. I would try to swear them off only to have them call my name from the pantry. Just one more cookie. I was in a downward spiral.

It wasn’t until I watched the documentary Hungry for Change
(which I highly recommend) that I realized why I was so addicted to sugar and why I couldn’t beat it. Sugar is in EVERYTHING. No, I’m not exaggerating, it’s really in almost everything.

How I Beat the Sugar Addiction

Coffee creamer: SUGAR. Pasta sauce: SUGAR. Wheat bread: SUGAR! Everything we consume is laced with sugar. No wonder we’re all addicted.

So how did I beat the sugar addiction? It was actually easier than I would have ever imagined.

Once I decided to eat clean, I knew I needed to stay clear of sweets for a while. I wasn’t sure how long it would be until I allowed myself to indulge in a treat, but I knew it needed to be done.

I cleaned out our pantry, fridge, and freezer of ANYTHING containing added sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Obviously, sugar is naturally occurring in things like fruit. I’m talking about unnatural, added sugar. The only “sugar” I allowed in the house in the beginning was honey.

With no sugar in the house, the first few days flew by. If I wanted something sweet, I ate a pear or had a mug of green tea with some honey. When I fist started drinking green tea, I added a tablespoon or so of honey to the mug, I now drink is straight or occasionally with a small drizzle of honey. Huge change!

By the end of the first week, I was enjoying being creative with my food that I was no longer thinking about junk before bed. I began thinking up new and interesting things to make for dinner.

By the end of the second week, I was able to pass up a cookie. It honestly didn’t look that great. I had a pear and some cheese as a snack. I knew something had finally changed. The addiction was broken.

The key to ending the addiction was removing all the hidden sugars from my diet. I can stop buying ice cream, but if I’m sucking down bagels loaded with high fructose corn syrup, my body is continuously going to need that high. This is why you continue to crave the junk.

Don’t be fooled into thinking sugar-free is your ticket either. Artificial sweeteners also make your brain crave sugar (on top of a slew of other horrible things). This is also another reason to skip anything labeled “fat-free”. How do you think they make fat-free foods not taste like cardboard? They replace the fat (which your body needs) with sugar! You think you’re doing yourself right by eating that salad with fat-free dressing? You might as well eat a candy bar.

You have to quit, cold turkey. You will notice changes in that first week or two. You will feel better, have more energy, and probably drop a few pounds.

I now get to choose when I indulge and on what. I am no longer tempted by a box of donuts or a piece of cake. I know that it’s poison and to be completely honest, unless it’s its something really special (or homemade from scratch) it’s going to taste like garbage because it’s made of garbage.

I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I get to eat whatever I want, because I want and crave the good stuff. I eat great 95% of the time and indulge occasionally. And when I do indulge, it’s definitely not on something commercially made (with the exception of a dark chocolate bar). The thought of never dieting again is incredibly freeing.

Food doesn’t have to control you. Once you’re in charge of your food, you might be shocked by the choices you make. From scratch apple cinnamon oatmeal instead of a slimy glazed donut, Yes Please!

Do you feel addicted to sugar? What have you done to change it?

If you missed them, you can check out Part 1 and 2 here and here. Next week in Part 4: Why I Limit Meat