Sugar addiction is unlike any other substance dependency simply because it is accessible to all of us no matter what age we are. In fact, sugar related products are deliberately targeted at the most vulnerable of us….our children!
Sugar is in most of our children’s favorite foods: breakfast cereals, candy, fruit juices, and soda to name but a few. In many ways we are aiding and abetting manufacturers in making lifelong sugar addicts out of our children – the very people we commit to protect and nurture from birth! Manipulative marketing of these products even makes us feel like in some way we are not showing our love and care unless we give them excessively high sugar content foods and drinks. Even if we are food-savvy parents and restrict the soda and the candy, sugar is so prevalent in our everyday foods, it is almost an impossible task to manage our children’s sugar consumption. When the nation’s favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich is equal to almost two Snickers bars in sugar content, it is easy to feel like we are fighting a losing battle to keep ourselves and our kids healthy.
You may look at your children and think, “Hey, they’re an ok weight. They must be healthy.” But we know that is not how sugar works, particularly fructose that makes up half of the compounds that create sugar as we know it, and even more than half with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Too much fructose causes ‘unseen’ health issues that tend not to manifest until the damage is well under way, working from the inside out. Yet, with all this knowledge, we still keep going back for more. Despite the prolific harmful effect sugar has on our health, we seem prepared to trade our health, wellbeing, even our life, for the love of sugar, and we will do it with a smile on our face and delight in our eyes. That, my friends, is the power of sugar addiction. We think we are in control, but self control is only tested when we resist our addiction. Only then will we see how little to no control we really have. Try it and see for yourself.
Breaking sugar addiction isn’t easy, but it is achievable.
Sugar has already manipulated your emotions. It has made you feel good, offered consolation in the form of candy or ice cream, soothed your thirst as soda, danced on your taste buds as your favorite dessert, yet, all the time making your mind dull, forcing your body chemistry into chaos, and drenching your internal organs in fat. If this were a friend who treated us this way, we would show them the door.
If you struggle to say no to sugar, here are some healthier alternatives when you feel the cravings come on. Consider stocking your kitchen with some of these options. When the cravings come on (oftentimes late at night or an hour or two after dinner), be prepared with these alternatives:
- Mixed nuts – high in protein, healthy fats and fiber
- Greek yogurt – you can top with some local honey and/or berries like blueberries
- Apple slices with peanut butter or greek yogurt
- Dark chocolate – Healthline states dark chocolate is loaded with flavanols that may lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease risk, provided the chocolate contains at least 70% cocoa solids
- A piece of fruit – bananas, apples, pears, and citrus like oranges and mandarins are good options to have on hand
- Chia seed pudding
- Peanut butter toast
- Frozen grapes – a surprisingly delightful sweet snack!
Also consider why you are experiencing sugary cravings. What time are you eating dinner and what are you eating for dinner? Consider adding more vegetables and foods high in protein to ensure you’re getting a full and healthy meal.
Are you getting enough sleep at night? Here’s a past post about trouble sleeping and things you can do to improve your rest and ensure a good night’s sleep.
While changing up your dietary habits is important when you have identified a sugar addiction, it’s important to examine other lifestyle habits to see how they may be contributing to unhealthy eating.
We believe in making healthy, lifelong changes to your daily eating and exercise patterns. Physician’s Weight Control & Wellness’s programs are different from other weight loss programs in that they are specifically constructed by bariatric specialists to meet each patient’s individual needs based on their body chemistry, lifestyle, and weight loss goals. Our individualized programs focus on providing positive alternatives to unhealthy habits and targeting foods which provide your body with the specific nutrients it needs for optimal energy and fat metabolism. Practical exercise and hydration are also implemented into our overall program.
We encourage you to become a part of our successful weight loss program. We offer 50 years of safety, experience, knowledge and expertise found nowhere else!
Contact us with any questions about Physician’s Weight Control & Wellness Center and how we can help you in your journey to better health.