Tuesday, February 18th, 2020
One of the most difficult tastes to resist, is sugar. We all love the taste of sweet. The reason for this, is we’re born with a “sweet tooth.” What we humans have, is a natural preference for anything that’s sweet, this because we’re convinced that our brains need sugar, that our body needs sugar for energy.
Our individual cells, are encoded to be more sensitive towards certain tastes, and sugar is the primary one. If you easily surrender to sweets, then you’re likely to need more of it to feel satisfied. It begins from childhood, as the main “reward” response in their brains, has been conditioned to be something sweet.
So what we all crave for, is what makes us feel better. Kids will tolerate broccoli because they know there’s dessert after dinner. We enjoy fat laden foods such as ice cream, cakes, and chocolate. It’s deadly white sugar however, that enhances their flavor.
There are some who can control their sugar intake, but for the majority, this craving becomes insatiable, which leads to weight gain and obesity. This increases the risk of developing chronic health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Once the sweetness, any sweetness hits the tongue, there’s pure joy and glory, as it becomes irresistible for many, it can even become addictive.
So Can Sugar Become Addictive
What some studies show, is that sugar has is the same chemical reaction to the brain, as does other addictive substances. What sugar releases, is the same naturally occurring opiates in the brain, notably endorphins, which produces feelings of commitment and fulfillment.
What absorbing sugar does, is releases the chemical messenger dopamine, which is a neurochemical that motivates us to crave more food.
What excess sugar also blocks is the production of serotonin, which is a brain chemical that reigns in dopamine, which prevents us from overeating. For many, this becomes an unstoppable uncontrollable cycle, causing feelings of being addicted to sweets.
An Addict Is An Addict
Since it’s a biological reaction in the brain, there are some who will battle their sugar craving, similar to how a gambler avoids the slot machines, or how a recreational drug addict struggles to not use.
The obvious cure, is trying to stay away altogether, but most will usually go backwards on a binge. What they’ll do, is give in and eat more sweet food, which then triggers the craving for indulging.
But I Need To Eat
What most believe is that they’re just hungry, and not really addicted to sugar or food. What the experts claim however, is that sugar entering the brain can be highly addictive.
This addictive behavior that is sweets, is also extremely cheap, and readily available everywhere. Breaking down and having a chocolate bar, also appears tame and harmless, when compared to other addictions.
Just as there’s a big difference, when it comes to a social drinker and a full blown alcoholic, there’s a divide between someone who likes a sweet dessert after dinner, and someone who compulsively overeats a box of cookies. Someone who scarfs down an entire cake at one sitting.
It Makes Me Feel Good
What research proves, is that those who binge on sugar, and are then suddenly deprived of it, what develops are pleasure inducing chemical receptors in the brain, which motivates further eating behavior.
What occurs, is that it makes the person feel better once they eat more sugar. What then results, is that all too familiar craving, this to continue that “high.”
Once these receptors become blocked, what’s displayed are the signs of typical withdrawal symptoms, causing changes in brain chemistry, that’s common to anyone who’s deprived of an addictive chemical, that they’ve become dependent on.
What’s known is that an addiction is an addiction, this regardless of what the substance or the element is, and can have long-lasting effects on the brain. What this also causes for those who are affected, is to develop an increased sensitivity to other addictive substances.
Alters The Brain Chemicals
In addition to the brain alteration, there are other factors which influences us to consume more sugar, including the social pressure of eating with others, or the need to handle stress or certain emotional issues, forcing us to seek reward.
What’s known is that there are messages of hunger, cravings, or more sugar, that’s communicated from the control center which is the gut, and it’s sent to the brain, and then back again. How or why this happens, isn’t completely understood.
What these signals does, is drives our preference towards consuming more sweets. While there are a variety of ways on how you can handle a sugar craving, there’s no one single reason why you crave sweets, or why you give in.
To Resist Sugar Cravings
To break any habit, the easiest way, while it may be difficult to do, is to somehow distract yourself until the craving goes away. What’s known, is that any craving can take up to 20 minutes to dissipate. During this time, go for a walk, do housework, etc.
Develop a regimen of eating three balanced meals a day, spread out four to five hours apart. Make sure you’re eating plenty, as it can reduce the frequency and the intensity for your craving for sweets.
Supplement these meals, with wholesome snacks in between, which has a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein, which can potentially diminish the chemical changes in the brain, which stimulates the “sweet” cravings.
Sporadically eating randomly, is what gets you in trouble, so try controlling the amount you eat. Include a small portion of sweets, mixed in with a well-balanced meal or snack.
Realize that cravings, binge eating, and overeating are emotional responses. If you constantly give in to your cravings to sweets and thus surrender, the root cause is usually because of how you’re feeling.