Fitness and Wellness, Lifestyle

Are You a Sugar Addict? Stop the Sugar Monster

Do you find yourself always reaching for the sugar to put in your morning coffee, ordering those sugar-filled sodas or getting that afternoon Starbucks pick-me-up with tons of sugary syrups, caramel sprinkles and whip cream? You aren’t alone … I know I am guilty, guilty, guilty …

Are You a Sugar Addict?

Do you consume sugar for more energy?
Yes? Hello [insert name here] you are a sugar addict. Why? If you always feel tired and you crave that sugar rush to get you going with or without your caffeine … you are spinning that wheel of crave, elevate, crash. Crash is the operative word there. Any time you have a sugar high you will always have a low. If you have a huge amount you could very well spike and then spiral down hard.

Cranky and irritable a lot when you’re hungry?
Yes? Hello [insert name here] you are a sugar addict too. If you embody that Snickers commercial and turn into someone else when you are hungry, chances are you are used to grabbing a sugary snack or beverage to get your blood sugar back up fast when you are feeling famished. This continuous need may indicate that you suffer from adrenal fatigue however. The adrenal glands are connected to blood sugar levels. If you do have adrenal exhaustion, you will be more prone to lightening fast drops in blood sugar.

Overgrown colonies feasting off your innards?
How would you know right? Well, if you have chronic sinusitis, irritable bowel syndrome or a spastic colon, those sugar cravings might stem from a candida, or yeast infection influencing your eating habits. And of course, the more sugar you ingest, the faster the yeast multiplies and grows — and that’s never a good thing.

Unruly hormones?
Yep, check. If you are a girl, you already know you tend to crave sugar around that special time of the month … If you are older, your cravings might come from menopause or andropause because your hormone levels are low. Low hormones sometimes lead to depression, and that makes you want sugar because it will bring up your serotonin levels.

You might want to cut back on your sugar intake if you answered yes to any of the above scenarios. Knowing why you crave sugar can help you fight the urge, but there are some other things you can also consciously do to pull back on sugar consumption.

How to Stop the Sugar Monster

  1. Don’t drink beverages with sugar in them. Empty calories anyone? You really don’t want to know how much sugar is in the sugary drinks you drink, but in case you do — think about a teaspoon per ounce. Ouch!
  2. If you are going to consume sugar, make a healthier sweet choice. Get rid of the sweets that give you the least enjoy, like yogurt, cereal or granola bars. Try to have a healthy meal and then reward yourself later with a piece of dark chocolate, a cookie or some other dessert you find yummy and satisfying.
  3. Use Stevia as a substitute. Even a little bit of Stevia can help make unsweetened tea or coffee taste better. It’s a natural plant extract. Best of all – no calories. Stevia is relatively inexpensive and easy to find at most grocery stores as well.
  4. Read food labels. You won’t want to consume anything that has more than one to two teaspoons per serving. How do you know how many there are? Just look at the sugar grams on the label and divide by four to convert to teaspoons per serving. Another red flag — if one of the first three ingredients is “sugar” — if that’s the case, you might want to shelf that product and move on to a more healthy alternative.
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Jenna Bensoussan is an entertainment, lifestyle and wellness writer and editor. She served as executive editor for Smart Talk Magazine, associate editor for Counselor Magazine, and continues to serve as contributing editor for ACED Magazine. She has also contributed to newspapers such as the Boynton Times. Bensoussan holds a B.A. in communication and public relations from Florida Atlantic University.