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Overcoming Sugar Addiction

North Americans eat an average of 110 grams of added sugar a day. That's 88 lbs a year. Sugar creates an immediate rush of endorphins that gives you an intense surge of pleasure similar to heroine. This has been further ingrained by our upbringing. Going out for ice cream if you're good, sent to your room without dessert when you're bad. How about birthday parties and carnivals? Sugar is present for the times in our life we are happy. No wonder we reach for "Comfort Foods" when we are feeling down.

How we can fix it

Fixing an addiction can be done the same way you create an addiction but in reverse. You can gradually allow your body to adapt to crave less sugar in the same way it adapts to craving more. Just remember artificial sweeteners may be calorie free but they won't do anything to curb cravings.

Here are a few things to get you started

1. If you put 2 sugars in your coffee try switching to 1. At first you wont like the taste as much (There isn't enough sugar) but your taste will adapt then switch to half and so on until you can remove it completely.

2. By drinking sweetened beverages we find unsweetened beverages such as water less satisfying. Try cutting sodas and juices with water to cut back on the sugar contained in each drink. Gradually increase the water you use so you can wean yourself off the sweet taste.

3. Try gradually replacing sweet snacks with less or non sweet snacks. replacing granola bars, candies etc with berries, vegetables and nuts (the sugar in fruit and vegetables tend to not have the same effect as processed sugar due to the fibre and other nutrients.

As you reduce the amount of sugar you consume you will notice your palette adapt to these changes. Don't worry about being doomed to eating a bland diet. As you make these changes you will gradually come to prefer less sugar and become more appreciative of the natural flavours in food.

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