Help! I’m Addicted to Sugar! {video}

February 6th, 2013 at 8:08 am
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You wouldn’t believe how many emails, comments, and more I get that say something along the lines of: “Help! I’m addicted to sugar!”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I was younger I was addicted to sugar, too. I come from a long line of Sugar Queens (and kings). My preteen and early teen years were spent enjoying plenty of healthy food, but also a hefty helping of homemade baked goods, desserts, chocolates, and more. As I got older, I realized that sugar was causing a slew of health problems for me (severe seasonal allergies, weakened immune system, blood sugar swings, to name a few). So I quit eating refined sugar completely. And what a difference it has made!

As you know, I do use natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, dried fruit, coconut sugar, etc.) in my cooking in moderation. I’m so grateful for them! They make it easier on my body to indulge in a sweet treat every once in a while, especially when I make sure the treat has some protein or fat in it to help balance out the natural sugar.

But.

Yes, there’s a but.

Too much sugar, in ANY form whether from a date or a doughnut, is still sugar and can still provoke a stress response in the body. Worse, eating sugar—ANY form of sugar—regularly and in excess, will lead to the dreaded Sugar Cycle: craving upon craving upon craving upon craving.

You eat sugar to satisfy the craving, only to have it come back and come back again. The more sugar you eat, the stronger the craving gets, gaining momentum so that your once small and easily satisfiable hankering for a square of chocolate now turns into A Craving on Steroids, also known as MUST EAT HALF THE DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE NOW!

So how did I break the sugar cycle? How do I get through my days with no or very little added sugar, and still feel like I’m loving my life?

That’s what today’s video is all about. If you struggle with sugar cravings, take 6 minutes of  your life and watch this video for some motivation. I want you to finish watching feeling empowered and armed with a few tips to help you get started on your way to a sweet albeit sugar-free life.

Pull up a chair and enjoy.

(Can’t see the video? Click here.)

So what now?

Don’t worry. I’ve got another video and post in the works to talk you through some more practical steps for kicking the sugar habit for good! Just remember, YOU can do this. YOU can make positive change last in your life. YOU can control your sugar cravings. They don’t have to control you!

It takes time and heck of a lot of patience and diligence. But it CAN be done. I’m living proof.

Take a deep breath, get yourself together, and start living sugar-free TODAY! I’m right here with you. You can do this.

More later…

In the meantime, here are some resources you might find helpful and inspirational as you get started:

  • Get the Sugar Out: I love this book and go back to it time and again for helpful nuggets and info. Some are basic, some are more advanced, but all are great tips.
  • Lick the Sugar Habit: Another classic book filled with helpful tidbits.
  • The Success Principles: This is THE BOOK to read if you want to feel motivated about anything in life, whether it’s making a career change or giving up soda. I read it last year and it gave me a huge mental and emotional boost.
  • 141 Reasons Sugar Ruins Your Health: Take a deep breath and then read this. It is eye-opening. If this doesn’t motivate you to give up sugar, I don’t know what will!

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I’d love to know your tips, tricks, struggles, and triumphs related to getting the sugar out. We can ALL learn something here and every one of us has experience to share, whether good or bad! Leave a comment with your thoughts.

 

Comments

  1. Last year I realized I had more than just a sweet tooth – a full blown sugar addiction!! After many months of trying and failing I finally tried a Yeast Overgrowth Formula which is a a natural supplement recommended by my doctor to kill yeast. After two weeks I could not believe how much my cravings had diminished. But you’re so right – it’s really easy to set that cycle into motion all over again by indulging. Now I try to save those really sweet treats for very special occasions and eat mainly a plant based balanced diet the rest of the time. You really can enjoy life without sugar. (although my post today really sets some chocolate fondue up on a pedestal – I said RARE treat! ha!)

  2. Sharla: I totally agree with you about enjoying a sweet treat every once in a while. No one is perfect and we all deserve a little something sweet now and then. Moderation and balance is key. :) I’m glad you’re enjoying life without sugar!

  3. All of my life it was wheat and sugar cravings defining my diet. Even after suspecting my wheat allergy I gave in to it until my body forced me to give it up. I still struggle with sugar in the form of diet soda. I know how bad it is for me and as much as it hurts, have to go cold turkey on it. Sugar is like a big hug but it has caused my body to need bigger arms to hug it:-(

  4. Until two weeks ago I had never heard that if I have a sugar craving I may just be lacking protein when friend of mine who is a wellness coach told me. This is interesting to me because I’ve read so much about the human body not really needing as much protein as we typically think it does (while doing research on vegetarianism). How do we know what the right answer is?

  5. SherriS: Take those first few steps is the hardest part. But I promise you, with time and diligence it DOES get easier to live sugar-free. :)

  6. Fran: I hear you. A person can drive themselves crazy trying to sort through all of the research and opinions out there! I am a big believer in trying different approaches and listening to how your body responds to each. I’ve tried a vegan/vegetarian diet and know that my cravings and overall health is not optimal eating that way, which is why I find it best for me to incorporate good quality animal protein/fat into my diet. Doing what’s right for YOU and listening to your body is the most important thing! :)

    (I will say, though, that everyone’s protein needs differ depending on varying factors like age, activity, genetic constitution, etc. Most of us don’t need to pound the protein in a major way, but eating it in steady amounts throughout the day can be a helpful way to manage cravings.)

  7. The timing of this video is remarkable. I have cleaned up my diet in so many ways with no refined sugar, not even stevia and eating low on the glycemic index. Yet the cravings slipped back in the back door with fruit, and yes, dates. The truth is we are never really “finished.” A healthy diet asks us always to be fully conscious of how we a feeding ourselves everyday. I so appreciate that sugar/head connection. But we are more than our impulses. One of the big sweet craving impulses for me comes from time of day – that evening desert after dinner impulse that got so deeply ingrained in me. I’m looking forward to more on this sugar conversation on your blog.

  8. Because of all that I have read and was suspect that sugar was causing my fatigue and congestion, I gave up all refined sugar the end of May 2012. The fatigue subsided, but the congestion remained.

    When I’d make sweet treats, I substituted the refined sugar with agave (mostly), maple syrup, coconut palm sugar (often) and dates.

    Nearly three weeks ago I stopped using agave, maple syrup and coconut palm sugar and just this past week I went cold turkey on everything, including dates. My congestion cleared almost immediately.

    The last treat I made was with dates and almond flour. Found that almond flour is not my friend either. So, I have done more research and reading, and for, at least, 30 days, I am trying the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.

    Today is my 3rd year anniversary of going gluten free and today is the first day of going cold turkey trying the Autoimmune Paleo Diet. So far, I feel terrific.

  9. Megan: You’re so right. We really never are finished. There’s always something new to learn and try. :)

  10. Linda: Thanks for sharing your story! Congrats on 3 years of gluten-free living and way to go on trying the AI protocol. Hope it is a great experience for you! :)

  11. Hallie I loved the video. One issue I face is pressure from family (I am a gluten free vegan) and looking to eliminate refined sugar, I know I am addicted to it and it causes me anxiety as well. Do you have any thoughts on how to deal with family/ friends who are unsupportive? (They tell me I am a health nazi, I am too restrictive). I would also like to hear about the effects of suagr on our emotional state bit more. Love the positivity, thank you!

  12. Anna: Having a support system is something I’m very grateful for, but I understand that many people “go it alone” when it comes to eating healthy and don’t have that network of supportive people surrounding them. Just remember that you are the one in control of what goes into your body and everyone is responsible for their own health. Give yourself a pat on the back for taking the reins and respecting your body with healthy food! (Even if other people don’t agree.)

    I’m still learning what it means to come to peace with my food choices and not care what other people think. It’s a tough thing to do (which is why I’m still learning!), but with time I do think it has become easier.

    Keep up your healthy eating! You can do it. :)

    (And thanks for your suggestion about sugar and the emotions. Definitely a worthy topic to talk about in a future post!)

  13. Thank you Hallie! What great reminders, and it also helps me to know that you are also still learning to make peace with your food choices. Your encouragement makes me feel strong, not to mention a sweetener free chia pudding recipe!!!!!

  14. Dear Hallie,
    What a great blog you have! Since December I’ve been ‘trying out’ being gluten free and cut WAY back on the sugars and dairy. I have a lot of pain from inflammation, arthritis and stiffness but otherwise feel I’m a pretty healthy person. My family Dr. said it’s ‘just my age’ (50)….how ridiculous! Well I thought my diet change may help, that and yoga have made a difference.
    I’m so glad to read about the sugar cravings, as I grew up in a large family where homemade desserts were looked forward to every night. I love to bake and am darn good at it, and I had my favorite ‘baking blogs’ I went to every morning to see what I could create! Well I’ve had to take them off my go to list and replace them with fantastic blogs like yours, THANK YOU! I’m glad you mentioned about the ‘natural sweeteners’ because now that I’m learning new baking recipes I feel I’m reaching for ‘healthy’ cookies every night! I’ve been wondering about the use of dried fruits as replacement even, are they that bad too?

    Keep up the great posts and communication about all your doing!

  15. Great video Hallie! Loved your tips; so great. Sending this on to all of my clients who are addicted to sugar! xo

  16. Hi! I just came across this tonight and I’m so excited about it! I have, within the last month, decided it is a necessity for me to cut out the sugar from my diet. I would always joke about having a sugar addiction and until I started doing some research didn’t really know it was a real thing! I’m excited there are other people out there who are going through this struggle and that have actually done it! It gives me hope! Thank you so much for this post and I look forward to reading more!!

  17. Hi..have just stumbled upon your site. Thank you. Your video is very inspiring and helpful. I know I can do this even after many, many failures. :( I think in society we have to really start to realise just how terribly addictive sugar is. I have such an emotional attachment to it!! Due to allergies I also have to cut out all grains so hoping it will all make a huge difference to my health. Have suffered so badly over the years with allergies and asthma. Once again thanks and I will let you know how I go. :)

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