You may be a sugar addict – literally! Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you find it hard to live without eating a few servings of sweets per day? Well, if so, you may be a sugar addict – and you are far from alone!
An average American consumes about 35 tablespoons of sugar per day – that is around 1680 calories each day from table sugar alone! The U.S. Department of Agriculture limits the intake of sugar to no more than 10 teaspoons per day, which is equal to the amount of sugar contained in a 12-ounce soft drink .
Sugar is the most common food additive on the planet. You can find it in the most unexpected places, such as pizza, ketchup, soup, crackers, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, peanut butter, mayonnaise, and other foods commonly found within our fridge and pantries.
How the body uses sugar
The human body is a very amazing machine. It has the ability to break down foodstuff into simpler compounds to extract energy for survival. The body’s main fuel is glucose, a simple sugar that the body uses in metabolism. Excess sugar in the blood is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen through the action of insulin, a special chemical released by the pancreas to control the level of blood sugar, facilitate the delivery of sugar into individual cells, and also help our bodies store protein and fats .
Too much sugar in the diet can cause many health problems, including:
- Obesity 
- Cardiovascular disease 
- Dental decay
Do you have sugar addiction?
Unfortunately, sugar addiction is real. A study published by PlosOne reveals that the intense sweetness of sugar surpasses the effect of cocaine, a commonly abused prohibited drug, in the reward center of the brain. Most mammals, including humans and rodents, find sweetness rewarding. Overeating sugar-rich foods can therefore “hyperstimulate” the receptors of the reward center, which in turn release “hyper” reward signals within the brain that can potentially override self-control mechanisms leading to addiction .
Cutting sugar intake: An effective weight loss plan
Majority of Americans consume more than 2600 calories per day – and most of them derive 1700 of those calories from a sugar-rich diet. Since too much sweetness can stimulate the brain to further increase sugar intake, people who want to lose weight need to strictly limit their sugar intake.
Weight loss experts believe that the most effective weight loss plans are those that recommend dropping sugar from the diet. Therefore, drastically removing sugar from the diet will also drastically decrease the caloric intake, resulting in quick weight loss.
What are the best strategies to eliminate sugar from your diet?
- Do not drink soft drinks. Drink water instead.
- Do not store sweet foods in your fridge and pantry to prevent yourself from being exposed to sweet treats.
- Your brain always craves sugar; and hunger intensifies this craving. Therefore, buy your groceries and kitchen supplies when you are not hungry.
- Always check your food labels for sugar and hidden sugars.
- Drink two glasses of water before eating your meal.
- Practice discipline. Learn to say no to your brain’s craving to sweet foods.
And if you are still having a hard time controlling yourself from eating sweets, try an effective appetite suppressant or weight loss program. Hypnosis has also helped many people control cravings and establish new habits. At InShape Medical, you can choose from among the best medically supervised, effective and quick weight loss programs that can help you control your cravings and keep you focused on your weight loss goals.
InShape Medical is a wellness, anti-aging, aesthetics, and weight loss clinic located in the Apex-Cary area of the Triangle, serving the greater Raleigh, NC area. The health professionals at InShape Medical take a mind-body, positive health approach to helping their patients gain better health and well-being using the most effective protocols and practices. Health and wellness coaching is central to their approach and the reason that their clients have such a positive experience and high success rates. They can be reached at 919-468-3900 or visit them at www.inshapeapex.com.
- USDA: Profiling food consumption in America
- Group Health Foundation: How Our Bodies Turn Food Into Energy
- Better Health Channel: Sugar
- Harvard Health Publications: Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease
- ISRN Dentistry; Role of Sugar and Sugar Substitutes in Dental Caries: A Review; Gupta, P. et al; December 2013
- PlosOne; Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward; Lenoir, M. et al; August 2007