Diet Culture

Sugar Addiction Facts: Are We All Headed For Rehab?

One thing I will never claim to be is an expert. I am constantly learning, growing and changing my perspectives. It’s important to remember that we are allowed to change our minds, even if we once strongly held a belief we disagree with now. It’s all good in the hood.

A belief that I have had for a very long time is that of sugar addiction. I grew up in a household that rarely had sugar. We really only ever had honey on special occasions. So, I grew up kinda thinking that sugar is pretty bad for us and have believed that my whole life. It wasn’t until recently that I heard there actually isn’t such a thing as sugar addiction. I decided to start looking into sugar addiction facts because I have never truly looked into it.

My Experience with “Sugar Addiction”

When I was little, I LOVED sweets. The only time I ever got them was when I was over at my grandparents’ or at a friend’s house. Let me tell you, I would go ham on some sugar. Funny story, I had just eaten my first Little Debbie and I vowed that when I was an adult my house would always be fully stocked with Little Debbies. Always. cookies-sugar-addiction

Here’s the thing, as an adult, the Little Debbies are never fully stocked because I eat them all pretty much within the first 24 hours. No joke. When I start, I can’t stop, even if I am already sick. Sounds kinda like an addict, huh?

When I was in college I literally woke up to eating Oreos. I was eating them in my sleep. I can’t make this stuff up. To say I have a sugar problem is an understatement. Sugar has been a stronghold for me for as long as I can remember. It feels easy to say, “I struggle with sugar addiction,” at least there’s a “reason” for my sugar binges. However, research may have something else to say about that.

Sugar Addiction, Fact or Fiction?

We’ve all heard about how sugar fires the reward part of our brains and releases happy hormones (again, not an expert…obviously, happy hormones?) You might have even heard the comparison between sugar and cocaine saying it’s equally addictive. Cocaine, people! I used to buy it (not drugs… the sugar/cocaine theory) but I am not sure I do anymore.

I mean, lets be real, I wouldn’t compare my sugar withdrawal to someone who is coming off of actual hard drugs. That’s why there are rehabs for that. I haven’t heard of a sugar rehab, yet.

Disclaimer: I do understand that people struggling from disordered eating may need rehab/professional help. That is beyond the scope of this post, I am purely speaking about the average human being with “sugar addiction.”

It allows us to feel a lot better to equate sugar to cocaine. Then, we have many more excuses as to why coming off sugar is so hard. Can you imagine telling a recovering cocaine addict, “yeah… I totally know what you’re going through, I have been coming off of sugar myself…” My point exactly.

I’ve read a couple articles covering sugar addiction and they all point back to one thing. Evolution. You don’t have to believe we came from monkeys but I think we can all agree that times used to be different for us humans.cake-sugar-addiction

As a society we have advanced at an alarmingly fast rate. However, there are still parts of our brain that might still be catching up. For example, if we found some honey back thousands of years ago we would have felt like we found the jackpot and devoured it as quickly as we could. Not much has changed, we find sugar and devour it.

In short, to me, I don’t think we are addicted to sugar. I don’t believe the propaganda that people are putting sugar in our foods to drug us and make us dependent. I DO think that we are really bad at managing a desire to consume sugary foods because its still in the survival part of our brains.

In my opinion, as a “recovering sugar addict,” I call, fiction.

Sugar Addiction Support

You might be saying, “but Savannah… sugar consumption is a major problem in our society these days!” I couldn’t agree more. The over consumption of sugar isn’t healthy, it can lead to weight gain and a plethora of other issues.

In the past, I have completely cut out sugar in my diet for long periods of time (we’re talking no fruit) and found that it didn’t “cure” me. I would still binge on sweets whenever I did allow them in my diet.

Truth be told, I am still learning how to manage my sweet tooth. It’s a challenge for me.

What are your thoughts? Til then… where’s my Reeses?

Much love,

Savannah

 

 

14 Comments

  • Bryan

    Fellow sweet tooth here. As is my wife, so the struggle is real!
    We’re parents to a 6 year old with Type 1 Diabetes, so the past year we’ve done a lot of cutting out as much sugar as possible including carbs. But sometimes it’s unavoidable and you gotta let a 6 year old be a 6 year old have enjoy some skittles from time to time 🙂

    My wife claims she would get headaches from sugar withdrawals. And you know what, I believe her!
    Great content and well written.

    Cheers!

    • Savannah

      The struggle is SO real! I can relate. Awe yes! I cannot imagine a life without skittles. Its so awesome that yall are joining your child in dietary changes. I really admire parents who do that. I have a nephew who is gluten intolerant and my sister has adopted his eating habits as her own, especially when he is around.
      Yes! I have totally experienced the sugar withdrawal headaches too. It’s no joke. It really makes you wonder.
      Thank you so much for the feedback, Bryan!

  • Tracy

    Hi Savanah,
    I myself devour sweets when the opportunity presents itself and when I get started, it sometimes is hard to stop 🙁
    For me, the minute I tell myself I can’t have the sweets I crave them more than ever. So I try eat them in moderation and not forbid myself from them.
    Great article,

    • Savannah

      You and me both, Tracy! It is so hard!
      That’s a really good approach. I have tried it in the past but never did very well lol! maybe I should give it a go again.
      Thank you so much for your feedback!

  • Patricia Robb

    Oh wow, you got me drooling with those photos. Thanks for writing this info. It helps to be reminded of things like this that we all need to know. Good work. =)

  • Rowena Henrichs

    Hi Savanah,
    Sweet tooth here, anything with chocolate I have no self-control over. This is a great article making you think about why we eat sweets. Is it an addiction? Lack of self-control? or just out of habit?

    • Savannah

      Hey there! Oh my gosh I’m right there with you! Chocolate and peanut butter are my weakness. Right? I really do wonder if it is out of habit. I hadn’t really thought of that.

  • Matthew Haskell

    Hey there,
    It’s really awesome to see that there are more people out there with such similar issues with sugar. It gives me a great deal of comfort to know that I’m not alone in this particular struggle.
    Thanks for this post it helped me feel better about my problems with sugar.
    Matthew

    • Savannah

      Hey Matthew!
      I am so glad that you found support and comfort in my post. You are definitely not alone, its certainly a widespread issue. I’m hoping to kick my own sugar habit. It’s tough when you feel like you lack control over something so seemingly simple. We can do it though!

  • Ali

    What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about the sugar addiction and when I landed on your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)

    Thanks!

  • Steve

    Sugar is definitely something I have tried to limit in my diet, but it is so hard to do. I know there are all kinds of crazy statistics about sugar, but at the end of the day, it just tastes so good.

    It is really hard to avoid sugar, and especially the fake stuff which is probably even worse than real sugar. I have tried to quit drinking Coke, which is so bad for me. I have managed to limit my intake.

    Anyway, I like that you are spreading the word, this is a very interesting topic. I wish you the best.

    • Savannah

      Steve, I couldn’t agree more. I have done well in the past but recently I have been on a major sugar craze! Reeses are my weakness. Thank you so much! I definitely just want to share things I personally struggle with and sugar is definitely one of them!

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