It can be quite hard to overcome a sugar addiction, do you want to know why?
“No one can exert cognitive inhibition, willpower, over a biochemical drive that goes on every minute, of every day, of every year.”
That excerpt was stated by – Dr. Robert H. Lustig, who is a Pediatric Endocrinologist from the University of California, San Francisco, and is a recognized authority on sugar and obesity.
Dr. Lustig is very passionate with his reasons about why you should cut down on the levels of sugar that you have, as well as why he thinks that this is so very hard to do.
Are you one of those people that find it really difficult to cut down on eating junk food, and foods that are extremely bad for you and packed with sugar?
If you are, you may think that you do not have enough will power to do this, and you feel frustrated or have developed some low self-esteem.
So the first thing you do is reach for another sweet or treat that is bad for you!
So why do we do this?
This is a natural occurrence that happens in our brains because sugar gives us both fructose and glucose.
We all need glucose in order to live, but the fructose part is not processed by your body and is something that is not needed and can be dangerous.
The reason sugar can be fattening is because of the fructose.
If you consume a large amount of sugar in one go, or frequently over a long period of time, it triggers dopamine in a section of the brain that is called the Nucleus Accumbens.
To put it simply, dopamine is a compound in the body which is a neurotransmitter that helps to control our brains pleasure and rewards centers.
It makes us feel good and it tells our brains that whatever just happened was very enjoyable, hence the reason why we want to keep doing it!
Dopamine responds highly to sugar, therefore when you eat lots of it you will probably have intensified feelings of pleasure.
But with the more or the sugar that you consume over time; the less intensely your dopamine receptors are affected.
So basically, if you are having loads of sugar for say a period of 3 weeks, you brain will be telling you that you have to up your sugar intake even more for you to continue getting that feeling of pleasure again.
It’s because of this that people find it really hard to cut down.
The effect is not all that different to the dopamine which is released when nicotine, morphine, heroin, cocaine and other addictive drugs are used.
But unlike those substances, if you gradually reduce the amount of sugar that you eat, your dopamine production will level its self out over time.
What do you need to do to about it?
Initially you can start by paying more attention to food labels and drinks labels, and only buy the ones where the sugar is reduced or cut out altogether.
Then make a real effort to either stop or cut right down on the sugar that you are putting in your drinks and food. By doing all of this, you will be sure to beat your sugar addiction.