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More sweets please

The more sweet foods I eat, the more my body craves.

There are many books written about sugar addictions and diets to reduce weight by decreasing intake of sugars and carbohydrates. How many more diet books & articles can we read?

When we deprive ourselves of sugar, we go through withdrawal symptoms like a drug addict would and our cravings for sugars & carbohydrates increase. We relapse and continue impulsive eating to satisfy our cravings. This leads to a vicious cycle of self-medicating with sweet foods, which can result in diabetes, obesity or an eating disorder. In a study published in the National Institute of Health, scientists used brain scanning technology to detect the shocking similarities of a drug addicts and a sugar addict’s brain. "Sugar is the new cocaine”.

Over the years, there have been behaviors I've changed “cold turkey”; giving up sugar is not one of them. Instead, first I paid attention to how my body behaved after sugar intake. There would be a short period of “ high”, then sluggishness, tiredness and at times sleepiness which led to unproductive work days. Next, I paid attention to when I was craving sugars. Was it due to boredom, a long day at work, in anticipation of a stressful event or hormonal? Once I discovered the reasons, I was able to have a better understanding of my body's physiological needs and found healthier alternatives to satisfy the cravings. I am a believer in small steps to changes. I have substituted refined sugar snacks (cookies, candy, cakes…) with fruits, nuts & tea breaks. I am a realist, I do have my chocolates and cakes on occasion.

Being mindful of the increase in cravings as the seasons change or as stress increases has helped me to reduce my sugar intake. It is a continuous and challenging journey. As a result of healthier choices, I am much more productive, energetic, focused and efficient.

Reducing sugar in your diet

Start Small

  1. Read nutrition labels

  2. Decrease sugar-sweetened beverages

  3. Replace processed sugars with fresh fruit plain yogurt & cinnamon

Suggested sugar intake/day:

Women: 6 teaspoons

Men: 9 teaspoons

(American Heart Association)

To calculate teaspoons of sugar: divide grams of sugar by 4:

i.e: Snickers Bar 30grams =7.5 teaspoons


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