The easiest way to deal with a sugar addiction is to cut out sugar from your diet. Depending on your personality and how strong your addition is, you might need to cut back slowly rather than suddenly. Sugar activates the brain reward centers, making you feel good and causing you to go back to sugar over and over, according to Dr. Charles Raison of Emory University Medical School. A sugar addiction can not only be mentally addictive, but also cause health problems, such as obesity and diabetes.
Read labels and cut out any foods that contain added sugars. These may be fairly easy to eliminate because you don't use them very much. Products that contain added sugar include baked beans, ketchup, barbecue sauce, some salad dressings, granola bars and some cereals. Either eliminate these products from your diet or switch to similar ones that are sugar-free.
Switch to diet soda. It might take awhile to adjust to the change in flavor, so don’t give up if you don’t like it at first. Stop drinking juices and fruit drinks that contain sugar. Look for sport drinks and energy drinks that are sugar-free.
Minimize the simple carbohydrates in your diet. Reduce the white bread, white rice, starchy snacks such as potato chips, baked goods and syrups in your diet. Even if they don’t taste sweet, these affect your blood sugar and can fuel sugar cravings. Instead, choose complex carbs, such as whole wheat, oat bran, barley, rye, buckwheat and brown rice.
Replace sweet comfort foods with something else that gives you pleasure. This could be a food that you love that isn't sugary. It could also be an activity, such as taking a bubble bath or going out for a manicure. If your brain starts getting the same signal of pleasure from something else, it won’t require as much sugar to feel good.
- “The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program”; Kathleen DesMaisons; 2002
- "Psychology Today"; The Science of Willpower; Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.; 2011
- CNN Health; How Can I Break my Sugar Addiction?; Dr. Charles Raison; 2010
- U. S. News; Foods Surprisingly High in Added Sugar; Sarah Baldauf; August 2009