A lot of people I speak to firmly believe they are addicted to sugar.
I used to think that I was addicted to sugar,
I really felt that I ‘just couldn’t help myself’ when it came to certain foods.
I found it nigh on impossible to cut these foods out of my life or to eat them at a sensible quantity when I did ‘give in’.
We feel like it is a drug and we must be addicted to it.
Let me clear something up for you.
You are not addicted to sugar, it is not a drug.
It does not have addictive qualities like alcohol or cocaine.
However, think about the types of sugary food that you struggle with.
I am sure they will be foods like chocolate, doughnuts, cakes, pastries, ice cream and so on.
These foods are high in sugar yes, but they are also high in fat!
This makes the food not only super tasty and very easy to overeat but it also makes it very high calorie.
The thing with high calorie foods is that they do trigger a dopamine response in the brain.
They actually do make us feel better!
The reason for this is that our brains are wired to seek out high calorie foods and we get a ‘reward’ of feel good dopamine when we eat it.
This is of course, because we are wired for survival.
Our brains are still working on the basis that we may not find another high calorie food for a while so we need to ‘stock up’ while the going is good.
We tell ourselves that these foods are ‘bad’ because we find it hard to control how much of them we eat.
We feel guilty when we ‘give in’ and eat them,
we feel bad but then we feel better when we are eating them and this closes the ‘habit loop’.
This means that we will repeat the behaviour.
We end up getting into vicious circles of trying to restrict ‘bad’ foods and then overeating them.
The route out of this is to start to slowly re-introduce ‘forbidden foods’ into your normal diet.
You will overeat them sometimes but gradually as you remove the guilt and the labelling of these foods you will find that you can develop control.
Get away from labelling food good or bad.
Include all delicious food in your diet, it is a good and natural thing to enjoy your food.
Develop your own eating plan of around 80% whole, less processed foods and around 20% of ‘junk’ or more processed foods – whatever type you enjoy.
As you remove the guilt from eating you will find that you can develop a much better relationship with food and you will get much better results.