Sugar turns you into a junkie.
Last June, after a six-hour hike/climb in Acadia National Park in Maine, I stopped in a cute little chocolate shop in Bar Harbor and rewarded myself with an ice cream cone and a cookie. I was at goal weight and didn’t eat that stuff regularly, but had just worked out really hard and I was on vacation so I thought it was Okay. NOT!
That instantly set off a sugar craving/binge that lasted hours and turned into days. When I tell people this story, I tell them that I was so into my sugar binge and felt so out of control, that if you had put a gun to my head and challenged me not to eat it, I am not sure it would have mattered. I felt out of control. Then, with every intention of stopping and never doing that again, I did it again.
That’s when I learned that I am a sugar addict. And shortly after, I stopped eating refined sugar all together. I finally accepted that I simply can’t have it.
When I read this article recently titled “11 Weird Things Sugar’s Doing to Your Body” it really resonated and I knew I had to share it here.
When I weighed 381 pounds and ate pretty much everything in my path, I didn’t know that I was a sugar junkie. If you asked me then, I would have said that I didn’t consume that much sugar. Sweet stuff was not my main problem. I liked my carbs.
Once I hit my weight loss goal and entered what we fondly call “maintenance,” I realized the extent of my full-on sugar addiction. Since I had completely cut refined sugar out of my diet during fat loss and/or monitored it very carefully, when I went back to eating any form of sugar, I saw what it did to my brain and my body.
So, for me, number 7 on this list of “11 Weird Things Sugar Does to Your Body” — sugar turns you into a junkie – was the key. Discovering this was an “ah ha” moment. I finally admitted to myself and others that I am addicted to sugar. It makes me crave everything else and sets off binge eating. It is bad for me. I can’t control it. So I can’t have it. At all! And I feel sooooooo much better.
But that’s not the only significant thing on this list. Before my weight loss when I was eating tons of sugar — and much of it hidden in the processed food I was eating — I was at risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. All of these run in my family history. And at my weight, with my diet, I was on the path to internal destruction as described so clearly here.
This article does the best job of anything I’ve read on the topic of explaining why sugar is bad for us. It explains quite clearly why and how it affects our bodies. And, it provides tips for what to watch for and what to eat instead. I appreciate that. If you are going to tell me something is bad for me — something I eat or do every day — then I also want tips on what to do instead. I am a solution oriented gal! This article does that — so here you go. I learned so much and wanted to pass it on.
For example, did you know that the American Heart Association recommendations for sugar intake is “5 teaspoons for women (20 grams); 9 teaspoons for men (36 grams); and 3 teaspoons (12 grams) for children? For reference, a can of soda generally contains up to 12 grams of sugar; a single slice of whole wheat bread contains up to 2 teaspoons of added sugars.”
How many of you, if you are really honest with yourself are addicted to sugar? And/or can identify with any of the 11 weird things listed here. I’d love to hear from you.