John Basedow: A sugar craving is more than just an urge, it's an addiction. Researchers have connected the addiction not to sugar itself, but to the process of withholding sweets then binging on too many. Here are my tips to gain control and cut sugar dependency out of your life for good.
Sugar induces your brain to produce the feel good chemicals serotonin and dopamine, making it easy to lose control and eat more than you plan. You may even face withdrawal symptoms if you don't get your regular fix of sugar.
The first step is weaning away from your dependence on the sweet stuff. You don't have to drop sugar whole turkey, but make small changes you can manage. Say no to dessert on occasion or drop the sugar from your coffee, overtime you will start to lose your dependency on the happy sensation sugar triggers.
Second, reducing your sugar intake means becoming a smarter shopper. Buy more protein and vegetables and swap processed foods for unsweetened alternatives. Also avoid sugar substitutes as much as possible. Researches discover they leave you craving more sugar, making it harder to quit.
And third, keep a close eye on ingredients listing the less common names for sugar. Agave nectar, brown rice syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose evaporated cane juice, glucose, lactose, malt syrup, molasses and sucrose are all names to watch out for.
Cut a little sugar out of your life each week and before you know it you'll be free of your dependency. With just a touch of will power, you can overcome your sugar addiction and enjoy a sweet treat without the guilt.