C’mon, we all know it and yet we choose to ignore it. I am a 28-year-old man with a huge sugar addiction. The rest of this post is basically my struggle with quitting sugar. I don’t say you should quit sugar completely, but one must know the adverse effects it has on the health of a modern day city dweller.
My First recollection of a sugar candy came in form of a reward. My father held my hand and walked me to a Sunday evening market, and since I had walked along with him behaving well all along without creating any fuss, the candy was his token of appreciation. I remember savoring every lick of the lozenge and how the sugar gave me a rush. I was hooked. I walked with him almost every school night and he would buy me one candy eachtime I accompanied him. It was no secret I liked sugar. As a fat kid, people kept pouring all the candies in the world as if to enjoy the sight of me obliterate the sugary rewards in a matter of seconds.
This went on for a while and as I grew older my sugar addiction grew with me. I loved every form of it; in drinks, soft drinks and other Indian delicacies. And soon, this was a noticeable problem. I was 45 kilograms before I got out of primary school, and 65 kilograms before I graduated high school. By the time I came to college I was already in my upper 80’s and now, 7 years since, I am almost triple digit in weight. Little did I know, this was my fate when I walked to the markets in lure of a candy bar.
I have always wanted to quit sugar, and have failed monumentally at it. But here is what I have learnt and I am sure many of you, my dear readers feel the same.
It’s not your fault that you struggle with sugar
It’s human nature to want to avoid looking at things that are difficult or painful. Being ashamed about it isn’t going to help you. You need to acknowledge the fact that you are addicted to sugar, and the adverse effects it has on you and your daily activities.
That high school jacket that once fit you (like there was another soul on this planet that was meant to occupy it) now creates a convex between buttons. You know what the reason is. By accepting your like for sugar, you will be able to seek help and not be embarrassed about it.
Sugar addiction has both an emotional and a physiological component. You need to address both to heal
Not just your will power will help you get over the urge to defeat sugar, but you need to have a plan-b in situation where you give in.
For me, scheduling a guilt free session of unsupervised sugar helps. You can help yourself to an ice cream over the weekend if you hold true to your goals. The more you try to abstain from sugar the more tempting it becomes without a proper plan to it.
You don’t just stop eating sugar through will power, nutritional knowledge, or by shaping your behavior through punishments and rewards. You change through a maturing process itself.
You need to feel the futility that the sugar doesn’t work
It’s by knowing the futility of sugar and that sugar doesn’t work you will be able to adapt and stop repeating your actions. There are other ways to reduce stress and self soothe. You can care for your emotions without turning to sugar.
Controlling your cravings for Sugar
- Eat Better and whole foods.
- Fight your inner feeling of yours futility in this battle against sugar.
- Care for food that cares for you.
- Simply reduce or eliminate your sugar consumptions.
How is it you heal sugar addiction?
It is simpler than you think. There is no one on this planet (or else where) that knows you better than you. The secret to quitting sugar is your choosing. It is not expected of you to start and succeed at this at once.
Here are a few suggested tips on how can one go about this predicament.
Start by keeping a food diary
Observe your food consumption. Keep a track of your sugar consumption and make a note of how sugar makes you feel after your consume it. What usually causes you to binge on sugar? And how you have reduced the consumptions over a period of time.
Care for yourself
The usual culprit is your eating habits. If you do not care about the way you eat all day, it will affect your sugar cravings in the long run. You could avoid sugar by observing the following:
- Eating breakfast every morning
- Including fat and protein in your meals
- Eating regular meals (This is very calming and reassuring to the body.)
- Drinking more water and less juice, sodas etc.
- Creating a nourishing bedtime routine where you’re regularly getting 7 + hours of sleep a night.
Plan for when you falter
There will be instances when you fall off the wagon. You need to know how to get back up. You need to know how to avoid going into a sugar binge again, after there is a total failure of will power. Be gently honest with yourself and accept that this is where you are right now.
Accepting your current situation helps you to bring in external support if needed, rather then hoping to be where you intended to be. This helps you focus on the end goal and not wander off in the long run. Let others support you through the wave of sugar cravings while you enjoy their company. It’s much more effective than trying it out by yourself.
This is how I cope with my sugar cravings. I know this isn’t the easiest path to follow, but perhaps the most challenging and self-healing path you will have ever embarked upon.