Do you crave carbs or sugar? Are you addicted? Try this short quiz to see if you have a healthy relationship to sugar.
‘You have pre-diabetes’ I heard my doctor say, and I was speechless, I mean ‘how’ did this happen?
As a self-confessed ‘sugar addict’ I decided to get drastic with my diet. Unfortunately, I needed to be told I was pre-diabetic to change, despite everything I knew about diet, nutrition and health.
I wasn’t overweight, I didn’t drink juices, alcohol (ever!) or soda, I didn’t eat any junk food and I exercised daily. In fact, I only ate chocolate and sweets a couple times a week – but, when I did, I ate a lot and I mean a lot-LOT. It was my entrée, my main and my dessert and I still wasn’t satisfied. There was just no ‘off’ switch, and once I started my weekly sugar cheat meal, it soon turned into an all-you-can-eat all day long sugar binge and I couldn’t stop until either it was all finished or the actual day was over and it was time to sleep. It was a vicious cycle I couldn’t seem to get out of, and stress made my addiction ten times worse.
I had to get off this ‘ride’.
Through intermittent fasting, upping my fibre and greens, eliminating snacking, stress management and therefore emotional eating control, I not only lost 11 kilograms and but successfully returned my blood sugar to normal. I weigh as much as I did when I was in my 20s, but have more muscle mass which means my body fat is actually lower than ever before and I’m enjoying life more than ever.
I’ve done a tonne of research on being addicted to sugar and have conquered it slowly over the past 15 years with different treatment interventions, but one thing I know for sure; don’t wait for a doctor to serve you a diagnosis – act out of inspiration rather than desperation, because it could literally save your life.
Do you get an instant reward or ‘hit’ as soon as you eat sweet, starchy or refined foods?
Try this short QUIZ about your relationship to sugar. In fact, you can apply it to any food to see how addicted you are. More than three ‘yes’ answers and you may be in trouble.
Think about the one food that keeps you coming back for more or you eat when you’re emotionally charged and once you do – you can’t stop. What’s the food that if left in the kitchen cupboard will call your name until you eat it? For example, mine is ‘chocolate’ – I answered ‘yes’ to all the questions below which makes it a score of 18/18. Ouch! On the other hand, there’s no other food I can think of where I score more than 2 or 3 at most, like apples, cheese or chicken breast. Note that the habit of mindless ‘snacking’ can also be an addictive behaviour.
Add up your ‘yes’ answers. The higher the score, the more you are hooked on sugar, carbs, chocolate, chips, alcohol, ice-cream, cookies, cake etc …
A 2011 study found that chocolate has powerful psychoactive effects, acting on the brain in ways similar to drugs like nicotine, opioids and alcohol, triggering a dopamine release in the brain, which gives a sense of pleasure or ‘reward’ that encourages seeking them out again and again. As soon as we consume a piece of chocolate, we’re prone to want more of it.
The reason we are snacking more and eating more frequently junk food is no accident: junk food and processed snack foods are loaded with fat, sugar and salt. They have been deliberately designed to make us crave it over and over again, by applying the magic 1-2 fat to carb ratio, which has been scientifically proven to make them the perfect comfort food.
The good news? We’re not totally powerless. We can unlearn this behaviour and establish some simple measures in place to practice better self-control.
OR JUST JOIN BODYIQ! You will not only lose weight but also bring your insulin levels down and start using your body fat as the main source of energy. Thus, you won’t feel hungry or crave the naughty foods you were once addicted to.
Article by Kinga Fourie, Founder of BodyIQ Intelligent Weightloss