This post may make a lot of people angry – my bad… sort of. People walk around saying ‘I’m a food addict,’ or ‘I’m addicted to sugar,’ hell there’s even an anonymous group program to heal the sugar addiction. I know all about Overeater’s Anonymous because I was a member for a long time. Sponsor and all. It didn’t end well, and honestly? Made my binge eating so much worse. I’m here to shake things up and explain why you, in fact, are not addicted to sugar.
You aren’t addicted to sugar.
You just aren’t. That would be an extremely short blog post if I left it at that, so as much as I would like to, let me explain.
Yes, sugar releases dopamine in the brain, and usually, that’s what the argument is about and that’s why people think it’s addictive.
Quick lesson: dopamine is the pleasure center of the brain, that helps your brain realize that whatever just happened was a positive experience. So our brain wants it more. I hear what you’re already saying in your head, ‘Then Kel, doesn’t that make it addictive?’ Not necessarily.
Sugar isn’t the only thing that releases dopamine in the brain. While alcohol and drugs release dopamine, here’s what also does: laughing, hugs, spending time with people you love. Happy and positive experiences in your life release dopamine.
Let’s compare drugs versus sugar.
Drugs and sugar both release dopamine, and we have trouble resisting it. I’m with you on that one. But the reason why you can’t resist sugar is different than the actual truth (which I’ll get to more later).
Addiction is built on tolerance. Let’s take drugs, for example. When you start drinking (yes, alcohol is a drug) or doing drugs, you want more of it. You want to continue to get that dopamine release, chase that amazing feeling, and your tolerance is built up over time needing more and more of that drug to get a similar effect. Hello, addiction.
That does not happen with sugar. When you have too much of it, you don’t want more. You feel sick, you don’t enjoy it, you feel guilty, and most likely, you’re very pissed at yourself.
Don’t believe me? Let’s try it. Every night, for 30 nights, eat a pint of ice cream – the same flavor. Do you think night 18 or night 29 will be the same as night one? Nope, it won’t be. You’ll be over that real quick.
So maybe I haven’t swayed you just yet… that’s okay.
Here’s why you think you are addicted to sugar:
It’s simple, really. I mean hey, I thought I was addicted to sugar for about 15 years, so I get it.
You think you are addicted to sugar because you can’t stop once you start. That, in itself, sounds like addiction.
But the reason you can’t stop once you start? It’s based on how you think, feel and act after you eat the sugar.
You don’t let yourself have it. So when you finally have sugar, here’s what happens. All of a sudden you’re a failure, that you’re fat, that you’ll never lose weight, that you don’t deserve to be happy, and the worst of it: ‘since I can’t do anything right I may as well just keep f*cking eating.’
That, is not addiction my friend. That’s being on a constant negative thought loop, beating yourself up, and then telling yourself that you can’t stop. It will 100% make you feel addicted, but it’s not an actual addiction that’s causing that feeling – it’s your thoughts.
Here’s a great blog post to help you get out of this all-or-nothing mentality. And if you’re looking to finally heal your relationship with food, stop binge eating and food obsession so you can lose weight and keep it off for good? You are soooo in the right place. Contact me here and let’s talk.