Can You Overcome Sugar Addiction? Prioritize Healthy Eating and Give Up Sweets

by Kremy

Why is the appetite for sweets so strong and is it even possible to overcome sugar addiction these days? With these nutrition tips it would be possible!

It can be overwhelming to say no to all the sweet temptations if you want to overcome your sugar addiction at some point. The addiction to sweets is actually comparable to drug addiction, even though that may sound a bit exaggerated. There are hardly any people who do not like ice cream or cakes with lots of cream and chocolate or delicious chocolates with tasty fillings. But how does such a condition arise and is it possible to fight such cravings? Find out below if this would be an impossible mission and what you can do to give up sugar!

How to Fight Your Sweet Tooth and Overcome Sugar Addiction?

change lifestyle and eat healthier by giving up sugar

There are a number of alternative foods that can satisfy sweet cravings in a healthy way. Before considering these, however, it would be useful to understand why sugar is addictive and what factors should be considered in a sugar-free diet. In fact, the effects of excessive sugar consumption are now linked to numerous metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and mental disorders.

avoid unhealthy treats and sweets and eat healthy sugars instead


One of the main reasons for the appetite for sweets, which at first glance seems insatiable, is the feeling of satiety that such foods trigger. Additionally, sweets and cravings have always been closely linked, with more and more health-conscious people becoming aware of this unhealthy relationship. Accordingly, nutritionists have already developed certain sugar-free diet strategies that can be used to overcome sugar addiction. It is related to the psyche, and the secret of the dangerous connection between sweets and pleasure lies in the activation of certain brain centers. This process begins immediately after eating sweets. Here is some more information about it.

Can Withdrawal Symptoms Occur When Giving Up Sugar?

with strong will you can overcome the craving for sweets and sugar addiction

There are many people who attribute their obsession with sweets to a lack of willpower, but the issues are more complicated. Even the most rational personalities struggle with emotions and behavior to overcome sugar addiction. Scientists and doctors are of the opinion that there can be three main causes for such an addiction:

  • The simplest craving for sweets is the most harmless against the background of an unbalanced diet or a strict diet. In such cases, the body tries to make up for the lack of energy by prompting those to look for high-calorie foods.
  • Withdrawal symptoms can also occur due to the psychological nature of the individual. This is associated with either poor eating habits or what is known as self-reward. In addition, many parents also “bribe” their children with sweets to comfort them or to make them leave them alone. In the same way, when the child grows up, it tries to reward or console itself with sweets. It also often happens that this is passed from generation to generation.
  • The third and most complex problem is sugar’s ability to trigger the synthesis of the addictive hormone dopamine and the happy hormone serotonin in the body. Few people are therefore able to overcome their sugar addiction since sweets act like a drug when they want to reduce their anxiety and improve their mood. When you consume sugar products frequently and in large quantities, the sensitivity of dopamine receptors in the brain decreases. This means that you need even more sweets to activate these receptors and experience the feeling of satisfaction again.

What Makes Sugar Consumption So Unhealthy For the Body?

negative effects of sugar consumption on dental health

We all know since childhood that chocolate can spoil teeth. This is actually true as the development of tooth decay depends on the amount of sugar ingested. In addition, the body quickly converts easily digestible sugars into fat, which then accumulates and can lead to obesity. Increased sugar intake also reduces the activity of insulin, which is associated with an increased risk of diabetes. In addition, excess sugar in the blood increases the chances of developing viral or fungal infections.

What Are the Symptoms of Not Consuming Sugar?

what are the negative effects of increased sugar consumption

Symptoms are not the same for everyone, and you are more likely to experience only a few symptoms as you overcome sugar addiction. However, it would be useful to be better informed about them:

  • The uncontrollable craving for sweets is the most obvious symptom, but if you remain disciplined and strong, you will eventually reach the point where the cravings subside.
  • Lack of energy is also a possible symptom since sugar is a simple carbohydrate and provides the brain with readily available energy. If your body is already used to it, it will demand quick fuel, which can lead to discomfort.
  • Anxiety and restlessness can also occur due to the drop in dopamine levels when you give up sugar. So if you stop using sweets to calm yourself down, you could experience feelings of anxiety.
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness could also occur in more severe cases, which is more likely to happen to more sensitive people.
  • You might also start behaving impulsively, which is a well-known aspect of addiction. The same thing happens when you give up alcohol or cigarettes, and with sugar it can have a similar effect on self-control.
  • Other symptoms include insomnia and depression as you will be missing something before bedtime. In addition, avoiding sweets could lead to a temporary depressive state. Again, this is due to the mere fact that you are missing something satisfying.
  • You may also become angry and irritable if you suddenly give up sweets. However, this condition also subsides relatively quickly.
  • Last but not least, you might also experience weight fluctuations, with most people noticing that they lose weight after giving up sugar. This is a logical effect, as there are no diet plans with excessive sugar consumption. None of this should stop you from giving up sugar

How to Overcome Sugar Addiction in a Healthy Way?

combine sugary foods with healthy vegetables and stay physically fit

Now you may have already decided to give up sweets, but how do you do it without harming your health? Since there is a lack of serotonin in the body when you give up sugar, it would be logical to compensate for this deficiency in other ways. For this reason, it is important to consume foods rich in tryptophan. It is the amino acid that produces serotonin. Some possible sources include legumes like beans, peas, lentils, and soybeans, and animal products like cheese, chicken, and eggs. In addition, you can also add pasta, whole grain bread, yogurt, fruits and vegetables to your daily menu for more serotonin. Physical activity also satisfies cravings and sweet tooth.

treat yourself to a piece of cake and slowly overcome sugar addiction

In addition, you can try to eliminate one sweet food from your diet every week. After dinner you should also avoid dessert and slowly reduce the sugar in coffee and breakfast. It is therefore not a good idea to try to overcome sugar addiction all at once. In the absence of sugar, normal blood circulation in the brain is disrupted, which can lead to thrombosis. Normal blood sugar levels can also prevent rheumatoid arthritis and joint diseases. The lack of sugar would also negatively affect internal organs such as the spleen and liver as they cannot function without sugar. Therefore, it would be healthier not to give up sugar completely in the beginning but add healthy alternatives to your diet.

Also read: How to Know If You Have Gluten Intolerance? Which Foods to Avoid and Which to Tolerate?

What Can You Replace Sugar With?

eat healthy fruits and vegetables instead of sweets

You can opt for healthy sweet alternatives by simply getting them from other sources. For example, top your oatmeal with fresh or pureed fruit instead of sugary syrups or jellies. You can also eat fruit in a variety of ways, each of which beats table sugar, such as dried fruit, frozen fruit, or canned fruit with no added sugar.

natural household sugar or artificial sweeteners sugar substitutes

In addition, you can cover your needs with a glass of low-fat milk or yoghurt. These dairy products contain the well-known milk sugar called lactose, while they are also rich sources of protein and calcium. Also, get enough vitamin C and magnesium. If you don’t know which foods contain these vitamins, you can easily take them as supplements. Also, try to replace regular chocolate with dark chocolate that contains at least 80% cocoa.

add protein rich meals to your daily menu

To overcome sugar addiction it is very important to drink enough water. Also, try to keep your consumption of processed foods to a minimum and start buying unsweetened foods. You can add some sweet alternatives to these as needed and slowly get your body used to it. The more you do this, the more often you can replace sugar with protein by adding it to your daily menu. Increasing protein intake is another easy way to reduce sweet cravings. The stomach digests protein-rich foods slower, which keeps you feeling full for longer. In addition, unlike refined carbohydrates, proteins do not increase blood sugar levels, which is good for the heart.

What Other Measures And Dietary Changes Can You Use to Overcome Sugar Addiction?

replace sweets with healthy foods and overcome sugar addiction with a diet change

Another important step if you want to give up sugar is to eat more fiber. These also create a feeling of satiety and foods loaded with fiber supply the body with energy without spiking blood sugar. However, you should look for soluble fiber from fruits and vegetables and insoluble fiber from whole grains. It’s best to try combining peanut butter with an apple slice for breakfast to benefit from a delicious serving of protein and fiber. Another benefit of fiber is that it offers some protection against cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

stay physically active and overcome sugar addiction for healthy weight loss

An equally effective measure you can take is to exercise more. With physical activity alone, you may not necessarily overcome sugar addiction, but it will definitely prioritize a healthy diet. Overall, exercising makes you feel more energetic, while awakening your desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. This is also associated with reducing sugar intake. It also doesn’t matter which physical activity or sport you choose to do. As an example, you can simply focus on more walking, biking, or swimming. Also, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week to stay fit.

Why You Should Not Try to Overcome Sugar Addiction with Sweeteners As Sugar Substitutes?

high calorie dessert sprinkled with powdered sugar

Before you reach for artificial sweeteners for your tea or coffee, you should know that they will only increase your sugar cravings. This can make it even more difficult for you to maintain a healthy weight. Of course, you should treat yourself to a piece of cake every now and then for special occasions, but it is better to avoid sugar substitutes such as artificial sweeteners.

use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar when drinking coffee and stay healthier

In addition, you may be wondering if natural sugar is a better alternative? When it comes to honey, brown sugar or concentrated sugar syrup, these may seem like healthier choices. However, their effects when consumed are not much different from those of refined table sugar. In both cases, there is a rise in blood sugar when consumed in excess, but honey and unrefined sugar are more nutritious.

Also read: How to Get Rid Of Bloating Quickly? What Causes It and Tips for Self-Treatment

What Is the Recommended Daily Amount of Sugar?

give up sweets and overcome sugar addiction in a healthy way

If you eat more than 20 teaspoons of sugar daily, that’s about 285 calories. According to nutritionists, this is too much. For example, women should not exceed 6 teaspoons or 100 calories per day, while for men this is around 9 teaspoons or 150 calories. Also pay attention to the different names of sugar that do not contain the word in a composition. Many products contain sugar and it is about its various alternative names such as dextrose, glucose, agave syrup, rice syrup, corn syrup, lactose, molasses, malt syrup, sucrose, etc.

Now you see that sweet foods are addictive and hopefully some of this information and tips can help you overcome sugar addiction. Such a process is not easy, of course, but the benefits are definitely worth trying. It is never too late to switch to a healthier lifestyle and put your health first.




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