“Hi, my name is _____________, and I’m addicted to sugar.”
Does this sound like you? Maybe it does, or maybe it doesn’t. Either way, there is a good chance that you actually do have a problem with sugar. Sugar’s effects are not limited to those who binge on cookies and candy or have a daily soda – or two or three. Sugar might be hooking you in your morning coffee and granola, your salad at lunch, your cheese and cracker snack, your burger at dinner or your evening glass of wine.
Still not sure this is about you? I meet plenty of people who say, “Oh, I don’t have a problem with sugar.” While that is probably true for some, others may need to reframe their view. Take the following quiz to gain some more insight on your sugar habits.
- It’s an hour after dinner. How do you feel?
- I have the munchies. Just a little something will do.
- Starving! Thank goodness the cupboards are stocked with snacks.
- What is the status of your Girl Scout cookies?
- I didn’t buy any.
- They’re in my freezer. I get a box out from time to time.
- They’re gone, just like they were two days after I bought them.
- It’s 3pm. How do you feel?
- Ready to get out of the office and have some fun!
- Dragging a little.
- If I didn’t have my regular cup of after lunch coffee, I’d be asleep under my desk.
- Describe your energy levels throughout the day.
- Pretty steady. Energetic and ready to go in the morning, good through the day, and ready to wind down for bed in the evening.
- Changes. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, or get to sleep at night.
- I struggle to get through most days due to fatigue and brain fog.
- What happens when you are busy and a meal comes late or is skipped completely.
- No big deal. I’ll be sort of hungry, but can wait.
- Being hungry is really distracting. I’ll start to hurry so I can go eat.
- I would probably steal a sandwich from a kid right now. A few relationships may be on the brink of destruction after my hunger-induced tirade.
- Describe your digestion.
- I set clocks to my digestive process.
- Usually good, but I have occasional bloating, gas, or irregularity. “Going” is mostly fine, but I’m sometimes constipated.
- If I didn’t have my meds for heartburn/gas/constipation, I’d probably spend the whole day between bed and the bathroom.
- How would others describe your mood?
- Steady, optimistic, focused and friendly.
- Mostly happy and easy-going, with occasional grumpiness due to circumstances beyond my control.
- Somewhat bipolar. When I have THAT look on my face, they know to steer clear. Otherwise, I’m fun to be around.
Mostly A’s: Good for you! You seem to really have a handle on your nutritional needs. Steady blood sugar levels through the day not only keep you energized and feeling great, they significantly reduce your risk of developing metabolic disorders like diabetes. Even though you seem to be on point, everyone can get derailed from time to time. A program like the 21-Day Sugar Detox is great to keep in mind if you ever need help getting back on track.
Mostly B’s: You will reap some valuable benefits from a sugar detox program. While sugar may not rule your life, you still experience some of its deleterious effects on a daily basis. You may be eating a generally healthy, balanced diet, but a detox with give you some more insight on areas you can clean up to maximize your health and wellbeing.
Mostly C’s: A program like a sugar detox could be a complete game changer for you. Currently, you may feel a certain loss of control in some areas, like an inability to say no to treats, sodas or sweetened coffees. You may have even switched to artificial sweeteners or Stevia to try to mitigate the effects of your sugar hangups, but you are still hooked on the sweet taste. These habits are not your fault – your taste preferences have been hijacked by clever food scientists and marketing. Unfortunately, much more than your waistline suffers. Poor energy levels, inflammation and brain fog may be keeping you from reaching your goals, and the potential for metabolic disease and damage threatens to erode your quality of life even further. The good news is, you can do something about it. You can truly kick the sugar habit, learn it’s sneaky hiding spots, and either avoid it or laugh straight in it’s taunting face and walk on by.
But the question is…are you ready?
- I understand there are triggers that cause me to crave and eat sweet things, and am willing to make lifestyle changes to alter those habits.
- I’m tired of having certain foods rule my life and choices.
- I want to be in charge of my health.
- I know there are alternatives to all the candy and junk surrounding holidays, celebrations, and traditions. I want those special times to be about family, friendship, and fun!
- I’m ready for real change!
- Sweet foods are how I both de-stress and celebrate. I can’t imagine my life without them.
- I know some foods are bad for me, but I really like them.
- I just want to listen to my doctor when making decisions about my health.
- Holidays wouldn’t mean the same thing without traditional treats and desserts.
- Change is too scary and overwhelming.
Mostly YES: Awesome! You need change, you want change and you have the mindset for change. This does not mean that change will be easy, but you will be much better equipped to persevere through obstacles and challenges on your journey. All you need to do now is take the first step!
Mostly NO: It’s okay to not be ready yet. Some of these changes are significant, and can truly carry significant baggage with them. Food and food choices are deeply entwined with culture, family, traditions and emotions. Jumping into a program like the 21-Day Sugar Detox before you are willing to give things up, make sacrifice, shift your food paradigm and break ties with your food past can be just as bad as not starting at all, and much harder and stressful! It may leave you feeling frustrated, disillusioned, and unwilling to try again in the future. If you’re here, change is on your mind, but you may need a bit more soul searching. Beginning to think of deeper reasons can be very motivating. Wanting to wear smaller jeans might propel you to a certain point, but won’t push you through difficult struggles. Being healthy enough to spend time with your loved ones, achieve your goals, and live a passion-filled life are supportive reasons to fight for real change!
In-person 21-Day Sugar Detox sessions are offered in Eagle River regularly
Sara Kennedy is a certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant. She lives fitness, nutrition and wellness – and wants to help save lives and change the world’s view on health and nutrition. Learn more about Sara and her plans at thriveak.com To reach her, email [email protected]
Opinions expressed by authors and their quoted sources are theirs alone and are not necessarily shared by the editor or publisher of the ECHO News.