Sugar Addiction – Can we be addicted to sugar or not? Here we take a look at new research concerning sugar and how sugar affects blood sugar level, cravings and the addiction centers in the brain – and what we can do about it.
Sometimes it’s a nagging whisper that you NEED a Blizzard. Sometimes, a demanding tyrant ordering you to drive through that drive-thru, or else!
Cravings feel like a powerfully intimidating voice from within.
But have you ever wondered if that forceful pull might mean something?
If it had a language what might it say?
What is it really asking for?
And what if you listened and then gave that to yourself?
What if the craving is your deepest-you knocking on your own heart’s door?
Could it be your own curious mind asking you to add something new and interesting to your life? Or maybe your amazing body letting you know she’s hungry for a new challenge or adventure.
Sometimes a rut can feel a lot like a craving.
We already know cravings aren’t really about the food. It certainly feels like it’s about the food – the sweet Bluebell, the salty Ruffles, the warm macaroni and cheese – but when we’re craving something to eat and our body is not in need of fuel, it has to be about something else – something other than fuel.
Pleasure perhaps? That’s a reasonable possibility – but what kind of pleasure exactly? My guess is that food is often a quick and easy counterfeit for the pleasure our minds or souls or bodies really crave. We are, after all, made for rich, full, whole-hearted living. Everything in us longs to create, to discover, to commune, to cultivate, to keep learning and growing – but our habitually busy schedules and noisy screen-filled lives can drown out our deepest desires. Drown out perhaps – but never drown.
Our deepest desires continue to call to us.
So here’s the compelling invitation before us. Next time you have a craving, instead of silencing the screaming child in your brain with Kettle chips, sit with her a moment – and lovingly listen. Meander down the road of your mind and look around, like an eager hiker on a new path – curious and alert.
Ask yourself some searching questions. What is this craving really about? Is there a craving behind the craving? Genuine heart connection? Engaged companionship? A new and interesting pursuit? Some good ol’ fun? Grief unexpressed? Could your bright mind be hungry to tackle some new venture? Or your soul thirsty for quiet reverence?
Perhaps my persistent cravings are really my deepest self yelling “Hey, if you aren’t gonna do anything stimulating you could at least get me an ice cream sundae. I’m dying of boredom in here! ”
So here’s an exciting invitation next time a craving comes beating on our door:
Stop a moment.
Create some room for silence.
Put your ear down close to yourself.
Become a curious and open explorer of your own inner life. This might feel weird at first – even scary. And you may not hear a thing the first go’round, but even if nothing specific surfaces I bet your deep self will appreciate your kind time and attention.
When we give into a craving without exploring first, we may be missing an opportunity to give ourselves what we truly desire.
This is rich work – work that dieting never ever invited us into. We might discover that our cravings have profound meaning after all. What if these cravings you’ve hated and battled for so long turn out to be a friend – nothing short of the beginning of you knowing and loving yourself like you never have before?
Now wouldn’t that be amazing…
- I was stuck in the diet/binge cycle for 30 years
- Sugary packaged foods were my binge-drug of choice
- It felt terrible physically and emotionally
- The more sweet stuff I ate, the more I craved
- No more diet rules, just reasonable guidelines
- No foods are forbidden so there is no guilt over eating certain foods
- I love feeling good so it makes sense to do the things that make that happen
- Eating mostly whole foods and being physically active give me what I want
LESSONS LEARNED ALONG THE WAY:
Once I stepped away from dieting I was free to eat anything, even the foods that made me feel crappy. And I did. But I also began to listen to my body instead of diet rules…and soon I began to want to feel good.
I REALIZED WHAT I TRULY WANTED:
1. To feel vibrant in mind and body
2. To eat foods I enjoy
3. To LIVE whole-heartedly, which meant being life-focused, not food-focused
Over time, it became evident that eating real food (most of the time) got me what I wanted. Eating processed foods eventually left me feeling “wanting” – not good enough or full enough for long enough.
Some things I discovered about real food:
- What I eat really does have an effect on how I feel, especially my energy.
- It’s easier to stay at a weight that feels good when I eat real food.
- Whole foods keep me satisfied longer so I don’t feel like prowling. .
- Eating real food helps regulate my hypoglycemia (blood sugar) so I don’t feel crazy as often.
- Real food has more fiber so it keeps me reg’lar.
- I have WAY less cravings when I eat real food.
That’s it. I CAN EAT ANY DANG THING I WANT!!!! And – over time – I have genuinely come to crave whole foods most of the time.
BIG TAKE-AWAY: Eating nutritiously naturally happens as we become more intuitive and mindful. It’s a process – not a “program”. It takes time, honesty, grace, a lot of relapse along the way, and encouraging support from others who are on this same path.
If I can help you on your path in any way please let me know!
*Whole food (real food) is in it’s natural state – not processed and refined. It is close to the way it was originally found. An apple is a whole food. Apple Jacks is not.
CLICK on these links below for more on whole foods…