You can also download the audio version from the Eating Enlightenment website from here.
Often times when I talk to people before they hear about intuitive eating, they say things like
– Sugar is addicting
– Sugar is like cocaine
– I’m addicted to sugar
They report feeling these incredible urges to eat candy, sweets, ice cream and other sugary treats. Their instincts are powerful and they often times find themselves eating sugar without even thinking about it.
But today I will show you why you’re not actually addicted to sugar, despite feeling like an addict. I’ll also give you some practical tips to help make sense of this so that you can stop craving sugar so much starting today.
1 – No Human Studies On Sugar Addiction – there have only been a few studies on mice that showed sugar addiction. These mice were put in deprived conditions.
2 – Lack Energy Density Creates Sugar Cravings – if you aren’t eating foods that fill you up nutritionally, you’ll be faced with gnawing hunger. Your instincts will go towards sugar.
3 – Unpleasant Eating Leads To More Sugar Cravings – if you are constantly following restrictive sugar rules and being guilty, instead of being present, you get even more urges towards sugar to disconnect
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Craving Sweets All The Time Context:
Let’s be crystal clear about something. You are getting tremendous benefits out of eating sugar and binge eating. I know that might sound crazy. What benefits could there be?
People think “Sugar makes me fat, it makes me overweight, it makes me fatigued, I hate myself after I eat sugar, I lose all this confidence.”
But the main reward is actually incredibly obvious. The joy. The temporary relief as you eat the ice cream. It’s like you’re in heaven for a few minutes, before crashing back to reality. This is why you need to be emotionally healthy because otherwise the allure of sugar to make you feel better is very hard to resist.
Yet for a few minutes all your problems go away, it’s like sugar is a drug.
So because of these reasons it seems like sugar is addicting. It’s very similar to a drug.
And because sugar can seem like a drug, it’s easy to fall into self prophesizing. Self prophesizing is where you say you’re addicted to sugar. Then you end up eating sugar because you said you’re addicted.
So the reason I’m making this video in post is for the one person out there who is willing to listen to scientific research. If you are willing to listen, then you can apply a few practices that I’ll go into more depth below.
Because strangely enough there are actually been no human studies that show sugar addiction makes you crave sweets all the time.
Yes, you do hear about chemical studies showing that sugar is like a drug. But these studies all come from rats.
So despite the fact that you may think you’re addicted and you can’t stop craving sweets all the time – no science has backed up this claim so far.
And perhaps most famous study on rats was done on cocaine. Rats were given cocaine or regular food. If you’ve heard of the study before then you know that the rats chose cocaine.
In fact the rats actually died.
They kept picking cocaine over food until they died. And so because this study is so widely known, we often times just assume that sugar is the same.
Cocaine and sugar are both white powders and it’s easy to think similar.
Yet recent research has proven the cocaine rat study to be flawed. See, the rats that became addicted to cocaine where rats that were left in dark cages and were all alone.
They were socially isolated and were incredibly deprived. Under these conditions the rats became addicted to cocaine.
Yet other studies have now been done where the rats are given sunshine, plenty of rat friends to play with, exercise wheels, etc. These rats they just live a good life.
Under better living conditions the rats don’t even ever touch cocaine. They are not craving sweets all the time.
In a study with 1495 students, students were assessed for food addiction, particular food categories, BMI and negative eating experiences.
The findings were that sugary foods contribute minimally to food dependence and increased risk of weight gain. This means essentially that the fears of sugar addiction are overblown.
Instead, what was found to be much more impactful about perceived sugar addiction, were the students food choices and their unique experiences of eating.
In other words, students who ate like crap and hated themselves, these students reported being sugar addicts.
So what does this mean from a practical perspective when you are craving sweets all the time?
Well it means two things:
You gotta eat nutritious foods that fill you up.
And you gotta stop with the rules and self hatred.
Now, I’ll be the first to say that just stopping with the rules and self-hatred is not going to happen overnight.
But, you can do a quick experiment tomorrow and notice the difference.
Here’s the experiment – hardy breakfast, a hardy lunch, and a hardy dinner.
I’m talking eggs, avocado, nuts, some meats, plenty of water, perhaps some beans. Definitely some whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat bread. And make sure that you are full for the whole day. Not stuffed bloated full, but a good fullness. Then, at the end of the day, check in to see how much sugar you want.
I guarantee you this experiment will show you that if you eat nutritious foods, your sugar cravings will go dramatically down.
I just had a client experience this first hand. She had actually gone to the doctors office and the doctor had told her she needed to lose weight. She got defensive and almost refused to listen to the rest of the doctor had to say.
But fortunately, the doctor gave her the exact nutritional advice that I had given her. The doctor had told her to eat a lot more protein and fat for her to lose weight.
This baffled her mind. She came back to me and said that the doctor had given her the same advice to lose weight.
Now, in my training programs we don’t focus on weight loss so much, we just focus on stopping food addiction, stopping binge eating, stopping emotional eating – so that we can feel great with food.
This emphasis on putting weight loss on the back burner is one of the main intuitive eating principles that I learned – because you need to stop hating your relationship with food.
One of the principles of intuitive eating is eating foods that are nutritionally dense, or foods that fill you up.
Interestingly, the same principles were the ones that the doctor was recommending for weight loss.
So despite being triggered by the doctor telling her she needed to lose weight, which was something that the woman actually agreed with internally but just didn’t like being told so, she started to eat more protein and fat.
Now you might wonder why she didn’t start to eat more protein in fat after she had talked with me. Like why did she need to hear this from the doctor and she didn’t just follow my instructions?
Well, I have found that most people I work with need a few lessons in a few reminders to eat more protein and fat. That’s why in the beginning of my training programs we begin with these lessons, but then we reinforce these lessons later on.
Simply put, it feels weird in your stomach, almost like you are eating too much, when you start eating more protein and fat.
So there can be some resistance to eating more protein and fat, especially if there are fears of food. But nonetheless this is one of the quickest ways you can start to test if sugar addiction is real or not.
Now the other dilemma is having sugar rules that keep you in a state of depression and guilt and emotional judgment.
Basically if you are hating yourself and feeling like a worthless pile crap every time you eat sugar, then you will want to eat sugar more because you will have more reason to temporarily escape this hell.
To understand this you have to think from an emotional perspective. Imagine that emotionally you are in hell. And sugar is a temporary ice cube that cools you down. Yet then after the ice cube cools you down, you’re back in hell. So you need another ice cube.
But what would it be like if you were okay with your weight? Let’s say you were one of those heavier people that actually didn’t really care about their body size.
I know that might sound crazy, but there are people out there who don’t mind so much their body size.
What if you are one of them? What if you weren’t in hell every time you ate sugar?
Do you think you would eat more or less sugar if you weren’t in hell with your body and mind?
You may think that you would eat tons more sugar, but you actually won’t. Let me explain why.
Again, the biggest benefit you get from sugar is disconnection. You live in hell, and sugar is a temporary disconnection from hell.
But what if you couldn’t disconnect? What if you couldn’t zone out? Or what if you couldn’t fantasize and dream while you ate? What if you had to stay in hell?
Can you think about what if you didn’t get any disconnection benefits from sugar? What if sugar was just sugar instead of a magical way of feeling better?
If you didn’t disconnect from sugar, you actually wouldn’t like sugar. If you listen to your body and notice how sugar makes you feel, sugar actually doesn’t make you feel good.
Now listening to your body is really difficult if you have all these rules and judgments where you hate your body.
So this part of the video is harder to apply, but I just want to open the doors for you to show you the power of counseling, therapy and actually working on some of your belief systems which can change to be more positive and realistic.
And so perhaps this video might open the door for you, where you start to see that if you just dropped the self hatred, and eat sugar with a sort of mindfulness, and also eat nutritional foods as well, that your sugar addiction can drop dramatically in a pretty quick period of time.