5 Surprising Signs You're a Sugar Addict

Do you find comfort in dessert or reach for pasta or pizza when you're feeling down? Do you constantly crave something sweet or even caffeinated at that 3pm crash during the workday? There is a good chance you are addicted to sugar. In fact, recent research has shown similarities between the overconsumption of sugars and drug addiction. One study found that sugar cravings were even more demanding than cocaine cravings.

What specifically is it about these simple carbohydrates that make them so desirable? Eating sugar releases opiods and dopamine into the body. Both of these basically send pleasure signals to your brain and help your body not feel any pain. Sounds similar to the effects of narcotics, right? Consuming sugar makes you feel happy, which is the reason why we reach for it again and again. In fact the evidence of the addictive nature of sugar along with our excessive consumption of it caused scientists from the University of California at San Francisco to recommend that the use of sugar be regulated the same way alcohol and tobacco are- sugar as a controlled substance.

Even if you don't have a sweet tooth, doesn't mean you don't have a sugar addiction. Savory foods like pizza, pasta or white bread are all high in sugar. White flour and white rice cause are just as habit forming. When whole grains like wheat and brown rice are stripped of their fiber, what remains is a simple carbohydrate that is rapidly absorbed by your body just like pure white sugar.
Here are more signs that it may be time to break your sugar addiction for good.

1. Do you eat crave sweets or "comfort foods" like pasta or pizza when you are feeling down?
2. Do you ever feel guilty about the amount of sugar or starchy carbs you eat?
3. Have you ever tried to cut back on the amount of sugar you eat and been unsuccessful?
4. Are you unable to finish a meal, celebrate an event or birthday without needing to eat something sweet?
5. Do you crash everyday in the late afternoon and look for something sweet to eat or drink to help?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are most likely addicted to sugar. The most effective way to rid yourself of your addiction is to partake in a sugar detox. Use these strategies to rid yourself of your sugar dependence for good and start feeling and looking better instantly!

• Ditch the artificial sweeteners (this includes diet soda, regular soda is a no-no too!). Artificial sweeteners are 200-700 times sweeter than regular sugar and cause an imbalance in your palate, causing you to need more sugar, real or fake, to be satisfied.
• Become a label reading pro! Sugars are sneaky and go by a variety of names. Learn sugar's clever disguises and make sure they aren't in products that you wouldn't expect them to be in like salad dressings and marinara.
• Avoid foods that will pique your craving and cause you to eat even more sugar or starchy carbohydrates. Foods made with white flour, starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes, and winter squash, and high glycemic fruits like bananas, pineapple, and watermelon. Instead have green leafy vegetables and high fiber fruits like apples, blueberries, and citrus.