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6 Signs You’re Eating Far Too Much Sugar (and What to Do About It)

6 Signs You’re Eating Far Too Much Sugar (and What to Do About It)

Sugar consumption is at an all-time high, thanks to increased access to sodas and various sweets. What may be a little treat here or there can actually be indicative of a full-blown sugar addiction. Because it’s so easy to get and not considered dangerous, sugar addictions don’t get the same attention as hard drugs; yet, sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine.

But what are the signs, and how can you stop the cycle of excess sugar intake? Here are six signs that you’re eating too much sugar, as well as what you can do to stop.

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1. You crave sugar all the time

This is a pretty obvious sign that your need for sugar is more of a mental trigger. If you see a slice of cake during your lunch break and can’t get it out of your mind and end up buying it, then you likely have a sugar addiction. You might even choose to have sweets when you don’t really want to eat them. To combat these cravings, have a better, more natural alternative, like a piece of fresh fruit.

2. You binge on sugar until you’re sick

Overeating is a typical trait of sugar addiction. Part of this is using excuses to reason with yourself on why you should have ‘one more bite.’ Some of the immediate effects of eating too much sugar are feeling bloated, dizzy, or gassy. You may also have a headache. Much like alcohol, sugar is best in moderation.

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3. You experience sugar withdrawal

Much like a typical drug withdrawal, cutting down on your sugar intake will have major effects on your body. Some of the symptoms are: cravings (even when you’re feeling full), depression, anxiety, mood swings, and muscle aches. Cutting back will also rid you of a continued sugar high, so you’ll feel tired. These new, uncomfortable feelings are caused by a lack of dopamine (the chemical released in the brain when you eat sugar). To avoid these side effects, try to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, start an exercise regimen, and make sure to replace the excess sugar with healthier food choices.

4. Strangely, you crave salty foods (or meat)

Our bodies operate on a sense of balance. So if you tip the scale towards sweets (by eating too much bread, pasta, or pastries) you’ll find that you suddenly need salty foods or meat to feel balanced again. However, the proper solution is not to eat a high level of salty foods, like chips or other snacks. To help achieve a more stable diet, add slightly sweet vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, or yams to your meals.

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5. You reward yourself with something sweet

Emotional eating is one of the leading contributors to obesity; it is also a factor in sugar addiction. Whether it’s for celebrating, or to help you cope with sadness or anger, sweet rewards used to boost your mood are signs of addiction. Before you eat or buy that next piece of cake, really consider why you’re buying it. Do you need it because you’re hungry (in which case you can choose something healthier and more filling), or because you want emotional validation? If you’re looking to candies to boost your mood, you might want to try going for a walk, listening to music, or writing in a journal.

6. You make a special effort to get or keep sugar around

If you have a stash of snacks hidden around (in your office, your car, or in your home) that you keep from those around you, you likely have a sugar addiction. Much like any addiction, there are feelings of shame and guilt, because part of you knows that constant and excessive use is not healthy. The first thing you’ll want to do to help break this habit is to throw away all of it. It might seem impossible, but with a restructured diet and commitment, it actually takes less than a week to lessen a sugar habit. You can also use artificial sweeteners to help come off a high sugar diet, but it’s important to be mindful of becoming dependent on those, too.

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Featured photo credit: RitaE via pixabay.com

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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