sugar addiction; ryann nicole

065. Am I addicted to sugar?

January 26, 2022

Ryann Nicole

Hi, I’m Ryann.

Your Not-So-Average Food Freedom Therapist & Virtual Coach. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Nutritionist with a BA in Psychology, and a MA in Professional Counseling, yes I do a little of the "so how does that make you feel".

But my ultimate goal is to provide you with the resources you need, in an easy-to-understand way, on healing your disordered relationship with food and your body. 

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Binge Eating

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Episode Transcript

Hey, it’s Ryann from the Food Freedom Lab. Today, let’s delve into a topic that sparks a lot of discussion—sugar addiction. Many reach out with concerns about feeling addicted to sugar, and today, I want to share my perspective on this controversial subject.

The Sugar Addiction Dilemma

Sugar addiction is a phrase thrown around often, but it’s essential to question its validity. I once firmly believed in sugar addiction, spending years attempting to eliminate sugar from my life, only to find the more I restricted, the stronger the desire for sugar became. Let’s explore why I now reject the idea of sugar addiction.

Understanding Sugar’s Impact

Firstly, sugar does activate pleasure centers in the brain, making us crave more. However, it doesn’t create a physical dependence like substances such as alcohol or drugs. No one checks into a sugar detox center. Understanding this distinction is crucial.

Debunking the Term “Addiction”

Let’s reconsider the term “addiction.” Addiction implies a physical dependence, and sugar doesn’t induce the same kind of physiological reliance seen in substances like alcohol or drugs. A better term might be dependency, where your body craves sugar but doesn’t need it for survival.

Exploring the Compulsion

Many feel out of control around sugar, eating a box of cookies after just one bite. But the key factor in this compulsion is often a history of feeling restricted or limited around food. Whether intentional or imposed, any form of restriction can lead to chaotic behaviors around sugar.

Restriction and Compulsion

Reflect on your situation. Are you intentionally restricting sugar due to weight loss goals, or is it an external imposition, like societal pressures? Even if you think you’re freely indulging in sugar, consider if there’s an underlying feeling of limitation.

The Curiosity Challenge

If you believe you’re addicted to sugar, here’s a challenge: What if you allowed yourself to have cookies whenever you wanted, with full enjoyment? Imagine having a decadent brownie after every meal for a month. Would the compulsion still be as strong? Curiosity can be a powerful tool for self-discovery.

Questioning Willpower

Consider whether the difference between you and someone seemingly unfazed by one cookie isn’t about willpower or control but about your mindset, enjoyment, and presence with food.

Reframing the Issue

If you feel out of control around sugar, challenge the belief that it’s about sugar itself. Could the real issue be a lack of allowance and enjoyment? Perhaps the problem isn’t sugar; it’s the restriction around sugar.

Take a step back, get curious, and question the narrative around sugar addiction. Maybe it’s time to shift the focus from restriction to allowance, from chaos to curiosity. I hope this perspective opens up new avenues for understanding your relationship with sugar.

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Your Not-So-Average Food Freedom Therapist & Virtual Coach