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Understanding The Link Between Alcoholism And Sugar

Alcoholism And Sugar

By Eddie H. Gillis


A client wrote, "Help me! I thought I was finally getting a handle on my weight issue but the sugar is killing me. I had an awful day. I won't even tell you what I ate today because it is just so unbelievable. All I will say is that 90% of my food today consisted of sugar! I really, really need some help getting past these cravings. I am no doubt a sugar addict. If I could get past this there is no doubt that I will reach my goal."[]

Most people don't realize that alcohol is actually the quickest acting sugar on the brain. In short, a "buzz" is actually a sugar high. The first research on sugar addiction in 2001 was conducted at Princeton University, and scientists have come so far since then that research is now focusing on how to address the problem (not whether or not it exists).

Would you eat differently, and if so how? Would you act differently, and if so how? What else would change, and what would stay the same? What would you lose? What would you gain?Until you know what you want, know you can achieve it, and know what else will change (i.e. how your life may be different), you can't discover any obstacles that first must be considered. For instance, you may want to stop eating anything after 7 PM yet your husband doesn't come home from work until 8 and he wants you to join him for dinner. That's an obstacle.

If you've got a habit of watching your favorite TV show with a bowl of ice cream, then breaking that habit is another obstacle.If you don't work out ways to overcome your obstacles perhaps through discussion and compromise with your husband, or habit breaking exercises for your ice cream habit, there's bound to be a problem. Just saying you're not going to do something any more rarely works. Instead determine what might stand in the way of achieving your goals, find a way around them, and you're much more likely to actually achieve those goals once and for all.The statement, "if this one thing were handled, then everything else would fall into place" is an "If Then" statement and gets people into trouble. They want a fairy godmother to make it all better. A strong belief that one single thing such as, "eating sugar is my problem," sets you up to fail, especially if you really like eating sugary foods.Getting a handle on your cravings is not an all-or-nothing proposition. You must leave room for occasional deviations. It's not the occasional side trip that causes weight trouble, it's the road we usually travel.

In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) a good starting point is the exercise called Establishing a Well Formed Outcome. "Well formed" means it meets all criteria of a well thought-out end result.How to Create a Well Formed Outcome & Get What You Want.Here are the steps to creating a well formed outcome:State what you want (not what you do not want). "I want to weigh 135 pounds."Determine whether you can achieve it (do you believe it is possible?).What resources do you have and what do you need (time, money, gear, clothes, equipment, coaching, whatever).Check whether anyone else is involved and any potential obstacles that may come up regarding others. Think of everyone involved in your day-to-day life.Picture yourself "as if" you've obtained what you say you want and see if that picture fits. Do you like what you see? Put together a plan of action for the achievement of your outcome.

Here's the way I have weaned myself off sugar.First of all, for many of us, sugar is addictive. Period. Just accept it. You eat it, you want more. That's what it used to be like for me. Still is. Except I don't eat sugar anymore, and so I no longer have a problem.So, hard as it may seem, the easiest way to get off that roller coaster is to quit cold turkey. But you knew that and you didn't want to read THAT here, so I'm not going to stop there.

It took me most of my adult life to come to the realization that I was an addict - out of control, unable to resist a seductive, toxic substance. I used it daily and relied on it to make everything right. No matter how bad I felt after the buzz wore off, I did not stop. I had to have it. Was I hooked on cocaine, heroine, crack, or crystal meth? Nothing so obvious. In a way, my substance was more insidious because it is widely used, labeled by the Food and Drug Administration as "generally recognized as safe," and often invisible. I am talking about processed sugar.Unless you are consciously avoiding sugar, you eat it all day, every day of your life. According to the American Dietetic Association, the average American consumes in excess of 130 pounds of sugar a year; in other words, 6 ounces a day or 2.6 pounds a week. Over 70% of all processed foods contain some form of sugar because it is used as a preservative, flavor enhancer, fruit plumper, acid reducer, curing agent, fermentation medium, crust colorant, moisture holder, shelf-life extender, and provider of bulk, texture and body.

I have always loved sugar in any form, from fudgicles to birthday cake to spoonfuls of brown sugar right from the box. My early love affair with it never seemed a problem until my 20s when I developed constant headaches. They were present upon rising and going to bed, often erupting during the day into migraines. As a result, I ate analgesics (which contain 65 mg. of caffeine per tablet) by the handful, upwards of twelve a day, every day. In addition, my periods were getting worse with simulated labor pains and water-weight gain up to 10 pounds. Anxiety insinuated itself into my every thought.I worried about the occurrence of the improbable and impossible. Depression slowly settled a dark, suffocating blanket over me. By the time I was in my 30s, I had run the gamut of neurological tests, but nothing revealed itself or helped. (No one asked about my diet.) I was tired all the time, weak, and cried at a moment's notice. To comfort myself I ate some Brach's Bridge Mix, 'Nilla Wafers, or Breyer's Fudge Swirl Ice Milk, only now in larger portions and more frequently to round off the sharp corners.As I turned 40, I developed night sweats, a 120-beats-per-minute heart rate, and insomnia. A prescription for the generic beta-blocker propranolol slowed my racing heart in between binges. By this time I was eating all the sugar-laden food I could lay my hands on. If I did not have candy around, I would go to the store at any time in any weather to get it, bake a coffee cake, or eat raw sugar. Heartburn and gas were a constant problem.

There are studies that claim children today, because of their eating habits, might not have the life span of their parents. Don't let that happen to the ones you love.Are you and your family addicted to sugar and other refined products that can alter your health. If you and they are, I urge you to learn all you can about making changes in your daily eating routine.This makes me sad and of course I worry about my grandchildren and their friends. That's why I have spent the last couple years researching studies done about health and eating. I have been writing articles, studying reports, publishing information and gaining attention on the issue of changing eating habits. It's all in hopes people will become aware of how their daily food intake can effect their health.

By the end of the first week I actually began to feel "up." The knot in my stomach had untied itself in non-social situations. My outlook seemed brighter and my life felt as if it held promise. I have been off sugar for many years now and have experienced no recurrence of my previous condition except when I tested this potential cause-and-effect relationship. There is no question in my mind that, at least for me, sugar seemed to be an "addictive" substance (perhaps both physiologically and psychologically) and that this substance significantly increased not only my anxiety symptoms. To what degree my anxiety was related, in whole or in part, to the amount of insulin secreted to metabolize all the sugar was something I could not determine. If you experiences anxiety, you might wish to consider the possible negative impact of your sugar intake on your condition. The best way to test it is to gradually withdraw all sugar-related substances to see how your mood, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors respond. This is not easy or comfortable to do. However, if sugar is negatively influencing your anxiety, you will tend to see a more positive mood and a lessening of your anxiety symptoms as you eliminate more sugars. If so, you have what appears to be a correlation - that these two events happen to increase or decrease together.But that does not tell you if sugar likely "causes" your negative moods or anxiety. After you have been off sugar for a while, you need to test to see if a causal relationship exists. To do this you re-introduce sugar a little at a time to monitor your anxiety: if it reappears or worsen. When you are working to alleviate your anxiety, you need to look for all possible concrete, specific contributors, including your diet, and especially sugar.




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