Hello, my name is Tina and I’m a sugar addict…
I have always had a very unhealthy relationship with sugar. I just cannot stop eating it. I went years not eating any and I was perfectly fine. I didn’t miss sugar (I still ate plenty of sweet stuff, just not processed sugar). I felt so great, I slept well, my mental health improved, my hormones were balanced and my skin was clear.
Last Christmas I thought my relationship with food is now so healthy, I should be ok eating sugar like ‘normal people’ do. I’d been reading a lot about intuitive eating theory and, I admit it, that made me feel pressure to let go of any ‘food rules’ and ‘trust my body’. But very soon I found out that when it comes to sugar, I cannot trust my body… A box of Roses led to another and before I knew it, I needed my sugary chocolate fix daily.
It took me nearly 2 months to find the strength to stop bingeing on sugar. Every day that went by I felt worse and worse. I didn’t sleep well so I felt constantly tired, emotional, and irritable, I had terrible PMT for the first time in a long time, and my skin broke out.
The first week I came off sugar was difficult but thankfully I knew all the tools to use to help me through it – mainly mindfulness, self-inquiry and a lot of deep breathing! I got through it and it got easier… until I had a relapse and had to start again. This time it only took me a few days, thankfully and the process was a lot easier!
Sugar addiction is very real and it’s no different from other addictions like alcoholism.
Just like there’s no such thing as ‘just one drink’ for an alcoholic, for me there is no such thing as ‘just one chocolate’. It’s all or nothing and after this experience, I know that I far prefer nothing!
I shared this story on Instagram and many people contacted me saying they, too, struggle with sugar. That’s why I decided to start this support group for sugar addicts who want to kick the habit!
I hope you’ll be able to join me
Did you know...
The neurochemical changes in the brain that occur when we overeat sugar tare similar to what is seen with addictions to drugs, like alcohol or morphine
Sugar cravings are driven by your brain’s need for a “reward”, dopamine release — not your body’s need for food.
The average person consumes 17 teaspoons (71g) of sugar per day. WHO recommends max 5 to 10 teaspoons (20-40g) of added sugar per day
A recent study confirmed that there is a genetic link between children of parents who abuse alcohol and sugar addiction.
Overconsumption of sugar can put you at higher risk of type II diabetes, hormonal issues, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, depression, anxiety, memory loss, and even reduced brain volume.
About this group
We focus on processed sugar only – sweets, chocolates, sugary drinks, biscuits, pastries… fruit and natural sweeteners are fine as they are not addictive and they are good for you! Although this is not a weight loss programme, giving up sugar can lead to weight loss but that is not our main focus here.
We want to get to a place where we are free of sugar cravings – how this looks is different for everyone. For example, as I said above, my addiction is so strong that for me it’s best to avoid all sugar. Others might be able to get to a point where they can have some sugar regularly and it doesn’t cause any cravings. You will need to get to know your addiction so you can decide how to handle it (sometimes this happens through trial and error, as demonstrated by my experience above!)
4 steps to freedom from sugar addiction
These are the 4 steps, all based on Feel Good Mindset philosophy, we’ll be practicing over the 4 weeks:
1. ACCEPTANCE. Change begins with acceptance of what is. We accept that we have a problem we’d like to change but we feel powerless to change it. When we stop fighting what is and accept it, we can see the situation better and learn to understand it, which leads to change.
2. UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM. To solve a problem we need to fully understand. We need to understand the science behind sugar addiction (what sugar does to the brain – see ‘did you know’ box above!). We need to understand emotional eating, ourselves, our triggers and behaviour. We need to understand the role our culture, processed food industry, diet culture and the media play in our dysfunctional eating habits. The better we understand, the easier change becomes.
3. THE RIGHT TOOLS. This is all about how we go about creating change. This programme will introduce you to a variety of tools you can use in different situations. These range from mindfulness practices, practicing the pause, self-inquiry, visualisation, breathing, self-care and so on.
4. SELF-COMPASSION. We do all this with self-compassion and kindness. We do this because we want to feel good and want what’s best for us. This is self-care! We try to avoid self-judgement and criticism and try to be our own best friends instead. For example, any self-inquiry comes from a place of wanting to understand and help ourselves rather than judgment.
How the group works
Each session consists of a short talk on an issue based on the above 4 steps – e.g. what is addiction, why sugar is so addictive, emotional eating etc. There’ll be a discussion where those who want can share how they are getting on and get advice on any issues they’re experiencing.
Each week we set goals for the next week and some weeks we might do a visualisation, meditation or a breathing practice.
NOTE: because this is a support group, discussion topics depend on participants’ needs. Feel free to request a topic and ask questions!
Participants will also have access to extra support between session through a WhatsApp group or by email.
This course is based on Feel Good philosophy, not diet mentality
We want to stop eating sugar because we understand it’s detrimental to our health and it doesn’t make us feel good. We do this because we want to feel better mentally and physically. We do this from a place of self-love, rather than a need to improve ourselves/our bodies in order to feel good enough.
Next start date: Monday 6th March, 7.30pm
Each meeting is approx 1 hour. Zoom meetings will not be recorded for privacy reasons!
This group is for women only!
Duration: 4 weeks