A lifetime commitment free of sugar is a monumental action. Doubtful this is possible, simple, white sugar is an acceptable, legal substance, purchased, consumed, and found easily in our food supply. As a commodity, it is inexpensive and readily available to food manufacturers. With potential profit, its addictive element attracts corporate giants. Like cigarettes, legally selling an addictive substance that increases sales is a capitalist’s dream. As an entrepreneur, I admire the economics and rate of return, yet as an individual with a moral compass, the unhealthy, addictive, and negative nutritional implications, and the greed and power the industry has over the food supply, is unsettling. Most crucial to sugar addiction is its debilitating physical and psychological effects making the decision to become sugar free simple, yet not easy.

Eliminating simple sugar from dietary choices implicates immediate restriction of the readily available Cs: Cookies, candy, and sweetened carbohydrates. Keeping blood sugar levels stable maintains an equilibrium that prevents a direct physiological effect and invasion of the substance. When consuming excessive carbohydrates, sugar levels spike, then drop, and cravings for sweetened foods relentlessly taunt further. The physical effects trigger a reaction to replace deteriorating energy, an attempt at equilibrium as sugar levels plummet, and an urge to circumvent the uncomfortable, lethargic feeling. Removing simple sugars while balancing carbohydrate intake alleviates these roller coaster reactions to win the fight against sugar addiction and fostering self-restraint. As an addictive substance, refraining from consumption is necessary.

Utilization of sugar for emotional purposes is also powerful. Food as a numbing agent for emotional and physical discomfort is common. As children, rewarded, consoled, and barraged with sugary consumables solved problems and highlighted festivities. Whether a skinned knee, a hurt feeling, or a celebratory holiday or experience, sweets commemorated or bandaged bruises, emotions, and events. The correlation between eating sweetened snacks with negative and positive emotions, traps sugar consumption usage within our psyche’s needs. To prevent simple sugar intake from food choices requires a replacement for the emotional outlet previously utilized. Feeling emotions and physical pain fully without distraction by food, and celebrating the social aspects of connection with others minus sweetened edibles is transformative.

Remaining “clean” and clear from simple sugar intake is the immediate action step to releasing the power of addictive behavior, while emotional response alternatives to sugary sweets is another imperative step. Feeling an incessant pull physically and mentally often overwhelms the masses. Over time, recovering sugar-addicts conquer the urge and force with greater ease daily through conscious effort. Questioning whether small amounts consumed periodically is possible, is a lesson in futility, though some refrain via pure abstinence. Utilizing protein to ease the addictive, physical symptoms is one way to test whether small amounts of simple sugar consumption can occur without grave reactions. Small exposure to sugar territory can lead to a slippery slope and all-out binge. Sobriety for a lifetime may be the only solution for a recovering sugar addict.