Do you think you might be a sugar addict? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone!! It is easy to become addicted to sugar as it’s readily available, cheap and hidden in the most unlikely foods.
Like everyone, ADHDers love sugar… but it’s extra enticing for you because when you eat sugar, you get a shot of Dopamine! Because the ADD brain is lower in dopamine than non-ADD brains, it is always on the lookout for ways to increase dopamine.
Compared to caffeine, smoking cigarettes, street drugs and over-spending, sugar seems like a pretty harmless way to get dopamine. However, it can still take its toll on your body.
Here are a few ways it can affect you in relation to your ADHD:
– Mood swings
– Depression, anxiety
Dopamine makes you feel happy, and because it feels good to feel happy, you reach for more and more sugar. Unfortunately, sugar also depletes your nutrient stores; which is another reason you keep reaching for the sweet stuff.
For your body to metabolize sugar and convert it to energy, it uses micro nutrients like B vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. Because sugar doesn’t contain vitamins and minerals itself, it has to use your stores. This leaves you feeling tired and lethargic and because of the lack of nutrients, your body doesn’t feel nourished, so you reach of more food. If you are a sugar addict, that food will probably be sugar!
There are a few ways to give up sugar:
1) Slowly reduce your sugar intake until it isn’t part of your diet.
2) Go cold turkey. This can be painful because you feel withdrawals such as low mood and energy.
3) Follow a sugar detox program such as ‘The 21 Day Sugar Detox’ by Diane Sanfilippo. This book is full of healthy super tasty ADHD friendly recipes. I highly recommend it!
Not only will you have greater mental clarity and reduction from the other ADHD symptoms, you will have more energy and zest for life and lose weight. It might be hard to quit sugar, but there is a huge pay off. Good Luck!