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Casual indulgence, even of a drug like heroin, does not always lead to addiction. When it does, the condition is not necessarily permanent. Addicts can and do quit, either permanently or for long stretches of time. Nor is all excessive consumption necessarily addiction. People can gamble too much without being compulsive, just as they can burden their scales without being food addicts.
An addiction is a habit that has become a very bad habit, in the sense of being strong, preoccupying and damaging, both to oneself and to others. The type of damage depends on the substance or behavior. Compulsive gamers may ruin their scholastic and marital prospects. They do not ruin their livers or lungs.
The addiction process is social as well as biological. Frequent resort to alcohol, drugs and drug-like behaviors causes changes in neurons, including altered gene expression. Over time, these changes occur in more and larger regions of the central nervous system, like drops of dye spreading on a taut sheet. The changes are long-lasting, particularly in developing brains.
The earlier children and adolescents experience an addictive substance or pastime, the likelier they are to retain, even when abstaining, a powerful emotional memory of the behavior that once made them feel so good. The nature of addiction has implications—more precisely, temptations—for businesses that sell habituating products. One is to encourage early and frequent consumption.
And the more they drink, the greater the profits. To this day, 80 percent of alcohol sales go to the 20 percent of customers who are the heaviest users, a pattern that applies across the business of brain reward. More than half of all marijuana finds its way into the lungs and stomachs of those who spend more than half their waking hours stoned. Insofar as addictions to marijuana, or to anything else, develop most often among the poor, the marginal and the genetically vulnerable, they are sources of inequality and injustice as well as illness.
These realities are well understood in the addiction-research and public health communities. Less well understood is how we got into this fix and why it keeps getting worse, despite the best efforts of those communities. I propose that the main source of the problem has been what I call limbic capitalism. This refers to a technologically advanced but socially regressive business system in which global industries, often with the help of complicit governments and criminal organizations, encourage excessive consumption and addiction.
They do so by targeting the limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for feeling and for quick reaction, as distinct from dispassionate thinking. Limbic capitalism was itself a product of cultural evolution. It was a late development in a long historical process that saw the accelerating spread of novel pleasures and their twinned companions of vice and addiction. The pleasures, vices and addictions most conspicuously associated with limbic capitalism were those of intoxication.
Considerations of private profit and state revenue encouraged alcohol and drug consumption until rising social costs forced governments to restrict or prohibit at least some drugs. Yet, even as I stated my case, I saw that it applied to more than the usual psychoactive suspects. It applied to all pleasures, vices and addictions that had become entwined in the emerging system of limbic capitalism. Victorian-era reformers saw alcohol and non-medical drug use as part of an ill-starred constellation of vice.
Granted, vice is a slippery category. Chinese men considered sniffing and sucking the tiny, deformed feet of girls and women to be normal erotic behavior until missionaries and modernizers stigmatized foot binding. Yet, for all the cultural malleability of vices, the Victorians recognized two important things about them.
One was that they had become big business.
The other was that they were linked. Rare was the brothel without booze, or the opium den without a gambling house nearby. Victorians also supposed vices to be linked neurologically, with those who had inherited or acquired defective nervous systems being most inclined to them. The last hunch was a good one. A century later, neuroscientists and geneticists were mapping these connections at the cellular and molecular level. They discovered that different substances and activities generate similar types of brain reward and craving.
They showed that addicted brains are alike in that reward cues activate the same pathways in drug and behavioral addictions. Researchers began to use the term pathological learning for the process that occurs when addictive substances or behaviors augment release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, turning what evolved as a beneficial process into a pathological one. Dopamine does its work of reward and conditioning in pathways originating in or near the limbic midbrain, a key region for regulating mood, pleasure and pain.
The pleasurable effect depends, in part, on the intensity of the signal that dopamine produces after release into the synapses. In neurons as in life, first impressions matter. People keep on doing what their brains tell them is highly rewarding, often past the point where it is still pleasurable or beneficial. Addicts want something after they have ceased liking it, even if they realize its harmful effects. Researchers identified common risk factors. Genetic variations and life circumstances—stress, social defeat, neglect or abuse during critical periods of brain development—make some people more susceptible to addiction than others.
They feel uncomfortable or depressed until they discover that alcohol, drugs, sugar, gambling, computer games or some other thrilling behavior temporarily banishes their blues. Frequent resort to these substances and behaviors further damages their neural control systems and, often, other parts of their brains. What the Victorians called vice really is a vicious circle. Self-destructive habits are constitutionally linked, downwardly spiraling, and socially expansive. Or having your brain trained. The deeper truth is that we live in a world nominally dedicated to progress, health, and longevity but in fact geared toward getting us to consume in ways that are unprogressive, unhealthful and often deadly.
Understanding this paradox—the burden of my new book—requires going beyond neuroscience, beyond disordered neurons and defective genes. On the contrary, it emerged from something primal: the efforts of our species to continuously expand our repertoire of pleasures. The search for pleasure preceded civilization and contributed to its foundation. Civilization in turn had disparate consequences for pleasure. It made possible for some the higher pleasures of learning, musical artistry, theater and absorbing games of skill such as chess.
But it also sickened, immiserated, and subjugated billions of humans by making intoxication more desirable, vice more tempting, and addiction more likely. Civilization also incubated the technologies that quickened the global quest for pleasure. Chief among them were the improvement and spread of agriculture; the expansion and monetization of long-distance trade; the rise of cities, empires and industry; and, in the recent past, the explosion of digital communication.
Along the way, there were smaller breakthroughs that nonetheless had large consequences. Among them were the isolation of plant-drug alkaloids such as morphine and cocaine; the application of photography to pornography; the blending of sugar, fat and salt in processed foods; and the rapid now virtual transport of people from one amusement to another. Innovations like these gave entrepreneurs and their state enablers the means to expand and intensify pleasures and to promote vices, increasing the amount of harmful consumption and the variety of addictions.
In brief, civilized inventiveness weaponized pleasurable products and pastimes. The more rapid and intense the brain reward they imparted, the likelier they were to foster pathological learning and craving, particularly among socially and genetically vulnerable consumers. Meanwhile, globalization, industrialization and urbanization made these seductive commodities and services more accessible and affordable, often in anonymous environments conducive to anomie and saturated with advertising.
Accessibility, affordability, advertising, anonymity and anomie, the five cylinders of the engine of mass addiction, ultimately have found their most radical technological expression in the floating world of the internet. Though the internet supercharged limbic capitalism, it did not invent it. In fact, no one invented it. It emerged from an ancient quest to discover, refine and blend novel pleasures. New pleasures gave rise to new vices, new vices to new addictions—for some people, anyway.
Addictive behavior was, to repeat, seldom majority behavior. But the risk of such behavior grew as entrepreneurs rationalized—that is, made more scientific and efficient—the trade in brain-rewarding commodities. Ultimately this rationalization assumed the aspect of a global economic and political system, in the sense of being organized, interlocking and strategically active.
By the nineteenth century, entrepreneurs were doing more than simply selling whatever new pleasures chance discovery and expanded trade made available. They had begun to engineer, produce and market potentially addictive products in ways calculated to increase demand and maximize profit. They learned to play political hardball. They devoted a share of their profits to buying off opposition. They devised lobbying and public relations tactics to survive the big reform wave of the early twentieth century.
They prospered in varying degrees during the mid-twentieth century, when some addictive behaviors were permitted, others winked at, and still others repressed. After the Cold War, their enterprises became increasingly varied, legitimate, and global. All rights reserved. This is no worse than those who become addicted to religion, for example, where people will travel for miles on their knees to see some shrine built over an unbelievable story someone told often long ago. Please explain. If not, are you questioning this just because the author David Courtwright only has a PhD in History and not a Psychologist?
People have consuming interests, and are willing to spend their earnings following those interests. Opiates, alcohol, and certain other substances are addictive not only because they produce intense pleasure, but because if you try to stop taking them after having consumed them in sufficient quantity for long enough, you can become severely ill or even die. You need medical help to stop taking them safely. Also, merely taking them in those quantities can kill you in the meantime. Playing too many video games and shopping or gambling too much can cause you severe financial or social problems, but all it takes to stop is some willpower; and once you stop you have stopped, there is no imminent danger of death.
The improvement in your life is immediate. Everyone has bad habits, really. Since I have lost relatives to heroin and alcohol abuse I really find the comparison of playing too many video games to heroin dependence rather offensive. Addictions come in many forms. I like the term consuming interest. I have friends who are addicted to bicycling.
Others who have ruined their lives with cocaine or heroin. Others who are addicted to work. Some to sex. Me, I have numerous interests which each take time from the other, not allowing any to become consuming. If any of you would care to support my various habits, send donations to……. This is fatalism, DoK. Our progress is already too little, too late. Around the world humanity is failing in its pursuit of the common good. Interesting to pick on the self destructive cravings of poor people.
As for religion, faith and prayers are one of the ways that encourage self restraint…until the heresies of Jupiter Jesus, the get rich guy supplanted the real thing. David of Kirkland. Addiction is when over indulgence in something interferes in your daily life. This interference leads to stress and unhappiness because the person notices that they are failing in other areas their life. To escape this stress, the person goes back to overindulge in what they were doing before.
The author clearly explained this using gaming, pornography and sugar. You clearly missed the point of this article. From this article, you know that a gamer is addicted because he or she dropped out of school or failed their course due to gaming. For the sugar lady, she suffered from health condition. For the Pornographer, he or she finds it hard to have healthy or healthy sexual relationship with opposite sex. This is the same as a going on a vacation. Dude, you clearly missed the point of this article. But there are older, deeper, religions that can help you. I read so many differing opinions and it seems any real difference between people, race, religion, habits, values, a few examples….
When do we get to realizing our connectedness…. I hope more studies in DNA come out. It could be argued, could it not…. I desire, therefore I am. Your stereotype here of people on welfare as addicts is trite and ignorant. Those who remain on it longer are almost entirely from the elderly demographic or the mentally ill. It may make you feel better to bah humbug and say that people on welfare are there because of their own vice but that nonsense simply has nothing to do with the facts.
Fred — I hope your pension savings are invested in businesses that have a stated desire to not earn a profit. The goofiness of humans blaming others because they continue to do stuff they like is all consuming and tiring…. Sure, because there are no signs of addictive and weird behavior among the pious virtue signalers. Do you have some kind of stick up your butt about religiously minded people?
Or crazy. Did you get your knuckles rapped by nuns or something? Thank you. Perhaps the real truth is that we live in such a safe world free from real wars, poverty, famine and disease outbreaks that we actually have too much time to kill maybe not literally, but maybe?? The other flip coin of this addictive behavior specifically in video games with men IS a contributing factor to the reduction of crime, rape and other physical abusive behaviors in the past 30 years. It is possible to see correlation between the two and if we were to ween off men from gaming, a potential upswing may result is you writing an article bemoaning the the fact that there is an upswing in crime.
The reality is that if we reduce addictions, it does not mean that all these men in particular will somehow become PHD graduates or somehow we will become the greatest generation. Mec B — you bring up some very important points. Of course the way universities have turned into extremely expensive victimology and Leftism indoctrination centers, we also need to consider whether spending years playing video games might actually do less brain damage than time spent in the classroom earning a BA, MSc, or PhD degree. Is it reasonable to assume that their addictions can be managed or treated if their lives are still going to lack the structure and disciple associated with having to show up for work on time ready and able to work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day?
That last remark is a load of bunk. Playing hours of video games on a daily basis might strengthen hand-eye coordination and probably strains eyes and hands , but the addictive stimulus to keep playing is the point. Exercising your brain through hours of arduous reading, writing, and thinking cannot be compared to pressing buttons like monkeys. As the author wrote, addiction is the term he is using to cover all stimuli and behaviors that lead to an inability to stop using or acting in a manner that is life defeating. Many people are suffering, lost, and without purpose.
Our advancements without personal clarity of purpose leads many to wander and get trapped in pleasure pursuits especially if their basic needs are easily met. Just because two things happen at the same time does not mean they are inherently linked. But I do recognize that there could be an impact.
In my opinion, one of the catalysts for crime is opportunity. And being in your room, no matter if you are playing video games, smoking weed, or reading dissertations, tends to keep you away from seeing those opportunities for criminal actions outside in the world. Read Passage Meditation by Eknath Easwaran, it will change your life and give you the compass you need. Perhaps, and this is my opinion, that with such security, soft living and a relatively easy living experience, we are looking for risk, excitement, adventure in these addictions.
Or put another way, the amount of safety regulations that control our lives each and everyday is dulling our senses and by finding a way to make even one part of your day excitable or worth living ie. Add in the fact that we all carry on our shoulders the personality of addiction, even if we were to change the limbic capitalism that this author pushes for, we would only move us to the next high. Addiction, as a clinical diagnosis, is horribly overused. As I was reading the article I kept coming around to the same questions: So what?
What are you really trying to say? Would we describe a scientist spending 16 hours per day in the lab for years on end as addicted or driven? A writer? Stock broker? On and on. Pick your favorite biopic. Groups call those things THEY disapprove of as being addictions, people and activities of which they approve are not. So, too much beer bad, champaigne ok? Sounds more like addiction as a political framework to protect the rubes from themselves. This discussion seems more about identifying groups of people specific, targeted groups who have ruined their own lives, absolving them of any contribution to their own condition, fixing blame on some class capitalists, in this case and implying that class must be controlled for the benefit of the addicted.
Is it inequality and injustice when a billionaire trust fund baby fritters their time and well-being away doing drugs and partying? Or is that only unequal and unjust when they are camped out on Ventura Blvd doing drugs, partying and living in their own filth?
At least, in these cases, there is a demonstrable addiction the common sense one we all recognize in an instant driving the behavior. Is it an external capitalist bogey-man or an internal failure for one and not the other? Spinning clear choices of behavior as being exactly like actual addiction seems a poor use of the clinical word.
It basically tells people their choices and behavior are excusable because it is all beyond their control.
I agree that some of these people may more accurately be described as avoidant rather than addicted. I think that may be true for quite a lot of so-called addicts. As a close to retiree who plays video games as a reward for having worked hard, I think the distinction you noted between me playing games and a college drop out playing games is worth noting. We know all about how our visual system can be tricked by optical illusions, Kahneman and Tversky demonstrated how often our intuitions regarding stats and basic economic choices are fallible and I think the general concept of limbic capitalism is worth thinking through.
If capitalism 1. Whether it was cigarette companies doctoring the tobacco to increase addictiveness or McDonalds putting additives in the food to increase addictiveness, this tendency to: 1 use the latest and best research about where human weaknesses and blind spots tend to be physiologically, psychologically and culturally , then 2 create and promote products that exploit these weaknesses feels like a new level of commercial warfare. Before liberailsm, we lived in a punitive environment of prohibitions and castigations.
With liberalism we came to live in a disciplinary environment of surveillance and incentives. During the 19th century, this new model of behavioral incentivisation perpetuated the old objects of punishment and reward for a while. The chronology that distinguish punitive and disciplinary societes is superimposed by another : the paradigm shift from the hierarchisation of objective, qualitative goods the eudemonist, aristotelian framework to the calculus of leveled subjective, quantitative pleasures the hedonistic, spinozist to benthamian framework.
What the author calls limbic capitalism is the accomplishment of this paradigm, when old vices were totally integrated within the production circuit because they were just another vector of utility maximization. The shift is similar to the one that occurred from labour value and value in use to exchange value and ranking of preferences. In the first world, lacking was a necessary evil to reaching higher goods. Virtues such as temperance were valued because consumption regulation was thought as a lever to higher anthropological goods, such as leading a theoretical life.
Ascetic worldview. Consumption regulation is inconvenient because it fundamentally opposes the intensification of individual satisfaction. Ecstatic worldview. The notion of business engaged in a lawful enterprise being responsible for those who misuse or abuse their products is juvenile thinking at best.
The crutch industry is the most detrimental of the last half century. What of those poor souls who are addicted to books, videos and pundits who excuse and enable their excesses? One certainly hopes the author is not profiting from his over indulgence of these reprobates. In order to truly help these people, there must be an acknowledgment of their own role and responsibility. Demanding anything less is coddling. The American Society of Addiction Medicine ASAM just released this new definition of addiction after a four-year process involving more than 80 experts.
But the disease is about brains, not drugs. Yes we are all responsible for our own actions. But it is just not that simple. Your argument is black and white and there are countless shades of grey. Can you really expect normal people like us to always have defences against legions of psychologists and marketers who are researching us and manipulating us?
As in warfare, defences improve in the light of experience but there is no defence that can always resist every attack. I have another theory which I think is at least as plausible: the nanny state. From subsidized education, subsidized health care, subsidized livelihoods, to completely subsidized lives, the welfare state enables and subsidizes such behavior.
All of us are imperfect, and some will always be susceptible to such dependence. The article is just another attempt to blame capitalism for the ills of society. The cronyism noted by the author is not capitalism. It is special-interest, rent-seeking behavior which exists in any power structure.
Go here to enter for a chance to win , or just click the image below. Beat Sugar Addiction Now! A lovely collection of essays. The problem is not addiction, in fact there are very few people addicted to games like WoW. A dopamine burst is a powerful way to help mitigate feelings to anxiety or depression. A more recent addiction that is being looked into is Internet addiction also known as pathological Internet use.
You libertarians and your atomized individualist fantasy-land are always so exhausting. And if you read all the comments, here these can be diametrically opposite! Picture it in your mind? I consider this a bigger barrier to the viability of advanced civilization than the possibility of annihilation by nuclear or biological war. I suspect this post will be controversial but hopefully in a good way.
I invite you to prove me wrong or start seriously worrying like I am. It would seem to be convergent evolution. This is captured at least as far back as Roman politics. Give the people bread and gladiatorial spectacle and you can do to them pretty much what you want. Second of all as is witnessed by the rise in for example methamphetamine problems in Amish communities, the agents creating these addiction Technologies do not respect the autonomy of potential consumers of their tools of power and profit.
Addictions are short-circuits. Make something useful and receive admiration, this is the proper reward for a job well done. Addiction skips the work, skips the prerequisite and delivers the reward directly. The incentive is misplaced. People who lack social support, who lack community, who have unappreciated jobs; the lonely the downtrodden and the depressed.
A chance to reach the rewards of a life well-lived when doing so through the proper means is sadly non-possible. Addiction is solved by compassion and empathy, by caring and nurturing, by valuing the small and quiet, by making sure everyone is included. Bravo Dylan, your comment was a ray of constructive sunshine after an onslaught of despairing negativity.
Do you have any evidence for it? Oh wait. I would add merely that those admirable human qualities can be provided only by individuals in a genuine community, never by the faceless bureaucracy of the state.
If you support charity and caring, why are you so vehemently opposed to offering help to people? A charitable person would not care if a small quantity of money was taken from them in the form of a tax to assist people, because they would be willing to give that aid whether a government took it from them or not. And yes, regardless of what you argue the individual quantity taken is small. Not just social aid. If Libertarians believe in these charities, as opposed to the state, then they should start handing their time and money over to them, because I contacted dozens when in need of help, and not one did a single thing.
I am too exhausted to guess. However the state did help, when I needed it. Furthermore I was rigorously vetted to ensure that help was warranted before receiving it. There is a bare bones system, offering a small amount of help to those who deserve it. Your kind is a pox. He should stop it immediately or he will go blind. So they make the rational decision to drop out.
Why bust their butts to support a society that will only stab them in the back? True, some options suck and and some may choose to avoid a world they find unsympathetic. Most choose to be challenged to achieve goals of one kind or another. The goals some choose are winnings in a virtual reality game played with virtual people. In my experience this stage does not last too long. Such persons mostly grow out of their adolescent fantasies and address the world in real time.
I noticed my addiction to Twitter when I was spending eight hours a day on it. I was eventually kicked off twitter for trolling the Islamist Dhalia Mogahed. It was a blessing. The entire social media world is overrated and a cesspool of half educated idiots. A recent study seems to confirm tha Twitter actually makes you less intelligent. Nearly every one of these repliers is retarded.
If you need more evidence that the internet is a low rent asylum for babbling idiots, here you go. Truly inane. I love the pseudo-conservative perspective that people are sad sick and lonely because their lives are too easy. Maybe a good bloodbath would perk them up, right? They should shovel coal for sixteen hours a day or be drafted into a brutal war. No time for addiction there. Then you have the personal responsibility numbskulls. And funny how the personal responsibility almost always falls on the poorest, least educated segments of the population.
All the condemnation is reserved for the addict, and not the economic powers that exploit vulnerable people. The addiction or limbic capitalist system compliments and reinforces an extremely complex, densely populated, atomized society. It would a wonderful utopia if crops grew themselves, clothes wove themselves, smartphone assembled themselves so dream on. Yeah, things need to be done whether we enjoy it or not, and all work is useful. So therefore all work should be respected and paid enough to live no?
But here we stop short. Society sends mixed messages about this, and THAT is where nihilism develops and breeds. Start showing REAL respect to all workers and this would disappear. Then, worst of all, you have the everyone-is-retarded-but-me comment, which of course is the most inane of them all. Is reading Quillette an addiction?
Is your mouth watering, but with a hint of over sweetness? Most of this volume is VERY recent. In the 70s, we were up to pounds annually. That would be like eating all three of my triplet 9 year olds annually, if they were sugar. This problem of overconsumption starts at childhood. Oh the lengths manufacturers will go to hide the fact they are plowing their gross foods with insane amounts of sugar so they taste better. My favorite example is yogurt. A well made, full-fat yogurt like Fage will be low in simple carbs and sugars, but rich in fat and protein.
Compare this to the yogurt flavored pudding most of us eat - sugars are x the amount that should be naturally occurring, while the other healthy macronutrients like proteins and fats are very low. This highlights a big problem held over from the 80s and 90s. We were told fats were the root of all evil, so we moved to fat-free packaged foods.
We got smart and wanted to use less and less sugar, but the food industry went to great lengths to hide it by calling sugar something else. There have been compiled about 61 different names for sugar. Here they are, for completeness sake:. Muscovado sounds super healthy and exotic. Is it a new fancy sports car? Agave is a great example of how a waste product from one manufacturing process can be packaged as a high-end consumable when marketed correctly.
Cane sugar itself sounds so enticing! That quote is thanks to Hannah, one of my wonderful employees! Fructose, found primarily in plants, is the most despised of all the sugars, for sure. But why? Why is it an enemy of the state? We can concentrate that sweetness into an atomic bomb of flava, known to you and me as High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Meals high in fructose cause leptin levels to stay low, resulting in overeating and subsequently obesity. Overeating sugar, including fructose, over the long-term causes insulin AND leptin resistance. High fructose meals also produce spikes in triglycerides, a form of cholesterol that directly contributes to hardening and clogging of arteries. Without hyperbole, it seems fructose can be as harmful to the liver as alcohol. These horrible effects of fructose exist solely because of 2 factors: First, the fructose is by itself. Fructose, when consumed in its natural state - via fruits and some vegetables - is not fruct up.
The fiber and other nutrients allow the fructose to be properly processed, and the slight differential between it and glucose on insulin and leptin are negligible. No liver detox supplement will help you as much as reducing excess fructose from your diet. If we take something healthy like an orange and squeeze out the juice, what do you get? Water, some micronutrients, and LOTS of concentrated, naturally occurring fructose. Make smoothies instead, where the whole fruit sans peels is incorporated - fibers AND fructose.
When we isolate fructose, concentrate it, and glom it into already unhealthy foods to make them taste better, we increase our risk of overeating, obesity, high triglycerides, fatty liver, and more. So sugar is hidden in many of the products we consume. Fructose, in particular, has been a major component of our modern diets and that itself leads to all these health problems. The second problem with sugar, and the reason it is used so heavily by food manufacturers, is that it truly is an addictive compound.
Sugar being an addictive compound has, up until recently, been considered pseudoscience. Only within the past decade or so has it been investigated seriously.
Addiction was left for other, more rare substances used merely for pleasure, with no other health or medical benefit. As our understanding of the reward system, habits, and addiction has evolved, our definition of what can be addictive has expanded. Heck, we even know that video games can stimulate these same addictive parts of our brains see World of Warcraft or the modern trend of "lootboxes". Those cue-reward systems can be triggered psychologically, not just physically with chemical compounds like heroin or sugar. Basically, the operating system is there, some programs run normally, but some can exploit the systems, producing ramped up effects.
The programming is there for sugar and it's pretty evident why. The , years or so evolution we've undergone hasn't had enough time to factor in or adapt to the mainlining of fructose et al of the past A pretty comprehensive experiment showed sugar's impact in an animal study. They looked at the 4 Horsemen Ratmen? Looking at those 4 characteristics, it's quite easy for us all to say, "No duh it's addictive, I've seen this myself! I blow through all phases, seemingly at once.
Put a bag of kettle corn in front of me. I'll binge eat that until my jaw hurts There are a couple other great studies looking at the scientific validity of sugar addiction. If you are bored, check them out here Brownell, K. Food and addiction: A comprehensive handbook. Oxford University Press. Volkow, N. Drug addiction: the neurobiology of behaviour gone awry. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5 12 , Because excess sugar is so good at scratching an evolutionary itch, we have to come up with a strategy to identify and manage our own compulsion towards sugar.
Or, if you are unlike me and are a well-adjusted human, we should talk about ways to limit our intake because you aren't an addict. How do we get our sugar intakes back to normal? The first step is admitting you have a problem. Look at your psychological relationship to sugar. Try to be more mindful - be aware of the patterns - the preprogrammed routines you are going through without thought.
A dopamine burst is a powerful way to help mitigate feelings to anxiety or depression. For a moment, it quiets the noise. But only for a moment, as then you begin to crave more, but the dopamine surge is never as strong with the same dose. You have to keep increasing your intake! Personally, if I get a little frustrated, I instantly crave sugar. Remove yourself from the situation. Don't buy processed, packaged foods. Use real, whole foods. Avoid the breakroom. Eat to fuel your fire. A lot of time, sugar cravings come because your body needs a quick source of energy and it's trying to get it asap.
If you follow our campfire diet strategy , you will be supplying your body with multiple fuel sources - carbs, proteins, and fats - on regular intervals BEFORE you get too hungry.