Sugar has been part of your life for a long time. It’s your go-to comfort food.
Picture this– you’ve had a bad day and you wander into the kitchen looking for a treat. You try to keep junk food out of the house and so the search begins for something– anything(!)– sweet.
After riffling through the cabinets, you finally find a bag of marshmallows (woohoo!). And, even though you don’t love them, you eat them. A lot of them. Because it makes you feel better in the moment.
You don’t want to feel controlled by sugar anymore, but it also feels hard to make changes that last.
You know you should make some changes– something has felt off for awhile and you’re not sure what’s up. Your energy is pretty low, you crave carbs most days, and you’ve been trying to lose weight for months now.
Take this quiz to find out if sugar might be tripping you up, even more than you realize.
Do you need a sugar detox?
For each question, score yourself with:
2 points= So much yes! (strongly agree)
1 point= Yeah, sometimes (moderately agree)
0 points= Nope. (disagree)
A. Do you frequently feel sleepy in the afternoon?
B. Do you find it difficult to pass up candy or baked goods at the office even when you’re not hungry?
C. It’s been awhile since you’ve looked at the nutrition label to see how much sugar is in something you’re eating.
D. Do you have belly fat that won’t seem to budge?
E. Are you hungry all of the time?
F. Do you have restless leg syndrome, frequently experience tingling feet, or have carpal tunnel syndrome?
G. Do you have cravings for sugary foods or grain-based carbs like bread, pasta or rice? (and, the cravings just don’t seem to go away?)
H. You drink more than 1 soda, sports drink, or fancy coffee drink (like a Pumpkin Spice Latte) each week.
I. Your doctor has told you that your triglyceride levels are high.
J. You’re pre-diabetes or have metabolic disorder.
Above 10 points:
Yep! You and sugar might need to take an extended break from one another. Consider jump starting with a sugar detox and then get continued support as you work to reduce cravings and reduce your added sugar intake. While it may seem challenging at first, with support you can make get control of your cravings and begin to feel better (it may be easier than you think!).
Between 9 and 4 points:
If you scored between 4 and 9 points, it’ll be helpful for you to examine your sugar habits now, before your sweet tooth causes a problem in the future (especially if you scored on the higher end of the range). A short sugar detox will bring an awareness to your habits and help you understand the causes of your cravings.
Lower than 3 points:
You likely have a great relationship with sugar. You enjoy it in moderation and understand how to manage cravings. Well done! However, if you scored a 2 on questions F, I or J, you may want to keep an eye on the sources of sugar in your diet. Read labels carefully and consider keeping your added sugar low as well as carbohydrates.
If you’re ready to get control of your cravings, sign up for my FREE 7-Day No Sugar Challenge. You’ll get a done-for-you meal plan, recipes and grocery shopping list along with community support to help you stick with it. Sign up here!
Want to know the reasons behind the quiz questions?
A. Eating too many simple carbohydrates (like bread, pasta or sugar) can raise blood sugar quickly, then cause the dreaded dip which can leave you feeling sleepy.
B. If you find it really difficult to avoid the office donuts, candy, and birthday cake, you might benefit from a short sugar detox. Many people find it easier to bypass sweets once they’ve removed added sugar from their diet (or, at least cut back on). Sugar lights up the brain differently than other sources of energy and can make you crave more and more to feel satisfied.
C. Reading food labels is one of the most important habits you can create to control a sweet tooth. Why? You might be eating way more sugar than you think throughout the day, in foods like pasta sauce, yogurt and bread. Our brains are wired to want more sugar– the more sugar we eat, the more we want it.
D. Eating sugar increases levels of glucose in your body. Your pancreas releases insulin to help your body use that glucose for energy. But, higher levels of insulin cause your body to store calories as fat. So: eating a lot of sugar on a regular basis= more insulin. Higher levels of insulin= calories stored as fat.
E. Leptin is a hormone that lowers the appetite. It signals to the brain that I’m full. Stop eating! However, higher levels of insulin, in combination with eating too much sugar such as fructose, can lead to leptin resistance– where your body doesn’t “hear” the message and overeating is a result.
F. You could be experiencing early stage neuropathy, which according to Dr. Richard Jacoby, is a result of too much sugar in the diet. He also believes that the compression of median nerve (involved in carpal tunnel syndrome) is a result of the inflammation caused by sugar.
G. Cravings that just won’t quit can be driven by a variety of things, like low thyroid, a protein-carbohydrate imbalance, imbalanced hunger hormones or insulin resistant hunger.
H. It’s easy to consume too much sugar in sodas, sports drinks and fancy coffee drinks. if you’re drinking more than 1 per week, you might be consuming too much sugar in other areas of your diet as well.
I. Excess sugar in the diet can be one reason for high triglyceride levels.
J. People with pre-diabetes and/or metabolic disorder may be more likely to develop diabetes. Understanding and getting control of sugar habits now could keep you healthier in the long run.
For more info:
Disclaimer: this quiz is meant for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Please consult your health care practitioner before making any changes to your diet.