Overcoming Sugar Addiction & Cravings

Friday 28 February 2014

Overcoming Sugar Addiction & Cravings

In my last post I talked about sugar damage to skin and I talked about how difficult it is to quit eating sugar.

I enjoyed reading all of your comments on my previous post. Some of you do not have a sweet tooth (lucky you!!!!) Others were saying that you don't even want to stop eating chocolates and sweets and you would rather put up with having worse skin than quit.

Quit sweets to keep beautiful skin
Sugar addiction can be treated with hypnotherapy
The problem is that people enjoy sweets and they don't want to stop having treats that they like. If we didn't associate eating sugary foods with pleasure then we would be happy to quit and we would have better skin without sacrifice.

So, how do we achieve that wonderful state where we don't fight ourselves to achieve more youthful skin?

Motivation and strong willpower may help, but what if you are a weaker soul?

Hypnotherapy is my answer. I have not tried it, but I think this is the least painful solution with the highest probability of success. I would definitely give it a go. It reprograms your thinking, so no sacrifice or willpower is needed. Obviously, you need to want to change.

I have made friends with a wonderful woman Chloe Brotheridge from www.easywaytochange.co.uk. Chloe is a hypnotherapist and she was very happy to answer a few of my questions about how hypnotherapy may help with sugar cravings, so please read on.

About Chloe Brotheridge, the hypnotherapist

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, such as where you learned about hypnotherapy, how long have you been doing it, why did you start this in the first place and something like that.

A: I started my career as a nutritionist working in weight management. I found that so often, there are emotional issues, stress and deeply rooted habits which get in the way of people losing weight. I trained as a hypnotherapist three years ago to help people overcome these.

Sugar addiction stands in the way of losing weight

Q: Have you ever dealt with sugar addiction case or something equivalent in your practice so far?

A: Sugar cravings and even sugar addiction are very common issues for my clients who wish to lose weight or get fitter and healthier. I had one client who was really in the habit of having 'something sweet' after meals, because since childhood, it was always expected that a sweet food follows the main course. It was a case of changing that habit and the idea that a sweet course was an essential part of a meal.

Why do people crave sugar?

Q: How common is this problem in your experience?

A: Sugar is a big problem, because it hijacks the brains reward system which hard wires us to want to eat sugar again and again. For years we were told that fat was the problem and encouraged to eat low fat, but often sugary, foods. Now the tides are turning and sugar is enemy number one.

Q: How does sugar hijack the brains reward system?

A: Sugar triggers release of dopamine [in a simplified non-technical way let's call it a pleasure and happiness hormone] in the brain. Dopamine is involved in the process of what makes smoking and cocaine addictive. Dopamine makes us feel as though we 'need' and creates the drive to seek it out.

Feeling of guilt or disgust is not enough to motivate to stop

Q: What exactly bothers people? (such as "I eat a bar of chocolate every evening right before bed, then I run back to the kitchen and grab a packet of biscuits… as a result of this I put on weight or my skin looks bad, or I run to the bathroom to throw up, or I hate myself for stuffing my stomach with junk food")

A: Often people talk about 'being out of control' when it comes to sweet foods. Or, it's feelings of guilt or disgust which are in themselves not enough to motivate people to stop.

Q: Why is guilt or disgust not enough to motivate people to stop?

A: This is an observation. It will differ for everyone but my guess would be that desire to use sugar for comfort and stress relief as well as the sugar addiction overpowers feelings of guilt or disgust.

How does hypnotherapy help in reducing sugar cravings?

Q: If you ever treated sugar cravings, how successful was the outcome? Did you receive any feedback? What was it?

A: Hypnotherapy is a great way to address sugar cravings. It can firstly help manage stress and any emotional issues around sugar. Then it can work by breaking down unhelpful habits and changing the way you think about sugar. I've worked with quite a few IBS clients who need to stay off sugar to prevent IBS flare-ups and it works very well.

Q: How do you break down unhelpful habits and change the way you think about sugar?

A: During hypnotherapy relaxation, suggestion and visualisation methods are used to break down unhelpful habits and change the way you think about sugar.

What happens during the hypnotherapy session?

Q: Would you be able to give a brief description as to what happens between you and the patient during the appointment right from the beginning to the end (such as I meet my patient at the reception, I offer a cup of tea or coffee, offer them to sit down in a comfortable chair, say a few magic words :))

A: The first session lasts for an hour and a half. During the first part of the session I find out exactly what you would like to achieve and some details about your lifestyle and history. Then after you've asked any final questions about how hypnotherapy works, I guide you into a state of relaxed focus and make suggestions to you as to how you can become happier and healthier. I'll also ask you to use your imagination in ways that will help you. You'll open your eyes at the end feeling refreshed, alert and positive.

Q: How would you approach a sugar cravings problem if there were no other issues such as weight gain resulting from it?

A: Firstly I'd be interested to know about any emotional issues or stress you might be experiencing. This is so that we address the root cause. Then I'd look at other issues such as your habits and attitudes towards sugar.

Self-help advice for quitting sugar

Q: Any advice to those who would like to try some self-help?

A: Stop buying food with sugar in, start to replace sugar with natural sweeteners such as stevia or Xylitol. After about 3 weeks you'll notice sugar cravings dramatically reduce.

Q: I guess this would fall into the category of where people are unhappy or repulsed with themselves, but the feeling is not strong enough to change the habit, so this tip would not work?

A: Doing things like making sure sugar is not in the house makes sugar less readily available during the moment of impulse. Also, not going shopping hungry when your willpower is depleted (studies show that willpower is a finite resource that is fuelled by glucose in the body. Less glucose, i.e. when hungry, can make lessened willpower). If people are in a cycle of being repulsed by themselves they should seek support such as having hypnotherapy, counselling or CBT [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy].

Hypnotherapists often replace bad habits with good habits

Q: I heard that often hypnotherapists try to replace one habit with another, such as unhealthy habit with a healthy one, is it true? Any examples?

A: It is often said that habits cannot be 'removed' but only replaced. For example, a craving for sugar could be replaced for a craving for fresh, natural foods, or sugary drinks for water with lemon.

People remember everything what happens during the hypnotherapy session

Q: Do people remember what they were talking about while they were hypnotised?

A: You remember everything and are always in control during a hypnotherapy session. It's not like what we see on the TV. It feels like a relaxing daydream.

We know sugar is bad, but it's the subconscious mind that controls our actions

Q: How does conscious and subconscious mind affect the habits and how that changes during the treatment?

A: Think of the subconscious as being like a computer and habits being like computer programmes, that we have picked up along the way in life. Some of these computer programme are unhelpful and can therefore be 'reprogrammed' to more helpful ones. During hypnotherapy the subconscious is more open to taking on board new ideas about things.

Q: Is it the subconscious mind that makes us act one way or another as conscious mind knows what is good and bad?

A: The subconscious mind controls 90% of our actions, thoughts and feelings. Most food choices are unconscious. We may consciously know that sugar is bad for us, the same way a smoker 'knows' smoking is bad, but it may have little impact.

With smoking the aim is to never smoke again, with sugar it is to reduce its intake

Q: I know you use hypnotherapy, NLP and Emotional Freedom techniques to address the smoking problem, would you use all of these for sugar cravings too?

A: The techniques used for weight loss and sugar cravings are very similar to those used for smoking. However, with smoking, the aim is to never smoke again. You obviously can't give up eating, and for most people their aim would not be to 'never' eat any sugar again, but to reduce their sugar intake.

Trance vs hypnosis

Q: What's the difference between trance and hypnosis?

A: Sometimes hypnosis is called trance, however that really just means a state of relaxed focus, whereby your subconscious is more open to taking on board new ideas about things that are going to help you.


I asked if Chloe would be interested in offering any discounts for my readers on her hypnotherapy sessions. She kindly offered a 20% discount on the first session.

If interested quote the promo code 'Min's Beauty Equipment'. The offer is valid for one year after this post comes live, so take advantage of it. Don't keep your problems to yourself, get help and resolve them. Chloe is based in central London, so all londoners don't waste your time!

Final word

Have you ever used hypnotherapy to solve any problems? Would you use it? What do you think of hypnotherapy?

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