If you have attended any of my presentations, you have probably heard me talk about the ‘Sugar/Stress Cycle” and how chronic stress creates chemical shifts in the brain and body that cause us to crave carbohydrates. So you would think that when my neighbors came by selling cookie dough as a fundraiser for their elementary school that I would have known better than to buy 2 dozen chocolate mint chip cookies! I could have simply donated money, but no…..I somehow thought I was immune to those stress-induced carb cravings that would ultimately drive me to the freezer night after night until all 24 were gone.
It’s important to note that simple sugar does not affect all people equally. Some people are more ‘sugar sensitive’ than others. For example, some people can eat one cookie without causing any cravings for more. However, for others, eating just one cookie plagues them with sugar cravings for the rest of the day. Giving in to the craving by eating more simple sugars creates an endless cycle of craving more simple sugar.
If you’d like to find out if you are sugar sensitive, answer the following questions from Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons’ book, “Potatoes not Prozac.” Check each of the following statements that apply to you. The more you check, the more sugar sensitive you probably are….and the more likely you are to eat the cookie dough until it’s gone!
___ I really like sweet foods.
___ I eat a lot of sweets.
___ I am very fond of bread, cereal, popcorn, or pasta.
___ I now have or have had a problem with alcohol or drugs.
___ One or both of my parents are/were alcoholic.
___ One or both of my parents are/were especially fond of sugar.
___ I am overweight and don’t seem to be able to easily lose the extra pounds.
___ I continue to be depressed no matter what I do.
___ I often find myself overreacting to stress.
___ I have a history of anger that sometimes surprises even me.
(This questionnaire reprinted with permission from “Potatoes not Prozac” by Kathleen DesMaisons.)