‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ Makes Self-Control Go Down

by | Feb 18, 2013 | Health & Healing

As a CrossFit coach and fitness writer, people often ask me about my diet. Questions such as, Are you Paleo? Do you do “The Zone?” Do you eat gluten? What do you think of juicing? What do you eat before and after you work out? Do you eat carbs?

Recently, one of the athletes I coach asked me if I ever eat sugar. (For the purposes of this post, “sugar” refers to the added sugars found in cereals, sweets, and Starbucks drinks, not those that occur naturally in fruits, honey, even some vegetables like beets and carrots.) I replied, “Very, very rarely. But that’s just me.”

This answer probably seems strange, considering that it opposes a ubiquitous health mantra that I fully embrace: “everything in moderation.” So why, when it comes to my personal nutrition, am I staunchly anti-sugar?

For me, and maybe you, too, sugar is a highly addictive substance, much like liquor to an alcoholic or the “next fix” to a junkie.

Everyone has a weakness, an area of vulnerability by which we can, if unprepared and undefended, fall victim to the lusts of our flesh and eyes, or prey to the enemy’s promised attacks (1 John 2:16, 1 Peter 5:8). For some it’s alcohol. For others it’s sex, gambling, pornography, or a combination of several. For my father (and others on his side of the family), it was food.

Despite his vast knowledge of health and proper nutrition as a physician, as well as his personal discipline as an avid bodybuilder for most of his life, my dad struggled with his weight. Along with his hypothyroidism, he felt that much of his food addiction stemmed from his DNA. And I believe him because I too experience unusual cravings for more sugar after just a few bites of something particularly sweet, such as ice cream, cake, or chocolate.

Dopamine is one of our “feel-good” neurotransmitters, largely responsible for our motivation and reward systems. Typically, drug-seeking behavior will cause dopamine levels to rise in our brains even before the “drug” is actually consumed. In other words, merely anticipating the forthcoming sensation is pleasurable!

In studies, sugar-addicted rats ingest the white stuff in a binge-like manner that releases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (the part of the brain that influences sensations of reward, pleasure, laughter, and addiction) during and right before consumption, much like heroin use in humans.

Also like drug addiction, sugar bingeing causes changes in the expression and availability of dopamine receptors in the brain: the next “high” will require even more sugar to achieve the same effect. It’s been proven recently that those with sugar addictions and compulsive eating habits actually have fewer D2 dopamine receptors, meaning their bodies tell them they need more stimulation—more sugar—to feel satisfied. (Check out this link to learn more about sugar addiction and how to overcome it.)

I often feel rude for turning down the offer of dessert, especially if a friend or family member has worked hard to prepare it. For those who are blessed without this sugary thorn in their side, I know it must be hard to understand why I, and others like me, can’t “just stop after a few bites,” after just “a spoonful of sugar.”

I envy people like my mom, brother, and husband who satisfy their sweet tooth with a few harmless nibbles of a chocolate chip cookie or a single sliver of pumpkin pie. They get “their fix,” then forget about it.

Until I receive my glorified body up above and am seated at the Wedding Feast before a banquet of food that is quite literally out of this world, I will continue to ask for and employ a spiritual kind of nourishment—the fruit of the Spirit—to defy my DNA and say “No more!” after an appropriate amount of gustatory decadence.

So, that’s the long answer to the question, “Do you eat sugar?” I hope this post will also help the bakers and pastry chefs among you to not take it personally when friends pass on your delectable treats. Food, I believe, can be just as much of a stronghold as any other addictive substance, and many are fighting a battle you’re not aware of.

I’m praying now against all of the countless things we wrestle with, from alcohol and drugs to food and shopping, even junk TV. Whatever we do, whatever we eat and drink, let it all be for God’s glory.

With Him, we can have victory over any addiction. Let us remember that the same resurrection power of the Holy Spirit that lifted Christ from the grave and seated Him at the Father’s right hand has been given to each of us who have made Jesus Savior and Lord. He wants to do more than guarantee your salvation for tomorrow. He wants to set your body free today.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 58:8, NIV).

Stay fit and stay faithful.

Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of Creation House’s Fit for Faith: A Christian Woman’s Guide to Total Fitness.Her popular website can be found at www.fit4faith.com. and she is the owner and a coach at CrossFit 925. Diana can be reached on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]