It’s no secret that eating too much sugar is quite bad for you. Study after study is now revealing that quitting sugar is so much better for your health. And yet, despite this, we’re still having a pretty hard time giving up.
We now know that sugar is an addictive substance, and when consumed in excessive amounts, causes the release of dopamine in the brain which makes you feel like a rockstar. For about 3 seconds. If that.
And then the brain says, ‘Ooh more of that please, I want to feel like that again’. So you feed it more sugar but the good feeling doesn’t really ever come back and you’re just left with an empty jumbo bag of Minstrels and a huge portion of self-loathing wondering why on earth you did that and promising yourself you’ll never do it again.
A bit like a stinking hangover.
Until the next time.
So maybe instead of focusing on all the terrible things that sugar can do to you – because that’s clearly not working – how about we look at the ways in which quitting sugar will make your life so much sweeter?
From happier hormones to a ton more energy, aren’t you curious to find out just how good you can feel once you’ve given up the sweet stuff?
I’ll be the first to admit, I am NO morning person. Show me a snooze button and I’m all over that bad boy. I was famed for my legendary snoozing in my teens and 20s. But kids don’t really let you do a whole lot of snoozing (unless one of them has inherited your love of a snooze – heaven help us when he’s 13…) so I’ve had to TRAIN myself to get up in the morning.
And when I ditch sugar, this is SO much easier. I feel so much more mentally alert in the morning and don’t wake up wanting to kill all the things anymore. In fact, some mornings, I actually feel HAPPY when I wake up. NUTS, I know!
So if you’re a cranky nightmare in the mornings then giving up sugar really can make you a nicer person. And wouldn’t that be more pleasant for everyone one else around you?
Picture the scene. It’s 3pm. A co-worker has just walked into the office eating some chocolate. Next thing you know, you’ve wrestled them to the ground to get to it.
OK this might not have actually happened, but the desire for that chocolate was so strong, the thought did cross your mind.
When you are a slave to your cravings and you’re stuck on the rollercoaster that is your blood sugar levels, you literally cannot think clearly when the hanger strikes. You will stop at nothing to get to that sweet thing.
But when sugar is no longer controlling your life, you are able to make it through the day without causing serious harm to a colleague to get to their snacks. In fact, you can feel slightly smug that they can’t get through the day without any chocolate whereas you can happily bypass it entirely.
And even if you do have some, it’s not the beginning of a Binge-mageddon. YOU are in control.
On a slightly more serious note, cravings such as these could be caused by what’s known as ‘insulin resistance’ – when your cells have stopped recognising insulin, leading to high blood sugar. This a precursor to Type II Diabetes. Insulin resistance is reversible. Once it has progressed to diabetes, you’ve got a much harder job on your hands.
Belly bloating causing a jeans squeeze around the middle? If you’ve been struggling to shift the midriff bulge and your skinny jeans have been reduced to relics, quitting sugar just might help you out here.
The body converts glucose into energy inside your cells, however when there is too much glucose in the body – that is not being used for energy – it is stored as fat. And this fat accumulates around your mid-section.
Imagine being able to do the button up again on those fave trousers? Give up sugar and you just might!
I remember when I first saw those period pad ads with the slogan ‘have a happy period’, I wanted to punch someone in the face (in fairness, I was probably premenstrual). Who has a ‘happy’ period? Periods are miserable, painful and depressing, there’s nothing happy about them.
Well, they’re only miserable if your hormones are out of whack. And having worked with hundreds of women to balance their hormones (including one of the worst PMS offenders I know – me!), I know how miraculous it can feel to have a period that doesn’t actually involve throwing things across the room. Ahem.
Insulin spikes – as a result of eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates – can cause an imbalance of oestrogen and progesterone in the body leading to irritability, anxiety and mood swings.
Is this you? Try quitting sugar and you too could experience the magic of a happy period.
You rarely eat sugar straight off the spoon – sugar invariably comes packaged up with lots of other unhealthy processed ingredients that make up your sugary treat. Trans fats, processed white flour, preservatives, colourings, other sweeteners. The list goes on.
When you quit sugar, you automatically cut these ingredients out of your diet as well and start eating whole foods which are immeasurably better for your digestive health, your immune system and your hormonal balance.
If you are plagued with constant sniffles, irregular bowel habits and problem periods, crowding out the sugar with wholesome, healthy foods will do wonders for your overall wellbeing.