Do you reward yourself with sweet stuff after a particularly stressful day or to celebrate a birthday or a special occasion?
Most of us will overindulge at times. But the more sugar we consume, the more we want and this creates a vicious addictive cycle.
Fact or fiction – is sugar addictive?
Sugar is in everything and if that’s not bad enough it has also been manipulated to be addictively hyper sweet with zero nutrition.
Meanwhile, refined carbohydrates, such as white flour, digest quickly into glucose — and most of us get more processed carbs than we need.
These foods don’t just offer empty calories they also upset the body’s finely calibrated biochemistry, effectively confusing hormones and contributing to metabolic dysfunction — a breakdown in the body’s ability to synthesize energy from food.
We feel low in energy after the rush, and it has significant health consequences over time.
Let’s cut to the chase, sugar is a “body-aging habit”
Sugar and unhealthy eating patterns don’t just trigger weight gain and undermine your energy. They age you from the inside out.
Sugar, is a BIG offender- whether sucrose (the refined, highly processed and crystalized version of plant sugars), glucose, dextrose, fructose, or other types of added sweeteners.
How It Ages You:
Excessive consumption of sugar lingers in the blood and causes havoc by attaching on to protein molecules.
This process is called Glycation and this is how it works:
Glycation is the non-enzymatic process responsible for many (e.g. micro and macrovascular) complications in diabetes mellitus and is implicated in some diseases and in aging.
- Glycation is believed to play a causative role in cellular aging by creating oxidative stress and slowing down the body’s repair mechanism.
- Oxidation eventually leads to a build-up of toxins called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. The accumulation of some AGEs is normal, but eating poorly is like hitting the fast-forward button on aging.
- That’s because AGEs build up in the body and damage our cellular engines: mitochondria. The loss of cellular energy gives rise to such age-related complaints as loss of memory, hearing, vision, and stamina.
Effects of Sugar Intake on Body Weight
High blood-sugar and insulin levels wreak havoc on weight-loss efforts.
Many studies have connected obesity with mood disorders like depression and anxiety, which can create a vicious cycle where you crave sugary foods to curb those feelings.
Sugar and The Emotional Brain
You can read more about it here
If these hit close to home, know that you are definitely not alone and there’s a light at the end of the “sugar tunnel”
Having the awareness that sugar is really a problem for you is the first step to breaking the addiction!
Secret #1 – Reduce Added Sugars
Be aware of the added sugars in food.
- “Free sugars” include both the sugars naturally found in honey and fruit juice, and sugar added to food and drinks.
- On food labels, added sugars include words such as glucose, corn syrup, brown sugar, dextrose, maltose, and sucrose, as well as many others.
Most of this comes from beveragesTrusted Source:
- Including energy drinks, alcoholic drinks, soda, fruit drinks, and sweetened coffee and teas.
- Other common sources are snacks. These don’t just include the obvious, like brownies, cookies, doughnuts, and ice cream.
- You can also find large quantities of added sugar in bread, salad dressing, granola bars, and even fat-free yogurt.
There are some tips:
- Learn how to read food labels and make smart intentional choices
- If you choose to eat sweets, choose foods made with less heavily processed natural sweeteners, such as honey or maple syrup, instead of refined (white) sugar.
- Foods sweetened naturally tend to be less refined and contain other whole-food ingredients, and that is beneficial for reducing sugar load.
Secret #2 – Start Your Day Right
I’m talking about eating a balanced satisfying breakfast.
Eating breakfast has been a game changer for me.
- I start my day with a filling, nutritious meal, so I am less likely to give in to cravings.
- Steel-cut oatmeal, eggs, vegetables and fruit are all good breakfast choices.
- Eating a nutrient-dense breakfast rich in protein and fibre makes a great way to stabilize your mood and reduce sugar cravings and gives your day a healthy start.
Secret # 3 –Manage Your Stress.
When you’re stressed, your cortisol shoots up. This will drive up your hunger and can fuel sugar cravings.
Remember that your emotional cravings are a window into your inner landscape so don’t be afraid to eplore them.
By looking inward, you will understand who you are as a person and what your feelings actually mean.
Here are some tips:
- Slow down
- Take frequent breaks
- Take walks in nature
- Journal to look at your emotional cravings from a symbolic point of view, you will find layers of insights as to what is imbalanced in your life.
And lastly don’t swap your sugar for artificial sweeteners. There’s evidence that they can do as much or more damage to your health in other ways.
They propagate a sweet tooth. They are intensely sweet, and the evidence-based literature shows that they stimulate the same reward centre as sugar.
I believe that this tends to result in a preference for ever-sweeter foods, and propagates the addiction cycle.
You can break free from the sugar habit. That doesn’t mean you can never eat another cupcake.
But it does give you control over your cravings — your health and your life.
Now I would love to hear from you…
- How can you satisfy a sweet tooth in a healthy way?
Please comment below, I would love to hear your story.❤️❤️
🍓Food & Mood 😃 Coach
BSc (Biomed), Cert IV (PT), Wellness Coach (Level 3))
I coach busy women to put down their fork and pick up their life.
If you want to eat well consistently and lose weight effortlessly book free 30-minute-coaching session with me and I’ll show you how to add years to your life and live those years to the fullest, looking amazing and feeling confident!
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