It’s worth the trouble to quit sugar.
Since my Daddy was killed years ago, I eat one chocolate éclair on his birthday and another one on Father’s Day. My Daddy had a real sweet tooth, and chocolate éclairs were his favorite. I’d make dad coffee in the morning and put one teaspoon of sugar in his coffee. I’d hear him mumbling after the first sip. “Did you put three teaspoons of sugar in my coffee?” “No, dad, I put one because it’s not good for you.” I’d answer. I find it amazing that I knew at a young age that sugar wasn’t right for us.
And guess what happens when I eat chocolate eclairs!!
I feel HORRIBLE the next day. I don’t feel my usual self. I’m sluggish, but I still keep doing it. Yes, it’s an emotional sugar rush, and yes, it’s not good for me, but I can’t let this ritual go just yet! I look for the petite chocolate éclairs now!!
And that reminds me why I don’t normally allow myself to eat sugar. It is a poison, and though it is delicious in our mouth, once inside our body, it is like a little demon, tormenting us and wreaking havoc on our health.
And, like a demon, it possesses us and makes it incredibly hard for us to get away.
Here’s another reason why it’s so hard to quit sugar… because it is EVERYWHERE!!! Did you know that 74% of processed foods contain added sugar? 74%. And I’m not talking about the obvious baked goods like that pie, I’m talking it’s in salad dressings, yogurt, peanut butter, marinara sauce… even foods that are marketed as HEALTH FOODS. But if you look on the label, somewhere you’re most likely to find sugar, but we aware it comes with many different names.
Here are a few:
How many people rely on quick processed foods as their main meals and snacks? How many people TRY to eat healthy, not realizing they are still eating the poison?
And what happens to all of these people when they eat way too much sugar every day?
Well, for starters, we all pack on the pounds. Rates of obesity are increasing worldwide and added sugar is believed to be the main culprit. How many people around the world, for instance, drink soda every day? Soda, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose!
A high sugar diet is also at the root of the development of most diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This is because sugar causes MAJOR inflammation in your body. That’s why after eating Chocolate eclairs I feel like I do the next day. If you eat sugar on a daily basis, you develop chronic inflammation in your body that leads to dangerous diseases.
But it’s not just your physical well-being that is put at risk when you eat sugar, your mental health is also compromised. Studies have found that a diet high in sugar may increase your chances of developing depression. Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysregulation, and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health.
These are just a handful of the health dangers eating high sugar leads to.
So how do you actually break this cycle? If you’re reading this, you’ve probably tried to cut back on sugar before and found it next to impossible.
Sugar Acts Like a Drug in Your Brain
For most people, having even just a little bit of sugar stimulates cravings for more. Why is this? Well, scientists propose that sweet foods can produce addiction-like effects in the brain. And humans may have been wired like this to help us survive.
In our ancestors’ day, they often needed to eat sweet calorie-rich foods to help them survive when animal food was scarce. But now this primitive drive is causing many of us to gain more and more weight and become sicker and sicker.
You may have even heard that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Well, there is a study that points to that conclusion.
So, knowing that we are wired for sugar and that it is even more addictive than an illegal drug, how can we possibly break the sugar habit?
First, we’ve got to look at quitting sugar from two different aspects: the physical aspect and the mental aspect.
Here are some things you can do to help your body quit sugar:
Eliminate the obvious culprits. This means cleaning up your diet and quitting sodas and highly-processed foods like cakes, cookies, and ice creams.
Read labels. Sugar really is in most processed foods. Once you get rid of the big culprits, you’ll want to start getting rid of the smaller ones. To do this you’ll really need to start reading labels. Your ultimate goal should be to eat only whole foods like meat, plant-based protein like pea protein, eggs (egg whites) some fruits (berries), and dark green leafy veggies and colorful veggies. Prepare your own meals and stop relying on “food” that comes in plastic or boxes.
Drink more water. It’s believed that sugar dehydrates the body, and this dehydration causes us to crave even more sugar. So try and up your water intake.
Rely on low-glycemic fruits. Fruits have sugar, but they also have fiber which decreases the effect of sugar on the body, as well as important vitamins and minerals. When you are really feeling like you need something sweet, reach for an apple or some berries and yogurt. Try and stay away from high glycemic fruits like pineapple, grapes and bananas.
Sugar is what most of us reach for when we are feeling emotionally unwell. Here are some things you can do to help diminish sugar cravings and quit sugar once and for all!
Manage your stress better.
Try meditation or exercise to manage your stress levels. If you’ve been relying on sugary foods to feel better, you are doing more harm than good. You may also want to begin taking an adaptogen like Ashwaganda to help your body cope with the effects of stress.
Having a bad day and coming home and eating a whole cake is not how you take care of yourself. Proper self-care is about doing what needs to be done to ensure your mental and physical well-being is preserved. Eating well and exercising to help your mood is how you truly love and care for yourself.
Change your mind.
It’s been shown that obsessing about foods is one of the main reasons people overeat. The more you THINK about food, the hungrier you are and the worse your cravings.
Change your focus. What matters in your life? What dreams and goals do you have? Where would you like to be in 5 years?
Now is the time for dreaming big and making plans? Take up a new hobby. Learn a language. Do something to help your mind focus on something, anything but eating sugar!
I know it’s not easy, but it is possible to eliminate sugar from your diet. You have to really want to do it and really believe that your health is worth the effort