It’s been a long day. You couldn’t seem to focus at work.
You are too tired to hit the gym.
You don’t feel like playing with your kids.
You love the idea of going out with friends but can’t seem to get motivated to get off the couch.
You haven’t been sleeping well and your energy is down in the dumps.
You are starting to wonder “What’s wrong with me?”
Well, I’ve got some MAJOR news for you!! 9 times out of 10 it’s SUGAR that’s causing your bad mood (and your expanding waistline).
The pile of research connecting sugar consumption to an increase in depression and anxiety is growing. While more people are becoming aware of the physical health problems that sugar causes, like inflammation, the mental health issues are often overlooked.
There are two other benefits to cutting sugar out of your life that I also love (especially the older I get)!
1.) Younger Looking Skin: My friend, YOU will be GLOWING!! Studies show that high blood sugar levels set your body up for a molecular domino effect called “glycation”….a fancy term for a process that can hinder your skin’s collagen (the protein that makes it look, young and firm) repair. A sugary diet can also lead to premature wrinkles and less elasticity… uh, no thank you!!
2.) Goodbye Belly Fat: Sugar spikes your blood sugar, triggering insulin to travel through your body. Unfortunately, it lands where we DON’T want it….our waistline. This waistline fat is called “visceral fat” — It’s the bad kind that can trigger the troublemaker hormones that cause inflammation and disease. So go ahead and put down that can of sugary soda (the artificial sugars are the worst) for good and say “hello” to a new waistline.
The problem is that sugar is super addicting!! Research has shown that sugar actually tricks your brain into wanting more and more of it!! Sugar floods the brain with dopamine.. a chemical in your brain that controls the feeling of pleasure. Multiple studies have shown sugar’s addictive nature, including one at Yale where the simple sight of a milkshake activated the same reward centers of the brain as cocaine among people with addictive eating habits.
Kicking a sugar habit is NOT easy to do but it is so WORTH it when you experience the sudden energy and positive vibes you’ll feel
Unfortunately, food manufacturers use sugar in more than just juices and cookies. ”Hidden Sugars” lurk in so many processed foods! Here are a few to keep an eye out for:
- Jarred Tomato/Pasta Sauce
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Salad Dressing
- Flavored Yogurt…even “plain” has added sugars (opt for “unsweetened” and add your own “healthier” sugar like raw honey if needed)
- Sports Drinks
When in doubt…read the label. Make sure to note “how many servings” are in the package. The label may read “5 grams” of sugar, but if it’s got 4 servings in it and you eat the entire package you just had 20 grams of sugar in one sitting!
Remember, a little sweetness is okay-just make sure it’s less than 25 grams a day!
And don’t worry, the “naturally” occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables are ok as they also contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If you are looking to lose weight or have an insulin problem just stick with fruits and veggies low on the glycemic side.
Start today and the health benefits will be two fold down the road!