Breaking the sugar habit
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like sugar!
It’s wrapped up in celebrations like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries.
But also treats as a reward for doing something.
It has become a comforter and an emotional support tool, especially for us girls (this was me for over 20 years).
From the glass of wine we crave at the end of the day to relax.
Or the chocolate ice cream that we eat after dinner (even though we’re not hungry).
We know it’s not good for us and we try so hard not to eat it but why can’t we break the habit. We are educated modern women. Why can we not have more will power and resist the sugar when we know it is giving us massive energy dips and stopping us from losing weight?
Not to mention increasing the risk of type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases.
So what’s going on, why is this so hard?
One of the things is that when we eat sugar we also secrete a happy neurotransmitter called dopamine. As well as the sugar satisfying our taste buds, we’re also getting a hit of a feel-good relaxing hormone.
In years gone by, access to sugar would have been modest, with us and we would’ve eaten it sparingly and seasonally in the forms of fruit and berries.
But now we’re surrounded by it twenty-four seven
The body has got used to this feel-good feeling propping us up when we eat it and it craves this nice feeling.
The second thing is that we’re craving it because over time the way the body manages our blood sugar has become imbalanced.
What does good blood sugar balance look like?
It’s our body’s basic need to have a stable amount 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar in the blood at any one time.
And the sugar that we need for this comes from our veg and our complex carbohydrates.
The body should drip feed what it needs into the system to keep things balanced and energy stable especially so the brain has consistent energy.
But when we pile in the sugar with fast releasing carbs like
Breakfast cereals, high sugar fruits, bread, pasta, croissants, cakes, chocolate, ice cream
what we’re doing as we’re flooding the body system with sugar that it can’t cope with.
The body is back up, is to produce lots of the hormone INSULIN to take this sugar out of the system. It puts it into a safe place AKAour fat tissue (this is why it is so hard to lose weight if you are craving sugar all of the time).
The problem is the body just doesn’t stop when it reaches the safe 1 to 2 tablespoons levels of sugar in the blood. What happens is it drops too low and the brain doesn’t like that either!
So it will then make us tired and cranky and hungry and crave the sugar again until we eat it so the body feels like it’s safe (we get the nice dopamine feel-good hit at the same time).
But this feeling doesn’t last, we stay in this vicious cycle
If you’re reading this and thinking yes this is me, I’m here to tell you that it is possible to break this vicious cycle.
Thisis something that we focus on in the Burnout Fix as this can be one of the main root causes of fatigue and weight gain.
How do we do this
The first step to reverse this dependency on sugar is to begin to balance blood sugar levels. We do this simply by bringing in lots of good anti-inflammatory fats and lots of good protein with each meal.
When you start to introduce these nutrient dense foods, not only does your cravings for sugar deplete your are also no longer craving the dopamine hit.
So you no longer feel the need to eat the whole packet and one biscuit as a treat will do.