Check out this great blog post by Natalie of www.anourishedappetite.com Since I could not have written a better one myself, I didn’t, but I agree with everything written here.
If after reading the signs you may need to break up with sugar, please consider joining us at 1901 for our Fall LEAN 21 program. Sugar is the FIRST inflammatory food we address in this 21 day cleanse. Our first workshop is this evening, Wed Sept 26th at 6 pm where we discuss the power of food, mood, physical and mental health. Email me if you would like to join us!
Enjoy this blog!
“We all have those moments where we stop and say to yourself, “Self, you need to get your shit together!” But there are also those times where an outside source is needed to bitch-slap the cheesy chips and kettle corn right out of our hand and tell us to get our shit together. Like when your best friend has to come over and drag you off the couch because you are so deep into a Friends marathon, have not showered in days and have been exclusively sustaining yourself on wine and tortilla chips. At least that’s what I heard it was like….
Consider this post just like that. You’re the friend melted into your couch and I am the friend dragging you back to reality with some tough love! Below are five signs that it is time to sit down and have a serious conversation with your sugar (consumption).
Break-ups are NEVER easy, but realizing the impact this precarious relationship is having on every aspect of your life and knowing how much better you will feel once your sugar status is back to single will help to motivate you to make the big change.
- Narcoleptic Tendencies-Cyclical energy slumps, especially following meals, is a sign you filled your engine with crap carbs and are headed for a serious crash. Following the consumption of sugar, the pancreas releases insulin to help transfer glucose to the cells, and you may experience a rush of energy. Once the fuel is used up, you will experience a dip in energy as the body demands more sugar to start the cycle all over again. The higher the sugar peak, the more extreme the sugar dip that will follow!
Breaking the cycle of endless sugar consumption will eliminate this energy-sucking rollercoaster ride and help you stay on more stable ground. Added sugar causes a hair-raising, white-knuckled blood sugar spike, immediately followed by a stomach-churning, dizzying plummet to your next blood sugar crash. That constant rise and fall triggers feelings of irritability, depression, brain fog and leaves you exhausted, craving your next ticket to ride the blood sugar coaster.
- Food Lust-Let’s face it, we all get those lustful thoughts about certain foods. Random cravings are normal. Especially if you are a visual person like me and every commercial, magazine or cookbook picture makes you drool. Acting on every random craving is not normal nor healthful. Constant cravings for simple carbohydrates are definitely not normal and can signify a much bigger issue. Often these cravings are a sign that you have been overdoing it in the sugar department.
Our brain’s response to sugar is similar to it’s response to addictive drugs. Sugar acts like these drugs in our system by activating the reward pathways of the brain. We eat sugar, there is a dopamine release and next time we want (need) more sugar to get a similar release. When you hear, your brain responds to sugar the same way it responds to cocaine, this is what they mean. Simple carbs break down quickly in the system, becoming glucose (sugar) used for cellular energy. If you are constantly feeding yourself those simple carbs, your body will begin to rely on them for the dopamine release and energy spikes because the post-simple-carb-consumption-crash (say that five times fast) and withdrawal happens more frequently.
We forget that foods containing carbohydrates turn to sugar in our system and the things we crave might not be sweets at all but still have the same effect on our system. Understanding how our body breaks down carbohydrates helps us to realize we are actually craving sugar when we yearn for foods like chips, breads, pastas and salt, carby snacks. It just starts in a different form. The end result is always the same.
- Continuous Ailments-Consistent sugar consumption weakens your immune system cells responsible for attacking foreign bacteria, which means you’re at a greater risk for contracting the germs of the nasty person sitting next to you sneezing all over the place! C’MON guy! Every heard of the elbow method or a mask?!? Because a large majority of our immune system is created and supported by healthy gut bacteria, deep throating bear claws will feed the bad bacteria and yeast, impacting how well your immune system functions.
When carbohydrates are consumed your pancreas will produce insulin to bring the glucose into your cells for energy. When insulin levels are constantly elevated from consuming sugar the body also releases the stress hormone cortisol – a hormone that further weakens your immunity. Your body begins to identify these blood sugar spike and crash situations as a period of increased stress. The immune cells are drowning in molecules telling them to stop doing their job. These molecules, cortisol, suppress the immune system and inflammatory pathways, rendering the body more susceptible to disease. So DO NOT go visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory then hop on a plane, trust me…..I warned you!
- You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling-If you are eating too much sugar you could experience a dip in your sex drive, and NOBODY wants that, especially your significant other. Even if you are currently flying solo and loving it, or loving yourself, you do NOT want that love to decrease! High levels of sugar in the bloodstream shut down the genes responsible for producing sex hormones, which causes a drop in libido. In men, excessive amounts of sugar impacts testosterone levels, the hormone responsible for sexual well-being and performance. Imbalanced levels of this hormone in women can reduce desire, increase body fat, lower muscle mass, and create a fuzzy memory. No thanks! AM I RIGHT? Whether male or female, if you’re just not that into “it” take that as a sign sugar could be cock-blocking you!
- Bathroom Talk– Digestive issues brought on by too much sugar may also be a part of your plummeting sex drive because no woman I know wants to get in between the sheets when things are backed up, or freely flowing. Sorry, that conjured some interesting mental images, I am sure. But you catch my drift. There are several ways that sugar can negatively impact your digestion. When you consume more sugar than your cells can absorb for energy that sugar makes its way into your digestive system. The bacteria there will feast on the sugar, producing gasses. An overproduction of gas after eating can lead to irritating pain, uncomfortable bloating, and you guessed….embarrassing farts!It is also possible that an excess of sugar can cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your digestive system that can cause further, longer lasting issues like SIBO, Candida, and Leaky-Gut.”
You may not be experiencing all five signs indicating you and sugar need a serious break-up, but even one is enough to sit back and access your current lifestyle choices and changes you can make to bring you closer to health.