Nowadays, we're eating more and more sugar without even realizing it.
Unfortunately, sugar is being added to EVERYTHING these days (packaged foods, supplements, restaurants, etc), and is often disguised as different names, including: honey, agave, cane sugar, date sugar, beet sugar, turbinado sugar, but also less obvious ones like: malt (barley malt or diastatic malt), syrup (corn syrup, maple syrup, carob syrup, rice syrup), evaporated cane juice, maltose, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltodextrin, and more!
And even natural, "healthier" sugars (from fruits, sweet veggies, whole wheat bread, etc) add up very quickly. So even if you're not big on desserts, chances are you're still consuming a lot more sugar than you think. (I bet that if you were to actually count the grams of sugar that you eat in a day, you’ll be shocked!)
And the hard truth is - sugar is bad for everyone, not just people at risk of diabetes.
Why is sugar so bad for you?
Excess sugar is linked to almost all health issues, from skin problems to chronic, serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
For starters, it affects your hormones and energy levels. When you consume sugar, it spikes up your blood glucose levels, which results in an immediate burst of energy, which is then followed by a crash. So consequently, your body starts to look for more sugar to get back up. This creates a viscous cycle that leaves you constantly fatigued, stressed, moody,... and addicted to sugar!
Also, sugar feeds the "bad bacteria" in your gut, commonly leading to gut issues like candida (yeast) overgrowth. This then leads to a whole host of other symptoms, including weight gain, fungal infections, memory/brain fog, and of course, more sugar cravings.
Too much sugar consumption also creates inflammation in the body, which weighs down your immune system, and is the precursor to almost all prevalent diseases. This is why cutting back on inflammatory agents like sugar, and piling up on anti-inflammatory foods, is so crucial.
The problem is, it’s not easy to cut out sugar because it’s so addictive. So how do you start?
The most effective way is doing a SUGAR DETOX.
I recommend doing a 7-day detox where you eat absolutely no refined sugars for a week. You can have natural forms of sugar such as fruits and sweet vegetables, but no added sugars. No desserts, alcohol or sodas. I recommend avoiding all processed, pre-packaged foods for these 7 days, period, but if you do consume any foods/snacks that are pre-packaged, aim for foods with only 5 ingredients or less, and READ the ingredients. Make sure they are REAL ingredients and have no form of sugar.
Can YOU do this? Absolutely! The key is staying satisfied in other ways. It's essential that all your meals are BALANCED and include both lean protein and healthy fats. In particular the healthy fats from fatty fish, avocados, olive oil and raw nuts/seeds help provide that “comfort” sensation, that will help satisfy your sweet cravings.
And when you eat your naturally sweet foods (such as fruit), make sure you accompany them with some little bit of protein, healthy fats and extra fiber. Just adding a tablespoon of flax and/or chia seeds can do the trick! This helps to avoid the blood sugar swings that will leave you craving more sugar.
Let me warn you though. As your body adjusts to this new way of eating with no added sugars, you might feel some "withdrawal symptoms" at first - you might feel cranky and get headaches. Which is when you’ll realize how addictive sugar is!
But after the first 5 days, things get better, and after a week, you’ll already feel better. Try a few months of almost no added sugars and your life will change for the better. You will realize that sugar was a huge contributor to your tired afternoons, mood swings, not to mention those extra pounds around your waistline!
Don't be surprised if, when you start adding sugar back into your life, you quickly get addicted again – it happens. And it's OK, but that’s when you’ll know its time to re-do the 7 day detox!
So why wait? Sign up with me now for my 7 Day Detox workshop (starting in 1 week!) which will not only help with your sugar cravings, but it will help balance your hormones, and create healthier eating and lifestyle habits that will make sure you are feeling your best before the holiday season starts!