I have been on a on-again-off-again relationship with sugar. It is like a cute ex-boyfriend that stands outside my front porch serenading me. Of course, holding a bouquet of roses and, albeit, delicious chocolates.
I was successful for a couple weeks in my freedom from all things sweet. I really cut out sugar! Those weeks were great! I had more energy than ever before. I was waking up without my alarm. I was falling asleep naturally at a predictable time, and I was able to avoid the 3 PM crashes that seem to hit everyone.
But just like that ex that shows up at your front door step, begging for a chance to come inside, the sugar was unavoidable. I lead such a busy life. I am constantly on the go, and often, the only place that purchasing food is feasible is the neighborhood Starbucks.
Sugar hides in almost everything you eat on a daily basis, it is in bread, it is in ‘natural & healthy’ cereals. It is even in things that do not seem like they are sweet! It is so so important to read the ingredients of everything you are putting in your body because there are so many things that are marketed as healthy but are actually packed with sugar! On top of that, there are a million ways that sugar can hide in the ingredients lists of packaging.
Look out for these terms on the ingredients list:
Fructose, Glucose-Fructose, Sucrose, Corn Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, Maltodextrin, Dextrose
What are the benefits of quitting sugar?
Well your saying YES to a whole list of great achievements, and no to a bunch of scary side effects.
The YES list?
Instant Weight Loss
Beer, Wine, Candy, Chips and the like. They are all empty calories. You eat them, and then moments later you are still craving more food. Why? Because these give you a satisfying crunch, but they do not combat the underlying cause of your hunger, the need to deliver your body the vitamins and minerals it needs. Cut the crap; eat salads, fresh juices, steamed vegetables and see how much more satisfied you are with eating less.
Healthy Living- Let Your Body Do More
If you are cutting out anything with refined sugar, than you are eating how nature wants us to eat. That means nothing from a box, man-made, or prepackaged.
Think about how people used to live and eat hundreds of years ago before diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart attacks ran rampant. People were feeding themselves with only things from the land. That means fruit, vegetables, and small portions of meat. These are the only real things that our bodies know how to process.
Every time you eat, you need to think- ‘is this fueling my body with the nutrients it needs to survive?’ If you are eating any of the aforementioned ‘fruit, vegetables, and small portions of meat’, then yes. Your body needs a long list of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to perform the daily tasks such as regenerating cells, fighting off diseases and sicknesses. So every time you eat something, you need to think, ” Do I want the cells that are being regenerated in my body made of this?” If you do not want them to be made out of cheesecake, then put the fork down! When your body is happy with the amount of calories and nutrients it needs, the cravings will die down. Eventually, the thought of eating sugar will actually put you off.
Illuminate Your Skin
If every time you have a sugar craving, you drink water OR a herbal tea I can almost guarantee that your skincare woes will go to the wayside. Often times, people mistake their thirst for hunger and sugar cravings. But by replacing that with drinking clear water, you’ll be glowing before you know it.
I know what you’re thinking, and I’ve thought it too. We all have that friend that can get away with drinking and eating almost anything and their skin (and waistline) never seem to suffer. Those people are anomalies. For all we know, they’re sneaking broccoli around in their bags and not telling us about it; snacking every time we turn our heads!
If you are eating rices, breads, cereals, chips, cookies, pops, candies then all give your body is calories. Your body is going to burn those things without actually feeding any of your organs, like your skin, with the nutrients it needs to survive and maintain its glow and health. You are starving your body, while at the same time you may be gaining more and more weight, more cellulite, more acne and more wrinkles.
Eating the following things can lead to clogged pores:
Oily and Greasy Foods:
Heavy Dressings on Salads
Eating sugary food starves and kills the cells that would normally regenerate healthy, youthful-looking skin.
Foods that your body processes as Sugar:
Too Much Fruit
Lattes and Milkshakes
Upping your water intake, and eradicating the items that clog pores and cause wrinkles will make a world of difference in the look and feel of your skin.
Rarely Ever Get Sick
The first year I cut down on refined sugars dramatically was the first in 7 years that I did not get strep throat. The reason behind this is that after you eat sugar, your immune system dramatically decreases for a period of time afterward.
The following year, I was into natural remedies and knew to use oregano oil at the first sign of sickness. My whole family got sick with SARS and I somehow avoided it, even being in the same room as them! With the help of my improved immune system I am able to avoid sickness, or only deal with short bouts of the common cold, year after year.
I would highly advise getting Sarah Wilson’s “I QUIT SUGAR” book. First off, it outlines the benefits of cutting sugar out of your diet and some of the changes it made in her life, such as disappearing wrinkles. Second, it has some incredible recipes that make cutting back (or cutting out) sugar completely easy.
I too am guilty of the never ending relationship with sugar. Now trying to get into the fitness industry as a personal trainer, I realize it is not as easy as it looks. For me, exercise is a piece of cake, but when it comes to "cake" that's a whole different story. I love sugar, but I have started to become more consciencious of how I consume it. I've made small changes, and always drink water. I used to put refined sugar in my tea, but now I use honey and I actually like the taste much better. I find myself turning to water instead of pop, becuase it satisfies my thirst. A part of me will always have a sweet tooth, but I can tell that my body recognizes the small changes. When I cut out pop from my diet I noticed my skin didn't have as many frequent breakouts, and eventually over time I didn't have the same cravings for it. Although these changes are small, it's the small changes and adjustments that will lead to better habits over all, and they are much easier to wrap your head around.