I woke up this morning feeling and looking quite horrible. Despite getting over 7 and a half hours of sleep, I almost fell asleep in yoga class. My balance was off, my head felt achy, my stomach was a mess, my skin was puffy and blotched, and my plans to sit and write had to be put off for hours because my brain was foggy, and I couldn’t focus. Was it a cold? Was I just exhausted? Nope-I knew precisely what was wrong: Sugar hangover. I normally eat a sugar free diet and am not a big fan of sweets (my go to treat is buttered popcorn!) but on occasion, will indulge in a sweet treat. This past stormy weekend, my son bought a cake mix and icing and asked me to make him cupcakes. He didn’t realize that the mix would make 24 cupcakes, and he promptly told me that I was going to have to eat some of them. I shook my head and said “nope!” As the weekend moved on, those darn cupcakes kept calling out to me at all hours of the night. Half asleep, I found myself in the kitchen, picking at them until one was gone, and I feel back asleep knowing that I was going to pay for it in the morning. And I paid. Yuck!
The average American eats about 17% of their daily calories in added sugar. Sugar comes in so many forms, with so many names, and is in almost every processed or packaged food in some manner. When I first started removing added sugar from my diet, label reading became a real challenge when I realized that there were currently 61 different words used to list “sugar” as an ingredient on packaging! 61!!!
Sugar creates inflammation in the body. It wreaks havoc on our skin. It messes with our gut biome. It fills our body with calories while offering no actual nutritional benefit. As I began to create a lifestyle that was 99% sugar free, I noticed amazing changes in so many aspects of my body and all over health. If you want to know the quickest way to look, feel, and move better-it’s removing as much sugar from your diet as possible!
Ready to beat those wrinkles and lines you may be seeing in the mirror? Ditch the magic creams! Sugar is terrible for the skin. It causes the collagen and elastin in your skin to become inflamed. These structural proteins help your skin stay firm and youthful looking. When they constantly become inflamed as a result of regularly eating refined sugar, they become less effective which causes your skin to sag and wrinkles to form. Less intake of sugar means more youthful skin!
Second, the inflammation caused by eating sugar has been shown to aggravate various skin disorders including acne and rosacea.
When I removed sugar from my diet, the first win I noticed was with my skin. My skin became clear and even toned, and I had less puffiness around my eyes in the morning. I truly felt as though the lines around my eyes became much less noticeable, and my skin felt much more supple and fresh.
Enhanced Energy Levels
I said goodbye to sugar crashes and carb cravings. Refined sugar enters your bloodstream almost instantly which causes your energy levels quickly surge and crash; for many, this “crash” is what kicks in the feeling of needing more sugary carbs to get the energy back. When you start to eat less refined sugar, these fluctuations in energy levels will become a thing of the past and you’ll find that you generally have much more energy throughout the day. More energy means more movement as well as less mood swings!
Feeling tired? Moody? Achy? Do your joints hurt and keep you from getting the healthy exercise you need to feel your best? Is it impossible to lose the excess weight you’ve gained? Does it seem like you gain weight no matter what you do? Is your stomach a mess? Do you have heartburn and acid reflux? These are all signs of inflammation! Sugar in the diet is one of the main causes of inflammation. Left unchecked, this can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.
Removing sugar from the daily diet can reverse all these pesky symptoms that make us feel crappy on a daily basis. You will feel healthier all over, have more energy, less aches and pains, less moodiness, and able to focus on your overall health goals much easier.
Easier Weight Loss
Sugars passes through the digestive system very quickly and because of this, foods that contain high levels of sugar aren’t as satiating as foods that contain minimal amounts of sugar. This means it’s much easier to overeat and consume large amounts of calories that lead to weight gain when you’re eating lots of refined sugar.
Quitting sugar will mean that you’ll feel much fuller every time you eat and naturally eat less food. Food cravings will come less often and because you’re consuming fewer calories, it will be much easier to lose weight.
The energy surges and crashed caused by eating lots of refined sugar are very disruptive to your sleep patterns. They make it difficult to sleep and have a negative impact on your sleep quality when you do manage to fall asleep.
Cutting sugar out of your diet stops it wreaking havoc on your sleep cycles and allows you to enjoy restful, better quality sleep. And, we all know-sleep is one of the most important factors in looking and feeling our very best!
Numerous studies have shown that refined sugar is a huge contributor to chronic disease. It causes inflammation in the body, damages your blood vessels and has a negative impact on your vital organs which leaves you open to a wide range of ailments, illness and diseases.
Reducing your intake of refined sugar stops it damaging your body in this way and allows it to heal. Not only does this make you less susceptible to ailments that are directly caused by refined sugar, but it also boosts your overall immunity.
How to Remove Sugar from the Diet without Losing Your Mind
Removing added sugar from our diets is not the easiest thing to do unless you decide to eat a completely and entirely whole food diet. If that’s not something you wish to take on, but wish to cut as much sugar as possible in your current diet, consider the following suggestions:
*Be a label reader and know your sugar words. These include words that end with “ose” like, fructose, maltose, lactose, and dextrose. Another huge culprit that has entered our food production is high fructose corn syrup, which is a chemically enhanced version of sugar that has caused quite the negative conversations within the nutrition community because this form may have even worse effects on the body than pure sugar.
*Try to eat as many whole foods as possible and limit your packaged and processed foods greatly. To accomplish this, try planning your meals by focusing only by what is on the perimeter of your market-produce, meats, seafood, and dairy. Choose whole grain breads and cereals without added sugar, and if you buy canned foods, check the label for sugars.
*Limit your condiments!! Most of these products are full of sugar! Read the labels!!!
*Removing sugar from the diet can be a daunting experience, but well worth it. Start small! Set your first goal to something you can easily achieve, like giving up sugary drinks like sodas and sweetened juices. After accomplishing that, try removing sugar from another aspect of your diet, perhaps removing sweets, or using a healthy substitute like Swerve when baking. Make small changes as you progress to easily remove sugar from your diet.
*Ditch the wine and soda! Yes, I said it. 90% of my adult clients admitted to drinking too much wine or soda. Many of my female clients admitted to drinking up to 2 bottles of wine a night since pandemic. That’s almost 1000 calories of nothing but sugars and alcohol-with no nutritional value at all! To put on a pound of weight, it takes 3500 extra calories in the diet-that means that if you’re drinking that much wine-you are possibly gaining a pound every 4 days! Aside from weight gain, that alcohol and sugar is making you feel tired, moody, achy, and ill. It’s making everything you do harder, putting stress on your body, and destroying your youthful skin.
*GO FOR IT: If you are truly ready to ditch the sugar and see all the benefits-better skin, more energy, less weight battles, better sleep, and a better overall mood, try my 10 Day Sugar Detox Program. I will guide you and give you the tools and support you need to make this transition easier. This is a short, inexpensive program to get you results you will see and feel FAST! I’m ready to help you!! Let’s do this!!
Not ready to give up sugar just yet? Curious about how Health and Wellness Coaching can help you in other ways? Let’s chat about it! Contact me now!