Welcome to the final installment all about sugar and the hidden dangers lurking behind it! Today, we're talking about the short term and long term effects of sugar, as well as how to finally put an end to sugar cravings for good!
First up - the effects of sugar. Please not that this long list of symptoms that I'm about to share is not all-inclusive: there are so, so, so many more effects of sugar that we can experience, none of which are good for our bodies or health.
Short Term Effects of Sugar
Muscle fatigue or weakness
Susceptibility to illness
Other food addictions (salt, caffeine, etc)
Inflammation and stress
Unstable blood sugar
Bloating and gas
Constipation or diarrhea
When it comes to the short term effects of sugar, the list is long and the symptoms should be familiar to most of us. Most of these symptoms are considered "normal" in today's society. But, if we really think about it, when did having acne, fatigue, and mood swings become normal?!
When we starting eating more and more sugar and refined carbs, we start to notice these short terms effects of sugar happening to us more and more often. And, what's worse, as the weeks link into months, these short term effects turn into long term, more serious effects.
Long Term Effects of Sugar
PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrom)
Infertility (this is a biggie!!)
Adrenal fatigue or dysfunction
Type 2 Diabetes
Chronic gas and bloating
Weight loss resistance or weight gain
Similar to the short term effects, the list of long term effects of sugar is just as daunting. Do we really want to spend the rest of our lives suffering from these horrible effects of sugar? I think not!
But, quitting sugar and stopping sugar cravings isn't easy because sugar is addictive.
However, when you are ready to free your body of these horrible symptoms and start feeling healthy and normal again, you can follow these steps to alleviate sugar cravings:
1. Eat nourishing real foods that are packed with nutrition. Foods like quality animal proteins, eggs, seafood, avocados, olives, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, vegetables, and fruits are loaded with micronutrients to help keep your body nourished!
2. Start each morning with a balanced breakfast. This. Is. HUGE! Starting off your day with a big bowl of cereal or a muffin or toast (aka sugar & carbohydrate bombs!) is the worst thing you can do for your health. Instead, stick to a balanced breakfast that includes a bit of protein, fat, and carbs. Try eggs, avocado, and a side of berries for your next breakfast (and eat the whole egg - a couple of them actually - the more the merrier!)
3. Keep your blood sugar stable through the day by eating a little bit of all three macronutrients every time you eat. This means that you have a bit of protein, fat, and carbohydrate at every meal and snack. By combining all three maconutrients together, you are setting yourself up for success. If you can get all three, aim for two of the three.
4. Never eat a carb alone (yes even fruit!). All carbs (even the healthy ones) break down into glucose (aka sugar) in our blood. Pair them with fat or protein or both, and you'll slow the blood sugar response to the carbohydrates.
5. Drink water - lots of it!
6. Sleep - this cannot be understated. Just one or two nights of poor sleep is as bad on your body as eating fast food for a week! Our bodies need the rest and recovery that sleep brings - don't deprive your body of it.
7. Exercise and move your body most days of the week. Find something you enjoy, try a workout from my blog archives, or head outside for a walk. Just get moving.
8. Keep a cravings log on a piece of paper. Every time you have a craving, write down what time it is, what you craved, what feelings/emotions you experienced, and what you did/ate. This will help you discover any patterns around cravings.
9. Try eliminating sugar from your diet for 21+ Days. I recommend using one of two real food challenges to help get you there. The first is called The 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo. It is an amazing program that helps you bust through sugar and carb cravings. The second is The Whole 30, which is also helpful when stopping sugar cravings. Both will definitely get you back on track towards health and real food eating!
Hopefully, this post today made you stop and think: are you experiencing some of those effects of sugar I listed earlier? Is it time you get your sugar and carb cravings under control? There is no better time than the present. Make the commitment to yourself and real food, and make it happen today!