Are you overweight, constantly exhausted (particularly at around 3pm in the afternoon) or struggling with erratic moods?
Our brains are hardwired to find sugar, they run on glucose after all. But eating too much sugar can change the way the brain responds to stimuli. Sugar is an addictive substance, more so than alcohol or heroin.
Foods with a high glycaemic load raise blood sugar quickly and activate the pleasure centre of the brain. This causes cravings and makes you seek out more sugar. It’s a vicious cycle.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Symptoms of sugar addiction include:
1. You succumb to cravings for sugary foods, even when you are not hungry.
2. You make special trips to the shop to buy sugary snacks.
Do you make special trips to the local shop, even in the rain?
3. You choose sweet sauces, salad dressings, marinades, dried fruit and sugary muesli but think your food choice is healthy.
Check the ingredients because the chances are there’s a lot of hidden sugar there.
4. You reward yourself with sugar at the end of the day or to motivate yourself when under pressure.
5. You have health problems which negatively impact your life, yet you will not give up sugary foods.
6. You rely on sugary foods to experience pleasure or eliminate negative emotions.
7. There is always a stash of sugary food in your house.
Do you get anxious if there is nothing sweet to snack on?
8. Withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, irritability, depression, headaches or rashes when you cut down on sugary goods.
Balancing your blood sugar is key otherwise you will end up having cortisol spikes, which drains the adrenals and contributes to weight gain as you start storing more fat around the middle.
Start the day with a protein-based breakfast, ensure you eat smaller meals throughout the day or include snacks between your main meals. Choose foods with a lower glycaemic load and always pair fruit with protein or fat. Never skip meals as this can cause a blood sugar drop and contribute to poor food decisions when you finally do eat.
Eating anything sugary or starchy late at night will disturb sleep and mess with your circadian rhythm, negatively impacting your daytime energy levels.
Do not fall into the trap of using sugar replacements or sweeteners
As studies have shown that they can increase blood sugar levels, which defeats the object.
The best way to wean yourself off sugar is to taper the sugar intake in your diet down, with this I include natural sugars from fruit. It’s important to make your diet as alkaline as possible but also ensure a good intake of lean protein and omega 3 fats. This will ensure that you are eating the correct nutrients to modify neurotransmitter activity; ensuring stress response is tempered, which should reduce your cravings for sugary foods.
There are certain supplements which can help with this, including 5-HTP before meals, chromium and cinnamon for blood sugar management and adaptogenic herbs which improve stress resilience, such as Siberian ginseng, oat and withania.
If you would like to find out how to manage your blood sugar effectively, please contact me for an invitation to my next webinar.