Sugar is all around us in the form of sweets, refined food and mostly in our kitchen as granules or blocks. Since it has become such an integral part of our life we do not consider it to be our biggest enemy not only in terms of putting us on a elevator to obesity but worse play with our moods and emotions. This according to me is more damaging than any of the other side effects of refined sugar.
What I have realized so far in my journey is that most of us realize that sugar is bad for us but since there is no immediate effect of a sugar overdose we continue to consume the same. There are larger long term effects which will become irreversible like diabetes. What I am going to focus more on this Blog article is not on the weight issue which is a serious one but on the other extreme end of the spectrum which is the emotional imbalance it causes when one consumes it on a daily basis. I think most people can relate to mood swings and energy highs/lows that come after a high sugar meal.
Sugar can also be the source of many people’s increased anxiety and depression. The brain is made mostly of fat and although it runs on glucose it gets “shorted out” with too much sugar. When I work with my clients the first area I always focus is on sugar consumption and based on the challenges each one is going through, eliminate it completely or reduce it over a period of time. Some of the things which each one of you can do to eliminate sugar from your food intake are –
Be aware of what sugar does to your body: Once when someone is aware of the damage sugar can cause to each one of us then we will consciously be aware of it. This is the first and the biggest step towards a life of NO sugar. I am aware this looks very simple but the first steps are the most critical and important.I strongly believe that everything begins with awareness and i see no difference in this aspect.
Realize that you have have complete ownership of your actions: Unless no one is force feeding you then most of the food we put in our mouth is our own choice. The sooner we take control of it the better you are at overcoming bad eating habits. Some people may say they can’t control their sugar cravings but that is already admitting defeat and giving up power to some “cosmic sugar influence” out there. We can pass on dessert. we don’t need to buy a candy bar. we can drink water instead of a soft drink. The choice is always yours to make. Many people I interact with call it an “addiction”. This is just another way to give up your own personal power of choice. While sugar can have “addictive like” qualities it’s not something that you own or is a part of you. Fight the battle and you will get over the addictive feelings. They will go away eventually.If you call it an addiction and make it part of you then it is yours to keep forever. Be free from it, let go. Remember to take back control and anything is possible.
Choose more natural food in your daily intake: Increase more of natural food consisting of good protein, carbs and also healthy fats. I always insist my clients to have a fruit instead of any sweets since fructose is a natural sweetener and is always healthy. It does not harm as much as the sucrose in sugar. The more naturally processed food is in your daily intake then your body is also replenished with anti-oxidants which will help you fight the free radicals in your system.Which i personally believe negate the effects of too much sugar consumption.
Become an expert in identifying hidden sugar source: Sugar is hidden in places such as sauces, ketchups, soups, processed foods, soft drinks, so called health bars and more. Become a label reader and see how much sugar you are consistently putting into your body. Don’t fall for the marketing trick either of “low fat” because that usually means “more sugar”.
Out of sight out of mind: Well you have heard this saying many a time and now is the time to make the best use of it. My number one recommendation to knock out sugar from everybody’s diet is to not bring it at all in the first place. I know this will initially be difficult but with smart healthy choices you can replace all refined sugar loaded food items with amazingly healthy ones. It just requires some thinking and the “will” to do it. This will not just be in your own interest but also that of your immediate family.
Control and manage your stress: Stress and your reactions to the environment around are important as high stress will lead to an increase in cortisol which in turn will lead to increased demands for blood sugar and increased sugar cravings. Take notice in the past when you may have eaten the most sugar. You may see a pattern around stressful and emotional reactions. Control your stress and you can control your cravings to a large extent.
Exercise more and produce naturally feel good hormone’s: I can’t stop ranting about more and more exercise and here too it plays a crucial role in helping you naturally produce loads of feel good hormones which will eventually make you less dependent on sugar over a period of time. Some of the exercises which you can consider are a simple walk, a run around the park or some resistance training if possible. Eventually if you work towards a healthier and an active lifestyle your dependency on sugar will become less which is the idea behind my thinking.
Eventually what matters is that if we move and eat the way our bodies were designed for, health and happiness usually follows. So go out there enjoy life. Have control over your choices. Don’t worry if you have some cake once in awhile. Be able to smile knowing that you are healthy and in absolute control. I wish to hear more from you on this or any other related topic which you want me to write about either on my Face Book Fan Page or on my email id firstname.lastname@example.org