There is a monster living amongst us, in our shelves and always on our minds. It’s sugar. We may not think too much about sugar but it is in our best interests to stop it. So, here are [insert number] benefits of giving up sugar.
Why Should You Give Up Sugar?
Why should you give it up in the first place? Many researchers say that sugar is nothing less than a drug. Think about it. Sugar causes mood swings. When you have sugar your body gets adjusted to it and it keeps wanting more.
You may first start by snacking on sugary foods, once in a while, but before you know it, you are snacking on desserts every single day!
Sugar also causes mood swings. After drinking a soda or having something sweet you feel a momentary high. During this time you feel you can do pretty much anything, but after the high, comes a low. Your body feels like it’s going to crash and you instantly run to the shelves, searching for your next sugar rush.
Sugar actually activates the neurological system just like how opioids work. So, in other words, it makes us feel good and this is why we like sugar so much. Then when we don’t have sugar, for a long period, we start to get withdrawal-like headaches, body aches, mood swings etc.
Sugar is nothing less than a drug and it is in our best interest to give it up. This includes everything from marketed sweets, homemade sweets, sauce, dressing and most cereals. The next time you go grocery shopping, look at the ingredients list. You’ll be surprised to find how many packaged goods (that don’t even taste sweet) contain sugar.
4 Benefits Of Giving Up Sugar
Different people have varying degrees of withdrawal symptoms when they quit sugar. Some people have mild mood swings and sugar cravings while others may get body aches, headaches. But in short, the first week is probably going to be the hardest!
Once you get past the withdrawals, here are some things that you will expect when you give it up:
1. Reduced Inflammation Around The Feet
Many of our readers have diabetes and diabetic foot and it is usually caused by inflammation. Sugars and simple carbs cause insulin resistance which in turn cause inflammation. Inflammation causes pain, athletes foot, foot sores and thus the cycle continues.
Of course, wearing diabetic socks will help with problems that come along with diabetic foot, but reducing all forms of added sugar will reduce inflammation to a great extend. You may notice less pain around your feet too.
2. Losing Belly Fat
Our bodies are different and different people will notice varied changes depending on their weight, height, age, gender, metabolism and their previous sugar eating habits, but on average, most people see a reduction in their belly.
With sugar in our diet, we end up eating so many empty calories without even realising. If we add sugar in our tea or coffee or have fruit juice now and again, we end up drinking calories as well, which is really unhealthy.
On average, we can have around 30g of sugar in a day but, just because we can have 30g, does not mean we should. With our eating habits, most of us have more than 30g of sugar in a day.
When you cut down on all sugars, your body does not get extra calories, which is why it starts to use up the fat around your belly. Hence you may lose a few kilos and you may lose a few inches around your tummy.
3. You’ll Have Less Anxiety And Better Moods
Sugar has so much control on your mood swings. You will only realise the extent when you give it all away. As we said earlier, sugar stimulates the neurological system and gives you an all-time high. Once the effects wear off, you crash and you reach for another sugary product.
When you stop sugar, there is nothing to trigger your neurological hormones. Hence your mood will not fluctuate up and down, instead, you will have stable moods. We can say the same with your energy levels. Since there is no glucose to give you a high tide and a low tide, your energy levels are at a constant and are much more manageable.
Studies show that sugar reduces the production of the BDNF hormone. This hormone is responsible for creating neurons but it is also responsible for your moods. Those with a lower mood and/or depression consequently have lesser BDNF hormones in their system.
Reducing sugar will not cure you of depression and anxiety but it will certainly help you manage these conditions. However, if you have unmanageable depression and anxiety you should see an expert.
4. Organ Health Will Improve
The increase in blood sugar tends to put a lot of strain on your organs. To start with, most sugary products are also high on transfats so increase in sugars lead to an increase in visceral fat making it ten times harder for your organs to work smoothly.
The non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome is becoming more and more common children and in non-drinkers, because sugar is so easily accessible to us. When we stop eating sugar it halts the fat buildup around our liver, kidneys and our gut.
This is why you will notice changes in your skin and hair. As the liver starts to feel less suffocated, you will have clearer, brighter skin. Your hair can become shinier and thicker. Your urine will be more clear, you may also have better bowels.
These are few of the many benefits of giving up sugar. We know it’s a hard transition and most people give up within a day or two but if you push through, you will start to see changes.
How To Transition From High Sugar To No Sugar?
If you are really determined and you aren’t sure if you can give it up all at one go, you can start bit by bit. The first step would be to realise how much sugar you are eating in a day, measure your sugar in grams so that you know what you are working with.
Once you have an idea, you can temporarily replace sugar with healthier options and reduce sugar by 50%. So, if you have 2 spoons of sugar in your tea, start having 1 spoon of sugar. Then reduce it to 1 spoon of jaggery until you can have it without anything sweet.
Eliminate sugary snacks first by 50% and then by 100%. Some people can make this change overnight while others need to be a little more gradual. Respect yourself and respect your limitations and keep trying a little every day. Bit by bit, you can get rid of the tiny monster, hiding inside your shelves.