How To Break The Sugar Cycle
Bad break-ups. We’ve all been there. One minute you’re happy and in love. The thought of that special someone gives you serious heart-eye emojis. The next minute you’re crying into a hibiscus margarita, asking yourself and your bartender, who is very concerned (and your ex...who you just drunk texted), whether shotgunning another can of Rosé sounds like a good idea or a great idea?
Like a bad ex, sugar gives you high-highs and sad-lonely-uglycrying-low-lows. And yeah, it’s fun while it lasts. But don’t we deserve more than a fling with some cute artisanal donut? Just cause’ they taste good doesn’t mean they won’t leave your texts on ‘read.’
It’s time we took charge and broke the sugar cycle. Why? Because we deserve the snack, or snacks (no judgement here), of our dreams. Here’s how to get over sugar once and for all:
Hunger and Cravings
We crave sugar not only because it tastes good but because it releases dopamine (AKA really good-feelings) in the brain. It doesn’t help that most of us are stressed the F out and sugary snacks can be comforting. One study found that 77% of stressed out women craved sugar while only 31% of relaxed women did. YIKES.
So do yourself a favor and chill out. An activity like yoga or meditation will take your mind off an upcoming performance review and help you get a dopamine fix naturally.
If you’re craving sugar remember you’re only human. Have an apple, a peach, or literally ANYTHING ELSE that grows in the actual earth. Fruit is nature’s candy, so treat yo self’ the way our ancestors did.
You Eat Sugar
No matter how diligent we are when it comes to sugar most of us are one cocktail away from being swept off our feet by a good-looking dessert tray. So what do you do if you’ve been seduced by a Snickers bar?
Enjoy it and actually savor each bite! Mindful eating has been shown to decrease over-indulgence in sweets and lower glucose levels. So you can have your cake and it eat it too--you just don’t need to eat the whole thing.
Blood Sugar Spikes
Blood sugar spikes, or hyperglycemia, can lead to a host of unwelcome symptoms like headaches and grogginess. Even eating seemingly-healthy carbs can lead to spikes in blood sugar when it’s converted into glucose in the body.
After your body digests sugar, your pancreas begins to produce and secrete insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is responsible for processing the influx of glucose. Any glucose that’s leftover is then stored in the liver.
In a healthy individual the body can effectively regulate insulin and glucose levels. However, problems do arise in those who are insulin resistant, diabetic, or concerned about fat storage and mood stability.
Blood Sugar Drops
So what happens when your body doesn’t actually need the energy your sugary snack contains? It stores it as fat for later. And while storing fat for later was definitely helpful in ye olden days when you could pretty easily starve to death, it certainly doesn’t feel helpful now.
The important thing to remember is that our body is host to a range of processes designed to help us survive. While fat may be annoying it’s there for a reason. The question is: do you need that piece of cake to survive? Dramatics aside, the answer is probably no, so maintain perspective on what sugar is actually intended to provide.
Yes, sugar tastes good. But the research is out there, and suggests that going without sugar eases cravings and makes it so that when you do treat yourself, it doesn’t taste as good.
So while it’s tempting to keep swiping right on sugar, prioritizing your health is way more more important than a one-night stand with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
The only thing to say is “thank u next,” and move on to greener pastures (like those that contain apples, grapes, and bananas). Because the grass really is greener--and healthier-- on the other side.