Overconsumption of sugar is increasingly being linked to brain-related health issues such as depression, learning disorders, memory problems and overeating. When working with clients one of the biggest challenges to increasing vitality and reducing weight is the addiction to sugar. Sugar creates a cycle of craving that takes time to recognise and unhook from. This can be one of the biggest issues when losing weight, which is why I decide to write this blog. It will outline the issues with sugar, therefore raise your awareness and help you to reduce your sugar intake.
How does sugar affect your brain?
There are so many sweet sugary treats available in the form of biscuits, cakes and chocolates but did you know sugar’s hidden in a few less obvious places too. You can find sugar in healthy looking cereal bars, low-fat foods, gluten-free processed foods, breakfast cereals, milk, bread and of course alcohol. When you eat sugar, insulin is released from your pancreas to stop sugar levels from rising too high in your bloodstream.
The sugar’s taken to your cells for energy production but if you’re not burning off much energy because you’re working at your desk, watching TV or sitting in your car, insulin will take it to your fat stores to be stored.
Sugar makes you fat. Another side effect of the release of too much insulin and sugar being stored away is you feel hungry and crave glucose to replenish and refuel. So sugar makes you hungry and it makes you hungry for more sweet stuff. If your blood sugar balance is out of alignment that causes inflammation in your system and triggers the release of cortisol, your main stress hormone. So sugar makes you stressed and stress is a trigger for your flushes, anxiety, disrupted sleep, brain fog and night sweats.
How does sugar create a cycle of cravings?
When you eat sugar, just like any food, it activates your taste receptors. Then, signals are sent to the brain, lighting up reward pathways and causing a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. Basically, sugar hijacks the brain’s reward pathway…leading you to seek more and more of that dopamine hit. This requires more and more sugar. And while stimulating the brain’s reward system with a piece of chocolate now and then is pleasurable and probably harmless, continuous stimulation can lead to loss of control, cravings, and increased tolerance to sugar.
How does sugar impair memory and learning skills?
In a 2012 study on rats, researchers at UCLA found that a diet high in fructose hindered learning and memory by literally slowing down brain activity. Rats who over-consumed fructose had damaged synaptic activity in the brain, meaning that communication among brain cells was impaired. Don’t miss: Is your body crying out for help?
Heavy sugar intake caused the rats to develop insulin resistance. Insulin helps brain cells communicate better and form stronger memories. So when insulin levels in the brain are lowered as the result of excess sugar consumption, thinking can be impaired.
How does sugar make you depressed & anxious?
Eating a doughnut or drinking a coke causes blood sugar levels to spike and then crash. You may find yourself feeling anxious, moody or depressed when this crash happens.
Sugar or high carb foods can affect the neurotransmitters that help keep your mood stable. Eating sugar stimulates the release of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. Constantly over-activating the serotonin pathways can deplete our limited supplies of this neurotransmitter, which then contributes to symptoms of depression.
It’s a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.
A growing body of research suggests that a sugar-heavy diet can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A 2013 study found that insulin resistance and blood glucose levels are linked with a greater risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Give up by using a gradual habit
If you’re ready to give up sugar, great! Cutting all sugar out of your life is next to impossible, so the trick is to lower your glycemic load. Glycemic load is an estimate of how much the carbohydrates in a certain food or meal will raise your blood sugar after you eat it.
Ideally, you want your blood sugar and insulin levels to remain relatively level all day so that your body uses glucose (your fuel source) efficiently. You want to be a fat-burning machine!
Simple refined sugars cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. But complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein and healthy fats promote more gradual increases and decreases in blood sugar and insulin, lowering the glycemic load and keeping things nice and steady in your body. Don’t miss: Weight loss program UK, sure way to a leaner, fitter and shapelier you
6 ways to reduce your sugar
Simple food swaps can make a big difference in blood sugar control. Here are 6 simple ways to lower your glycemic load:
- Replace sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes
- Try mashed avocado instead of dipping chips in salsa
- Add an extra serving of veggies to your plate instead of the carb choice (Ask restaurants to do this too. Most are very accommodating.)
- Drink mineral water with a lime or lemon instead of soda
- Trade nuts for candy
- Read food labels carefully. Anything that ends in -ose is a form of sugar.
Reduce your sugar and increase:
- Good fats
- Clean proteins
- Slow carbs
It isn’t complicated it is easy, step by step, module by module I help you through your journey of self-love, healthy eating and looking after yourself with your personalised plan.
The Gentle Reset – 6 weeks reset your mind and detox your body
If you’re not feeling great, full of vitality and hitting your weight goals then you’ve probably had a few glaring gaps……so with that in mind, I’d like to invite you to work with me inside my membership community on The Gentle Reset.
Working with me inside the membership, I’ll help you identify the bad habits that are accruing, then give you the resources you need to add in some great habits using coaching, video tutorials, cheat sheets, exercise videos, group coaching, and the all-important buddy-up, supportive motivation.
And you get the opportunity to pick my brain and get personal feedback on your nutrition every single week in our group coaching session. My Group Coaching programme is based on a 6 weeks course that will focus on your health and wellbeing. Inside the 6 weeks: The Gentle Reset you will be able to reset your mind and detox your body and be provided with the support you need to get a healthy lifestyle in place.
A big part of that means that you will have nourishing eating habits that will give you more energy and more motivation as well as the appropriate levels of exercise.
What sort of results can you expect?
Here are a few examples of what my clients have achieved so far:
Marketing business owner Charlotte is frank: “Your support, great advice, laughter and tough love have changed my approach to food…as a busy mum of 2 teenagers and consumer brand marketer & business owner, I’ve changed my entire approach to food and prioritising my own health” Read more about Charlotte’s journey here
Mary‘s story and others click here: success stories click here
How much does it cost?
Your investment is currently £415 but this is for a limited time, the price will be increasing soon – click here to grab the best possible price
BE QUICK this programme, along with all my programmes will be increasing in price very soon > Click here to find out why I am raising my prices But you’ll also discover how you can grab a place before my prices go up, but you will need to be fast.
Gorgeous is your journey of discovery
PS. If you have read enough and you know that this is for you, and you are ready to discover the next stage of your journey – then click here to join my next round