When someone mentions sugar to you, what comes to mind? For many people, things containing sugar are equated with a treat or something special. That’s what sugar was intended to be, something for a special occasion and kept at a low amount. In 2019 we are facing an obesity crisis and sugar plays a big role in it. For a lot of us who are unaware, we have been consuming way too much sugar without even intentionally doing it. It is possible to live a semi-healthy lifestyle and be eating stuff with way too much sugar. A lot of products advertise their product as ‘healthy’ but then you turn around to the food label and *GASP* look at all that sugar it contains! Let’s take a look at the impact sugar has not only on our body but our brain as well.
Sugar And Your Brain
When we first bite into that warm chocolate chip cookie, or that first scoop of ice cream, we experience literal joy! Once sugar is registered in the brain it dumps a bunch of dopamine (the feel good chemical) into our brain and thus what creates such an enjoyable experience at first. So in theory, more sugar means more joy, right? Not quite, the mood lift we get from sugar is quickly replaced by a crash after our cells suck up all the sugar and are looking for more and our energy level takes a hit. It is a real rollercoaster ride of emotions and most of us are willing to strap up and take the ride! It always ends in us not feeling well forever, clearly not a good thing.
Is It Possible To Get Addicted?
When we get a heavy dopamine rush, as sugar does, it’s only logical that we will find ourselves craving that feeling again. If you indulge in sugar consistently enough you can become completely sugar dependent. If you go too long without sugar your body and brain will literally crave it and nothing will suffice until you get sugar in your body! Sounds a lot like a drug addiction to when you put it that way! For a lot of people, even decently healthy ones, it’s hard to look back at a day in your life where you had zero sugar, it’s hidden in so many foods. Take an honest look at your daily life, is there a certain time you crave sugar regularly? For a lot of people it’s at night time but it can definitely vary. Once you start to take a look at something that is nearly set to autopilot most of the time, you can start to do something about it.
Solutions For Sugar Dependence
The absolute first thing you should start doing is reading food labels. I started reading food labels a few years ago and still get blown away by how much sugar is in certain things I perceived to be healthy. You can attempt to completely knock sugar out of your diet, which is possible but very difficult. A more realistic approach is to narrow down your sugar intake to a recommended amount from the American Heart Association. They claim for men, 9 teaspoons of sugar a day is fine and for women, 6 teaspoons a day. Doing something like limiting sugar is a better practice because for a lot of people, they cut out sugar completely and then cave into their craving and go on a mission to eat all the sugar they can.
Sugar is a dangerous substance and it needs to be acknowledged that it is. It can severely affect your day to day life and can also make you live a shorter life. Take this time to evaluate where your weakness is with sugar (as it comes in many forms) and take action on a plan to reduce and maybe someday completely eliminate that problem. The benefits of cutting down sugar are sure to outweigh the quick reward you get from that chocolate chip cookie.
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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.