So, I know a lot of us ladies are trying to get in shape, eat right, and overall just look and feel amazing. I personally went vegetarian and started working out and loving it! During my transformation, there has been a lot of lifestyle changes I had to make and bad habits I had to break. A huge challenge I had to overcome was to stop eating sugar.
In this post a lot I will share with you my own experiences and concrete facts alerting you to eliminate the consumption of processed sugars out of your diet. Sugar Addiction is a real issue causing all types of negative health effects.
Think about how many people you know have Diabetes? Or who are Overweight? How about anyone with Tooth Decay? You may even be dealing with some of this health issues yourself.
Part I – The Facts – How Process Sugar is Killing Us
Natural Sugar VS Processed Sugar
What is the difference between natural sugar and processed sugar?
Natural sugars that are found in nature are called Glucose and Fructose. These are found in fruits, veggies, and honey.
Glucose is a simple sugar that every living organism needs to live. Glucose gives the body energy, energy for your body’s organs to function off of. Your Brain cannot function from any other energy source but Glucose. Glucose can be found in plants and is stored and created in your body by the liver.
Fructose is also found in nature in the form of fruits and honey. Like Glucose, Fructose is also a simple sugar. Everyday fruits you probably consume that contain Fructose are apples, oranges, bananas, just to name a few.
Processed Sugar is natural sugar that has been put through a process that modifies the natural sugar by combining and/or taking away different elements.
Sucrose is a processed sugar that is made by combining Glucose and Fructose together. A common form of Sucrose is table sugar.
Examples of Processed Sugar Food
Processed/refined sugars come in the form of many of the foods we eat on an everyday basis. Another name for these modified sugars is refined/processed carbohydrates. Many people are unaware of their sugar addiction because they think only people who like cookie, cakes, and candy have this issue; however processed carbohydrates, whether sweet tasting or not all get digested into sugar.
Below is a list of common food products that we eat on a normal basis that contain these processed sugars and other modified ingredients.
- Refined Wheat Products – Pasta, bread, cookies, cakes, pizza dough, crackers, French fries, breakfast cereals
- Common Beverages containing processed sugars – Sodas, teas, hot chocolate, processed fruit juices, coffee drinks, alcohol (even though some alcohol beverages do not taste sweet, alcohol gets digested as sugar in the body)
- Other Foods – Ketchup, tomato sauce, yogurts, syrups, artificial, salad dressings, sweeteners (i.e. agave, packet sweetners, zero calorie sweetners, raw sugar, etc.)
Don’t forget to download your FREE Copy of Quitting Sugar – What to Eat? This ebook is filled with great meal and beverage ideas that will help you get through your sugar addiction and overall great healthy recipes you can make all the time!
How Sugar Addiction Affects Your Body
Processed/refined sugars reek havoc on our bodies, causing all types of diseases, depression, and even death. Sadly, millions of people all over the world are addicted to sugar and unaware of the serious damage this poison has on our bodies and lives.
- Processed sugars are stripped of all or most of their original nutrients when being produced. In nature, you will never find sugar in little white grains.
- In nature sugar is packed with fibers and various different vitamins and nutrients; we find these in the form of fruit, veggies, and honey.
- You never want to eat or drink where the nutritional value has been processed or modified.
Below you will learn how refined sugars affect different part of your body.
- When you consume processed sugar your brain releases a chemical called dopamine
- Dopamine is the same chemical that is released in the brain when drugs like heroin, nicotine, and alcohol are consumed
- This chemical that is released over and over in the brain is what causes people to become addicted to sugar and begin to develop strong cravings.
- When you consume processed sugar your blood sugar spikes up and then quickly drops down
- When your sugar drops low this instantly changes your mood leaving you feeling tired, sluggish, unmotivated, and irritable.
- During my sugar addiction, I noticed how my mood and energy levels would go from day to night after consuming processed sugars; I didn’t have enough energy to finish my work. I would instantly lose motivation after eating or drinking these processed foods.
- Bacteria in your mouth feed off of sugar
- This causes cavities, tooth decay, and eventually the extraction of your teeth
- Millions of people spend thousands on dental care every year, simply because of the processed sugars they are consuming.
- I even had a dentist tell me, your teeth health is all about what you consume.
- Your liver is responsible for storing and creating glucose.
- When your body has enough glucose it stores the extra glucose as fat for later use
- The overconsumption of processed sugar causes the liver to store fat through-out the body as well as in the liver itself
- Over time this puts you at risk for liver disease and for your liver to become insulin resistant
- Every time you eat something containing sugar (natural or processed) your pancreas releases insulin
- Insulin then signals the cells in your body to open up and remove the sugar from your bloodstream so that it can be used or stored as energy for later
- The continuous consumption of processed sugar will eventually cause your pancreas to burn out and stop producing insulin; causing you to develop Type 2 Diabetes
- When you continue to consume sugar your body has to keep releasing insulin
- The extra insulin in your blood stream begins to damage your arteries
- Overtime this can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke
- Once your body is not able to properly remove sugar from your bloodstream the body starts to excrete sugar through your urine
- When this happens your kidneys will become damaged and can eventually lead to kidney failure
- When you over-consume sugar your body has to find somewhere to store the extra energy
- Extra energy is stored into fat
- Being overweight causes many physical and emotional issues. Many people lose self-confidence, motivation, and their zest for life.
Menstrual Cycle Disruption
- Eating processed sugars can increase menstrual symptoms (i.e. cramps, feelings of queasiness, etc.)
- Eating processed sugars can also disrupt your menstrual cycle for months at a time.
- Some doctors will prescribe you birth control pills to force your period to come on, but when you stop taking the pills your period stops again. When I was going through this exact experience, I personally decided to stop taking the birth control pills, cut out all the junk I was consuming, and workout. After losing around 20 lbs my period started to coming on regularly.
Part II: 12 Steps to Stop Eating Sugar
Quitting a sugar addiction can be a tough process. This is because these processed sugars are addicting, its the very purpose they were engineered.
I am not even going to lie, quitting a sugar addiction is tough and at times can be uncomfortable.
1. Make a commitment
- Understand the negative health effects that processed sugars have on your body and make a commitment to give it up. Easier said than done yes, but its a small hurdle compared to developing Type 2 Diabetes, Liver Disease, and many other negative health effects caused by sugar.
2. Take Out the Trash
- Remove all processed/ refined carbohydrates from your home (i.e. refined wheat products, candy, soda, cookies, cupcakes, cereals, syrups, crackers, bread, ice cream, juices, yogurts, artificial sweeteners, etc.)
- Basically get rid of the junk foods, the fake foods, the processed foods.
3. Plan your meals and snacks
- Prepare your meals and snacks in advance, this makes it so much easier not to fall back into old habits. Because when hunger calls it’s very tempting to say no to grabbing a doughnut or cookie.
- Need meal and snack ideas for quitting sugar? Download our FREE ebook – “Quitting Sugar – What to Eat?”
- This will give you a great start in figuring out healthy choices that will help you during your process of quitting sugar.
4. Avoid sugary beverages
- It’s easy to rack up on your sugar intake when consuming the many different beverages that we consume on a daily basis.
- During this process, I would recommend getting in the habit of making your beverages if you want to be 100% sure of what ingredients have been added.
- Keep it simple and choose water, add a slice of lemon or lime to liven things up a bit.
- Stay away from energy and sports drinks, most of these products have a lot of added processed sugar.
- Don’t forget to Download – “Quitting Sugar – What to Eat?” for food and drink ideas that are delicious and void of refined sugars.
5. Common Withdraw Symptoms When You Stop Eating Sugar
- During your process of quitting sugar, you probably will have some or a few withdraw symptoms. Below is the most common sugar withdraw symptoms people experience. When hunger calls, be sure to have healthy snacks around the house, in your bag, and car. This will help you stay
- Low Energy
- Muscle Aches
6. Don’t Temp Your Sugar Addiction
- Kicking your sugar addiction is no easy hurdle. During this sensitive process, avoid putting yourself into environments that make it easy for you to slip up. This doesn’t have to be permanent, just until you can control yourself and what you put in your body.
- Common invites that may want to turn down during this time:
- Eating out at your favorite restaurants
7. Read Labels
- Always read food labels before you purchase any food product.
- If you have no idea what the ingredients are, you shouldn’t eat it.
- Processed sugar has many different names, here are a few are names to watch out for:
- Corn Syrup
- Agave Nectar
- Palm Sugar
- Cane Juice
- Raw Sugar
8. Stop Adding Sugar to Your Food
- During your sugar detox be sure NOT to add any sweeteners to your drinks. This includes water flavor packets, little packet sweetners, etc.
9. Watch Your Natural Sugar Intake
- During your sugar detox process, it is important NOT to consume too many natural sugars from fruits and honey. Use this time to give your body a break from eating so much sugar.
- During my sugar detox, I would have an apple in the morning and that would be how much fruit I would eat for the day.
10. Add More Greens to Your Diet
- Quitting your sugar addiction gives you a chance to really get back on track with your health.
- Start adding more green leafy vegetables into your body, they are packed with nutrients for your body to soak up.
12. Your Almost There!
- Give yourself 3 weeks of NOT consuming any processed or refined sugars. This will give you enough time to reset your taste buds and your mindset you have about sugar.
- After about 3 weeks you will feel like a new person with restored energy and a new taste for healthy unprocessed foods.
- Continue on your journey to health by adopting what you have learned into your everyday lifestyle.
- Check out How To Start Your Weight Loss Journey (The Essential Guide) – this post is packed with awesome tips that will help you with losing weight and developing healthy habits in general.
Quitting a sugar addiction is no easy challenge; but if you want to get healthy, lose/maintain your weight, there is no room for processed sugar in your life. In the end, you have to make a decision to continue to consume something that is poison to your body or to simply stop consuming these products and choose health.
When I quit my sugar addiction and stopped eating processed foods, my excess fat started melting away, I started to enjoy working out, my mood and energy levels improved, and my overall quality of life.
I want to hear how you have been doing. Let’s keep the conversation going by leaving any questions or comments you have!