Research has shown that the best way to control yourself enough to only have sugar in moderation is by staying away from it entirely for a set period. So, I challenged myself to cut all sources of added sugar for 30 days.
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In a nutshell:
Excessive sugar consumption is linked to an increased risk of obesity, fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Not only that, but studies have shown that sugar can be addicting to a certain extent.
During the first days of this challenge, I learned I was indeed addicted to sugar because of having some sort of detox phase, where I had headaches throughout the days and was easily irritated.
Not to mention I developed strong sugar cravings, which almost led me to fail the challenge entirely. I felt really disappointed in myself, but I had a moment of relief. It relieved me that I did this challenge earlier than later.
According to research, this kind of behavior results from the effect of sugar has on our brains. It feels good to consume sugar because it activates the pleasure and reward center of our brain, which stimulates the release of dopamine.
During this process, we are in a state of being high, but not as intense as other medical drugs. But since you’ve conditioned your brain to a mild state of high, halting sugar intake leads to intense sugar cravings because your body isn’t used to the absence of sugar.
So if you plan to quit sugar, keep in mind that you’ll probably have the same experience as I have, which disappeared after a few days.
One week passed by, and I honestly felt better. The sugar cravings weren’t as intense anymore, and I valued what I eat even more.
You’d be surprised at how much money you can save cutting added sugar in your daily food intake and you’d be disgusted at how much sugar food companies add to their products. I probably save around $75 each week and you might save even more.
There’s a reason food companies put a lot of added sugar in their products. Their products will taste good, thus people would want to buy it again. It’s simple marketing, but sadly, it’s not good for us.
So what was my diet like? During the 30-day challenge, I was eating fiber-rich foods like grains, seeds and green vegetables. I started to enjoy salads, and I didn’t leave my chicken breasts and fish for my daily protein intake.
What I noticed halfway through the challenge is that I felt like I had more energy than usual. It was a fresh experience for me since every time I felt no energy I just ate something, usually something sweet, or drank coffee to kick-start my energy.
This was the moment I felt healthier. I took the time to understand this phenomenon, and I discovered that our blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day. Consuming more added sugar per day increases the fluctuations even more. Thus, sometimes your blood sugar level spikes causing you to feel like you have a lot of energy and sometimes the level can drop really low, causing you to feel like you have no energy or, as they normally call it, a sugar crash.
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