Like many young girls, I had a first love. We did everything together. I couldn’t get enough! I remember those nights as a teenager when I would pour ice cold Dr. Pepper over two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a tall, thin 12-oz glass. Only the light of the television allowed me to see the hundreds of grams of sugar I was inhaling through my straw.
That’s right – my first love was sugar. Maybe you’ve had the same deadbeat relationship.
It started innocent enough. Growing up, I stood close to my grandmother as she added the finishing touches to her Chess Pies that she baked in little tin pie pans – a southern classic. Made with only 3 ingredients, sugar, butter, and eggs, they melted in your mouth. I was always waiting close by when they came out of the oven, ready to get my little hands on those delicious golden morsels.
It didn’t help that sugar was just around all the time – brownies in the kitchen cupboard, chocolate chip muffins served up for breakfast, a rite of passage for holidays or “just because.” I couldn’t have escaped it if I wanted to! (And to be honest, I didn’t want to.)
Year after year, the addiction got worse. I’d wake up with sugar hangovers – puffy eyes with blue bags under them, pounding headaches, dehydration, skin breakouts, and a puffy face. I was moody and couldn’t focus. I felt awful. Something had to change.
At first, I went cold turkey. I literally got the shakes. It was all willpower and exercise. I tried to sweat it out. But in the end, it didn’t really stick. Whenever I got a whiff of freshly baked donuts, forget about it!
Why Sugar is Basically the Devil
You’ve probably heard it all before, but just in case you need a rallying cry to can the cupcakes, here’s a list of reasons you really don’t need sugar in your life:
Sugar causes inflammation that worsens joint pain.
Sugar makes your skin age faster by damaging collagen and elastin in your skin, causing sagging and wrinkles. Run for the hills!
Hello, weight gain! One study found that people who increased their sugar intake gained about 1.7 pounds in 2 months!
Too much sugar puts stress on your liver, which can make it hard for your body to control blood sugar levels, resulting in type 2 diabetes.
Sugar sends your energy levels on a roller coaster. What initially begins as a boost in mood and awareness turns into a sudden drop in blood sugar, making you weak, hungry, and cranky. Sugar increases inflammatory stress in the brain, which affects cognitive clarity. Your brain on sugar can’t remember, can’t learn, can’t focus, or think clearly.
From Grains to Pains: The Realization that Changed Everything
I was eating a grain- and vegetable-based diet when I was battling these sugar cravings like the plague. What I didn’t realize at the time was that a diet that is too high in STARCHES can lead to sugar cravings.
You heard me right: that huge bowl of starchy pasta isn’t doing you any favors. Starchy foods are loaded with glucose that breaks down into simple sugars in your bloodstream. These starches can make your blood sugar crash, leading you to crave sugar even more, and perpetuate the cycle.
I loved my sweet and crunchy granola for breakfast but little did I know that these starchy habits were making me head for the ice cream like a brain-dead zombie!
So what did I do, you ask?
I made some profound changes. I replaced my first meal of the day with a rich, satiating breakfast of healthy fats. (Think eggs and avocado and ditch that breakfast bagel.) I upped my protein intake. I stopped exercising like a fiend and just walked – quietly walked – after meals.
Finally, Freedom from Frosting
It’s hard to exaggerate how amazing it felt to be sugar-free after a lifetime of sugar hangovers finally. Suddenly, what used to taste amazing to me now tasted WAY! TOO! SWEET!
I started cutting the sugar in recipes, started naturally eating fewer foods with additives, and discovered I had way more self-control than I ever realized.
Physically, I felt fit and bright. I lost weight, and I even stopped bloating. My skin cleared and the fine lines around my eyes and forehead disappeared. I was finally able to sustain focus, and I felt cognitively clear and healthy. At last, I had the even-keel energy I needed to kick-ass every day, and my moods were clear, calm, and lighthearted.
Are You Ready to Break Up With Sugar?
A sugar habit is hard to kick. This is some serious psychological warfare. Even foods that claim to be “HEALTHY!” are laden with hidden sugars. That “healthy” breakfast yogurt you had this morning? Loaded with sugar. That’s why it’s bright pink.
If you’re sick of this sh*t, join us to kick our worst health-destroying habits for GOOD at our upcoming mini-course, 30 Day Glow and Beyond. I’m looking for 18 of the right women who are ready to level up. You’ll learn how to master the essential daily habits to eat right, protect your health, and turn off sugar cravings for good. More info to come!