As I mentioned, my husband and I have been eager to start a family ever since 2012; however my health has been giving us a little trouble. The first step I had to take was drastically reducing my sugar intake. This was and is a daily struggle.
I’m not going to be one of those people who say, you can’t ever have sugar – I would be a hypocrite if I did. When consuming, you should be aware of the immediate and long term effects it has on your body. To clarify, I’m referring to table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and so on.
These kinds of sugars have different properties and are not all equal. All have something in common; they each have a high caloric low nutritional value. Every weight loss diet agrees that sugar should be cut significantly. When this is part of your every day life, it’s easy to over eat – especially the way I have consumed these in my life. More and more studies are showing that it’s hard on the liver causing fatty liver disease which in turn causes metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
For me, sugar is like a drug. I used to consume it when I was happy, sad, bored, or even out of habit. Instantly gratifying, but after that it’s down hill. I’ll crave more and more, my face breaks out, I get night sweats, I can’t sleep, my menstrual cycle becomes irregular, I get physically sick, and my body goes into this fight or flight mode, causing estrogen dominance. Since knowing this about myself, I’ve really been trying to figure out what is reasonable and how am I going to get there.
Here are my top 5 tips to eating less sugar:
- It can’t be left in the house. Because of this, we don’t make it habit to eat desert after a meal.
- Don’t eat sugar just because it’s available. Pass on the store-bought cake, it’s totally not worth it!
- Make attainable goals for yourself. Like, “My last indulgence was Saturday, let’s go 10 days until the next.”.
- Plan for the social events. Social gatherings are my pitfall, so I do my best to plan for these temptations. If I’m staring at it, I’m likely to lose the stare down and consume it. Depending on the setting, you may be able to sit in a place that’s not around it, or excuse yourself from the table at the time dessert is served, keep yourself busy and mind occupied with conversation and/or games. Or like my 3rd tip, if it’s been a while – plan to indulge a little.
- If you fall off the horse, don’t beat yourself up. The fall is punishment enough, just get back up and don’t give up!
If sugar is a real addiction for you, then you should carefully examine why. Is it a result from the way you were raised? Is it the instant lift? If it is, your biggest challenge is finding the right balance for yourself. It’s quite possible that it’s not sugar itself, but the emotion that pushes you to abuse it. I’m not an addict psychologist, but I wouldn’t fall into the trap of feeling like having sugar is wrong and you shouldn’t have it ever. Does that mean no fruit, real maple syrup, and what about ketchup, BBQ sauce, and WHAT – NO SUGAR IN MY COFFEE??? Now it’s really complicated, RIGHT? Again, deal with the reasons why it’s a challenge, and then find the right balance for you.