Are you eating too much sugar because it gives you energy and with Easter coming up, maybe you’re a bit concerned with all the proliferation of chocolate everywhere and whether you’re going to have the discipline to curb your intake?
I’ve had a real issue with sugar as well and one of the things that really helped me was understanding the effect it has on the body – it causes inflammation. I know when I have lots of sugar in my diet, I get this little pouch on my stomach, which I don’t really like – it’s like a little bloated pouch, and it’s purely sugar. I noticed that when I cut back on my sugar, it goes. Now apart from the aesthetics of it, which I’m less worried about, what it signifies is that there’s inflammation in my body and we now know that inflammation contributes to lots of chronic diseases and depression and is generally a really unhealthy state for the body to be in.
When I cut my finger, I want an inflammatory response. I want the white blood cells and the red blood cells flooding to that area, making it hot and protecting against infection. But I don’t want that to happen with foods I’m eating – that can cause lot of problems. I don’t want to be inflamed and I also don’t want these see-saw energy levels that I was getting from sugar.
Here are a few little tips you can do, let’s say this Easter, when there may or may not be lots of Easter eggs lying around.
Firstly, don’t overbuy. If you’ve got kids, just buy them one egg each. Don’t have lots of chocolate or any sugary stuff in the house. If you’ve got to go down the road and go to a shop to buy it, you might think twice when you’re having cravings. Agree with yourself at the outset about how much you’re going to eat, and if you struggle, like I do with milk chocolate, put the wrapper back on. Maybe just don’t buy it or get someone else to take half that bar off you.
Another tip is, say no for every time you say yes. Every time you accept a piece of chocolate, you say no to something else – it’s a yes then a no. If you do that successfully, you have halved your intake, but ultimately, I think it really helps in my experience to think about the effect it has on the body and is that what you really want to be doing – causing that inflammatory response and that spiky energy which can be really frustrating.
Good luck and Happy Easter, and despite all of that, enjoy yourself!
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Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.