Break the sugar habit
I doubt many would think of sugar as a “drug”. But the effects of sugar on our body, particularly refined and processed sugars, are very similar to illicit drugs.
When we eat foods that contain significant amounts of sugar, dopamine is released in the brain.
Continuing to eat these foods often and the dopamine receptors start to downregulate, causing fewer receptors for the dopamine.
This means that the next time we eat sugar, the effect is blunted and our desire for sugar increases.
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and is quickly turned into glucose in the bloodstream causing blood sugar levels to spike.
Simple carbs are also found in fruits, veggies, and dairy products. But these have fiber and protein that slow the process.
Syrup, soft drink, candy, and table sugar don’t have those “slowing agents”.
For energy, your body needs to move habit glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells. To do this, your pancreas makes insulin. As a result, your blood sugar level has a sudden drop.
This drop in blood sugar leaves you feeling wiped out, shaky and searching for more sweets to regain that sugar “high”.
Our brain sees sugar as a reward, which makes you keep wanting more of it.
With soda or a candy bar, you’re reinforcing that reward, which can make it tough to break the habit.
To kick the sugar habit, choose good-for-you-type sweets. Berries are an awesome alternative.
But don’t expect to kick the sugar habit cold turkey. Take baby steps, as with everything, one day at a time, and make small incremental changes.
If you are drinking two soft drinks a day, cut it back to one, then none.
It’s time to break the sugar habit that could be keeping your from reaching your fitness goals in 2015!
Johnny West is head coach and owner of CrossFit 760 Torquay and is a lifelong athlete with an appreciation for all things sports and outdoors.