What Really Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Sugar By Mah-Ann Mendoza
As you already know, sugar sucks and derails your health and fitness goals. But...you're tired in the middle of the afternoon and you need a quick picker upper. What is your go to? A can of sugar loaded pop, or sugared coffee from Starbucks.
Does this routine seem familiar to you? Don't feel bad cuz you're not alone. It's rather common for an average American to consume about 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day! Waaaaay more than double the limit of 6 tsp per day for women and 9 tsp. for men.
So can limiting or eliminating sugars make a difference when it comes to your weight loss or general health? ABSOLUTELY! Positive effects such as weight loss, fat loss, heart health, mental clarity and YOUR PHYSIQUE will benefit from eliminating sugars out of your life.
Sweet Rewards Without the Sugar.
Not going to lie about it, going through sugar elimination sucks! It's tough as heck but -- the aftermath sure helps tremendously with mood swings and other factors.
Here's how sugar works:
When you eat sugary foods, your brain releases hormones that makes you feel good and get that energy boost. Yup, it feels great, taste yummy in your tummy and that wonderful taste in your mouth gets you wanting more. You're hooked! Gimme some more please...Yeah, you know that feeling right?
When you eliminate sugary foods, the feel good and energy boost will disappear and you will feel discomfort like headaches, get cranky and moody and the worst part is missing those sweets and your cravings intensify. You're just going through "sugar withdrawals" and if you give it a week or two, you'll feel a lot better. DON'T GIVE IN!
Prior to eliminating sugars, clean up your pantry and food storage areas and toss out sugary snacks, processed foods, etc. If you have it on hand, you're creating a default system that you can have it when it's at arm's reach. You're making it a lot harder on yourself and setting yourself up to fail. Out of sight, out of mind.
Sugar is also very inflammatory to your whole body including your brain. You'll retain more water, get anxious and depressed. But sticking it out for a few weeks, not having sweets, your body will adjust and return to a normal state. You'll feel GREAT!
Suddenly, eliminating sweets won't feel like a struggle. Why? Because sugars stimulate your brain to produce more cravings! Furthermore, the more you have it, the more your brain says "Gimme some more!" It's that feel good hormone called dopamine that increases your cravings to have some more of what makes you feel good. At least in that moment 🙄. However, when you don't allow yourself to give in to those cravings, your brain produces less receptors and makes it easier to ignore those nagging urges to eat sugars.
Reducing or eliminating sugars helps lower blood pressure, and reduces your risk of heart disease.
While it’s true that fats are the leading cause of heart diseases, as proven by numerous clinical trials and studies, excess consumption of sugar also contributes to this silent killer.
While a reduction in dietary intake of saturated fat remains a cornerstone of a healthier life, we should also minimize the intake of sugar. By doing so, we take the fight against heart diseases to a higher level.
If you're prone to breaking out, a high sugar intake definitely contributes to your pimples. This is due to elevated insulin production and sebum production. So you want healthy, clear skin? Cut back on your sugars and processed foods so your body produces less insulin, which in turn, helps decrease breakouts.
If you want to slow down your skin from aging, now's the time to say bye-bye to sweets. Too much sugar in the blood stream damages collagen and elastin causing your skin to become dry and brittle. This leads to more wrinkles and sagging. The less sweets you give in to, chances are you'll slow down the aging process of your skin.
Want to lose weight? Give up sugars and processed foods to experience your weight drop down.
Research has shown that people who ate less sugars lost weight while those who increased their intake gained weight.
When you're eating low-calorie, high-nutrient dense foods your stomach will give you a signal that you're full. Meanwhile, if you opted for that irresistible cookie instead, your brain goes wacko, (remember dopamine, the hormone that gives you pleasure?,) yes! your brain will drive you to keep eating more whether you're hungry or not.
Additionally, your estrogen production increases while your testosterone level decreases. What does that mean? Higher levels of estrogen produce more belly fat. Oh yeah, and you've been working so hard doing crunches so you can see your 6-pack...Sorry, not going to happen until you cut back or eliminate your sugar intake. Furthermore, decreased testosterone level minimizes your chance of increasing your muscle density. Instead, it will decrease muscle mass.
Once you kick the sugar habit, watch your weight go down and inches drop all over your body!
Your Immune System
Studies have shown that refined sugar lowers the body's normal immune response to invasion of foreign substances. During the cold and flu season, staying healthy is a must. Decreased sugar intake will allow your body to fight viruses and your white blood cells are able to take on those invaders.
Sugar changes your microbiome, which helps your body's defense system and immune system. When there's an imbalance in your gut, this causes inflammation and makes you vulnerable to chronic diseases such as:
Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
When sugar is eliminated, inflammation is reduced and useful bacteria is allowed to regain balance by fighting pathogens and absorbing nutrients.
Reduced inflammation also helps stabilize the hormone "cortisol" which can also help with your sleep.
Your Energy Levels
After eating a meal, your pancreas releases insulin that helps you absorb the sugars from your food and converts to glucose to supply energy for your brain and body.
The amount of glucose in your blood is also being monitored by your pancreas and if glucose levels are low, it sends a signal to your brain that it's feeding time.
Unfortunately, if you're a sugar lover, your glucose levels are always going wacko. Your blood sugar is up and down, round and round, you get tons of energy just to fall down flat tired with no energy. Eating low sugar foods, you'll have evenly spaced energy production throughout the day without the ups and downs.
Another bonus is you'll even get a good night sleep.
You may already know that cutting back on your alcohol intake makes your liver happy, but a May 2018 study in the Journal of Hepatology revealed that cutting back on sugar can also help eliminate harmful fat accumulation in your liver.
According to UCSF, fructose (which is found in nearly all kinds of added sugar) is processed in the liver. Your liver can handle fair amounts of fructose, but the copious amount in refined sugars overburden your system, which converts the excess into fat globules around your stomach and internal organs.
That's why sugar is a main driver of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD: a buildup of fat cells in the liver. In some cases, NAFLD can develop into a more serious condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which can lead to inflammation, scarring or even cirrhosis. Give your liver a break and eliminate added sugars to your nutrition.
When you do away with sugars, you also reduce the chances of getting Type 2 Diabetes. Kidney disease . also ties into Diabetes.
#1 cause of kidney failure...SUGAR! Uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels of the kidneys and destroy their ability to filter the blood, allowing toxins to build up — this leads to type 2 diabetes and obesity, which are both major risk factors for kidney disease."
Your Sex Drive
Believe it or not, your sugar laden breakfast such as muffins and doughnuts can also impact your sex drive.Turns out your morning doughnut habit can negatively affect
your sex drive.
Sugar increases insulin and produces a hormonal result that lowers testosterone and increases estrogen levels, which can result in low sex drives in both women and men.