by Matt Weik
Sugar seems to be a hot topic these days, and everyone is looking for a way to minimize their intake—and if they aren’t, they should! Sugar is a reason for our waistlines getting larger, our health deteriorating, and our energy levels going up and down like a yo-yo. If you’ve never truly stopped consuming sugar, that’s a real shame. There are many benefits to cutting out unnecessary sugar from your diet, and this article showcases just a few things you find from doing so.
Note: sugars coming from things such as fruit do not need to be cut out of your diet. We are specifically looking at “added sugars” that are commonly found in sweets, pastries, beverages, etc.
1. Boost your productivity
At work, we all want to get projects done as quickly and as efficiently as we can. Productivity comes into play. Are you finding you’re laser focused for part of the day, and then other parts you’re in the twilight zone? It could be because your blood sugar levels are all over the place. When you felt focused it was probably around the time you consumed something high in sugar, right? Maybe it was your morning coffee that was slammed with sugar and creamer? But after your blood sugar starts to drop from the high it was on, you’ll find that mental fog slowly starting to creep in. At that point your brain is either telling you to grab some more sugar from somewhere, or you simply maintain that fog for a good portion of your day. Don’t take this as a negative and that in order to be productive you need your sugar-fix. This is simply a trick your brain is playing on your because it craves sugar.
You might even feel drowsy like we mention next on our list. In order to not feel like we just mentioned, eliminating sugar from your diet will have your brain stop looking for it, leaving you with mental clarity and allowing you to be more productive. This might not happen over the course of 24 hours, but rather after a few days of eliminating sugar from your diet, then you can start to see and feel the change.
2. Increase your energy levels
Just like the up and down mental clarity mentioned above, you will find when you’re putting sugar into your system, that you have super high levels of energy followed by extreme dips in energy levels—peaks and valleys. This is common when sugar is present in your body. Your brain loves sugar. When it’s present, your brain is like a teenage school girl who just got kissed by the star quarterback of the football team. A couple hours later he is seen kissing another girl and her energy levels plummet. Same concept with your brain. Energy levels are soaring when sugar is present, and then once the body neutralizes the effects and stabilizes itself, that “high” goes away.
When you don’t have sugar in your system, the brain can utilize things like fat as an energy source. The constant supply not only from your food intake, but also what’s stored in your body will give you a constant influx of energy that can last the entire day. Therefore, without the ups and downs that sugars caused with your energy, you can stay even keel and feel great all the time. Let’s not forget, if your body is able to use stored fat as energy and fuel, that means it’s also helping you burn off that stubborn fat as well.
3. You don’t feel as hungry throughout the day
You can think of sugar as an addictive substance—like a drug. When the body is used to sugar, it craves it. When it is free flowing in the body, the body seems to be happy. Eliminate it, and the brain releases chemicals that make you feel hungry and craves a substance with sugar. If you can eliminate sugar from your diet other than through natural sources such as fruit, you’ll find you’re more satiated throughout the day and don’t have the cravings you are normally feeling. This not only helps with energy levels mentioned earlier, but it also helps keep your waistline and overall health in check. Generally, when cravings hit people, they find the are consuming less than ideal foods to combat the cravings. Normally these types of foods are something quick, convenient, and sugar-filled. Cut out the sugar and you can cut out the hunger pangs.
4. You’ll find you enjoy the taste of food more
When you cut out sugar from your diet, you will find your taste buds might change ever so slightly—and this is a good thing. You will find the food you eat simply has a better taste to it and it becomes more appealing than in the past. That’s because sugar almost seems to dilute your taste buds since it’s been programmed to get food items with sugar on a regular basis. Eliminate the sugar and you basically reprogram your taste buds again.
Interestingly enough, once you reprogram your taste buds, you might actually find you dislike the taste of things that are sweetened. Your morning coffee that you put sugar and cream in might taste way too sweet for your preference now. Even things such as fruit might taste unusually sweet. When you don’t have sugar-filled foods laying around the house, you will find enjoyment in other snack items such as nuts or beef jerky. It is even possible that foods you didn’t enjoy in the past, you now find taste good after eliminating sugar from your diet.
This list might be 100% accurate for some, while different for others. You, personally, might even find more changes from eliminating sugar from your diet. While many will read this article and simply go on with their life, I encourage you to give it a try for yourself, even if only for a short duration like a week. See how you feel after that week without sugar and then make a decision if you wish to go back to your old habits of eating food items slammed with unhealthy sugars, or if you actually feel better not only mentally, but physically as well. You’ll never know until you try. Even though seven days doesn’t seem like a long time, you’re going to be tested during this timeframe. It’s going to test to see how mentally tough and dedicated you are. But if you can complete the seven day challenge without sugar, I’m willing to bet you can keep it going and completely eliminate added sugars from your diet all together.