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This Happens When You Break Your Sugar Habit

This Happens When You Break Your Sugar Habit

You may have quit a handful of bad habits over the years—smoking, unhealthy relationships, or over-spending on clothes or coffee. However, quitting sugar might be the most challenging habit to break.

What research says

We know that sugar is “bad for you,” but did you know that it can affect you physically and even mentally way beyond just getting a little chubby? Your intestinal balance can be thrown completely out of whack from eating too much sugar, leaving you susceptible to autoimmune problems and chronic intestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, IBS, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease and, of course, diabetes. 

Breaking your sugar habit is hard to imagine because we’re biologically hooked on the stuff. It’s essentially a drug, according to this article and studies like this.

Socially alienating

Sugar is also standard in our culture. There is sugar in almost every packaged food, and turning down a co-worker’s offer for a doughnut is practically a slap in the face. If you really want to lay off the sugar, you have to be resilient through relentless temptation.

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The good news is that once you’re past the withdrawal, over the social awkwardness, and label reading becomes second nature, you find that life opens up in some unexpected and delightful ways.

Here are 5 ways quitting (or at least cutting back on) sugar can make life more enjoyable.

1.You won’t always be itching for your next hit.

Like any addict, you’ve probably found yourself in a state of urgency when you “need” a piece of cake to give you that happy feeling and ease a building irritation.

It’s subtle sometimes, and easily disguised as a normal desire all wrapped up in our own urges and a longstanding relationship with really good marketing.

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Being free of this desire puts you on an even keel. Essentially, you’ll be a more stable and balanced person who can focus more and delve into tasks without turning to a substance to take the edge off.

2. Your sense of taste will be heightened.

Sugar and cigarettes are powerful and they both numb our tastebuds over time. Smokers cannot taste food as well as non-smokers. The same is true for sugar addicts.

People who are addicted to sugar often say that they don’t like foods like vegetables and whole grains because “they’re bland.” The fact is actually that they can’t taste them! If you give up the hard stuff, like cigarettes or sugar, and then try them again, you’ll find that they’re too rough. It takes a while to build up a taste for cigarettes, whisky, and even sugar. It also takes some time to normalize your tastebuds again.

But, when you do quit, you’ll notice nuances of flavor in natural food that you really enjoy. You’ll actually crave things that are beneficial to your body and you will have a healthier, more in-depth relationship with both food and your own body.

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3. Your daily life experience will be enhanced.

Sugar can affect your mental clarity, making you feel “foggy” or chronically tired because your body is constantly working overtime to balance itself out.

When you remove the fructose-driven veil, your sense of the now and your ability to absorb it will be more thorough and enjoyable. You’ll actually breath easier and see clearer than you have in years.

4. Your memory will improve.

There’s mounting evidence, as outlined in this UCLA Newsroom piece, stating that high sugar, low fat diets are linked to memory problems, even Alzheimers.

By eating sugar, you’re actually slowing yourself down mentally and maybe even doing long-term damage to your memory centers.

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The good news is that by eliminating or decreasing the amount of sugar you consume and increasing the intake of DHA (healthy fats that protect the synaptic nerves), you can heal and maintain a healthy memory. You’ll be sharper, quicker, and mentally stronger, even as you age.

5. You’ll feel top-notch most of the time.

Nothing feels as good as not just being up to task but raring to face the day. Sugar is an inflammatory food which can be taxing on your entire system. Intense spikes of insulin to address sugar intake and flux of your internal systems can wear you out over time.

When you cut out or cut back that extra pressure you’re putting on your body, you’ll find that you’re a much healthier person than you thought you were. Not to say that you’ll never have a lazy day again, but it’ll be a more pleasant and purposeful one. Rather than thinking “I feel like crap. I don’t want to get up.” It’ll be more like, “I’ll just give myself a few extra minutes here.”

To sum up

Quitting sugar is not easy. It doesn’t happen overnight and it sucks at first, but it’s absolutely worth it when you get to a point of independence from the most common and troublesome drug.

You’ll really appreciate the natural sweetness of berries, apples, and other fruits, which also give you tons of health benefits. They’re packed with vitamins and boost the immune system when you enjoy them in small amounts. They also meet your body’s natural desire for a little something sweet now and again. Because, let’s be honest, what’s life without the sensation of sweet?

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Hannah Glenn

Copywriter and Editor

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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