As I lead up to day 1 of my sugar detox I think it is important to prepare myself mentally by learning as much as I can about sugar including its affects on the body.
I’ve been doing lots of research and I would like to first go into detail about the effects of sugar on the body in both the short and long term.
This is my main concern when it comes to my sugar intake and the driving force behind my determination to completely detox my body. Sugar is addictive. Very. Addictive. It is as addictive as cocaine and heroin, it completely alters the brain reward centre with huge dopamine surges that tell the body that sugar is a lovely positive thing that the body couldn’t possibly live without.
Of course the body can survive without sugar. In fact it can more that just survive, it can thrive, flourish and exceed all expectations. Thousands of years ago, when we lived in caves, humans didn’t eat sugar. They lived on a diet of protein and vegetables and only a small amount of fruit which would provide short bursts of energy at a time, perfect for providing short term energy bursts for those hunting sessions our ancestors took part in. There was no other sugar source, our bodies didn’t need it, and so we didn’t crave it. However since its introduction to food, mainly used to counteract the salt that was used to preserve food and increase shelf life, sugar intake has snowballed.
Now it is shoved in our faces at every given opportunity and cravings and urges for something sweet take over and we find ourselves picking at cake, chocolate and sweets without even first engaging our brains. This is addiction. The cravings and urges are dictated by our brain’s perceived need for sugar.
This worries me a lot! I would never take drugs and hate the thought of being an addict to anything, so the fact that I am addicted to sugar and sweet things, although sounds like a minor issue, is creating a whole host of issues, and is literally killing me!
2. Candida takes over the body
Candida, a fungus within the body, eats sugar. And it eats only sugar. So whilst I fill my blood and body with the stuff, the bacteria is munching along with me (probably thanking me for my charitable contributions!) and then multiplying at a stupid rate, popping out bacteria babies like there’s no tomorrow.
This completely changes the balance within the body and affects pretty much everything, from the bacteria in our mouth, to the environment in our lady garden (and no one wants that garden being messed up!)
The thought of bacteria babies being born in my lady garden is enough to make me ditch the crap right now (as I type this I’m nibbling away on a piece of chocolate…doh!)
3. Sugar screws up your brain
Sugar completely messes up signals sent to your brain and one of the main mix ups is the fact that messages telling your brain you are full and no longer need food go missing on their journey. So your brain is never being told you’re full. Meaning you still feel like you need food, and more often than not that food you will want will be something sugary to give you that fix. A vicious cycle.
4. The sugar crash
The initial high caused by elevated energy levels lasts only an average of 30 minutes, before your levels come crashing back down to earth. And when you’re feeling low on energy and generally crappy, what will your poor addicted confused brain desire? More sugar. Could it get any worse?!
Not only that but sugar also encourages your body to release serotonin, the sleep hormone! So much for an energy boost!
As much as we feel happy at the time of consuming that Mars Bar, high sugar intake over a long period of time is linked to increased chances of having depression. This doesn’t surprise me considering the roller coaster of energy levels coupled with weight gain. Who wouldn’t feel down in the dumps?!
6. Non alcoholic liver disease
Sugar has the same affects on the liver as alcohol does. In fact, it’s difficult to tell the difference between an alcoholic’s liver, and a sugar addicts liver, the same process is taking place, whereby fructose (a form of sugar) is changed directly into fat by the liver. This fat is then distributed throughout the body, mainly sitting on your organs and when levels get really high accumulates in the liver itself, just as would happen with the liver of an alcoholic.
I could go on forever about what sugar is doing to our bodies, for example, dementia, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and many more diseases have a direct link back to sugar intake. Our bodies are just not designed to be able to process it, and we need to bring this epidemic to a stop.
I personally am sick to the back teeth of eating sugar loaded crap. I hate the fact I crave sweet stuff at 11am, that I can’t say no to the desert menu, that when I’m buying petrol I suddenly find myself standing in line to pay holding three chocolate bars!
I know for a fact that if I want to get healthy and succeed in implementing a realistic health and exercise plan into my life then I have no choice but to completely detox from sugar first. And I mean completely detox. If that means spending more time reading labels and looking out for the hundreds of different names used for sugar that could be hiding on food packets, then I’ll do it. Because just like any other addiction, the more of the substance your body receives, the more tolerant it becomes and the more of it you need to reach the same levels of satisfaction.
I’ve also suffered with ‘geographical tongue’, a condition that has no definite cause but results in horrible sores and markings that appear all over my tongue. My doctor told me it’s a form or oral thrush, but has never bothered to let me know what helps thrush thrive. Now I know I could be putting my mouth through that uncomfortable suffering because bacteria is loving the warm, wet and sweet conditions of my tongue and makes me more determined to rid myself of this deadly toxin.
So before I start The 90 Day SSS Plan I’ll be detoxing from sugar and letting you guys know real time withdrawal effects, cravings and experiences and if you’re following along with me then I’d love to motivate others to do the same.
Tomorrow’s post will be withdrawal symptoms you can expect (I’m dreading doing that research!)