Tired, Burnt Out and Addicted to Sugar?

Danielle Omar, MS, RD Calcium and Bone Health 1 Comment

Do you wake up each morning feeling exhausted, even after getting plenty of sleep?

Do you often feel lethargic, lacking the mental and physical capacity to do the things you love?

Have you been relying on caffeine, carbs, or the candy dish at work for a quick energy boost…only to feel a major “crash” hours later?

If you said yes to any of these…sugar may be secretly zapping your energy.

Excess sugar in your diet can rob you of that “get-up-and-go” feeling, making you wonder WHY you’re so tired. You might even think you’re not getting enough sleep and turn to caffeine for an extra boost, but that can have the opposite effect, disrupting your sleep and causing its own set of problems.

A high sugar diet may be making it difficult to have sustained, consistent energy throughout the day, which leads to increased sugar cravings, causing an endless cycle of ups and downs.

Why is sugar bad for us?

Do not do this, I repeat…#dietitianhumor – @danielleomar

Overdoing anything can cause problems in the body. Ever had too much cabbage? I have, and it’s gas city! Unfortunately, excess sugar can do much worse than gas; it increases inflammation in the body and contributes to insulin resistance. Excess sugar in the diet can also increase triglycerides and cause a drop in HDL (the “healthy” type of cholesterol). This is super important to your health. Research shows that this combination of effects alone can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

How to tame the sugar addict in you

I recommend you go cold turkey. Don’t panic! I say this mainly because it works. If you try to just “cut back” you won’t be nearly as successful then if you just cut it all out. Why? Because the more sugar you eat, the more you want. And “cutting back” would be especially hard for the many people who can’t stop with just one. I have led thousands of people off sugar in my Nourish program, so I promise you it can be done. It’s not as hard as you think if you fuel yourself properly while doing it and follow these success tips.

1. Don’t diet or restrict calories while quitting sugar.

Not eating enough food can cause blood sugar to get too low, which in turn brings on cravings for sugar and carbs. Focus on one thing at a time! Make sure to eat within an hour of waking and fuel up every 3-4 hours to keep your blood sugar stable. What should you eat? This leads to my next few tips…

2. Fiber is you friend. 

Fiber is my secret weapon for staying full and satisfied, and keeping sugar cravings at bay. Whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, berries, apples vegetables, and leafy greens should make up most of your plate. Fiber slows down digestion and lets you stay full for longer, keeping your brain occupied and not thinking about that candy bowl!

3. Eat protein and fat.

Protein and fat are your friends when cutting back on sugar. Having a fiber, fat and protein combination at every meal is the easiest way to curb cravings and keep your metabolism humming. You’ll immediately notice a difference in your mood and energy. You’ll sleep better, feel better, and those mid-afternoon energy slumps will disappear.

4. Focus on gut health. 

A diet high in sugar can mess up the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract. Eating naturally fermented food is a great way to help populate the good bacteria and snuff out the bad! Increase probiotic foods in your diet by stirring some kefir into your oatmeal, adding a scoop of sauerkraut or kimchi to your lunch salad, or choosing Greek yogurt with berries for a mid-day snack. Get support. Tell your family and friends that you’re trying to quit sugar. Make sure they know why you’re doing it. Sharing the reason why you’re changing your diet with family and friends will help prevent them from feeling like they have to change as well or that you’re judging them. If they know why you’re trying to get healthy and feel better, it’s a lot more compelling than if you’re just following a fad diet. 

If you missed my free live webinar, Tired, Burnt Out and Addicted to Sugar?, you can still take back control of your diet and reclaim your energy with the support of myself and others by joining my Nourish program use the code CALEZ at checkout to receive $30 off (TODAY – January 13 is the last day to register)!

Have you ever cut out sugar? Are you willing to try going cold turkey even for just a couple weeks? Share your thoughts, concerns and questions with me in the comments!

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