11 Nov Giving up simple sugars
How does simple sugars impact your weight and what is the best strategy to decrease intake.
We have been told many times that if we want to lose weight , we should eat less sweets and decrease the amount of sugar we consume.
Well – that is actually true .
In this article I want to explain WHY simple sugars are bad for you and what is the BEST strategy to use in order to overcome the sugar addiction.
So what are simple sugars and why are they ‘ simple ‘ ?
Lets start from the basic shall we ?
You have probably heard about Carbohydrates or Carbs right ?
Well – Carbs are a macronutrient ( The other two are Fat and Protein ) that provides you 4 Kcal of energy per 1 gram of it .
They are also divided into 2 categories – based on their molecular structure :
1. Simple Carbs
Contain 1 or 2 sugar molecules and are easily and quickly broken down and absorbed by the body
( Monosaccharide & Disaccharide )
2. Complex Carbs
Contain 3 and more sugar molecules making them much harder to break apart and digest .
This is the reason why Carbs are not bad – Simple carbs are .
Thats pretty much explains why simple carbs are simple .
What is the impact of simple sugars ?
Due to its easy breakdown , simple carbs are the bodies preferred energy source .
It is quick , gives immediate energy boost AND is easy do break down .
Win win right ?
well – not exactly .
Here is why .
1. Empty Calories
Although simple sugars gives you immediate energy boost – other then calories it doesn’t have anything substantial the body needs .
It is true that the brain in order to function need sugars for proper functioning ( thats why many times people take chocolate or other type of sweets to a mentally demanding work – for example a 3hr test .)
When the body gets too much of those calories and they are not immediately used the body sends them to storage – which in turn converts into fat .
Hence – if you are trying to lose weight – taking control over simple sugars intake is one of the most vital parts of the diet .
2. Insulin and blood sugar spike
You have probably heard about Insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that produced in the pancreas and its main function is to help the sugar from the blood to get absorbed in the cells .
So for people that don’t have Diabetes – and function normally , the more sugar intake they will have – the more insulin will be secreted to handle the job.
This will cause high levels of insulin in the blood as well as drop in sugar levels after their initial intake spike .
it takes Insulin about 15 minutes to get to full capacity and it might take it between 2-4 hours to handle the sugars absorption in the blood .
( Now you know why few hours after heaving a big meal or some sugar blast you feel sleepy and hungry ).
Those spikes both in sugar and insulin gets your body to use external sugars as fuel instead of using your stored fat .
3. Weight Gain
You already get that too much sugar will not allow you to tap into your own sugar storages .
Not only that but what happens when you have blood sugar drop ?
Thats right !
You feel hungry again – and most of the times it will end up in overeating or eating the WRONG type of food
( Usually something sweet or fatty )
What Dopamine have to do with simple sugars ?
I assume you also know or heard about Dopamine .
( and you might heard about Dope – the drug : which is named after this hormone because of it’s function )
So what is Dopamine ?
Dopamine is the ‘ Feel good ‘ hormone .
As its name suggests – that is its role : to make you feel good .
Simply put : anything that makes you feel good ( drugs , drinking , sugar , sex , accomplishment , etc… ) this guy is activated .
And as humans – we want more of what makes us feel good right ?
That is why people become drug addicts , sex addicts or alcoholics …
They just lose the control over this hormone / neurotransmitter and they always crave for this good feeling .
Sugars are no different .
They are also making us feel good hence they are also activating Dopamine and that is why our brain remembers
the good feeling we felt after having this cake – that it will just keep on craving it : because it is so god damn good !
How can you win against Dopamine ?
I have worked with many client that came to my consultation and told me that if they want – they will stop their sugar intake tomorrow .
Every time I called BS on that , they got upset and in the end of the day – they haven’t stop their intake as they were so firmly convinced .
You can’t beat your brain so fast !
When you got used to sugars and they make you feel good why should you give up on that ? or why should your body enjoy the process right ?
Remember – It is the same thing like a drug addict will say he will stop using drugs the next day .
Chances for it to succeed are slim .
So how can you still be successful ?
The answer is : by a step by step process .
Step 1 . Deduct the quantities gradually
Like i have already mentioned – you can’t stop immediately so make it a step by step process .
Start with decreasing the amounts of simple sugars you are currently having by the proportion that is DOABLE FOR YOU !
So for example : If you are having 3 cokes / week and you can’t drop the coke all together – start with dropping down to 2 cokes / week then to 1 coke / week then to non. ( For others – giving up coke might be easy but they will not be able to give up the sugar in the coffee ).
Step 2. Remove The add ons
After you deduct the quantities – try to completely eliminate the Extras .
For example : If you ALWAYS have desert : get to a point where you don’t have it at all .
If you drink beer every day : get to a point where you don’t drink at all ( other then in very special occasions )
Sugar in the coffee ? deduct the amounts you are adding until having coffee with no sugar will be no problem 🙂
Step 3. Get in charge
If you follow this gradual steps – you will see that at some point you will not crave sweets any more .
That is the SWEET spot i am getting my client to : its the point where you are in charge and not your dopamine .
Where you can say : I can have a desert or i can NOT have a desert and be completely OK with your choice .
When you get to the point where you are in control over your food – you win !
Hope this article was helpful and if you have any questions or need further help with losing weight or taking control over your mind:
Get in touch with me here