Weight gain, insulin resistance and high cholesterol are all par for the course when it comes to a sugar habit – even the foods you think are safe, like bread and cereal, could be portals for a sugar hit. Here’s what sugar’s doing to your metabolism.
Sugar, particularly glucose, is a primary source of energy for the body – but when we start consuming this stuff in excess as added sugars, we put our body under the gun to process it. This is because we’re also processing fructose, glucose’s other half – it relies on our liver to process it, which is why we end up with visceral fat around the abdominal organs if we overdo it. We also throw our hormones and blood-sugar levels out of whack, resulting in a number of problems with our metabolism. Here’s what it does best.
When we consume sugar, this triggers the pancreas to release insulin, which then helps to transport sugar from the bloodstream into the cells, where it can be used as energy. But if you’ve got a bit of a sugar habit and find yourself snacking on junk food regularly, you’ll be continuously spiking and crashing your blood sugar levels, and overtime you may experience insulin resistance. Not only does this affect your metabolism, but it can increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Since we know the extent havoc sugar wreaks on our metabolism through blood-sugar spikes, it’s no surprise that consuming too much of the stuff can also lead to weight gain. Excess sugar is stored as fat in the body, leading to the development of visceral fat – this is the most dangerous kind of fat as it wraps around our abdominal organs and raises our risk for liver disease and obesity.
Consuming too much sugar over time has been linked to the development of metabolic syndrome – this describes a cluster of conditions like high blood pressure, high blood-sugar levels, visceral fat and high cholesterol – all of which increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
What to do
Limit or completely cut out sugar: One of the easiest ways to minimise the impact of sugar on metabolism is to take added sugars out of the equation. Always check the labels of your food products to make sure you’re not getting an overdose of sugar in your bread, yoghurt or cereal – the last place you’d want to get slipped the sweet stuff.
Eat whole foods: Remember to JERF – just eat real food – and go for vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds over ultra-processed foods. It’s hard to go wrong when you’re eating real food that nourishes the body.
Exercise: Exercise can help balance blood-sugar meals and regulate your metabolism. Be sure to get a mix of light and rigorous exercise every day – it’s okay to start out small with a gentle walk around the block and build your way up.
Get Enough Sleep: Getting a good sleep is essential for a healthy metabolism, and it’s not uncommon to experience metabolism issues as a result of poor sleep – this includes unexplained weight gain and insulin resistance.
Reduce stress: High levels of stress can also disrupt your metabolism and promote hormonal instability and insulin resistance. Try stress-reducing activities, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises.
Need a little extra help quitting sugar? We’re here to help. It’s no secret that a sugar habit is a tough one to beat – wherever you go, sugar is there. Unlike ditching alcohol, there are few places where sugar is unwelcome. From birthday parties and functions to the office pantry, Sunday markets and the supermarket. Is it any wonder that so many of us find it hard to quit the stuff? That’s why it can also help to join a program like ours – our 8-Week Program is based on accountability, support and providing the essential resources to set you up for success. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining.
We’ve also got nutritionists, personal trainers and naturopaths in our team of experts, and they understand what our bodies need and how to best arm ourselves against those cravings. So, if you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!
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