V-Day is right around the corner, and that means lots of temptation to eat chocolates and candy. You want to treat yourself, but you're also probably at least a little worried about what that sugar will do to you. And you should be!
It's sort of a tale as old as time. Since you've been a kid, you've probably been warned about sugar. Your parents might have rationed your candy after Halloween or given you a no-soda ultimatum. When we're young, we're def taught that too much sugar is no good.
But then we grow up. And we get to make all of our own food choices. And suddenly sugar becomes this reward. Like, it's a way to treat ourselves. And it's in so much of the stuff that we celebrate with, from fun cocktails to cookies and cakes.
So, what's the deal? Really, I think it's just a matter of us forgetting what we learned when we were young. Sugar doesn't become any less bad for us when we're adults. We just choose to eat it anyway.
And I think it's easier to eat too much sugar if you don't really understand the details on how sugar is bad for you. So let's get some facts straight! If you want help crushing your next sugar craving, remember these five reasons why sugar is bad for you.
#1: It's so sneaky!
This honestly makes me mad. The thing is: a little bit of sugar is okay. But the problem in our modern society is that now, sugar is in pretty much everything. Like, take fruit smoothies from the store. Fruit already naturally contains sugar so you think they'd have their bases covered there. But NO. They add sugar in, too!
Seriously, sugar hides in all these places you wouldn't expect, like pasta sauces and salad dressings. If you grab our 7-Day Sugar Detox Guide, you'll see a section that specifically lists things with sneaky sugar so you can watch out.
But, ultimately, you can do one big thing to avoid sneaky sugar: read those nutrition labels, girl!
#2: We eat WAY too much of it
One of the main reasons why sugar is not the best is that it's hard on your overall health. So the American Heart Association (AHA) came up with guidelines. They say that women should eat no more than 6 teaspoons — or 25 grams — of sugar a day.
Now, brace yourself. The average American eats a whopping 77 grams of sugar each day. That's TRIPLE the amount we should be having. Yikes.
#3: It ups our health risks
Okay, but really, we know we should avoid sugar, but why? There are a whole bunch of reasons, actually. So you don't have to do the research yourself, I'll just say that excess sugar contributes to:
- Weight gain
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Cellular aging
- Kidney disease
- Tooth decay
- Cognitive decline
Convinced yet? Don't let sugar take its toll on you! If you want help kicking the sweet stuff, girl, you've gotta check out our detox guide!
#4: It messes with how we feel
On top of all the physical risks of sugar, too much of it can wreak havoc on your mental state. You've probably already felt that slump that comes after you eat too much sugar.
When you eat a bunch of sugar, your blood sugar levels spike (no surprise there). You feel super energized for a little bit because of that. But then those levels dip back down just as quickly as they rose. As your blood sugar levels plummet, so does your overall energy. You feel tired and cranky.
But that's not all! Sugar literally impacts your mental wellness, and too much of it can contribute to depression and anxiety.
We all indulge, and that's totally okay once in a while because we deserve it, but we also deserve to feel healthy, detoxed, and confident. And sugar doesn't do you ANY favors there. Seriously, the mental impacts are one of the main reasons you need to avoid sugar.
To help yourself feel your best in your body and your brain, I absolutely recommend pairing our Sugar Detox Guide with our Lots of Love Challenge. We're kicking it off on February 15 to help us all strengthen our self-love!
#5: It causes cravings
One of the last — and worst — reasons why sugar is bad for you hinges on the fact that the more you eat it, the more you want it. We should be in control to enjoy it when we want, not controlled by cravings. But sugar makes that hard.
See, the sweet stuff affects your brain a lot like an addictive drug. So that urge you have to reach for another cookie isn't your usual temptation, it's actually something that's going on in your brain chemically.
Another weird/bad thing about sugar: the more we eat it, the less sweet it tastes. You adjust to more and more sugar. But if you get off sugar for a bit, you'll be blown away when you reach for that Coke or candy bar. It will taste crazy-sweet to you!
All told, sugar messes with your body and your brain. But the good news is that there's a flip side to the coin. Sure, you'll want more sugar the more you eat, but the less you eat, the less you'll want —once you get over those initial cravings.
And you can do exactly that in just seven days with our Sugar Detox Guide. You've got this, girl! Instead of treating yourself to extra sweets this Valentine's Day, why not treat yourself to something that will make you feel great long-term? Sign up for our Lots of Love Challenge today! It starts on Monday!