We feel physically worse, as we often have a stomach ache from overeating, and we feel emotionally worse for several reasons:
- Eating our emotions is never going to resolve the issue causing us to feel lonely, sad, hurt or depressed in the first place, it is a temporary mask of the emotion we don’t want to feel.
- We know that point number 1 is true and now we beat ourselves up for falling into the trap yet again, and eating the whole tub of ice cream or box of cookies.
- Sugar gives us that initial “high”, but then has us crashing and in the process it causes our “happiness” hormone, serotonin to also tank
- Sugar suppresses the production of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which is a natural antidepressant and protein critical for brain health.
So what can you do instead?
- We all have emotions! Recognize that they are chemical reactions in the body that last just 90 seconds, and instead of trying to suppress them as “bad”, or something you don’t want to deal with right now, breathe through them for 90 seconds, acknowledge them and let them go. This takes practice, but is incredibly powerful in allowing you to process the emotion and let it go. Squashing it down gets you stuck re-visiting it (too often in many cases).
- If you experience mood swings frequently, look at your diet – are you eating a diet high in processed foods, with sugars sneaking into every meal, it’s not just sugar that can affect our mood, gluten can block our anti-anxiety neurotransmitters in some people, and meals that don’t have enough protein, or have too much protein can leave us craving sugar, and impact our mood. Are you eating nutrient dense meals roughly 3.5 – 4 hours apart?
- Who are you hanging around? Are you hanging around happy people that love and support you and lift you up, or are you hanging around stressed out anxious people that spend a lot of time complaining and bring you down? You are the combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Ensure your tribe lifts you up!
- What is going on inside your body? Do you have yeast or bacterial overgrowth? If so, those microbes LOVE sugar and may be sending you sugar cravings that are very hard to overcome, but we can re-balance your gut to resolve that. A simple at home lab test will let us know if this is the cause of your sugar cravings. Or perhaps you have hormonal imbalances that are causing your mood swings. Just about every woman knows she can have mood swings during her 28 day cycle – we accept PMS as normal, except it isn’t these symptoms are messages from your body, asking you to do something different as your hormones are out of balance. It’s the same for any woman going through perimenopause and menopause.
Sugar is addictive – in fact it’s more addictive than cocaine, at least in lab rats! And NO, I’m not suggesting you start using cocaine, I’m simply stating that it is a problem many people struggle with and the food industry knows it’s addictive and so they add it to many foods unnecessarily in an effort to increase their profits by having you buy more of their products! This of course is not serving human health outcomes at all. Each individual has their own sugar tolerance levels, and understanding how it impacts our health and our mood is critical in order to make the right choices so we can feel at our best ALL the time! If you struggle with sugar, please check out my 28 Day Kick The Sugar Habit program, a self-guided program, providing delicious recipes, and a gradual decrease in sugar intake so we don’t trigger cravings, in order to allow you to reset your taste buds and enjoy foods with natural sugars instead of all the process sugars in processed foods.