Ask anyone who’s ever tried to say ‘no’ to a slice of birthday cake at 3 pm in the office: sugar is hard to resist. Not only is it addictive, it saps your energy, affects your mental wellbeing and has even been linked to heart disease. While there are a hundred and one reasons why sugar is bad, there are also a bucketload of reasons why cutting back on the sweet stuff is good. It turns out eating less sugar has some pretty sweet side effects – who would’ve thunk?!
Sugar, we need to talk
We know that sugar is bad. But why? Basically, when you eat sugar, your blood glucose levels spike, which is the ‘sugar high’ that gives you a short burst of energy, followed quickly by a crash. You can run your blood sugar levels up and down all day, because when you crash, you turn to more sugar to bring you back up. Feeding a sugar crash with more sugar only pulls you into an unhealthy cycle of highs and lows.
5 things that happen to your body when you eat less sugar
- Clearer skin
- More energy
- Feel lighter
- Less mood swings
- Better sleep
1. Clearer skin
Ever wondered why your skin always breaks out around Easter time? Here’s a hint: it’s not the thrill of the egg hunt that’s getting your skin worked up. Reducing your sugar intake can help to strengthen elasticity and collagen by reducing the inflammation present in your skin. Say what? Essentially, less sugar = less inflammation = a plump and glowing complexion.
2. More energy
Added sugars are simple carbs. This means that they work fast and hard at giving you energy, hence the quick sugar rush and inevitable sugar crash. When you replace sugary foods with healthy fats and proteins, you’ll get a more sustainable stream of energy that lasts longer. Swap your 3pm choccy hit with our Stress Less Balls or some baked tortilla chips and our probiotic guac for an extra pep in your step that lasts longer.
3. Feel lighter
We’re not judgy, we’ve got all shapes and sizes here at Nexba. But the simple fact is, if you’ve been overdoing the sweet treats, when you cut back, you can often experience some weight loss (and what you want to do with that is totally up to you!). Why? Well, sugar doesn’t contain any of the healthy fats and fibre and that trigger the ‘I’m full’ feeling. So we eat, and eat, and when we eat too much sugar, our body can’t metabolise it. It gets stuck and stored as fat. When you replace sugar with good fats and fibre, you’re less likely to consume empty calories. The result? A happier metabolism, less cravings and a general feeling of walking on air.
4. Less mood swings
This is a big one. Basically, sugar releases feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which is why you often feel a sense of euphoria after chowing down a triple choc fudge brownie. But this feeling is only temporary and is quickly replaced by crankiness (and talking from experience, regret!). Cutting down on your sugar intake means that your energy will begin to improve on its own, making you feel chirpier and overall less irritable.
5. Better sleep
Cutting down on sugar won’t solve your insomnia overnight, but it will help your sleeplessness in the long term. Reducing your refined sugar intake can improve the degree of slow wave sleep (the deep sleep phase that’s important for memory processing and muscle growth). Eat less sugar and you’ll notice yourself getting a better night’s sleep – and better focus, too!
How can I cut back on added sugars?
- Swap your sugary faves for sugar free alternatives: Love ice cream after dinner? Try Strawberry & Peach Kefir Ice Cream. Can’t have lunch without a can of lemonade? Try our Naturally Sugar Free Soft Drinks.
- Watch out for sugar trying to sneak in: Sugar hides in many foods that you least expect. Check the ingredient labels of your bread, pasta sauce, almond milk and the rest! Opt for no added sugar versions.
- Fall in love with fruit: While fruits do have naturally occurring sugar, they’re fulla fibre and contain important minerals and nutrients as well. If you’re craving something sweet, pick up a punnet of berries, which are the lowest in fruit sugar. They’ll curb your cravings and give you plenty of nutrients as well! Total double whammy!