A sugar high vs nature’s plateau
It’s day three of going sugar free in September. If you’ve decided to take up the challenge to see how your body responds, how are you faring? Are you enjoying a break from the sugar high or is your body still figuring out what’s just happened?
After a shaky start on Sunday (my niece turned three and I couldn’t turn down a slice of her pink butterfly cake), I’ve noticed that my energy has plateaued rather nicely. A plateau doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but it’s calming to not experience the peaks and troughs of a sugared-up day. It’s nice not to have the crash that accompanies a sugar high.
I don’t know about you but I can always feel the impact sugar has on my body: when I go for gold and eat a muffin, for example, I feel a buzz that lasts for an hour or two and then subsides, leaving me tired and slightly (OK, very) cranky. It’s addictive to get that rush of energy. In order to get up on that high peak again, I turn to sugar, caffeine or a combo of both (read: chocolate). Crikey, those poor little adrenal glands must receive a hammering.
It’s time to stop this artificial interference with bodily processes and get back in touch with my body’s natural, finely tuned balance. In a bid to do so, here are some tips I’ve found helpful when giving up sugar in the past, and what I’ll be putting into practice this week:
1. Eating small, regular, protein-containing snacks. Keeps blood sugar levels steady and keeps me feeling full, so I can keep on top of any sugar cravings. I’m a fan of almonds, boiled eggs and hummus, but friends of mine use natural protein shakes, nut butters on veg and homemade protein bars.
2. Doing yoga or meditating every morning. If I start my day off by focusing my mind, I find I’m more likely to stay present throughout the day. That helps with making healthy food choices.
3. Preparation, preparation, preparation. I buy groceries when I’m not hungry; make meals from scratch on the weekends to eat during the week, to avoid the sugars in processed sauces, ready meals and takeaways; keep almonds in my bag and boil eggs in the morning to take for the day.
4. Avoiding alcohol. Everyone’s different, but my willpower goes down when I drink alcohol. I also find my body reacts to alcohol in a similar way as it does to sugar, which doesn’t work well for me.
Long live the plateau!