You’ve probably heard that too much sugar can make you look bad because it causes you to store body fat. True, and I am a huge advocate for limiting sugar intake for that reason. But did you know that there is another MAJOR consideration for deciding whether that dessert is REALLY worth it before you stuff it in your face?
Wrinkles. Huh? I bet you thought those drapey folds and crevices were reserved for sun damage, smoking and too much makeup on your pillow case. While these factors clearly play a significant role in the aging process, consistently high levels of sugar ingested over long periods of time are right up there with the heavy hitters of premature skin aging.
The basic cause of this is a process called glycation, which is a medical term used to describe excess sugar in the blood attaching to proteins and causing significant damage to collagen and elastin, the two major components that keep skin looking fresh and dewy. I found a fairly scientific explanation if you are craving the detail. You know I don’t have the inclination to get into all the stuff behind fascinating facts like these, but this one emerged out of my health coach training (which is based STRICTLY on science and research), so it’s completely valid in my humble estimation.
So what to do?
I don’t know about you, but this was news to me. BIG news. And the best part is that you can DO something about it. The first step, of course, is to back away from the dessert cart, break room, teacher’s lounge, birthday party…fill in the blank. Sugar is everywhere, and IT feeds on US because it can be addictive for ahem some people.
It’s a vicious cycle, but you have to break that cycle. You have some, you want some. More begets even more, and so on. As clearly detailed in my slippery slope confession, even veteran clean eaters are still susceptible to sugar’s sweet serenade.
It’s too bad they don’t make rehab clinics for sugar addicts, because I think there is clearly a market for them. I picture dimly-painted alcoves, nestled within massive pedestrian shopping complexes in close proximity to ice cream parlors, candy stores and The Cheesecake Factory. They’d be non-descript, but everywhere (because sugar is everywhere). You’d slink in, sign the little sheet at the window with the grumpy attendant dressed in scrubs with little broccolis on them (who also isn’t getting any sugar), get your shot of stevia and a dollop of face creme, then come back on Wednesday for another dose, or whatever day is in alignment your withdrawal plan.
If only it were that easy! But I do have some sugar regression tips, should you decide that wrinkles and body fat are not for you. The big key to kicking the cravings is to just get over sugar as much as you can. Especially the fake stuff. Because even though it has no calories, it tricks your body into thinking that it’s still sugar, and reacts by amping up the sweets cravings in exactly the same fashion. So despite the fact that you aren’t getting the calories from sugar, you are stoking the cravings, which continues the cycle. And that cycle will cause you to eventually dive headlong into the real, high calorie sugar because that’s just how the cycle rolls. You have to break the cycle. Period.
I clearly understand what an undertaking this can be, but just stick with it, and eventually you will gain some control. Use your goals to help you push that reset button often, and soon you’ll be on your way to a sweeter life, measured not by taste, but by fitness ♥. And use my found inspiration to help you get there.
Got a sweet tooth? How are you managing the cycle?
P.S. If you’re shaking your head right now because you just can’t relate, I totally get it. There are definitely two sides to the sugar story so hats off to you if you’re one of the lucky ones who can handle it in small doses!