Fatigue, Stress, and Sugar... let's talk about the white stuff.
Ever find yourself craving sugar? How about notice that when you are stressed you crave sugar more? If you are like most people then you are not just saying “yes” but more like a “hell yes.”
If I had a nickel for every person I’ve heard beat themselves up for their self diagnosed lack of self control about sugar then I’d have a lot of nickels. Not only do we know sugar is bad for us, but we treat ourselves badly for using sugar, and we degrade ourselves for lacking self control.
Newsflash. It’s addictive. Like chemically addictive. To get off sugar you need to detox as you would for any addictive substance. Preferably a slow reduction to prevent crankiness and mood swings.
There are a few triggers (other than chemical addiction) that lead us to want or even need sugar. Let’s talk about them…
Stress: when you are dealing with excess stress, part of the ever intelligent “fight or flight” response is to pump glucose into your bloodstream. Your brain is determining that you are in danger and will need extra fuel - what better chemical to provide for fast energy but glucose?
Fatigue: after stress response is the let down of restoration, often in this space you will be fatigued. When we are fatigued we crave energy to keep us going. What is the most abundant source of rapid energy? Glucose.
Hunger: in a society that lauds skinny and obsesses over diets, it comes with the territory that intermittently starving ourselves is common. People tend to undereat and feel good about it, then overeat and feel bad about it. You know what your body wants? A steady, useable stream of nutrients, macro and micro. If you allow yourself to get really hungry your body is going to send you messages to eat glucose producing foods (sugar and carbohydrates). Your brain is far more concerned about keeping your heart pumping and your lungs operating than it is about the fit of your jeans. If you don’t feed your body regularly, it will request rapid energy in a panic… read it will make you crave sugar.
I could talk all day about the impact of how we feed ourselves, food is our first medicine and anyone giving advice about health should be able to talk shop about food (IMHO).
My strategy for eating thru stress/fatigue and prevent sugar cravings.
1. Stop beating yourself up for sugar cravings - yes the first task is an emotional one.
Prep nutrient dense snacks that you eat BEFORE you are starving.
2. Consume 1 less sugary item each day until you are down to zero. Stay @ zero for 21 days - allowing yourself to consume fruit (especially berries) when cravings hit.
3. Continue step 1 and 2 for the rest of your life amen.
4. Use adaptogenic herbs to boost your health, stamina, modulate glucose, and reduce fatigue.
July 28th, I will be offering a class on Adaptogenic Herbs and specifically how to use them for energy, stress, and fatigue. Buy tickets to class here: http://bit.ly/2wTPwct
These unique herbs provide energy stability, that I find over time, consistently help people reduce their dependence on sugar to get through their day.