So, you’ve just had a great few weeks celebrating Christmas with colleagues, friends and family. You ate relatively well during the festive season but admittedly let a few cocktails, sides of fresh bread, beautiful pastries, fruit smoothies and desserts creep in. After all, ‘tis the season and it’d be rude not to. Sound familiar? If it does, chances are you have indulged more than usual and could do with reducing your sugar intake, right away.
If you’re still not sure, here are 7 signs that will help to confirm it.
1. You’ve eaten out more than usual
Even if you think you’ve been avoiding the white stuff, if you’ve been eating out at restaurants or friend’s houses, eating packaged foods and/or drinking alcohol, it’s almost a certainty that excess sugars have crept in to your diet. This in itself is reason enough to take a metabolic re-set and cut back.
2. You’re getting carbohydrate cravings
Craving carbohydrate in the form of chocolate or ice cream straight after a meal is one thing, but if you’re craving it in the form of bread or fruit smoothies then this a tell-tale sign that you’ve been over exposed and need to recalibrate. It’s simple, the more you eat the more you’ll crave. This is partly because your taste buds become adapted to the taste, but also because you become reliant on it as a fuel source. High blood sugar (blood glucose) levels will cause equally high levels of the hormone insulin to be released. In doing its’ job insulin promotes the use of sugar as a fuel source and therefore leaves you scrambling for more when your blood sugar levels start to drop again.
3. You’re exhausted by 3pm
You might think that your calling for a 3pm nap is simply due to being in ‘holiday mode’, but chances are it’s more likely due to your recent indulging. Your energy levels will be most stable when blood sugar levels are stable. This means the equal and opposite is true – peaks in blood sugar (due to carbohydrate rich meals) will cause steep crashes in blood sugar leading to lethargy (or another meal) within just a few hours of eating.
4. Your top button is hard to do up
You’ve been indulging in food and alcohol you wouldn’t usually have and your training schedule has taken a back seat, it’s no surprise you’ve noticed a kilo or two creep on. When insulin is secreted and chronically elevated, fat has an opportunity to accumulate in the tissues. When insulin levels drop, fatty acids have the opportunity to be used for energy production. The answer to overcoming the bulge is therefore to reduce free circulating insulin levels which, for most, can be achieved by reducing carbohydrates.
5. You’re irritable when you haven’t eaten for a few hours
The blood sugar crash that can happen after coming off a high definitely has the capacity to leave you feeling crabbier than usual. Couple this with flailing energy levels and there’s no wonder you’ll feel more on edge in the absence of a sugary snack after a few weeks of indulgence. This can absolutely be resolved by reducing carbohydrate intake and therefore your reliance on it as a fuel source.
6. You’re bloating easily after meals
Bloating is more often than not triggered by excess gas and what’s a common culprit for excess gas consumption? You guessed it, sugar. This is due to the body’s inability to effectively digest many types of sugar. Over time this can lead to a less than ideal balance of gut bacteria, which themselves can contribute to excess gas production and bloating.
7. Your skin is breaking out
Some people are more sensitive to insulin spikes than others. For those that are, over time an excess of circulating insulin can trigger a hormonal cascade leading to breakouts. If you’ve noticed your skin getting worse over the Christmas break, then chances are now is the time to look at reducing your sugar intake.
You might be reading this and relating. If that’s the case then I encourage you to act now rather than waiting for the summer to be over when you’ll have a much deeper hole to climb out of. Similarly, you might be reading this and realising that these symptoms have long been present. If that’s you then speak with us today about determining your carbohydrate tolerance levels and what you can do to set yourself up for a year of incredible health. Book your complimentary 15 minute Skype consultation here.