We know that the less sugar we eat, the less we’ll crave…but why is it so hard for to get to that point in the first place?
Although eating foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates such as biscuits and cakes can leave your taste buds satisfied and give a short term ‘buzz’… they cause a drop in blood sugar levels which leaves your body craving more to restore those levels.
The problem doesn’t arise when treating ourselves every now and again; the issue is when we over consume these sweet treats, most of the time without even knowing it. This is easy to do in today’s society as sugar is added to many processed foods, even ones we might consider to be healthy, such as yoghurt, breads and juices. In this post we’ll show you how to help you curb your sweet tooth in the instant they hit and quit sugar cravings for good not only for your health but for your skin.
Here is just a few ways over consumption of sugar can impact your complexion:
DAMAGING EFFECTS OF SUGAR AND YOUR SKIN
- Fine Lines and Wrinkles: When an excess intake of sugar and simple carbohydrates (like white bread, baked goods etc) are consumed advanced glycation end products are produced. Collagen and elastin in our skin are targeted by AGEs (the name suits right?!) damaging their strength and elasticity and bringing on wrinkles.
- Redness and Puffiness: AGEs destroy antioxidants which protect us against free radicals and help to fight inflammation. This makes our skin more susceptible to damage from both inflammation and from the sun’s UV rays. Along with the quick changes sugar can cause to your blood sugar levels this combination causes havoc for your appearance, increasing redness and puffiness within your complexion.
- Acne: Excess sugar signals your hormones to make your skin glands work in overdrive. This creates blocked pores and oily skin. Along with increased inflammation the perfect environment for pimples is created and breakouts begin to occur!
But it’s not all bad news! With some simple changes we can prep our body to sustain a radiate, youthful glow for more of our… not so youthful years.
QUICK FIXES FOR SUGAR CRAVINGS
#1 Brush your teeth! The taste of chocolate and toothpaste does not mix.
#2 Have an herbal tea with spices like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom as this will not only quench thirst but also reduce that need for a sweet taste in your mouth.
#3 Have a go-to mantra you tell yourself when sugar cravings hit that you KNOW will work. Our fav is “You can make excuses or you can make it happen”
#4 Chew a piece of gum, not only will it keep your mouth busy but again reduce that need for a sweet taste.
MAKE THE CHANGE
1. Prepare yourself a standby snack! If you’re reaching for a sweet treat or afternoon pick-me-up make sure you have a substitute on hand so the decision is a no-brainer. Having a small container of trail mix or activated nuts in your handbag is a great go-to or for something a little more exciting try one of our super easy snack ideas.
2. Here’s for the chocoholics – If you consider yourself to be a chocoholic and you feel you couldn’t possibly go a day without it… now is the time to listen! Buying chocolate rich in cocoa (>70%) will not only reduce your sugar intake it will also boost your antioxidant intake when compared to ‘normal’ or milk chocolate. A square or two is all you will need to fight sugar cravings, especially if it’s a rich dark chocolate. If you find yourself going back for more, your body may just be hungry or thirsty! Cold pressed almond milk is a great option, as it will not only satisfy hunger and quench thirst, but you can add beautiful spices like cinnamon or cloves to create a decadent sugar-free treat.
3. Distraction may be the key. Sugar cravings generally only last a small amount time and are often born out of boredom. If you feel a sugar craving coming on take it as a sign to involve yourself in something more intently for the next 10-20 minutes. Whether it’s going for a walk, browsing your fav blog, having a chat or making a herbal tea, find something that is enjoyable and works for you.
4. Eat regularly! It is much harder to fight those sugar cravings when we’re hungry as well. After not having eaten for a while your blood sugar levels begin to drop. Which causes your brain to search for something that will provide a quick fix to boost your blood sugar levels. Eating regularly will help to avoid these situations, enabling you to keep your sugar cravings at bay.
5. Eat fresh, wholefoods… Make sure you are providing your body with enough protein, fats and complex carbohydrates. Foods high in protein such as fish, lentils or eggs and carbohydrates such as brown rice will keep you fuller for longer and allow a slow release of natural sugars ensuring your blood sugar levels do not dip. Eating unprocessed produce also makes it easier to steer clear of sneaky added sugars which can be hidden in the nutritional information panel on the back! Beat your sugar cravings while nourishing your skin!
If you are purchasing a packaged food, look out for sugar in disguise that can come under these names: corn syrup, dextrin, maltodextrin, fruit juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, galactose, glucose, hydrogenated starch, mannitol, honey, molasses, sorbitol, sucrose, and xylitol.
So there we have it, excess consumption of sugar is not only bad for your body it’s also terrible for your skin! Remember to consume sugar in moderation. It is recomended to consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is around 26g. Checking nutritional information panels of foods is important to ensure you are within this acceptable amount.