Candy canes, boxes of chocolates in the staff room from appreciative clients, homemade truffles as gifts from colleagues! Sugar, sugar and more sugar is under your nose (and probably in your mouth!) during the Silly Season! The problem with consuming a lot of sugar is that the human body is actually not designed for this at all and it makes you feel tired and crappy just at a time of year where energy is already sapped and you’d really like to enjoy yourself!
This is our second last Silly Season Survival Tip – you’ve nearly made it guys!! I hope that you have been really trying to get enough sleep, eat well, avoid hangovers and not get stressed about gift giving. If you’ve missed any of my tips on how to do this check out my Facebook page or the Blog.
Let’s take this opportunity when there is so much obvious sugar around to have a think about hidden sugars. If you haven’t seen That Sugar Film, I’d urge you to catch it during your holidays. What happened to That Sugar Guy (as I call him) in his film was really frightening. He put himself on a diet of consuming so called ‘healthy’ foods for 2 months (having previously barely consumed any sugar). These healthy foods were things such as juices, low fat yoghurt, muesli bars, cereals, etc. It’s important to note that he did not eat things like lollies or icecream (let alone all the seasonal treats that abound at the moment!). He maintained the same level of exercise as he did previously.
The result was that he gained a lot of weight – that was both visible and invisible. But even worse, his liver got to the point of near-failure. That Sugar Guy also experienced quite extreme impacts on his mental and emotional wellbeing during his experiment. He became very easily fatigued, he became irritable and even felt that he really wasn’t thinking very clearly much of the time.
This was all in just 2 months!!
The biology of eating sugar
The human body is actually designed to have sugar infrequently, and if it gets sugar often it becomes addicted. Eating sugar tells your body to store energy, because early mankind only had access to sugar in summer and needed to eat up when it was plentiful in preparation for the long winter when not much food of any kind was around.
Just remember the most basic human biology that you learnt at school; food is the energy that you put into your body. Starvation is one of the biggest killers and unfortunately in western society today you can be malnourished even if you are overweight, because you are not feeding your body the nutrients that it needs to survive, and thrive. If you really want to improve your wellbeing you need to ensure that you are providing your body with the good energy that it needs, and equally importantly, that you are not then poisoning your body with things that it does not need, and cannot break down and use. Food is really is the best medicine (when it is not the worst poison) and you are the one who has complete control over how much you can heal yourself, from the inside, with your diet.
How to avoid hidden sugars
Read labels – sugar should not be in the top 3-4 ingredients and preferably not in most products at all – especially when it is something that you think of as savoury such as bread or tomato sauce or crackers. Substitute natural sweeteners instead like maple, rice or agave syrup in baking and desserts. But overall, reduce the quantity of these things that you eat anyway. Use less sweetening than a recipe suggests, and most of all treat sugar like the rare treat our bodies expect it to be. It is actually a lot easier than you think – it just requires a re-set of your sweet tooth.
Going to specialist groceries and organic shops you will find many more options for much loved products that do not have added sugar, and still taste delicious.
Silly Season Strategies
Here are a few extra tips for managing the sugar overload during the silly season:
- make sure you tell people NOT to give you sweets as gifts (if you are too late or miss someone, put the box of choccies away for another special occasion or your next book group, that way you are not eating them all now)
- pay special attention to Silly Season Survival Tip #2, which was all about eating healthy. Make sure that you’re not going to be feeling hungry when you’re around sweet treats, this will make you less likely to gobble them down!
- if you do eat a few too many choc santas one day then just make sure that you drink a lot of water and do some extra exercise and also be extra motivated to avoid temptation for the next few days, but all without beating yourself up, remember the Silly Season is meant to be enjoyed!
- don’t add to the problem by giving other people sweet treats or baking a Christmas cake for the office, and if you do make sure it’s a more healthy version. Hopefully this will also help to spread the word about how harmful sugar is in the quantities that it is commonly consumed.
- to bring yourself into energetic balance and avoid being tempted by sweet treats, or to overcome their toxic effects on your body, have some Reiki!
For more information about anything covered in this Blog, or anything else to do with your wellbeing, please contact me.
To book that Reiki appointment click here.