It’s February and there is a certain sweetness in the air. Just when we’ve weaned ourselves from the Christmas food coma, we’re bombarded with Valentine’s Day treats from chocolate kisses to specialty coffee drinks, Valentine’s goody bags filled with our favorite candies, and parties with heart-shaped sugar cookies.
By the time that you read this, our favorite Hallmark holiday will have passed, but it actually might be a perfect time to consider taking a break from your sweetie AKA sugar. But why, you ask? I like it so so much! It’s the one thing that I can turn to comfort me when I’m down, spike my energy level and just make me feel so good.
Here are three reasons to say see ya’ sweetie, and break up with your sugar crush:
Reason #1: Your Beautiful Skin
Did you know that sugar may have a direct impact on your skin? When you consume sugar, your body produces more insulin, which increases the production of skin oils and contributes to the clogging of follicles, according to Valori Treloar, MD, a dermatologist in Newton Massachusetts.
Reason #2: Your Beautiful Mind
Have you ever felt a “sugar crash”? If so, then you understand how sugar can impact your mind. Eating foods high in sugar can cause the blood sugar level to spike and then crash, leaving us feeling moody, irritable and just plain “off”. On a deeper level, scientists have also started to link consistent overconsumption of sugar to impaired cognitive ability and depression.
Reason #3: Your Beautiful Body
Part of the fun of being in your teens is enjoying treats (and let’s be honest, sometimes, a lot of treats) with friends while your youthful metabolism still sways in your favor. The key to maintaining a youthful glow and physique when your older is to begin good habits when you’re young. It’s much more difficult to start healthy habits later in life than it is to maintain the ones you grew up with. If you habitually eat mostly healthy foods now and limit treats to say, special occasions or weekends, you’ll feel healthier and avoid excess weight gain as an adult.
Taking a break from your sugar crush doesn’t have to be heart-wrenching. In fact, it can feel and look absolutely fantastic on your skin, mind and body once you get into the groove. If a clean break is too hard at first, ease into it by making simple substitutions, one day at a time, one food at a time. Substitute a fizzy water with blueberries for your favorite soda or frappuccino.
Grab for an apple or banana instead of a bar. Munch on plain, lightly salted popcorn instead of having a bowl of ice cream at night. This “break” will help you cut down on your sugar consumption in the long run, and diminish sugars’ unsavory effects on your skin, mind and body, from pesky little pimples to unnecessary mood swings.