I have a confession to make. I’ve been a bit of a sugar and carb addict.
Over the last several months – probably more like years – I found I seemed to need coffee (and lots of it) to get through my day. I reached for a matcha coconut latte with coconut sugar or maple syrup, often paired with chocolate, every afternoon. And at night, on my most stressful days – and it felt like there were a lot of them – I’d also sit in front of the TV eating rice pasta, pad Thai, Kettle chips, and macaroons.
At the time, I didn’t realize how much all that sugar was impacting my energy.
I knew I was tired and constantly feeling drained… but I didn’t actively connect it to my sugar consumption. I figured I was just overextending myself, and that I could compensate for it later. “I’ll go to the gym this afternoon”, I’d say, but then my energy would bottom out and I’d revise, “Okay, maybe in the morning”. But then I’d wake up – barely – and grab a coffee and the cycle would start all over again.
Sugar was sabotaging my ability to have stable, steady energy throughout the day.
If you’ve often woken up feeling tired — even after getting plenty of sleep — and you find yourself automatically reaching for coffee or sweets in the morning, I want to help you pinpoint WHY that may be happening, so you can stop fueling the tiredness and instead finally fuel high energy all day long.
Before I dig into this, here’s a quiz for you…
Quiz: Are You a Sugar & Carb Addict?
If you’re like most of my clients, you struggle to make it through the day without an energy “crash”, but you don’t know specifically whether or not you have a problem with sugar and carbs. This short quiz will help you start to figure this out. Read the following statements and answer yes/no for each one.
- You crave sweets or carbs (such as chips, crackers, bread, pasta) every day, but think it’s just “how you’re wired”.
- You reach for a sugar-laden coffee drink, muffin, bagel, donut, or sugary cereal to kickstart your morning.
- You get through most of the day eating healthy, but you can’t seem to resist a(nother) sugar-laden coffee drink, soda, candy, other sweets or carbs mid-afternoon.
- After a long exhausting day, you typically use sweets or carbs to wind down at night.
- You often eat more sugar than you plan to, and find that it’s difficult to stop after eating a small portion.
- You find it next to impossible to abstain from sweets and carbs when they’re in front of you.
- You often feel like you’re not in control of what you’re eating – almost as if there’s another force inside you that’s taking charge and derailing your plans.
If you found yourself nodding along to one or more of these questions, then there’s a good chance sugar is impacting your energy levels throughout the day. While you may not be happy to know this, the good news is that there’s an easy fix. (More on this later.)
You’re Not Alone
Answering yes to any of the above statements can feel depressing and like you’re a failure. You may feel different from everyone else and wonder why you don’t have more willpower.
You are far from alone. Almost every client I work with struggles with sugar and carbs. In fact, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been in the same place you are, where I just couldn’t seem to get through the afternoon slump without a latte or piece of chocolate.
I tried to stick to eating well but even with my knowledge I wound up eating foods that caused my energy to plummet. It was like being put into a “sugar coma”.
Once you learn the direct correlation between sugar and your energy levels, and discover exactly why it makes feeling your best so difficult, you’ll feel more empowered and able to take back control of your diet.
How Sugar & Carbs Rob You of Energy
Sugar wreaks havoc on your body’s ability to feel energized.
When you consume sugar, you raise your blood glucose (i.e. the amount of sugar in your bloodstream) and get a swift spike in energy. Your body treats this as an “emergency” — and it does everything it can to eliminate the sugar from your blood as quickly as possible in order to maintain homeostasis. It does this by pumping out the hormone insulin, which moves glucose out of your bloodstream. This is what causes the “crash”.
Then you crave more sugar to compensate for that crash and the cycle repeats.
These highs and lows create an “energy rollercoaster” that leaves you feeling drained.
Even worse — as this cycle continues, it creates a downward spiral. It can lead to “down/blue” feelings causing you to feel depressed, while prompting you to crave even MORE sweets and carbs to give you an emotional and physical boost.
Over time, a person can begin to feel even more fatigued, bad about themselves, and stuck in a rut.
Good News: Willpower is NOT the Solution
Now you may be thinking that the answer is that you simply need to be “tougher” and have more willpower, and simply refrain from reaching for sugar or carbs.
But here’s the thing: willpower only lasts so long. It’s not the long-term solution you’re looking for.
Sure, if you’re determined, you can set your mind to removing certain foods from your diet. But if you don’t understand the underlining reasons WHY you’re experiencing cravings (and address them), they’re sneaky and they’ll creep back in… and next thing you’ll know, you’ll be exhausted again in the middle of the day.
This is the main reason why most quick-fix “energy boosters” don’t work long-term.
When I re-calibrated my eating habits, it was a HUGE relief. I no longer beat myself up for being “weak” and unable to get through the afternoon without turning to sweets.
The solution is to pinpoint what’s causing your cravings. There are a few main culprits and once you know what they are, you can eliminate your cravings so sugar and carbs no longer have a hold on you… and no longer trap you in the highs/lows of the energy rollercoaster.
I’ve been sharing my strategies to kick these cravings with clients for years and they can’t believe how much easier it’s been for them to start having consistent, stable, high energy throughout the day.
You can started with my help in my free LPFL 5-Day Sugar Breakup! It starts as soon as you hit “I Want to Dump Sugar”. Sign up here