If you've been struggling with low energy levels, increasing weight and sugar cravings, reducing your sugar intake can have an incredibly powerful impact on your health.
And for women, there is an added benefit: better hormone balance.
Hormonal imbalances and poor blood sugar balance are two of the key reasons why women struggle to maintain a healthy weight. And those two things are directly linked back to - you guessed it - your sugar intake.
So how does sugar impact your hormones? Well, here's how it works:
First, when you eat sugar or carb-laden food, it generates your insulin response. Your body wants to keep the glucose you get from those foods because your body & brain need it for fuel.
Next, your body has to convert sugar into glucose so your body can use it for energy and so it can be stored in your cells. And the only way that happens is with insulin. So when you eat lots of foods that are high in sugar or carbs, you drop a ton of glucose into your system and your body responds with lots of insulin to deal with the situation.
Now, your body wants to save the glucose because it's thinking ahead and protecting you in case for some reason, you don't get anymore sugary or carb laden foods. However, if there's too much glucose and your cells can't take all of it, then it's packaged up as glycogen.
This is why people who eat a ton of sugar, like alcoholics, tend to have fatty liver disease.
Too much glucose saturates your cells and spikes your blood sugar levels, only to send them crashing afterwards. These kinds of spikes disrupt ovulation, which in turn disrupts the creation of progesterone. This results in hormonal imbalance as without ovulation, you can't produce progesterone which in turn, leads to estrogen dominance.
The fat cells in your body naturally secrete estrogen. When your fat stores increase, this elevates your estrogen levels which can further increase estrogen dominance. Women with estrogen dominance often struggle with weight gain, especially around the abdomen and hips.
When you add in chemicals from our environment, you're set up for estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency and hormonal imbalance. It's this imbalance that is the root cause of common issues like PMS, cramps, irregular cycles, acne, irregular cycles along with PCOS, weight gain and infertility issues.
And unfortunately, if you struggle with insulin-resistant PCOS, then eating too much sugar will cause inflammation in your body which in turn leads to chronic health issues.
So you can see, just how much of a health impact sugar can have on our hormones and on our health. That's why it's so important to reduce your intake of sugar as part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
I get that reducing your sugar intake can seem hard because sugar is ... everywhere. Sugar is so sneaky, and a lot of times we're consuming way more than we think we are. From the sugar in our frothy frappaccinos to the sugar in our "diet" treats to the sugar in our favourite frozen meals, it's really easy to overdo it on sugar without even trying.
That's why it's important to become a sugar detective and to start looking for the sugar in your diet. It's often hiding in plain sight, under a variety of different names on food labels, in foods that you eat everyday. Spotting it will help you to make healthy swaps and substitutions, so that you can reduce your sugar intake, start healing hormonal imbalances and improving your health.
Beyond that, I recommend a few things to help reduce your sugar intake and improve hormone balance naturally:
The reality is, your sugar intake plays a huge role in your overall health and can have a major impact on everything from weight to your cycles to your health. Reducing your intake of added sugars is one of the key things you can do to improve your hormonal balance which in turn leads to improved energy levels, better overall health and the ability to be able to maintain a healthy weight.
For help with reducing your sugar intake, be sure to check out my 7-Day Sugar Detox Program and learn more about my nutrition programs for women that focus on helping them balance their hormones and improve their metabolic health.