Health

Lessons learnt from saying no to sugar

BY JO-HANNA TAYLOR

Sunday, February 25, 2018

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WE asked our subscribers as well as Jamaica to say no to sugar for the month of February.

How did you do?

If we could use the 12 Months 24 Dares subscribers (dare-ees) as a representative sample, the answer would be: “It was very difficult!”

With new studies correlating an addictive effect similar to hard drugs, sugar is not as easy to stop as we think. Added sugar is that 'up to no good' friend that wants to hang around all the time and pull you into bad decisions. It is in your ketchup and sauces, some of your vitamins, your cough syrup, your favourite bread, etc.

Sugar is everywhere, and this month was a valid lesson in understanding how much hidden sugar we take into our bodies and how to plan for a healthier life.

Sugar is damaging to our bodies as it causes increased belly fat, low energy, ageing, hormonal imbalances, and diabetes, just to name a few effects.

Re-cap

Our month two dare of 'Saying no to sugar' had our dare-ees trying to eliminate added sugar. This is sugar added to food to change the taste – rather than sugar that is naturally occurring.

Cutting back the high amount of sugar that was present in their diets and actively finding alternatives to sugar in a world that runs on it seemed easy enough, until the cravings and withdrawal symptoms came knocking.

Our subscribers experienced grumpiness, feeling drained, headaches, mood swings, and memory loss. Increasing neuro-chemical and behavioural research suggests sugar hijacks the brain's reward pathway and make users dependent, similar to heroin.

Using the support of family, friends and the 12 Months 24 Dares community to provide tips and tricks helped to guide most of the dare-ees through withdrawal and over to a less dependent state of mind.

Results

Dare-ees learnt to pay more attention to their nutritional facts and to choose healthier alternatives. A few dare-ees even experienced weight loss! Tips and tricks were used to manage cravings and to keep the eyes on the prize: Love yourself more than sugar. Slip ups will happen — forgive yourself and love yourself enough to keep trying.

Wellness partners

A major tip was to exercise. It takes the mind off the need for sweet.

We worked with passionate wellness partners who provide different types of exercise at varying intensity levels at amazing discounts like Body Forte, Fagan Fitness, Rize Fitness, TrueSelf Centre of Being Yoga Studio, and DanceFyah.

The month isn't over! Be sure to monitor your sugar intake and you can always join the movement! Email us at 12months24dares@gmail.com or follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook using the handle 12months24dares.

Jo-Hanna Taylor is the wellness coordinator of 12 Months 24 Dares. She is an internationally certified America Council of Exercise Personal Trainer, Group fitness instructor and Power Vinyasa 200YT Yoga Instructor.

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