That age old question has never quite been answered. You’re munching on a delicious doughnut or crushing some fries with ketchup and you wonder how that could be so bad for you, yet it tastes sooooo good.
When a person consumes sugar, just like any food, it activates the tongue’s taste receptors. Then, signals are sent to the brain, lighting up reward pathways and causing a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. Sugar “hijacks the brain’s reward pathway,” neuroscientist Jordan Gaines Lewis explained.
The fact that our brain lights up like a Christmas tree every time we consume refined sugars or salty substances definitely makes staying healthy much more difficult than it should be. The problem is that this upfront “good feeling” is followed by terrible side effects if we over-indulge on these substances.
Over consumption of refined sugars could lead to insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes and a whole host of other chronic illness that could make your quality of life severely decreased.
So back to the age old question. If it is so bad how do I get around it?
In an earlier blog post I talked about ‘planning a treat’. Set a schedule for having dessert or whatever your food go to might be. Kat and I both have a sweet tooth. We get dressed up hit the town and have dessert. We make a big deal out of it and enjoy every second. As such we plan for ‘dessert night’ once every 2 weeks. This helps us stay on a better path than crushing sugary sweets every single day.
Figure out what your cheat is going to be, plan for it and stick to it!