Thursday, 14 September 2017

What Happened When We Quit Sugar for a Week?

There's a saying that I use regularly in clinic 'Eat less sugar your sweet enough' I talk to my clients a lot about extrinsic ageing. This is the external factors that contribute to our wrinkles. Wind, rain, pollution, UV, smoke, lack of sleep and bad diet all effect how quickly (or slowly) we develop signs of ageing.

But out of all of these things, the one thing that is 100% detrimental to your youth is sugar. The sweet stuff that we all hate to love. The effects that sugar has on your health is quite clear with type 2 diabetes rising and obesity levels at an all-time high but just what is it doing to your skin?

We put three of our self-confessed 'sugar addicts' to the test. One whole week, 7 days, 168 hours, sugar free. Read on to find out what happened...

Patient 1: 42 year old female

Day 1 was easier than I thought. Emily advised me to up my protein and fat levels to compensate for the lack of sugar in my diet. My weak spot is coffee. I have an office based job and get through about 4-5 cups a day. I hate the taste of sweeteners and wasn't sure how I'd cope. I decided cutting out caffeine as well was too much for my body to take so I drank fruit and green teas instead. This still gave me a caffeine boost without a bitter taste.

On days 2-4 I was surprised at how much sugar was in the things I would describe as 'healthy'. I often work late evenings so rely on quick fixes and ready meals. It's these packaged meals that have so much hidden sugar in them.

Days 5-6 were the hardest; I felt tired and craved something sweet but I managed to stay clear of the sweetie jar although it wasn't easy.

Day 7 I haven't craved all day and think I am starting to find my energy in other sources. It has encouraged me to eat healthier and cook for myself from scratch. I think it's important to allow myself a treat from time to time but I am definitely going to be more conscious about checking the labels on foods.

Patient 2: 37 year old male

I have terrible sleeping problems and I feel this is making my skin and waistline worse. I often crave chocolate to pick me up half way through the day. I work as a labourer so I'm always active and often eat on the go. Lunch is normally biscuits and pre-made sandwiches.

In recent years I have noticed fine lines appearing around my eyes and forehead that make me look much older than I am. I didn't want to go down the Botox route just yet so I decided to look at making changes in my lifestyle to see if this would help.

Days 1-4 I had a permanent headache and felt lethargic. I was shocked at how much my body relied on sugar. I did eat fruit to keep me going but stayed away from all refined sugars.

Days 5-7 I actually felt I slept better, I'm unsure if this was due to the lack of sugar making me feel wiped out or if it was to do with my blood sugar levels lowering. Either way I'm sticking to the no sugar diet. I'm excited to see general improvements in my skin and body.

Patient 3: 27 year old female

I have always had problem skin. I've suffered with acne since I was 15 and it's always been a persistent problem. I have now started to notice fine lines appearing on my forehead and want an overhaul on my skin.

I try to be good with my diet and didn't think I had a problem with sugar or junk food. Emily explained to me that even natural sugars found in fruit can affect the skin and the ageing process. After reading several articles about its effects I decided to challenge myself to going cold turkey.

Day 1 and I was already struggling. I normally have fruit and yogurt for breakfast so trying to find another 'healthy' option wasn't easy for me. Day 2-4 I found the lack of sugar was encouraging me to drink more water to help me ignore my cravings.

If you would like help and advice on ditching the cravings, call our clinic on 0113 282 3300.

Written for you by: Emily, Face the Future

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