Over the 30 years I have been on this planet, I have made plenty of mistakes and learnt a hell of a lot. It’s come to my belief and realisation that when we attempt to permanently cut things out that bring us happiness, we become miserable and turn into a rebel.
Sugar unfortunately can bring about this reaction.
Sweets are a huge part of our world, and yes it contributes to many health conditions such as diabetes and PCOS, however only if we go overboard and eat them in a HUGE amount.
How many celebrations, birthdays, holidays have you been on where you’ve got pic’n’mix bowls everywhere, tiers of cake, cookies as big as your head? Loads I know. And how many times have you been in a mental battle with yourself saying you couldn’t possibly have any of it – leaving your thoughts completely fixated for the entire day?
This really is not a life we want to be leading. We are put on this planet once, and it’s to be enjoyed. YES we have to watch our sugar intake more than others, and yes we need to restrict is as much as possible, but we are allowed treats once in a while!
I’m a true believer of balance. Everything in moderation is key. For years I restricted and binged, which inevitably developed a horrendous relationship with food and my body. My PCOS certainly didn’t like it either.
I would literally eat nothing for the week, knowing I had a huge weekend of booze, followed by a Sunday where I’d eat everything in my kitchen and more.
This is incredibly unhealthy and puts our body under huge stress. Not only this but your insides are like ‘what the hell is going on?!’
Hormones go mad, PCOS symptoms heighten, insulin is out of control, you feel like utter shit and your in one foul mood.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have big weekends and my hangovers seem to be getting worse as I get older. Anyone else with me!? However I am mindful now of my calorie intake in alcohol (yes we do need to consider this if on a weight loss journey or trying to keep it off!) and try to not over-indulge the next day.
The truth is, a little bit of sugar is not going to hurt you. If you’re at the beginning of your healing journey then we need to be more careful and try eliminating it for a few months to control our blood sugars. But once you start feeling better and symptoms start to disappear, the odd haribo now and again will not undo all your hard work.
‘’Once I eat sugar I can’t stop, why are my cravings so strong?’’
When you have insulin resistance, which 80% of us do, your cells aren’t processing sugars properly. When you eat something, the food gets digested and nutrients are released into the blood stream. They are supposed to fuel you. But when that doesn’t happen (insulin resistance) you get awful cravings and feel starving a little while later.
The ‘hangry’ feeling? One of the worst I know. You end up scoffing everything carby, fatty, salty, crunchy, sweet – maybe all together or back and forth – because it makes you feel good (at the time), tastes delicious and gives you a boost. It’s called dopamine. Your brain issues this hormone when carbs, sugar and sex hit the brain.
With PCOS, there are ways we can control this I promise.
What are some better food choices?
Protein. Make protein your best friend. Protein keeps us fuller for longer, controls our blood sugars and is an all-round winner. Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Seafood, Tofu, Tempeh.
Veggies. Yes, you’re probably rolling your eyes but they are important. And they don’t have to be boring! Make sure to have variation in your meals so you don’t get bored. You might even find different foods satisfy cravings without having to reach for the sugar.
But you said we can eat sweets?!
Yes, yes you can. But in MODERATION. I’m not saying every day. Pick the thing you love. Not like. Really love. And program it into your food choices. Be mindful if on a weight loss journey that a calorie deficit is key so as long as it fits in this, perfect.
Simple swaps. Give up a slice of bread for a bit of chocolate.
Get into a good mindset. Feel entitled to thie food, you deserve that food and you are going to enjoy it! We’re all entitled to enjoy delicious food. We’re put on this planet once so don’t be miserable!
Really savour it. Don’t stuff it in your face as quick as possible. Notice all the flavours, textures, colours and beauty of what you’re eating. This is some serious mental nutrition ladies!
Remember, be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to have treats. But treat PCOS with respect and care.
And once you have, get back on the health band wagon feeling full of happiness!
Sending love and happiness as always