Time to get off the sugar rollercoaster?

Are you tired of feeling exhausted? Do you constantly crave sweet treats? What we eat directly impacts our blood sugar levels so, even without diabetes, you could be feeling the exhausting effects. Here’s how you can break the cycle.

woman holding a donut and an apple

Why you can’t stop eating the sweet stuff

Ever felt like your need for something sweet was out of control? Foods that are high in sugar cause our blood sugar levels to spike very quickly and then crash. This is what we call the sugar rollercoaster – which is really not as fun as it sounds.

When our blood sugar levels crash, we can feel tired, irritable and hangry. Low blood sugars aren’t good for the body either and so we get signals to increase our blood sugars again… we get cravings! Naturally, we reach for something sweet to that that ‘fix’ but in doing so our blood sugars spike from the sweet stuff before crashing again. On and on, the sugar roller coaster goes – it’s a pretty difficult ride to get off of.

Do you experience any of the following symptoms?

  • Poor sleep
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety 
  • Irritability
  • Increased sugar cravings
  • Low energy
  • Weight gain
  • Hormone imbalances, such as PMS or perimenopause symptoms

If so, blood sugar imbalance could be to blame.

The science

In the body, certain carbohydrate (high glycaemic) foods are converted into sugar quickly and released into the blood at speed. Carbohydrates provide us with energy, however, we only need around 2 teaspoons of broken-down carbohydrates (sugar) circulating in our blood at any one time.

After eating refined carbohydrates or simple sugars, our blood sugar levels can easily exceed this. In response, the body releases a hormone called insulin, which tells our cells to absorb the excess sugar and store it for energy.

The crash!

This is all well and good until we eat foods so high in sugar that our blood sugar levels rise rapidly (hello sugar rush). When this happens, more insulin is produced than usual, causing an excessive amount of sugar to be stored. This, in turn, causes our blood sugar levels to crash to lower levels than they should. Cue feeling tired, grumpy, and hungry again. See why we refer to it as a rollercoaster?

The health issue…

Consistently eating refined carbohydrates or simple sugars means that our blood sugar and insulin levels are permanently high. When insulin is made in excess too frequently, our cells begin to ignore it. This eventually leads to fat storage, weight gain (especially the midline/stomach) and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

How you can get off the rollercoaster

Here are our top tips to prevent weight gain and get off the sugar rollercoaster for good. 

  • Eat plenty of protein, ideally with every meal. Protein slows the release of sugar from carbohydrates, so your levels don’t suddenly rise after eating. Protein also promotes dopamine production, which means we are less likely to need a high from sugar.
  • Eat whole grains. These tend to break down and release sugar and energy slower than simple, refined carbohydrates, so they don’t cause such a spike.
blood sugar rollercoaster protein
  • Avoid hidden sugars in drinks. For example, squash, fizzy drinks and alcohol. 
  • Make sleep a priority. Establishing a regular sleep pattern helps the body to manage sugar levels. Sleep deprivation has been found to elevate cortisol levels in the body (the hormone associated with stress) and decrease blood sugar tolerance. 
  • Exercise more. Incorporate movement into your day (don’t underestimate the power of walking!) and adopt strength training exercises into your workouts. Resistance training helps to improve your body’s management of blood sugar, by improving insulin sensitivity, reducing type 2 diabetes risk and supporting fat loss.

Want to know more about how you can adjust your diet to support energy levels and weight loss?
Download your free guide to weight loss and get started!

Worried about weight around the middle or pre-diabetes?

Our therapists support clients to lose weight, improve their energy levels, balance their blood sugars and avoid diabetes.

Book a call today to discuss your health concerns and how you can use food and lifestyle to live with more zest and avoid health concerns.