Tired Parent: Could Sugar causing you to look even more over tired?
Many health professionals state that sugar changes the appearance of your skin. In fact, experts now believe a lifetime of overeating sugar can make skin dull and wrinkled. Too much sugar can cause damage to the collagen and elastin in your skin. These are the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. So, if you are looking more tired, drawn out and 'blotchy' than normal, it may be that you have too much sugar in your diet. When you're a tired parent, it's easy to assume this lack of elasticity or dullness in just due to the tiredness caused by bringing home a newborn baby.
Sugar is often hidden in foods you think are healthy
Regardless of how healthy you think your diet may be, if your skin is not as fresh and bright as it used to be, start paying attention to the processed foods in your diet to see what effect they might be having. Most nutritionists will tell you that sugar is one of the negative foods in your diet. It's an ingredient that is very difficult to avoid if you're not paying attention. Foods such as pasta sauce, yoghurt, spreads, crackers and chewing gum are laden with sugar to enhance taste.
Of course sugar is not the whole answer to your tiredness when you're a new mum - that waking baby has a pretty big impact! However, when you feel extremely tired it is very tempting to resort to sugar laden foods to wake you up. This has become a habit and before you know it you have developed an addiction to sugar. When you consume sugar, it also gives you an instant 'high', so for that moment and a few moments afterwards, you feel happy and energetic. Unfortunately, this positive feeling does not last. Your body gets a quick burst of sugar, but because it happens so quickly, it depletes your body and causes you to feel more tired that you were to begin with. The effects of sugar are not so easy to detect, because they happen so gradually. Being a tired parent can also mask the effects of sugar. You may assume your skin tone is solely the result of becoming a new parent, when in fact sugar may be playing an important part.
Do you have a sweet tooth?
The go-to food for many people when you're feeling tired, emotional or overwhelmed is chocolates and sweets. You don't have to give them up completely, however, you will find the moment you reduce your sugar intake, your cravings for sugar will reduce also. If you have a sweet tooth, there are loads of sugar free treats you can introduce into your lifestyle so you don't feel you are missing out. Try our free recipe for chocolate almond protein balls here. When you have your next sugar craving, sink your teeth into one of these instead. You will feel satisfied and you'll begin to swap processed sugar for healthier sweet alternatives.
The good news about sugar
The exciting thing is the effects of sugar on your health are irreversible. You'll start to see results very quickly. If you are looking for a way to get back into your healthy lifestyle, take a look at Refresh Your Life: motivational weight loss program. This program makes it easy to eat low sugary foods, in a balanced way.