I wanted to write a further post about my experimentation into eating less sugary treats and finding alternatives.
Since I noticed on Instagram that a lot of people were enjoying Quest protein bars etc on the new WW Smartpoints plan, I hoped I would find that I felt better after eating them than when I ate chocolate.
The difference has been quite striking! I even took a large bag of Green & Black’s mini chocolate bars to a foodbank as I felt they were a ‘waste’ of points and that maybe someone else could get more out of them. I don’t miss chocolate half as much as I thought I would!
Having had some success, I decided to do some research into the science of eating sugar. According to this very interesting video (check it out!) – although it doesn’t affect the brain as violently as other stimulants such as drugs or alcohol, consuming sugar does also release dopamine into your body. Urban Dictionary’s very unscientific definition of dopamine: ‘The kick ass chemical in your brain that makes you feel and do happy things…’. According to the video, unlike most foodstuffs, where the dopamine levels out when you eat them repeatedly, this does not happen with sugar, therefore over consumption of it can have addictive effects on the brain.
All the times when I’ve turned to chocolate for comfort in times of trauma over the last few years – It was probably doing me a lot more harm than good both physically and mentally. I find that protein bars keep me fuller for much longer and are less ‘moreish’. I don’t even feel like eating sugary things a lot of the time now because I know it will just lead me to wanting more! I think given all of the evidence from both my own experience and the science behind it, trying to cut down sugar is definitely a good idea!