Desserts are one of life’s simple pleasures.  There are so many positive feelings associated with desserts. Desserts crown all the special occasions: Birthday cake, pies at Thanksgiving, Christmas cookies, ice cream sandwich’s on the 4th of July, and the list goes on.

Often as children we were rewarded with desserts when we accomplished something; like making an A or winning a game. I was even rewarded with dessert for just finishing dinner!

Not only is eating desserts associated with positive memories and pleasant emotional experiences but it also feels good physically. This is because most desserts are filled with sugar and refined carbohydrates.

When you eat sugar and other simple carbs you feel great! It temporarily boosts your energy levels and it even alters brain chemistry and increases your levels of serotonin and endorphins. These feel good hormones or neurotransmitters cause feeling like the “runner’s high” and produce a sense of well-being, increase self-esteem, reduces anxiety, and act as natural pain killers. No wonder desserts are desired!

Unfortunately the high from desserts is temporary and the crash from eating too much of these sweet treats feels devastating. And not to get all biological on you but it does a number on your body too. Messes up you insulin levels and ultimately your brain chemistry. Long term, too much sugar is party to many of the major diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer’s.

During times of stress the compulsion towards eating desserts is even is even worse. When you’re stressed your body releases cortisol which leads to exhaustion and a a pattern of nighttime cravings, over-eating, and unwanted weight gain. Over time, chronic stress can lead to adrenal imbalance, eventually resulting in extreme exhaustion. So many women I see have reached this state of imbalance, and find the only way to get through the day is by drinking tons of caffeine and consuming tons of sugar for quick energy bursts. But this only sets them up for further cravings and more energy depletion. Can you say vicious cycle! And ironically sugar actually causes stress!

So what do I recommend, cut out desserts and go on a sugar fast. I am not kidding, really. Go for two weeks not eating any sugar, refined carbohydrates, or processed foods. Read every label and avoid foods or drinks that have the ingredients on this list in them. Don’t consume:

Agave Nectar
Barbados Sugar
Barley Malt Syrup
Beet Sugar
Blackstrap Molasses
Cane Crystals
Cane Juice Crystals
Castor Sugar
Corn Sweetener
Corn Syrup
Corn Syrup Solids
Crystalline Fructose
Date Sugar
Demerara Sugar
Dextrose
Evaporated Cane Juice
Florida Crystals
Fructose
Fruit Juice
Fruit Juice Concentrate
Galactose
Glucose
Glucose Solids
Golden Sugar
Golden Syrup
Granulated Sugar
Grape Juice Concentrate
Grape Sugar
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Honey
Icing Sugar
Invert Sugar
Lactose
Malt Syrup
Maltodextrin
Maltose
Mannitol
Maple Syrup
Molasses
Muscovado Syrup
Organic Raw Sugar
Powdered Sugar
Raw Sugar
Refiners’ Syrup
Rice Syrup
Sorbitol
Sorghum Syrup
Sucrose
Table Sugar
Treacle
Turbinado Sugar
Yellow Sugar

Don’t consume artificial sweeteners, they are worse! (You can have stevia, because it is an herb.) Also don’t eat fruit or fruit juices for this two week period…it’s just two weeks…you can do anything for two weeks. If you mess up, no worries, just continue without criticizing yourself.

Then after the two week period you can eat fruit but try to avoid eating desserts. Except as a goodie on a special occasion, stop eating sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods. You will feel so much better and so much less stressed if you do!

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