Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Feeling crappy and I know why

Photo Source: "Bread"

So yesterday I decided would be my day to throw in the towel and eat whatever I wanted and craved. I do that everyone once in a while and usually I have a reaction to what I eat and learn a good lesson. Then I avoid whatever that was for a long time because I don't like to feel crappy, ever. Once it was Oreo cookies, another time it was those delicious sugar coated pecans another time I believe I had one too many margaritas -- hey it happens.

Yesterday I was craving bread. I normally don't keep the kind of bread I crave in the house (White, refined carbs). I like to bake my own bread and for those us who crave carbs, you know the feeling we get when the smell of fresh baked bread takes over the entire house. I only imagine melting butter--- yum. Anyway, I told myself I would have self control and eat one, maybe two servings. I made French bread. It was just perfect coming out of the oven. I figured instead of butter I would have my bread with olive oil, after all, olive oil is better for me than butter.

I should have known better then to think I would have self control. I didn't. Not at all. Instead I ate almost all the bread I made, with olive oil of course. Shortly after I started feeling weak, tired, a mild headache was lingering around my head. I felt worse as time passed. I tried drinking water, lots of water but I continued to feel like someone beat me and left me for dead. OK a little drastic but you get the idea.

What was happening with my body?

Refined carbohydrates are converted to glucose which give you a boost in energy. This boost doesn't last long at all. It's not long after this high that the low begins to kick in leaving you completely flat. What happens is the higher amounts of sugar in the blood force the body to produce an excess amount of insulin to help metabolize the sugar. As the blood sugar returns to normal, sometimes it can drop below normal and that's when the lethargy kicks in. So you go from hyperglycemia (excess sugar in the blood) to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in a very short period of time.

Best way to balance out the sugar levels when they fall below normal? Reach for a 1/2 cup of fruit juice, a cup of milk, hard candy, a tablespoon of sugar. Sounds counterproductive but the idea is to raise the levels to normal, especially if you know that the symptoms are associated with hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia can lead to death if left untreated. That's scary. OK time to go back to my well balanced diet and indulge in some frozen fruit (my new candy), lots of fresh fruit and veggies, water and I will be making better carbohydrate choices, i.e. complex, whole wheat, whole grain, sweet potatoes, brown rice.

I know better but sometimes we give into those cravings when all our bodies want is good nutrition and not whatever we think we're craving.

Have you made food choices that affected your health? What did you learn?

Stay well!

3 comments:

  1. That's an informative post. Our bodies don't necessarily want what we think it's craving - good point.

    Do you get moody when your sugar drops? I get so irritable, and then I don't care what I eat. Awful cycle.

    Thanks for visiting me!

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  2. My workout buddy and I were just talking about this tonight. It's interesting how when you start fueling your body with the right foods how when you add something that's not good for you, you really notice a difference.

    Most recently when we went out for my birthday and I had some dessert, I noticed the crummy feeling I had when I ate dessert. It just didn't feel good at all. :(

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  3. In explaining food cycles to Heidi and why you should never let yourself get ravenously hungry, I coined a new phrase: "Hunger makes bad decisions." My glucose levels AND my energy levels simply hum if I make sure to avoid actually getting hungry. Yes... I'm that person who eats 150 calories about an hour before a dinner party... but that means that I have an easy time not overindulging ;)

    And I'm with you on not bringing into the house those things which I find irresistible...

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