Giving up sweets for Lent may not have been easy, but in the end I learned a lot about myself, and I learned that sometimes the toughest things to do to your taste buds are the best things to do for your brain and body. 

It Can Make You HAPPY 

When you restrict yourself from sugar, you’re forced to intake more protein and vegetables which contain plentiful vitamins, minerals, and most importantly, ENERGY. Stress literally can cause your brain to seek sugar as a source for a surge of energy, according to the American Psychological Association. Sugar suppresses activity of a hormone called BDNF that is low in individuals with depression and schizophrenia While giving up sweets, your body is able to to produce a healthy amount of BDNF to keep a stable and happy mindset. Consider this list as a guide for foods that release mood improving hormones 

Headaches, Be Gone!

Since giving up sweets, I have noticed a serious alleviation in the amount of headaches I have. There is actually science behind this - it’s called DILUTION. When you’re body consumes too much sugar, it has to dilute the sugar so it doesn’t harm your body. Water is pulled from other parts of your body to balance the sugar in your blood stream. This dehydrates your brain and can cause headaches. If you suffer from headaches, consider reducing your sugar intake, it could really make you do the happy dance.

Say HELLO to Clear Skin

Your skin is paying the price of having a sweet tooth. Hormones and inflammation are the two major causes of acne. Hormones put the skin glands to overdrive, causing excess oil buildup that can clog the pores. In short, sugar can cause breakouts because they are high on the glycemic index, meaning that your body can quickly convert them into glucose which causes your insulin levels to rise. This spike in insulin from sugary foods actually increases the production of oil on your skin that can clog pores and irritate skin. Say goodbye to the days of face masks!

No More Urges to “Snack”

Since giving up sweets, I’ve noticed that not only have my sugar cravings subsided, so have the urges to snack. Hyman, the director of the Cleveland Center Clinic for Functional Medicine, advocates a 10-day detox from sugar. He describes sugar cravings as a "biological disorder" that leads to uncontrolled eating.