I fuelled my depression with sugar.

Today we are talking to Steve Treanor. Steve is a well known local in Clevedon and has been a follower of a ketogenic diet for approximately nine months. He a keen boxer, training at Eisey’s Community Gym and is a daily visitor to Sow & Arrow!

I asked Steve what a typical day looked like for him prior to making his lifestyle changes.

“I used to suffer from mood swings, really up and down. I would get bouts of depression that I would really struggle to get out of. I would end up fuelling my low moods with sugar, which made me feel worse. I ended up a sugar-addict, which meant I would wake up every night to eat bags of crisps, chocolates and sweets. All the stuff I knew was bad for me but that I just felt I had to have it. It was an addiction.”

When we eat something pleasurable, the brain releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) called dopamine. This reward signal makes us feel satisfied and happy. When we binge eat sugar, the body becomes desensitised to the pleasurable dopamine release, meaning we need more and more food to get the same pleasurable high.

This vicious cycle continues because the blood sugars soar when we eat chocolates and crisps, which then results in our blood sugar plummeting. This plummet causes the body to crave more sugary and starchy foods to elevate the blood sugars again.

“The change since following this way of life has been unbelievable. I don’t wake up in the night any more. At all. You have to understand I haven’t not woken up during the night for nineteen years! Now I sleep through, no more waking up in the night for midnight munchies! I also don’t suffer with the depression like I used to, that’s been such a huge change for me.I just feel great.” When we eat late in the evening, or carb heavy foods throughout the day, we suffer blood sugar lows throughout the night as the body tries to cope with the resulting blood sugar rollercoaster. This can wake us in the early hours, feeling anxious, with a racing heart and not able to fall back asleep again. “I started slow, made some changes that I knew I could stick to and then eventually took on the whole lifestyle. I really enjoy it now and just love the feeling of being so well and healthy.” Incorporating important, essential fats into our diet is key for mental wellbeing, this along side reducing foods that take away key nutrients from our body, such as sugar which robs the body of vital B-vitamins. B-vitamins are essential for mental wellbeing. “See it as a journey, where you take one step at a time, making small changes that over time make a huge difference. Take it from me, that’s what I’ve done and I feel like a new man.” The journey continues

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