If I tell you to quit sugar, you won’t quit it. You’ll attempt to quit, you’ll try and try, but never the less you will find yourself battling the beast head on. You will be sneaking bites and obsessing over it. Rationalizing licks and tastes, and finally giving in to a splurge that leaves you feeling defeated both in body and will. It’s not your fault, its human nature. Think of kids, inevitable they will do the one thing you tell them not to. And its sugar. Sugar is an incredibly addicting substance. Just a bit and you’ll be jonesing for it before you’re even fully awake in the morning. If you are among the mere percentage that do quit, albeit briefly, no one will want to hang out with you. Sorry, it’s true. Because all you will be talking about is how you quit sugar and so should they. I know because I’ve been there (sorry friends!).
Instead, my approach has always been to educate my clients. Knowledge is power, cliché but true. If I teach you about sugar and explain why the health industry is against it, then you can make the decision yourself. And you will feel super empowered and confident in your choice. You won’t need to plan sugar interventions for your friends or miss out on social events in fear you will relapse. Above all, I’m willing to bet your sugar consumption will go way down and will stay at bay. It’s a win-win!
Here are the dirty deeds on the one substance more addictive than Cocaine…YIKES!
Sugar is listed as the #1 most addictive substance in the United States. It’s no wonder, food manufacturer’s lace their products with sugar to keep us hooked.
A healthy cell in the human body has 1 sugar receptor site. A cancer cell has an average of 6-8 receptor sites. Cancer cells literally thrive on sugar. For clarification, we want cancer cells to diminish and die away. Bring on Remission!
Sugar causes and feeds Candida. Candida is a ‘yeast like, parasitic fungus’. Candida can be normal in small amounts throughout the body. But given the right environment, Candida will multiply. When this happens, conditions arise like Thrush, Yeast Infections, and even Diaper Rash (caused by Thrush), in addition to Invasive Candidiasis (yeast in the blood stream). Treatment is to eliminate all sugar, even natural ones until symptoms disappear.
Sugar causes Diabetes. It takes the human genome (genes) 100,000 years to change 1/10 of 1%. 400 years ago, processed sugar didn’t exist. Today, the average American consumes 170 pounds of sugar per year. We are simply not equipped to handle this overload. When the body can no longer regulate the high volume of sugar, Insulin production is skewed or completely enabled and Diabetes develops.
1 can of soda can shut down the immune system for up to 6 hours! Enough said.
Sugar causes low energy and Adrenal Fatigue. Consuming sugar causes the body’s blood sugar to rise well beyond its acceptable high (say from honey or a banana). What goes up must come down. Inevitably the blood sugar levels will crash and so will your energy. This constant rise and fall stresses out our Adrenal Glands. Too much of the yo yo dance and the Adrenals become officially fatigued (Adrenal Fatigue anyone?) When this happens, the body is completely dysregulated and falls into patterns of being tired upon waking and wired upon rest times; cue fatigue and insomnia. It’s an awful cycle.
Sugar makes you eat more quantities and also more sugar and fat laden foods. Remember the blood sugar spike mentioned above? The drop causes your body to crave legit junk food.
Sugar makes you look bloated and increases the belly pooch you’ve worked so hard to diminish. Sugar causes inflammation in the entire body, including the GI tract. It bloats you from the inside out. Yuck!
So what is a level headed, educated person to do?
Treat sugar like the substance it is. Sugar has no direct health benefit, too much consumption can cause serious health issues, and it’s extremely addictive. But, enough trash talk. Grabbing an after school ice cream and eating it while giggling over nothing has some serious emotional value. Sipping a glass of wine, while you finally exhale for the week has been proven to decrease stress levels. And truthfully, a birthday party with no cake may be the saddest event yet.
I often tell my clients to treat their nutrition like a responsible person would treat there bank account. Everyday can’t be a shopping spree, sometimes you have to skip a vacation and handle the new house payments or save money leading up to a vacation. Sugar is a splurge, it has no business going into our everyday fuel but it can certainly be fun in moderation. Here are my guidelines…
* ** Cut all hidden sugars out (yogurt, salad dressing, marinades, breads, protein bars and coffee creamers should all be full of quality ingredients that do you right!) Save the splurge for the good stuff that’s meaningful.
***Swap soda for sparkling water, if you must mix in a splash of pure juice.
***Have a mindful indulgence. If you have a treat, do it with purpose. Pay attention to the taste, texture, and yummyness of it. Turn the TV off and connect with whoever you are with, even if it’s just you. Skip the drive through. Experience it-fully.
***Ditch every and all artificial sweeteners. They are even worse than sugar. Go for honey, Stevia, and Xylitol, they are natural and don’t spike your blood sugar the way the other stuff does.
***Pay attention. When you reach for sugar, what’s going on internally? Are you looking for comfort, acceptance, or energy? Sugar won’t fix any of those so figure it out a different way.
***If you’re reaching for sugar when you’re tired, do something that will give you an authentic energy boost instead.
***Ice water with lemon.
***Peppermint oil rubbed on your temples and inhaled.
***20 minute nap.
***5 big belly breaths.
***3 minute meditation.
***Saying no to some things (extra invitations, obligations, or anything that doesn’t sit right with you).
***Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
***Wake up 15 minutes sooner so you don’t feel as rushed and stressed in the morning.
***Go upside down. Lying on your back with your feet up the wall increases blood flow and energy. Handstands do the same .
***Go for a walk or simply stretch.