Did you watch “That Sugar Film?” If so, you are probably ready to beat your sugar addiction.
You saw what happens to a person who consumes a diet that includes lots of added sugar, and then follows a diet that eliminates added sugar.
The guy in the film gains 15 pounds in less than a month. That weight settled in his belly. His blood work showed an incredible decline in his overall health, including his mental acuity.
If you’ve ever managed to eliminate added sugar, you know these results are true and accurate.
When a diet includes a lot of added sugars, weight gain happens in the belly.
Weight in the belly is associated with increased risk of heart attack, diabetes, cancer. That’s reason enough to kick sugar addiction.
Not only will kicking the sugar habit make you healthier, you’ll feel and look a lot better without your “bowl full of jelly.”
The problem is, sugar is addictive and it’s really hard to kick the cravings. That’s what 30 More Days of Health and Contentment is about.
Strategies for Beating Sugar Addiction
This isn’t my first rodeo.
I kicked the sugar habit a couple of years ago and lost twenty pounds. Slowly, I fell back into bad sugar habits and gained back ten.
Sugar is insidious in the American diet. Eliminating added sugar is a challenge.
So, go easy on yourself at the beginning. Allow yourself to eat favorite foods so long as they don’t include added sugar.
After a few days without sugar, your craving for even salty foods will decline. Soon, you’ll be eating less simply because you aren’t always hungry anymore.
Here are some things that can help when you feel ready to give up:
- Eat nuts and/or cheese.
- Snack on whole, raw fruits and veggies.
- Drink a glass of milk, tea, seltzer, or ice water with lemon or lime slices.
If you are really feeling bad and need the sugar, measure it out so that you are aware of how much you are eating. Is it too much? Keep reading.
The Apparent Correlation
In the 1800s and early 1900s, the average American took in about 15 grams of fructose (about half an ounce), mostly from eating fruits and vegetables. Today we average 55 grams per day (73 grams for adolescents). The increase in fructose intake is worrisome, … because it suspiciously parallels increases in obesity, diabetes, and a new condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that now affects up to one-third of Americans. – Source: “Is Fructose Bad for You?” Harvard Health Blog, April 26, 2011.
It is true that fructose is “fruit sugar,” and is present in fruits and vegetables.
So, why are we consuming so much more than we did a century ago?
You know the answer. There is sugar in so many of the processed foods we eat. Mother Nature gave us fructose wrapped in a bundle of fiber. Modern food technology kept (and added) the sugar, while stripping away the fiber.
Here are some breakfast comparisons that may be of interest: (nutrition information via myfitnesspal.com)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt + 1/2 c. strawberries + 2 Tbs. toasted almonds = 9 g. sugar, 3 g. fiber
1 plain bagel + 1 oz. cream cheese + 8 oz. no pulp orange juice = 23 g. sugar, 3 g. fiber
1 c. Honey Nut Cheerios + 1/2 c. 2% milk = 23 g. sugar, 3 g. fiber
2 scrambled eggs + 1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal made with 1/2 c. 2% milk = 7 g. sugar, 4 g. fiber
Start the Day Right
How you begin your day is important. Sugar cravings follow the crash and burn scenario: the more sugar you consume, the more you will crave.
Many of our “healthy” breakfast choices contain so much sugar. Or, if you are like me and suspicious of big food companies, you may not find it surprising at all.
More on that to come.
Today, make a conscious effort to start your day right.
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This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.