Part Two: The Not So Sweet Truth About Sugar
Like fingernails dragging across the blackboard I literally cringe when I hear this conversation take place, and it’s usually while standing in a line at a potluck.
At least one woman in the group will inevitably say, (with donut in hand) “I don’t know what’s wrong with me I just can’t seem to keep this weight off.”
Then the woman standing next to her (adding a little coffee to her cream and sugar) says, “Oh honey, you might as well give up! You’re getting to “that” age. There’s NO WAY you can avoid gaining weight.”
The second woman then ends the conversation with either a comforting hug or uproarious laughter. Nevertheless, both scenarios will typically be followed by another trip through the food line. (Sigh).
*****News flash!***** That is a bunch of “BOLOGNA!”
Dr. Oz thinks that too! Here’s his take on sugar and the sugar industry.
SUGAR – why does it seem so impossible to give up, or at least, monitor, a substance that seems to suck the life right out of us?
“Here’s a shocking fact: Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine. We need a clear path to detox from sugar, to break the addictive cycle of carb and sugar cravings that robs us of our health.” Mark Hyman, MD (Author of: The Blood Sugar Solution)
Most sources conclude cutting out ALL sugar is preferred, but not practical. So, the next best thing is to get rid of your cravings by de-sugaring, then add a guilty pleasure into your diet as an occasional treat, not a staple.
Remember, Donuts are not a grain, fruit flavored Skittles are not “fruit” and watch those vegetable juices – they can be loaded with added sugar.
You know when you go to buy a house everyone says, “Location, location, location?” Use that same mantra when shopping for food. Check the label for, “Sugar, sugar, sugar.” If it’s natural sugar, from a real fruit, it’s good. If the sugar is added, put it down and back away slowly.
Just as an FYI, some of the most common names for sugar include: high fructose corn syrup, dextran, sucralose, and maltodextrin. For a complete list visit: Fifty-Six Different Names for Sugar.
Okay, have I convinced you to step away from the sugar bowl? I hope so! However, I don’t like to introduce a problem without providing a solution, so here are a few links to some sources that may help you successfully de-sugar.
- How to do a sugar detox without going crazy
- 10 Big Ideas How to Detox From Sugar
- Sugar Detox Plan: a Ten-Step Blueprint for Quitting Sugar
- How to Do a Sugar Detox
Here is how I jump-started my own journey:
- I went through my kitchen and threw out anything that did not fall in line with my clean eating plan.
- My morning started with warm lemon water (7 health benefits of lemon water).
- The tough one for me, was limiting myself to only one, sugar free, caffeinated beverage per day (caffeine stimulates your appetite).
- Meal prep was, and still is, a must. The best way to stay ahead of sugar cravings and snack attacks is to have nutrient dense foods portioned out and ready to go (lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, greens, etc…). I try to pack fruit or protein pretzels when I leave home so I don’t end up in the Dairy Queen drive thru.
One of my favorite things to meal prep is roasted-vegetables. Here’s how I prepare mine:
- Use your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables. I throw several of my favorites on a pan at one time. Seriously though, ANY vegetable will work.
- Line a pan with foil, pour a little olive oil on the foil to keep veggies from sticking.
- Lay veggies on the tray and sprinkle with salt & pepper (maybe a little drizzle of olive oil on top if dry)
- Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until desired browning. I like to bake my asparagus until they are really crispy, and use them as my chips.
Of course, at times I still struggle with sugar. I lock the door, pull the blinds and in that brief moment of weakness I’m a five year old squeezing the bottle of chocolate syrup over my open mouth. I KNOW! I have issues, but I’m learning the benefits of eating “clean” far outweigh the short-lived rush I get from gorging on sugar.
Since getting a handle on sugar I’ve lost 20 pounds and gained my passion for living again! Keeping my sweet tooth in check continues to be a daily choice, but I feel healthier now, and better equipped to serve others.
At the end of the day I want to do everything I can to not be a burden on my family. I also want to enjoy life so that I may fulfill the plans God created me for.
If you’d like to know more about my personal journey of de-sugaring, just give me a shout via instant-messenger and I’m happy to answer any questions about the plan I followed.
Every morning when the sun kisses your sweet little cheeks and your eyes flutter open, you have an opportunity to create a strong body and a life that God can use.
Today is a new day! Embrace it!!