Of late, I have been looking into sugar.
I can’t believe the effect on you. I will have some amazing videos for you over the next few weeks. The videos have got me to change my thoughts on sugar.
Today I have an article from Catherine Gordon on how sugar is the most addictive white power in the world. (With a few special appearances by Dr. Oz.)
Rick Kaselj, MS
Can you really give up sugar, and the foods that rapidly convert to sugar in the body, and lose all the weight you want?
Lately it seems like books that urge you to give up sugar and grains are crowding the best seller lists.
Fat Chance, By Dr. Robert Lustig, Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis, and Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter are all telling us loud and clear that their research and experience with patients puts the blame for our obesity epidemic squarely on sugar, wheat, and the other grains that turn to glucose (or sugar) in your body as soon as you consume them.
Dr. Oz on How Much Sugar We Eat a Year!
Even Dr. Oz admitted on his wildly popular TV show, that he was surprised to learn about Dr. Perlmutter’s findings about the effects of sugar and grains on health. He even went so far as to say, “Butter is back.”
Dr. Oz on Easiest Way to Lose Weight
So what does the growing evidence that sugar and grains contribute to obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease mean to the man or woman who wants to lose fat and gain health?
If sugar and grains are so bad for us, how do we get off of them?
Consider the first barrier to getting off of sugar: it’s everywhere!
A typical North American breakfast usually consists of a bagel, muffin, waffle, or cereal with skim milk these days. Look at this “diet” breakfast choice:
Weight Watchers Blueberry Muffins or Double Chocolate Muffins: 1 muffin (2.2 ounces) = 18-21 grams sugar, 180-190 calories
Did you see that? 18-20 grams of sugar. 20 grams equals 5 teaspoons of sugar in a little 2.2 oz muffin!
Forgive me, but it gets worse. Not only is that much sugar a problem from a nutritional standpoint, it can also trigger a pleasure response in the brain that causes overeating. For some individuals who struggle with overweight and obesity, and even for some people who don’t appear to have a weight problem, sugary, starchy, salty foods can become physically addictive, especially when they are mixed with toxic fats like trans fats and chemically processed vegetable oils.
Now, thank goodness, there is serious research going into the theory that food addiction might be real. Here is the abstract from a study on food addiction that appeared in the research journal “Appetite”.
There is growing interest in conceptualizing obesity as a “food addiction.” The current study investigated the prevalence and correlates of “food addiction” (FA), as defined by the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) in 178 (133 F, 45 M) persons seeking weight loss treatment. Participants had a mean age of 51.2 ± 11.7 years and a body mass index of 36.1 ± 4.8 kg/m2. Fifteen percent of individuals met the YFAS proposed diagnostic criteria for FA. Those who met criteria for FA reported significantly greater depressive symptomatology. There were no differences in BMI, age, race, or gender between participants with and without FA. Among those not meeting criteria, 35% reported 3 or more symptoms in the absence of self-reported clinical distress or impairment. YFAS symptom count was also significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that 15% of adults presenting for weight loss treatment meet YFAS criteria for FA. The clinical significance of this classification is unknown and needs to be validated in prospective studies.
Keywords: Food addiction; Obesity; Depressive symptomatology.
Note that the study found that 15% of participants had food addiction as measured by the Yale Food Addiction Scale. In addition, the study found a correlation between food addiction and depression. Looking back at my eating history, I realize that I usually reached for my “Fix Foods” when I was feeling angry or disappointed in myself. This leads me to a theory that I have been developing for some time:
The combination of the unrealistic demands we put on ourselves, coupled with images of impossible slenderness, youth, and physical perfection from the photo-shopped media, lead to feelings of depression which 15% of us ease temporarily with excess food.
Fortunately, the news about sugar addiction isn’t all bad.
Even before The Atkins Diet was released in the 1970s, some individuals who wanted to lose weight had success by eliminating sugar and the foods that quickly convert to sugar in the body like wheat four, rice, pasta, and potatoes.
In addition the discovery and elimination of personal trigger foods can bring even better appetite management, weight control, and self esteem.
When I leave sugar, grains, and trigger foods out of my eating strategy, I simply don’t have the desire to overeat.
Is this the solution to the depression-food addiction cycle of sadness?
More researchers, doctors, and sufferers are realizing that it is helpful to get off of the sugar/flour/excess food merry go round for good. In the past, the clinical position has been that healthy eating consists of being able to eat all foods in reasonable amounts. That meant that abstinence couldn’t be the goal.
The theory was that if you never ate sugar, then clearly your food issues weren’t resolved.
Now, the Yale Food Addiction Scale is becoming well known, and if it can be established that sugar and food addiction is real, perhaps we can start to eliminate these foods from our diets without feeling like we’ve failed at learning how to eat properly.
You can take a short quiz on sugar addiction at my website: www.sugarfreedom.com
If you’re starting to think that letting go of sweets for good might result in a lot more peace and happiness than trying to eat just one slice of bread or piece of cake, you may be wondering if there is a way of eating that can free you from food obsession.
Perhaps you are one of 15% of the population that has a food addiction, and the only reasonable amount of your “Fix” foods to eat is none.
In the past you may have said to yourself:
“I should be able to eat treats.”
“I should be thinner.”
“I should have more willpower.”
If you are ready and willing to let go of sugar and grains, naturally reduce your appetite for fattening foods, and learn how to choose and prepare whole natural foods that satisfy you, it may be time for you to try the Sugar Freedom Program.
Sugar Freedom has three phases:
- The Three Day Sugar Strike: A three day diet that lets you break free from sugar and grains.
- The Sugar Freedom Diet: an eating strategy that you follow until you reach your goal weight.
- The Sugar Freedom Lifestyle: which encourages you to find the individual foods that add enjoyment to eating, without triggering over eating.
For me, and many of my personal training clients and friends, Sugar Freedom has been the missing link to losing fat, and getting the body they had always hoped and struggled for. I have lost more than 60 pounds and kept it off for more than 5 years using this exact diet, and the numbers of my students and friends who have lost between 20 and 60 pounds by giving up sugar and grains is growing every month.
I predict that more and more, those of us who struggle with overeating will get the support we need to try eliminating trigger foods without judgement.
If we addicted over-eaters make up only 15% of the population that struggles with their weight, that explains why so many people don’t understand what we’re going through, but if we speak up about our experience, we are more likely to foster understanding from the medical community and the public.
I think it’s about time.
Catherine Gordon A.C.E., was named the Certified Turbulence Trainer of the Year for her work with her students at Gordon Studio in Sonora, CA. She is a member of the National Weight Control Registry and the author of The Sugar Freedom Diet.
You can check Catherine’s Sugar Freedom program, here. It is designed to help you break the addiction of sugar, helping you reach your health goals.