Modern life is fraught with health threats. The worst, in my opinion, are the 3 S’s: sitting, sugar, and stress. I believe that avoiding them is the best way to improve your health, boost your energy and happiness, and lengthen your life.
While you’re sitting, your muscles are still and your calorie-burning rate drastically declines. As a result, you lose muscle and gain fat. Your body’s ability to remove glucose and triglycerides from the bloodstream declines. Your risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and death from heart disease climbs. These effects happen even if you exercise regularly.
The message is clear: Don’t just sit there. If you have a desk job, here are some ways you can get off your keister:
- Elevate your desk on cinder blocks.
- Raise your computer on stacked books or boxes.
- Read and write using a tabletop lectern.
- Trade your office chair for a bar stool, and use it only for a rest or a change of pace.
- Invest in a treadmill desk.
- Park your car farther from your workplace.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Stand while talking on the phone.
- Walk to lunch.
- Stroll with a coworker at break time or for a meeting.
- Wear a pedometer. Aim to walk 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) every day. If you’re short at 5:00 p.m., take an after-dinner walk.
Most Americans eat way more sugar than our bodies can use. Our livers turn this excess blood sugar into fat. We’re getting obese. One-third of Americans has diabetes or pre-diabetes. Sugar and carb consumption also contribute to heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Why do we consume so much sugar? They please our taste buds. Our brains are wired to seek them out. And sugar is physically addictive.
If you want to dodge sugar-fueled diseases, you’ve got to treat your craving for sweets like the addiction it is. The best strategy is cold turkey. Cutting down doesn’t really work.
Quitting sugar cold turkey is tough. The first days are the hardest. It takes determination to get through them. Some people pray for divine help. Others try self-hypnosis, affirmations, therapy, and support groups.
The good news: It gets easier. Your tongue creates new taste buds every few weeks. These are more sensitive to subtle flavors and natural sweetness. They don’t like the overpowering sweetness of sugar. And once you stop reinforcing your addiction, it weakens. It takes 21 to 30 days to replace an old habit with a new one. Hang on — it will get easier.
For help through the entire process, I urge you to read The 30-Day Diabetes Cure. This book gives you an easy-to-follow daily plan to kick your sugar habit and heal your diabetes. These tips will help, too:
- Snack on protein foods, such as unsalted raw nuts, hard cheese, hard-boiled eggs, or unsweetened yogurt, between meals. Protein lowers blood sugar and dampens carb cravings.
- Keep sliced raw veggies such as carrots, radishes, bell peppers, and celery on hand. These provide satisfying crunch and a hint of natural sugars.
- Avoid fruits and fruit juices for the first ten days or so. They contain a lot of natural sugar.
- Drink water flavored with lemon or lime.
- Sweeten your coffee or tea with a small amount of super-low-calorie Slimtevia ™.
Stress can come from tension, worry, fear, upset, irritability, loneliness, self-criticism, or other negative thoughts and feelings. These trigger the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which make the heart pound faster, constrict blood vessels, raise blood pressure, weaken the immune system, disturb sleep patterns, and promote unhealthy eating. Studies show that chronically elevated adrenaline can lead to a heart attack or stroke, while high levels of cortisol raise blood sugar.
You can’t control the world around you, but you can choose how to deal with it. Many people use cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, TV, or food to relax. But these choices carry negative health consequences. And after a while, they enslave us.
Choose healthful stress reducers instead. Here are several ideas:
- Take a brisk walk, do yoga or Pilates, ride your bike, or do whatever exercise you prefer.
- Breathe deeply.
- Count your blessings.
- Sunbathe for 10 minutes to get your daily dose of mood-boosting vitamin D.
- Read a book or listen to an audiobook.
- Spend at least 1 hour of quality time with your partner, family, or other loved ones each day.
- Avoid working during your “off” time.
- Volunteer your time to a worthy charity.
Most of us are so used to the sitting, sugar, and stress of modern life that we don’t even notice they’re harming us. We’re like laboratory frogs in a gruesome experiment. The water’s getting hotter, but we don’t sense the danger because the heat is rising so gradually. Please allow me to offer you a word of lifesaving advice: jump!