It isn’t the calories that make us fat and sick. It’s the sugar.
Food manufacturers blame our obesity crisis and the outbreak of diet-related diseases on over-consumption. They imply that overweight consumers are weak-willed and merely need to eat less and exercise more.
They’re wrong, says Robert Lustig, an obesity authority at the University of California San Francisco. “It’s not about the calories.” Lustig believes sugar is “a poison” that’s singlehandedly responsible for the global explosion of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and many cancers over the past 50 years.
Sugar Is Addictive
Sugar and other sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), stimulate the striatum, or the reward center of the brain. The brain releases dopamine, a chemical that creates feelings of pleasure and euphoria.
It’s natural to want what feels good. So we eat more sweets. And the more sweets we consume, the more we want. That’s because sweets drain our brain of dopamine while building up tolerance with regular use. We need a stronger and more frequent dose to get the same high. If we don’t get our fix, our brain slides into withdrawal. We feel sad and irritable. This is why some people constantly crave sweet comfort foods.
It’s a vicious cycle: Eating sugar increases body weight and health problems, which represses positive emotions. Self-medicating with more sugar sends your mood into a downward spiral. Sugar poisons not only your mood, but also your metabolism. Eating a lot of sweets causes chronically high insulin in your blood. This leads to constant hunger and continual accumulation of body fat.
How to Break the Cycle
The easiest way to break this cycle is to eat proteins and fats instead of sweets and other refined carbohydrates. Proteins and fats don’t trigger problematic dopamine and insulin responses. In fact, diets that focus on high-protein foods and healthy fats, such as Paleo, Atkins, and The 30-Day Diabetes Cure, have proven successful for blood sugar control and weight loss. They also dramatically reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, circulatory and heart disease, many cancers, stroke, and hypertension.
The average American consumes an incredible 180 pounds of sugar and HFCS annually – much of it hidden in processed foods. Here are some tips to help you avoid refined carbs, conquer your sweet tooth, and control your cravings…
Keep your insulin levels low. Quit cold turkey on sugar, sweets, sodas, beer, and anything made with white flour or refined corn. You should also avoid white potatoes, pasta, white rice, and fruit juices.
Eat real food. Pick foods as close as possible to their natural state. (Canned and frozen vegetables and beans are okay.)
Eat protein with every meal. For breakfast, choose eggs; steel-cut oats topped with full-fat, unsweetened yogurt, fresh berries, and a sprinkle of bran or flax meal; or a protein smoothie with whey powder or spirulina, hemp milk, berries, and flax meal. Eat chicken or tuna salad for lunch. Enjoy some high-quality fish or meat for dinner.
Have three meals and two snacks. A regular eating routine will keep your hunger, blood sugar, and cravings under control. You don’t have to eat a lot, but eat predictably.
Carry snacks. Make sure your snacks include some protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. Nuts, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, natural meat jerky, crunchy vegetable slices, and nut butters are good choices.
Tote healthy beverages. Always carry your own water. Flavor it with a slice of lemon, lime, or orange. Tea and coffee—hot or iced—are perfectly acceptable. Avoid diet sodas and artificial sweeteners. If necessary, use a tiny bit of stevia or non-bitter SLIMTEVIA.
Be patient. If you have a strong sweet tooth, the first three days without sugar may be uncomfortable. Be strong. The longer you abstain, the weaker your cravings will become. If you must have something sweet after a meal, eat fresh fruit. If cravings get intense, suck on an ice cube, a Lifesaver, or a frozen grape, or chew gum or brush your teeth.
Accentuate the positive. Don’t focus on what you’re giving up. Instead, think about all the benefits of eating more healthfully.
Keep Getting Better,