SUGAR!!! We need it, we love it, we gotta have it! It’s in almost every single food or drink we consume! Some of us are so addicted to our sodas, candies, baked goods… that we literally HAVE to have it! We don’t function right without it… for some of us it’s having a cup of coffee in the morning with 3 packets of sugar or all the fancy coffees they make now loaded with sugar… it’s that soda that gives us that pick me up all throughout the day… then we add candy bars, fast food, cakes, you name it, everything bad for us has tons of sugar in it and we LOVE it! The more we consume of sugar, the more we want! Our bodies start to crave it just like a drug addict. As you see in the first picture the brain responds to sugar more than cocaine!! That is crazy!! Something that most of us have in our pantries and in almost everything we eat is legal AND addicting!! If we could walk around with a chart of how much sugar was in our foods/drinks at the grocery store or the ones we purchase at convenient stores we may think twice about consuming all that unwanted sugar.
No one is saying you have to give up everything… that only sets us up for failure… I’ve blogged before about everything in moderation! You have to learn to take the control back from sugar! But if you try to go cold turkey, it’s going to be very hard on you. Be smart about it! Begin a sugar detox by first getting approval from you doctor to make sure it’s safe and you don’t have an underlying medical condition going on! Your Dr can recommend a safe way of detoxing your body. When I had my weight loss surgeries, I had to go cold turkey and it was not fun at all… I have major withdrawals from terrible headaches to feeling extreme fatigue. I could have absolutely NO soda and that alone I thought would kill me! LOL!
After I stopped drinking soda the first 2 times before weight loss surgery a few months after both of those surgeries I was right back to drinking soda! I started out a little at a time because my body couldn’t handle all the sugar but eventually I was right back to drinking it throughout the day! Dr Pepper was weakness!! I needed it, I craved it!! And I would much rather punch someone in the face then them take it away from me! I was defiantly a Dr Pepper addict! No other soda just that one! Then once that sugar addiction started with my soda (yes its MY soda, like I invented it or something… LOL) ! Then I moved back to ice cream, cookies, cakes etc…
My point to this is… I completely quit sugar… three times… I had too for weight loss surgery requirements but I gradually went back to sugar… it lured me in dirty bastard anyway… and I got hooked all over again! Its very easy to do and it has nothing to do with willpower as much as it does understanding the “why” its so bad for us. I used to NEED my Dr Pepper fix and I couldn’t get through a day without at least 2 and that was minimum! I couldn’t go the grocery store for groceries without grabbing one on my way out… mind you… bottled water was sitting right by it in the cooler they use to entice us to by drinks while in line waiting… and if I had to stop for gas… well that always meant grabbing a big soda from the fountain and a candy bar!! ALWAYS!!
Since my last surgery in July, they didn’t make me quit sugar but I knew my body was going to hate me afterwards if I didn’t at least cut back… although to be honest the night before when we got to Rochester and went out to eat… oh yes I had a Dr Pepper! That was the last one I have had! July 12th! I”m not perfect by any means… I’ve had a few sips from my spouse since then but I know how easy it would be to slip back into that habit if I let myself… so I don’t… I can honestly tell you that I drink water! Water all the time! I won’t let myself get back on that sugar train again… yes, every now and then I treat myself to a cookie, a small piece of pie… but difference now is… I understand my addiction and what causes it and how far I can take it! I’ve worked too damn hard to go back to where I was! THAT IS MY MOTIVATION!!!
So how many grams of sugar is recommended daily?
- Women- 20 grams or 5 teaspoons
- Men- 36 grams or 9 teaspoons
- Children- 12 grams or 3 teaspoons
What happens to our bodies on high sugar diets? Foods/drinks with high sugar added in them trigger a rapid rise in our blood sugar levels, which gives us that quick burst of energy. This overwhelms and overstimulates the pancreas causing it to release large amounts of insulin. Our insulin acts as a “clean up” crew coming in and trying to mop up the excess sugar. Once the insulin starts to “clean” up the excess sugar it then drops over sugar level in the blood… making us feel hungry again. The “sugar crash” we experience can make us feel tired and crave it even more to replenish that high we just came down from. This becomes a viscous cycle… the more sugar we consume, the more we want… and that can lead to becoming overweight and obese. We consume twice as many calories at one time and want more… you do the math! That is why some will say, “but I exercise to burn it off” for some of us that works, those fortunate people have fast acting metabolism. And then there are those of use that “if we see a piece of cake we gain 10 lbs” … eating “real” foods will make your body feel good and you won’t have those surges of quick energy but long lasting effects from eating healthier.
For that sweet tooth try eating fresh fruits that are naturally sweetened. You may think that Little Debbie Snack Cake in the fridge vs the apple tastes better… but after time when you make healthier decisions you will be rewarding your body and you will feel satisfied longer!
Make sure you read labels on products! Companies have many different ways to disguise what we call sugar! For instance… Yogurt… sweetened yogurt is loaded with sugar! But you say, yogurt is healthy… only IF you read the label! Try having plain yogurt and adding fresh or frozen fruit.
Some different names for sugar that companies use are… these are just a few of the more common ones used in packaging…
- brown sugar
- corn syrup
- fruit juice concentrate
- high fructose corn syrup
- hydrogenated starch
- invert sugar maltose
- raw sugar
Check condiments as well they have lots of added sugars! Ketch ups, mustards, salad dressing etc..