I have been a frustrated dieter for twenty-eight years. I’ve had a little success here and there, but for the most part, the scale kept going higher and higher and I kept buying bigger and bigger clothes.
But I got serious last year and I faced my enemy. I knew the area where I failed time and time again. Sugar! Desserts were my downfall. One piece of cake was never enough, handfuls of cookies, and I could still eat more. When it came to sugar, I just could not stop. I was addicted to it.
Or did I just think I was? Was there a real thing as sugar addiction?
I did a bit of research and sure enough, I wasn’t just imagining. I truly was out of control, addicted to sugar. My research brought me face to face with some not so sweet facts about sugar.
I found a devotional book written by a woman who is a psychologist (Satisfied – A 90 Day Spiritual Journey Toward Food Freedom by Dr. Rhona Epstein), a certified addiction counselor who had fought her own battle with food. I figured she knew what she was talking about, so I bought the book.
On one of the first pages she recommends joining a support group. I wasn’t happy about this. I had gone the route of Weight Watchers, The Weighdown Diet, and many other Bible studies. My wallet got thinner, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to shell out any more money only to continue getting minuscule results. But I was determined this time. I did find a support group that was reasonably priced- TOPS (Take Off Ponds Sensibly). Now I’m not writing this to bash one group or promote another, I’m just telling you what I’ve been doing.
I need the scale. If a plan is truly working the numbers go down. All the different methods to weight loss don’t matter if the weight doesn’t come off. My group of fellow dieters at TOPS is friendly and supportive and serious about losing weight- if you’re group isn’t like this find a different one. I mean it. I’ve attended groups where it was more of a social hour than a group trying together to reach a goal.
Knowing I have to step on the scale every week has been a big help and motivator as I stick to my eating plan of no sugar, no sweeteners (natural or man-made), low-carb eating, and a half hour of real exercise five days a week.
The first week was a challenge, but then a surprising thing began to happen. Keeping away from sugar has helped me stop craving sugar. If this seems a simple concept to you, it was ground breaking for me. Once it got out of my body, I stopped wanting it. I no longer felt the ‘I need something sweet’ desire that had been a constant companion throughout my days.
Another wonderful thing- the pounds began to go away. Now, I’m up to almost twenty-five ugly pounds-gone!This has been so amazing to me. I just bought a pair of pants two sizes smaller. I could have run out of the changing room and announced it to the whole department store! I didn’t, but I’m sure there would have been some very understanding women.
Yes I would love the occasional bowl of ice cream or slice of birthday cake, but I’ve got to tell you the truth… I’m so encouraged by what’s going on in my body that I’m more motivated to keep on the path than ever before. And I know too that the desserts are eaten in mere moments, almost without thought, but the affects are there for years. No thanks! I’m gonna keep going!
Now here are some not so sweet facts I’ve been learning about sugar along the way. Understanding these has helped me to keep my enemy at bay.
- Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.
- It can take more and more of it to satisfy. (Just like drugs)
- Fructose, found in fruits and honey, is twice as sweet as table sugar.
- There are 61 different names for sugar.
- Corn sugar is liquid sugar.
- High blood sugar is a significant factor in heart disease, diabetes and liver disease. It increases the risk of cancer, and there is a higher risk of reoccurrence and lower rate of survival.
- The average American eats 61 pounds of sugar a year. Twentyfive pounds of that as candy. Halloween only counts for two of those pounds.
- Sugar causes wrinkles as it makes your skin lose its flexibility. It also increases tooth decay.
- There are 16 sugar cubes of sugar in a twenty ounce bottle of Coke.
- Artificial sugars can make you fat. Studies show you consume more calories as your body is not satisfied and desires more food.
- 36% of the sugar we take in comes from the things we drink.
- Drinking one can of soda a day and you’ll have a 33% higher risk of heart disease and a 26% chance of type 2 diabetes.
- Unstable blood sugar levels can leave you experiencing mood swings, fatigue, headaches and stress.
- Consuming sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, immune functions as bacteria and yeast feed on sugar. Also gum disease and depression.
- Added sugars are in 74% of processed foods.
- The amount of sugar we consume has risen exponentially. Once a rare treat we consume one third of our daily calories in sugar and white flour.
These facts are startling to be sure. The field of Sugar Science is a new field and so far the University of California at San Francisco is leading in research.
Read your labels! Sugar creeps in where you least expect it. I have found salad dressings often the biggest culprit. Salad dressing! Who would have thought?
I have the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone to help me keep track of what I’m eating, and I can see the amount of sugar in my food choices. This is also a part of my eating plan and keeping myself on the path.
This hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been difficult. I had to make the commitment to go this route and I can tell you I’m glad I did. This year I hope to lose my fiftieth pound and you know what? I honestly feel I will!
Fellow dieter if you’re serious about fighting the battle of the bulge and if sugar is your downfall come on along and get sugar free. You will never regret it.
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