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How To Beat Your Sugar Addiction Once And For All

Everyone knows rule #1 with dieting when looking to shed unwanted body fat. You’ve got to cut out the sugars! Unfortunately this is easier said than done for most people.

There is no question that excess sugar in the body is one of the primary reasons that people struggle with fat loss. However, it’s not the calories in sugar that poses the problem but rather the impact sugar has on the hormonal systems in your body.

Consuming a diet high in processed sugars, refined foods, and starch carbohydrates combined with a lack of exercise is almost a sure-fire way to develop insulin resistance and metabolic X syndrome.

You’ve got to control insulin levels and improve sensitivity at the cell receptors if you’re ever going to have a chance with removing body fat. While there are medications to help regulate blood sugar level, no medication on the face of the earth will correct the root of the problem.

A poor diet and lack of exercise combines to degenerate the tissue around the pancreas and other hormonal glands. You in essence break yourself down from the inside out although you can’t see it. Left unresolved you’ll be on a path towards type II diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses that can shorten your lifespan.

You may have heard me talk about insulin before but I want to recap so you fully understand it’s role and function in your body.

Role and function of insulin and how it impacts fat loss

As you may know, one of insulin’s main jobs is to regulate blood sugar levels by transporting glucose (blood sugar) the body doesn’t immediately need to the muscle cells and the liver for storage.

When blood sugar levels remain elevated over long periods of time due to the above mentioned reasons, the cell receptors start shutting down to insulin. This is how insulin resistance is caused. The resulting acidic state in the body and inflammation due to perpetually elevated insulin and cortisol begins to degenerate tissue around the pancreas, adrenals, and other glands.

The body becomes literally flooded with sugar and insulin with devastating health effects. The thing is although you have plenty of sugar floating around your blood stream, your body doesn’t get the message and you end up craving more sugar. This is a vicious cycle of craving what you already have an excess of and putting continued stress on your body.

I tell you all of this simply to get your attention on how important it is to get control of blood sugar levels in your body. Cutting out processed sugars, refined foods, and starches is priority number one if you’re overweight and want to take control of your health.

Mistakes when trying to cut out sugars in the diet

As a fitness coach and nutrition advisor for the past twenty years, I’ve consulted with literally hundreds of individuals on reducing sugar in their diets. During that time I’ve learned first hand what works and what doesn’t.

Here’s a mistake I see being made all the time…

An individual with sugar issues will replace all the processed and refined junk foods in their diet with so called “healthier carbohydrates.” They do this by replacing white bread with whole grain bread, white rice with brown rice, and so forth.

The assumption is that if they start eating “healthier” whole grains and other starch carbohydrates that they’ll naturally start losing weight. When that doesn’t happen they’re left perplexed on why it’s not working. The problem is they were just replacing one form of sugar with another!

With continued high blood sugar levels that the body is not able to regulate, hormonal imbalances remain unchanged.

This is the root of the problem and you’re not going to fix it unless you condition your body to use something other than sugar as energy.

The best approach to accomplish this is by following what’s called a “Primal Blueprint” type diet. This is not a diet per say, but rather a way of eating. Natural foods are exclusively consumed and all processed and refined foods along with starches are removed.

The diet is reflective of what our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have consumed with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and various types of fats/oils.

This is a naturally “low carb” diet with the only sugars coming from fruits, vegetables, and other greens. These are nourishing to the body and help to regenerate damaged tissue around the hormonal glands. Unlike starches and refined sugars, these natural sugars are quickly used by the body for energy and aren’t left to flood the bloodstream.

More importantly, with naturally low blood sugar levels the body begins to call on other substrates like fat for energy. What you’re doing is basically re-programming the cells and healing the body from the inside out.

If you don’t address the hormonal imbalance problem, any weight loss you might achieve with severe caloric restriction or excessive exercise will eventually come back.

The irritability, mood swings, cravings, headaches, and other side effects of pulling sugar out of the diet

Anyone who has tried to pull all the sugars out of their diet before has probably found that after a few days irritability, cravings, headaches, and other side effects start kicking in with a vengeance.

This is where most people cave in and go back to eating starches and other sugars. What this does is just keep you stuck on what I call the “sugar wheel.” The more sugar you consume, the more you crave it, and the harder it is to get off.

The secret is riding out these side effects for 7-14 days then a magical thing happens. All of a sudden the cravings subside as your body becomes conditioned to using other fuels for energy.

You have to go through that uncomfortable period before you can experience the dramatic change on the other side. Your energy levels will increase, fatigue fades away, sugar cravings subside, and the weight starts slowly coming off.

The addictive side of sugar much like that of a drug

You just have to hold on long enough for the changes to happen on the inside first. It’s important you understand this battle with sugar is just as much physiological as it is psychological.

Sugar is a very addictive substance and works on the opioid receptors in the brain the same way drugs do. You’re dealing with strong neurotransmitters and chemical signals that no amount of willpower alone can overcome.

The only way to win is to change the signals by dramatically altering the way you eat. Cutting calories and eating Lean Cuisines won’t ever help you break a sugar addiction. Neither will replacing processed sugars with so called “healthy” whole grains, breads, low-calorie wraps, etc.

To defeat the sugar addiction once and for all you’ve got to declare all out war. Make a commitment to following a Primal Blueprint diet for a mere thirty days and I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Over time as your body begins to get a handle on regulating blood sugar levels you can start integrating things like potatoes, rice, and other starches back into your diet. Just take it one step at a time and be patient with yourself.

You won’t be perfect but if you stick with it you’ll win. Don’t let small slip-up’s cause you to fall of the wagon completely. Stay the course and get right back on track if you crash and give into a craving.

Avoid being drawn in to the lies that permeate marketing messages with claims like “eat all your favorite foods and still lose weight if you simply take this pill, powder, etc.” If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

There’s simply no substitute for healing your body with natural foods and regular exercise. Everything else is a short-cut and sooner or later you’ll have to address the root of the problem.

If you would like more information on how to follow a Primal Blueprint type diet you can download my free e-book “The Lean Code Method Quick Start Nutrition Guide.”

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He specializes in helping people achieve a body transformation with burst training exercise and whole food nutrition. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal fitness programs and start experiencing the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Nutrition.