Limiting sugar intake is no simple task. Giving it up all together seems like mission impossible. Last month we revealed why refined sugar is harmful to our skin and body in the blog post “The Not-So-Sweet Truth: Sugar & pre-mature skin aging”. Now, Dr. Pamela Peeke, an internationally recognized expert, physician, and scientist of nutrition and fitness and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Hunger Fix: The Three Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction” will tell you how to “trick” your brain into seeing that yogurt and blueberries is far more rewarding than a family size candy bar.
“For years I have listened to men and women who have experienced what they describe as a real addiction to refined (white) sugar in foods they eat— pastries, candies, desserts,” says Dr. Peeke. “They have found that ingesting even one serving will lead to a binge.”
While sugar “addiction” may never fully subside, Dr. Peeke has some suggestions to help minimize cravings. “Not all sugars are the same,” says Dr. Peeke. “The worst ones are refined, processed sugars and they’re usually white – table sugar, white rice, white pasta, white bread… You can never have just one serving of this stuff. Your brain has attached such reward to having a sweet something, that you’ll always over eat it. Instead, avoid it.”
While it may be too hard to cut our sugars all-together, you can substitute refined sugars with natural sugars. “Natural sugars (or healthy carbs) are primarily derived from plants, have lots of satisfying fiber (that’ll fill you up the right way and keep you regular), and include whole grains, veggies, fruits and beans,” says Dr. Peeke… “If you feel you have an addictive situation, I would steer clear of refined sugars and substitute with healthy natural sugars instead. It will take you about a week or so to make the taste switch and a month to really effect a longer term change. Reward yourself not with a moment of fake bliss after devouring refined sugar, but with new energy, a leaner body and a satisfaction greater than any lump of sugar can ever provide you.”
More on “The Hunger Fix: The Three Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction” www.drpeeke.com
Take the Food Addiction Quiz: http://www.drpeeke.com/PopQuiz.htm . The Hunger Fix lays out a science-based three-stage plan that shows how to break addiction to False Fixes and replace them with healthier rewards. Fun fitness activities, customized meal plans, and delicious, satisfying recipes are designed to trigger the specific neurochemical cascade that stimulates your body’s reward system, reclaims your hijacked brain, and supports your lifelong recovery. Energizing Healthy Fixes such as meditating, having sex, writing your own blog, or going for a walk on the beach— even laughing—quickly replace the junk food, couch time, and other self-destructive habits that can leave you unhappy and overweight.
Photo credit: Eric Gibson