THE BLOG
12/29/2014 08:56 am ET Updated Feb 28, 2015

Sugar and You

"Your body craves what it is accustomed to having." -- Margaret Marshall

Are you challenged with sugar cravings each day? Processed sugar is found in many food items and you crave sugar because you eat it.

Too much sugar is linked to everything from metabolic syndrome to cancer, and given our tragic dependence on it, there have even been bans suggested in some locales. Some studies show sugar is as addictive as cocaine.

Sugary items that Americans consume are:

  1. Soda/Soft Drinks
  2. Candy
  3. Baked Goods
  4. Fruit Drinks

Along with obesity, there are other health disorders that are connected to sugar consumption. Some of the most common are:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Tooth Decay
  4. Nutritional deficiencies

The one question we should be asking ourselves is: Are these sugary items worth the health disorders, either in ourselves or our children?

Very often when people come to me for weight loss advice it is immediately apparent to me that they are addicted to sugar. I find that when parents consume too much sugar, so do the children in the family. In my work, I see how sugar controls one's thoughts and actions. It takes hold of the senses and the person will eat far too many items containing sugar. Because of this, often these individuals are not eating the food that will nourish their body. They are eating processed, sugary food. They've begun to justify it to themselves: "I didn't eat lunch, so I'll use those calories on... ice cream, candy, or cake."

I've found the most effective way to reduce or eliminate your desire for sugar is to stop eating it. You need to clear your system of processed sugar. It may take up to two weeks, and some people experience headaches, mood swings, and severe sugar cravings.

I ask my clients to white knuckle their way through it. The reward is enormous because my clients claim their cravings subside and they experience more energy during the day. They sleep better, think clearer, and accomplish more tasks. They also find that the fresh fruit that they once thought was tasteless is now delicious and sweet. Without all the processed sugar in their system, they can now enjoy natural sweetness. Armed with this knowledge and awareness, they become stronger than the sugar cravings. It is then that I can confidently say, "You are in control of sugar, sugar is no longer in control of you", but I also advise clients to always be on alert. When you start to eat too much sugar again, it will take over, and once more you must white knuckle your way through the cravings.

A commonly asked question from clients is, "What's the best artificial sweetener?" In my opinion, there are none, because:

  1. Artificial sweeteners are artificial, your body is not.
  2. Artificial sweeteners make food taste too sweet, causing you to crave more sweets.
  3. The less sweet your food and drinks taste, the less sugar you will crave and use. It is then you'll begin to seek out and eat more natural, nutritious food.

Just like my clients, you may be amazed at yourself when you eliminate artificial sweeteners and reduce your dependency on sugar. I am not suggesting you begin to purchase items that are marketed as sugar-free. Quite the contrary, I'm suggesting you begin to enjoy food that is tasty, healthy, and natural. Anyone who finds they succumb to sugar items will experience the white knuckling countless times over in their lifetime. Be aware and able to recognize when sugar has once again taken hold of you. Through my own experience with my white knuckles, I can assure you, it gets easier.

"Your body craves what it is accustomed to having." What you crave is your choice.