Saturday, February 13, 2021

You can and should eat sugar to lose weight

What the actual?!?! I not only can but should eat sugar if I'm on a diet?? You're wondering, "Erm pardon me but are you nuts?" Well in many ways, yes I am 😁 But not about this particular subject. You did read that correctly. Sugar, even refined sugar, has a place in weight loss. At least it did in mine and I believe it should in yours too. Here's why. 

First, for the purposes of this blog post, when I say sugar, I mean refined sugar, Next some stats, to give my theory cred. I lost 100 lb over a period of about 8 months: no drugs, personal trainer or surgery. 

When I began I was pre-diabetic.  I have kept the majority of weight off for 7 years. And all that time I have eaten sugar almost every day. I factored it into the diet plan that I wrote for myself. Once in awhile I even allowed myself a complete blowout. Even before the weight loss was complete I got my sugar numbers down to normal. And here's how I did that and why I think it's important. 

1) Set attainable goals. Cutting out all sugar is unrealistic. For many reasons,  I am skeptical of any diet plan that tells you to cut out anything, even sugar. It's so readily available and in pretty much all processed food, in a developed country. (Segue, it's interesting that we consider ourselves first worlders, when some of the less developed nations actually have healthier diets than we do). It would be virtually impossible to go the rest of your life without eating sugar. And a good diet builds new habits and doesn't rely on weird temporary restrictions. 

2) Limit don't delete. Obvs, eating too much junk including sugar was part of what got me overweight to start with. Soto lose weight, I dialed way back on the amount I ate. I allowed 100 or so calories a day of my food intake to be from  sugar

3) Occasionally overindulge. Again yes you read that correctly. As I said earlier sometimes you can let yourself eat as much sugar as you want. But only at one meal on one day every couple of weeks. This overindulgence serves several purposes. It prevents you from feeling deprived. Deprivation mode is a form of depression plus resentment that leads to dishonesty. It can sabotage your diet because you end up sneaking and cheating on yourself. And you develop unhealthy self-perception.

4) Change your mind. We've come to think of sugar as a treat. It's not. It's just another food option and certainly not the best one. But it does have two benefits: it releases dopamine which makes you feel good and it perks your brain up. So while we should not use sugar or any food as a reward, we can enjoy the benefits. 

5) Control cravings. Sugar is as addictive as heroin. So if you try to quit cold turkey you will very likely have some serious withdrawal type cravings. If you eat a little bit you can keep those cravings at bay.

6) Take back the controls. The more you get the sugar habit under control the easier it gets and the better you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. You feel powerful and capable. Nobody likes being at the mercy of someone else and certainly not someTHING else. When I was slave to chocolate, I felt foolish,  weak and angry with myself. When I got my sugar addiction under control, I felt like Wonder Woman!

7) Lose your taste for it. This isn't an instruction it's a promise. When I first started dieting my blowouts looked like several pieces of dessert. Toward the end it was only a few bites. My stomach had shrunk and I literally couldn't eat any more. And it didn't taste as good. That's the honest truth. I'm not schmoozing you.  Of all the goodies I used to love, none of them taste quite as good as they once did.

9) Face those fears. I've talked to a lot of people who say they can't lose weight. They're afraid they will not be able to see it through. They fear failure. More on that in tomorrow's blog post. So I can't promise that you will lose weight but I can assure you that you do have the strength too if you want to.

10) Homework: Try this experiment. Choose a favorite piece of dessert. Monitor your reactions and sensations as you eat each bite. The first bite will probably taste great but each successive one will lose something. So if you just enjoy those two or three bites you're getting all the payout of the entire piece with a fraction of the calories. 

So here ends this blog post. I will write further on different kinds of sugar that are best. Love y'all to Pluto (it is a planet!!) and back. 💕

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