Sugar: tastes sweet, feels bitter

Sugar can be our best friend and our worst enemy… it can make our food taste irresistible and add inches to our waist.

Sugar is like that “friend” that always wants to go grab a bite, a drink, and then sit on the couch watching mindless television.  They seem fun, but they’re really no good for you.  As you mature, you realize more and more that this friend only depletes your energy, leaving you feeling more tired and sad than before.  Overtime, you gain the strength to let go of this friend and find people that increase your overall vitality.

It’s time to let go of sugar – it is not your friend.  Dr. Thomas M. Campbell states that the consumption of sugar can even lead to mental conditions like depression.  Sugar literally makes us sad.  We’ve all experienced, or seen, the effects of sugar.  You feel happy and energetic for a short amount of time, ultimately leading to a hard crash where you feel sadder and more tired than before you ate the sugar.  Which leads you to want to eat more sugar – making you stuck in the endless cycle.  You constantly search for that next “high” only to find yourself lower than ever before.  Given enough time, this inevitably leads to depression.

So why not take sugar out of the equation completely?  This would eliminate the sugar high to sugar crash cycle!  You would feel happier, more energetic, and more vibrant!  I know… easier said than done.

The truth of the matter is that with sugar consumption, we are dealing with an addiction, similar to a drug addiction.  So there are two approaches to tackle this addiction:  the cold-turkey approach or the gradual approach.

Cold Turkey

If you prefer to rip off the band aid as quick as possible, or dive into the cold pool head first, then cold turkey is for you.  It’s simple, effective, fast, but takes great discipline.  You simply cut sugar out of your diet: no sweets, honey, added sugars, sweetened drinks, pastries.  None.  The draw-back with this approach is it can lead to withdrawals.  The withdrawals won’t be as severe as what a drug addict experiences – most likely, you’ll just be irritable and might get a headache.  But they are very temporary.  As long as you have the discipline, you will get through the withdrawals, break the sugar addiction, and live your most fulfilling life!

Gradual

Do you prefer to peel the band aid off slowly?  To get into the pool one inch at a time, allowing your body to acclimate?  Then the gradual approach is for you.  With this approach, you will decrease your sugar intake slowly – adjusting your intake on a weekly basis until it is down to zero.  This approach will require great patience.  The first week, you will eat normally and simply record each time you eat sugar.  The next week, take away 10% of the sugar sources and continue taking 10% away until you no longer eat any sugar sources.  For instance, if you drink a Frappuccino each morning and a bowl of ice cream every day – that’s 14 sources a week.  10% would be 1.4, so the next week take away 2 of these sources (always round up!).  So, have a sugarless Sunday.  Continue decreasing week by week until you no longer need the sugar.  While this approach takes significantly longer, you will not go through the withdrawals of the cold turkey approach because your body is adjusting gradually over time to reach a sugarless state of utter bliss!