One thing I have always struggled with is craving sugar or simple carbs. When I get hungry and need a snack I would always crave sugary snacks (cake, cookies, muffins, granola bars, etc…) At the end of a meal, I always want something sweet. When I was little I remember my grandmother calling it “my sweet tooth”. We always had to satisfy our sweet tooth…right? When Mark and Chism left for the Biggest Loser, I knew that I needed to change my unhealthy eating and get more exercise. One thing I found that was helpful was the My Fitness Pal app. It is an app. that you record your food and it helps keep track of your calories, your exercise and how much water you drink. The first few days I continued to eat as I had been eating just to see how many calories I consumed each day. I realized that I was eating a lot of sugar…and not only did that add a lot of calories but I craved sugar all the time. I began to wonder why??? So I did some research…
I found Dr. Lustig, an obesity pediatrician, who did research on sugar and what effect is has on our bodies. I would highly recommend everyone reading this blog to go watch the videos on “The Skinny on Obesity” (I have included one for you to begin with)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0zD1gj0pXk (this is the first episode)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moQZd1-BC0Y (this is the whole video)
Dr. Lustig gives a full understanding of what happens when sugar is digested by our bodies. It turns to fat! Sugar brings our blood sugar levels up which cause our energy level to go up and then after our body has used the energy, we crash causing our body to crave more. Sugar is a simple carb which is fast to digest so therefore our body uses it quickly. Dr. Lustig explains it so well with the diagram of the glucose and fructose molecules and how our body digests fructose.
After watching all of Dr. Lustig’s lectures and video I wanted to experiment and see if what he was talking about was true for my body. I decided I would not have any sugar until the finale of the Biggest Loser. This was for 7 months. I allowed myself to use Stevie in my coffee and tea but no artificial sugars. I checked all the labels of food for no high fructose corn syrup or other hidden sugars. (Boy, this was a hard one…HFCS is in everything!) After 2 weeks I began to see a difference. I had more energy. I did not crave sugary foods. Fruits and vegetables tasted so much better (they had an amazing sweetness to them!). I began to lose weight faster than I had ever before. I lost belly fat. It was hard at first but soon I didn’t miss it anymore. During the 7 months I lost 40 lbs. Now it has been 2 years and I have kept it off. I allow myself a sugary sweet every once in a while on special occasions but I really don’t crave it anymore and I even catch myself not even wanting it when it is around. Getting rid of sugar in my everyday life has been one of the greatest things in losing weight and maintaining my weight. I have battled with this all my life. My hope and prayer is that this information might help you along the journey as well.
Please leave comments below if you have questions, what you thought about Dr. Lustig’s research, or how this information has helped you. Let’s be there for each other and share what we have learned!
– Cathy Cornelison
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