In this culture of instant gratification, there is no shortage of companies looking to sell you the latest health or weight loss trick. Gimmick after gimmick that promises to help you lose weight without having to take any steps towards actual change in your life. These shortcuts may work at first, but they will not last. Statistics show people who win the lottery usually end up financially worse off than they were before they won all that money, Just because you win the lottery, that doesn’t change your attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge about money. It is just a “quick fix” that seems to give you what you want quickly. The same can be said for those quick weight loss miracles, they don’t change your daily habits, your relationship with food, or a myriad of other things that contribute to your health. People who use those weight loss gimmicks to lose weight end up gaining back the weight they lost and then some.
Remember that old fable: slow and steady wins the race. If you focus on making daily changes in your everyday life, the results that you desire will come to you in time. Just like true wealth builds over time, true health takes time as well. Your goal may seem impossible now, insurmountable even, but if you focus on the small changes you can make today, and then the next day, and the next, before you know it, you will be that much closer to your goal. As your health starts to recover, you will have more and more motivation to keep following the path to wellness that you are on.
Great! So, where do you start? Implement a strict diet? Begin an intense workout routine? Both?
Just like those Couch to 5k programs that have gotten people off their bums and more active – start small. Start with one thing in your life you can control. With each moment that comes to you throughout your day, try to make a smarter choice. If you fail in one moment, know that you can always make a better choice the next moment you are faced with. What is the one small thing you can do to make a BIG difference in your health?
The detrimental effects of too much sugar in your diet are finally being addressed in health circles these days as more and more people discover how sugar has negatively impacted their health. It goes far beyond avoiding sweets like brownies, cookies, donuts, etc. Sugar has creeped its way into most of the foods we consume in the Western world. You’ll find it in soups, in crackers, in frozen dinners, in canned biscuits, in drinks, etc. Have you noticed a pattern? Processed foods often contain sugar in levels that far surpass those same foods if you made them from scratch. This is a direct result of the convenience foods we have let overtake our lives in the name of having more time. And what have we done with all that extra time saved by convenience foods? Binge watched more episodes of our favorite shows on Netflix?
This is a hard pattern to break for sure, but it is worth it. Your health, your quality of life is worth it. Start today. Look at the foods you are eat, where is there sugar that you can cut out? That fancy flavored creamer in your morning coffee? Try using organic half & half instead. That canned soup you are having for lunch? Try making your own at home in a slow-cooker. All it takes is for you to make small choices in each moment. Is that free donut a coworker brought in really worth it? Maybe some moments the answer is yes for you, but if you start taking a good hard look at where there is sugar in your diet, you are more apt to make smarter choices when faced with those indulgent treats every now and then. A small piece of cake every now and then may not kill you, not when your body is not overly bombarded with excess sugar at every meal! You will notice a difference.
It might be hard at first, no, it WILL be hard at first. Studies in rats demonstrate that they can become physically addicted to sugar. Could the same be said for people? Many people consume sugar and other junk foods in a pattern that is typical for addictive, abusive compounds. Sugar releases brain chemicals in a similar way that drugs of abuse do! Discipline in those first few days is crucial, especially if you currently consume a lot of foods containing sugar. If you really want your health to change, it is necessary. After awhile, it won’t be as hard. When you start to notice a change in how you feel, your energy levels, your overall health, it will be easier and easier to say no to the foods you know are not working for you.
Then, when you enjoy that small slice of cake at a birthday party, or a few bites of cheesecake you’re sharing with a close friend, you will enjoy it more because it will be free of feelings of guilt and shame over your poor health.
With just this one change in your daily life, you will begin to notice a difference in how you feel. Like the smart person who invests their money to build over time, you will have invested in your health, and over time, you will reap the rewards.
Need more motivation? Here are 7 Reasons You Should Avoid Added Sugar In Your Diet:
- A diet that is high in calories and high in fructose (a type of simple sugar), overloads the liver and starts turning the fructose into fat.
- Fructose doesn’t affect satiety in the same way as glucose (another simple sugar), making you eat more total calories automatically if your fructose intake is high
- Excess fructose consumption may cause leptin resistance, throwing body fat regulation out of whack and contributing to obesity
- The evidence is mounting that sugar, NOT fat, may be one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism
- Many studies show that sugar consumption is associated with insulin resistance, especially when it is consumed in large amounts. Insulin resistance is believed to be a leading driver of many diseases… including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and especially type II diabetes.
- Many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels (a consequence of sugar consumption) can contribute to cancer
- The way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster.
The harmful effects of fructose apply to a western diet supplying excess calories and added sugars. It does NOT apply to the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.