Over the past couple of months, I have started eating more and more sugar. I have tried completely cutting out sugar, tried replacing sweets with fruit and fruit smoothies, and none of this is working!! What are some suggestions?
Also, I have heard a lot of conflicting reports on the HCG diet. I was thinking of doing this diet, but don't know if I really want to spend $70 on something requiring you to lower your daily caloric intake to 500. Would I just lose weight anyway? What do you think?
Hope to get some answers!
– Dorit Azoulay
Sugar! It can be so addictive, right? And for good reason, when we eat most added sugar it gives us quick energy and often raises our physiologic state to a "happy" place. While other sugar sources (i.e. carbs) like many whole grains and fruits also do this, the presence of fiber slows how quickly the sugar reaches our system so that we may not get that "rush" feeling. I suggest that we go to the source — why is it that you are having the sugar? Are you fatigued — when we are run down (emotionally and/or physically) the body cries out for quick energy (i.e. sugar) so that could be the culprit. If that's the case we need to work on the cause of the fatigue rather than just take away the sugar (i.e. your energy band-aid of choice at this moment).
Perhaps you are consuming lots of sodium — eating out a lot? Grabbing chips or other salty snacks? There's a delicate dance in the mouth between salt and sugar taste buds and too much of one can lead to a craving of the other. Or perhaps you are sad, bored, or are working somewhere where there's lots of sugar around — any of these can make you more susceptible to sugar's allure.
It's also worth noting that the affects of sugar can stay in the body for 3 days (this is from what I see with my patients, not a clinical study), so it's good to say "ok, I had a lot of sugar today so likely tomorrow and the next day I am still going to want it so its going to be harder for me to feel satisfied by say having fruit. But if I stick with it til the next day, the fruit will do the trick." And it always helps to make sure that you "nutrient balance," which means you want to try to always have some protein and healthy fat (plus, veggies of course) when you have carbs so that you aren't setting yourself up for a high (from the carbs) then a low from which the body will cry out for more sugar.
For more info on what falls into each nutrient group see my nutrition plan here!
– Ashley Koff RD, celebrity dietitian, currently featured on Lifetime's Love Handles (Tuesdays 10pm)