Refined sugar is a legal narcotic that not only causes weight gain, it robs the body of nutrition while creating an addictive dependence on the manufactured product. Losing weight has nothing to do with your sense of self worth. (Lots of skinny people feel bad about themselves.) Losing weight has nothing to do with working harder or wanting (attracting) it more. It has nothing to do with God, your parents, your ex, or your… anything- except your diet. How do you really really lose weight?
Stop eating sugar. Weight loss or gain is all about how much sugar you eat each day. Stop eating sugar and you will burn the fuel already existing in your fat cells and you will be able to access the storehouse of sugar that has built up. But even if you don’t pour sugar into your coffee, there are lots of food that turn directly into sugar once you eat them- like all bread and potato products. Bread is the most common conveyor for food- sandwiches, burritos, pancakes… But now it is time to just eat the ingredients in between the bread. Make this tiny habit change and experience huge results.
Since sugar has likely dominated food flavors in your life, the initial effort to rid your body’s dependency on sugar will take time and focus as is true with any habit. But once you’ve broken through to the other side, whole natural foods will regain their magnificent unique flavors and your palate will be able to expand. It is worth the effort to eliminate refined sugar from your diet and live in a more natural relationship to the nourishment the planet provides. For me it was all about time. The longer I refrained from eating sugary foods the harder it became to remember what they tasted like. I recently took a sip of store bought lemonade and was appalled by how sweet it was. A year ago I might not have noticed. It took a year to restore my taste buds to their natural sensitivities to what is good and bad for me.
See the book: Why We Get Fat and What to Do about it.
Here are two seemingly unrelated facts:
- Sugar turns to fat in the body.
- Exercise increases appetite.
This means- Exercise burns calories to the exact degree it increases appetite. When you exercise you get hungrier and if you eat foods with sugars you are in turn, increasing your rate of sugar consumption. So what are you eating once you’ve jogged and made yourself ravenously hungry? The more you exercise the hungrier you will get. If you feed that hunger sugar, bread, and other junk carbohydrates that turn directly into sugar, you have actually made exercise BAD for you, because now you are eating more of what is causing the weight gain.
If exercise alone really made us thin, wouldn’t there be a lot more thin people? There are certainly vast numbers of people exercising. Why are they not thinner? Is it because they stop exercising? They quit? Give up? But why? Laziness? Low self esteem? No. If you put effort into exercise without seeing results your motivation will fade and you will begin to feel powerless over the appearance of your body. But the only reason nothing changes is because sugar is still being consumed at a rate your body can not manage.
If exercise alone resulted in weight loss, it would be obvious by now as an effective method. Everyone would partake in the activity easily and with pleasure. Rather than acknowledge that it doesn’t work, we instead enter into fuzzy logic and psychological traps that have their roots in organized religions- guilt, shame, remorse… Could it really be that we are all supposed to exercise for an hour every single day to keep ahead of weight gain and if we stop we will be overtaken by the inevitable fat monster? That sounds like a nightmare. Our bodies know how to maintain our perfect weight (whatever our activity levels are) if we stop eating the hight quantities of sugar that were unnaturally introduced into our modern day diets by commercial food producers out to make money. The situation is simple. Sugar has been put into everything because its addictive qualities taste good and make lots of money. Products with sugar sell. But you don’t have to buy them.
Remove sugar and you will lose weight weather you exercise or not. Normal daily life activities require energy which will be taken from deep storage rather than quick fix sugars each day. If you feed that increased appetite you’ve created by exercising with sugar and starch products like bread you will defeat all the effects of your hard earned exercise. If you cut out sugar and keep up an exercise practice, you will lose weight faster.
So how do you stop eating sugar?
–Be patient. Stay calm. Slow and steady wins the race. Consider how many years sugar has been in your diet- remember ice cream truck pop sickles? Be reasonable about how long it will take you to truly change your brain chemistry to no longer need the highly addictive substance that the American food industry has abused at your expense.
Refined sugar is an addictive substance in the same family as cocaine. It is also near impossible to find prepared foods without it. This can only mean one thing…
–Stop eating packaged foods and learn how to cook. This is actually a fun assignment! If you want to lose weight you will need to stop eating what is available out in the world and start preparing your own meals.
Accept the reality that- when it comes to eating well, we here in America live in a wasteland. Grocery stores are drug dealers selling sugar. Do not shop the middle isles of grocery stores where all the boxes and bottles are with long lists of ingredients. (Not even Whole Foods which paradoxically sells vast quantities of un-whole foods in packaged form) Shop the perimeters of the grocery store and buy fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood. This means you will come home with mostly ingredients- and no actual meals, which means you will need to convert those ingredients into meals by learning how to cook.
To find excellent recipes for whole food dishes visit:
Read labels and look for words like: sugar, cane juice, fructose, gluten, wheat, or any long scientific word you’ve never heard. Put that product back and make a note to “Youtube” a how to video on what you didn’t buy. Mayonnaise, catsup, barbecue sauce, and most all of the other sauces that make food delicious can be made with healthy whole ingredients without the use of sugar or preservatives. There are lots of simply lovely people filming themselves prepare these things in their kitchens.
Exercise for the enjoyment of the activity. Not for the hope or belief that it will keep your weight down. Because it won’t. Not eating sugar will keep your weight down. Following exercise regiments out of obligation is a carry-over mental trap from our cultural religious up-bringings similar to tithing. It says, “Pay and suffer and ye shall be rewarded.” No pain no gain? Actually, no pain… no pain. Be nice and listen to what you really feel like doing with your time here on Earth. You were not put here to exercise unless that is what you enjoy!
–Eat when you are hungry. This involves preparing larger quantities of foods and storing them for easy access because out in the world- there is only sugar food to be found at this time. Perhaps in the near future there will be places that serve healthy whole foods. But when you get hungry it is easy to forget your new found diet changes and grab a Jamba Juice. So prepare food in advance. Going hungry is not helpful to any cause or goal in life. Not eating does not result in weight loss unless you are really committed to wasting away and dying. Not eating when you are hungry is not keeping you thin, it is destroying your metabolism, the system that will actually keep you thin. You need to eat whenever you are hungry. Just eat foods without processed sugar. For a list of foods that don’t contribute to weight gain check out Diane Sanfilipppo’s book Practical Paleo.
Invest in quality. Too expensive to buy whole foods? The reality is- you’re going to have to buy food no matter what. Food is a non-negotiable life expense. What are you worth? What are your priorities? What do you spend your money on? In the long run, buying whole foods is less expensive because you derive more nutrients and need less food. Sugar foods are cheep but they do not keep you full for very long and require that you go back more frequently to buy more food. The cheep aspect of prepared food is costing you in body weight and self esteem. Rather than pay that agonizing currency, just pay money for high quality organic food.
You may have noticed by now that this article ascribes to the Paleo lifestyle diet. Whether you ascribe to this diet or not does not change the fact that sugar is what causes weight gain and to stop eating sugar requires turning to foods that do not have high sugar content. That list of foods is found in the Paleo philosophy. So take whatever you need from that school of thought to reach your goals- the most valuable walk-away point being- a no-sugar diet.
Expect long term, long lasting change. Going on a typical diet often has weekly goals and monthly projections which always seems to have the contingency notion that once you do the work of deprivation you will earn the right to go back to what you really crave. The goal here is to change what you crave, which means change your neurological expectations and expand your palate. You should not need to think about food so much. Counting calories is not necessary or healthy. How do you really count calories, any way? You look up some index publication on that particular food? It all seems too complicated! Counting calories is a mental trap. Once you eliminate sugar cravings, which damage the reliability of your appetite, whatever you crave will be what your body needs so eat it!
Your body is a temple for your soul. Your body is how you experience the world. Would you bring crack cocaine into a cathedral? Don’t bring it into your body.
Losing weight must come from a long term lifestyle change. There is no other way. There are, however many people who have succeeded in making that change. You can be one of those people. For books on how to improve health check out:
Peace, beautiful people. I believe in you. And if I met you on the street I would tell you so.