Cutting Out Sugar and Other Substances - Olathe Chiropractic

Cutting Out Sugar and Other Substances

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A person throwing a jar of sugar in the trash

Do you feel like you’ve dieted a million times and still seem to hold on to a few pounds? The problem could be your diet, even if you are eating “healthy” or “diet” foods. Something many diet foods have hidden in them is sugar. This substance is found everywhere—even in the “healthy” stuff—and can actually be what’s keeping you from your weight goals. Find out what sugar does to your body and how reducing your intake can help you get healthier!

 

Sugar On the Brain

Many people love wonderful, sugary treats, especially when it comes to the holidays. However, sugar can be one of the worst substances for you if you are trying to get a smaller tummy and a leaner body. Sugar can be so sweet, but not to your health and definitely not to your weight. For some patients, cutting out sugar is just so darn hard! Did you know that there is actually a chemical change in your body when you eat sugar? Eating foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugar can actually mess with your body’s chemical composition.

 

Your brain needs sugar to work properly, especially when it comes to memory. This sugar is known as “glucose” and is the main energy source for the brain. However, too much can hurt you all over your body. When you eat sugar, your dopamine levels spike. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone your body has, which is part of it’s reward system. You get this spike when you exercise or accomplish goals you’ve worked towards. The more sugar you eat, the more your dopamine levels are spiking and the more you’ll crave sugar.

 

Your body wants those feel-good hormones, so the cravings for more and more sugar can almost become unbearable. Many people get used to having a dessert with every meal, when sugar should actually be eaten sparingly in a healthy diet. This is because your tolerance level for sugar can increase due to cravings, even if the sugar is causing you weight gain or health problems. If you find yourself craving sugar multiple (or many) times a day, consider cutting out sugar from your diet over time.

 

healthy foods compared to unhealthy, sugary foods

Cutting Out Sugar and Other Substances

You can be exercising every day and eating pretty well, but if you have tons of sugar in your “diet”, then you won’t see the progress you want. If you take a look at your food labels, you will be surprised to find that many “diet” foods contain high amounts of sugars. Cutting out sugars is much easier if you check food labels. Foods to watch out for include: diet products, yogurt, fruit drinks, breads, salad dressings, cereals, nut butters, dried fruit and dried meats. Many of these foods are considered “healthy”, when they actually are not helping your health at all.

 

You can still enjoy these foods, just check labels at the store and choose the options that have little to no sugar in them, and higher amounts of protein. Adding in protein calories in place of sugar calories will help your body build muscle better, function better, and will give you more energy. Other substances you might want to consider cutting out include:

  • Sodas. These are often full of several candy-bar’s worth of sugar. Frequent soda drinkers can lose weight quickly by switching to water.
  • Coffee. These are also full of sugar and many substances that can harm your health. There are many water enhancers and other non-calorie forms of caffeine that can get you through your day without adding to your waistline.
  • Breads. When you’re hungry, fill up on veggies or protein-packed snacks instead of bread. Bread is mostly made of sugar and will only provide minimal energy.
  • Alcohol. Not only does it carry a lot of calories, but it can lead to countless chronic diseases and cancers.

 

A chart of all the qualities of healthy living

Tips for Success

Cutting out sugar or any other food or drink from your life can be hard. It’s less hard with help. Nutritional assessments and food counseling can get you where you want to be quickly. Many people find diet success with the help of a friend doing the same process or with a counselor that they are responsible to. Every person’s body is different, which is why a customized eating plan based on your body and goals might be your best option. Assessments and counseling can provide you with the right nutrients, exercises, therapies and more to help you reach your goals.

 

Also consider the following:

  • Write down goals for what you want to accomplish with your health and when you want to accomplish it. Goals written down and looked at each day are more likely to be achieved.
  • Get a friend or significant other to work on goals with you. They can even be different goals, but be accountable each day for your actions with food.
  • The better you eat, the longer you might live, and the better you’ll live. Eating a balanced diet can not only help you lose weight and be stronger, but it can help you avoid many chronic diseases.

 

Getting the Right Help

Did you know that sugar can be addicting? Like we mentioned, sugar has effects on your brain. You may not think you have an addiction (and you might not), but test it out by going without sugar for a day or a week. If it’s really hard for you, then there are already changes in your brain because of your diet. You can slowly break out of the addiction of sugar and other cycles with help, with written goals, and with the right mindset. Get help with your journey and get a plan that is right for you and can help you lose weight and still get in shape this summer. Call Olathe Chiropractic today at (913) 732-0087!

 

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