SUGAR DETOX #444 01/26/2011
Tell a friend

I'd rather see you drink a glass of wine than a glass of milk. So many people drink Coca-Cola and all these soft drinks with sugar. Some of these drinks have 8 or 9 teaspoons of sugar in them. What's the good of living if you can't have the things that give a little enjoyment?

Jack LaLanne

Back to top.

Sugar Addiction Detox 101

By Debra Pivko

Sugar, sweet sugar—a delightful minute on the tongue in exchange for what feels like a lifetime on the hips. But weight gain isn't the only consequence of eating too much sugar. Ready for the not-so-sweet truth?

Donuts

Overconsumption of processed sugar can contribute to a number of conditions, including tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, hormonal imbalances, overgrowth of candida yeast, chronic fatigue, more severe PMS symptoms, anxiety—and yep, even wrinkles. On the other hand, if you start to cut sugar out of your diet, you can shed excess weight, increase your energy, improve your concentration, improve your moods, and possibly steer clear of diabetes. Ready to kick-start your sugar detox? To help you out, I'll let you in on some reasons why we get addicted, and how to read food labels for hidden sugars. I'll also give you some tips on how to start your sugar detox so you'll have a much better chance at living a long, vibrant, and disease-free life.

SugarWhy we crave sugar. According to AskDrSears.com, "Sweets trigger an increase in the hormone serotonin—a mood-elevating hormone. The body and brain get used to this higher level of serotonin and even depend on it for a sense of well-being. So when our serotonin level dips, (we dip) into the (sweets) to 'correct' the situation." According to the Web site, sweets also "trigger the release of endorphins . . . the brain's natural narcotics, helping you to relax when stressed."

You've probably noticed that although sugar gives you an initial high (a rapid spike in your blood sugar), you crash several hours later, leaving you wanting more. It's because sugar takes away more energy than it gives. Eventually, you find yourself exhausted, anxious, and moody. I know I've definitely experienced this crash too many times.

Is the sweet taste worth the unpleasant effects? Think gaining weight is the only negative effect of consuming too much sugar? Nancy Appleton, PhD, author of Lick the Sugar Habit, describes some surprising ways sugar intake can negatively affect your health:

  • Suppresses the immune system's defenses against bacterial infections
  • Increases the risk of blood clots and strokes
  • Contributes to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating
  • Can lead to hypoglycemia, kidney damage, an elevation in harmful cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and tooth decay
  • Helps speed the aging process, including wrinkles and gray hair

The list goes on . . .

Make the decision to detox from sugar. The first step in breaking a sugar addiction is making the decision to stop eating it completely for at least a few days to start to get it out of your system. While it's usually best to make dietary changes gradually, sugar has the unique ability to inspire cravings that are refueled every time you give in to them. The only way to break the cycle is to stop feeding the fire. Then your cravings should subside substantially. Continue to resist large amounts of sugar and actively avoid situations that cue you to eat sweets. And whether you're at work, at home, or at a party, just because a cookie is sitting out on a table in plain sight, that doesn't mean you have to eat it.

Woman Eating CakeAsk yourself why you're eating sugar before you put it in your mouth. Are you eating out of habit? Because of circumstance? For a special occasion? Because everyone else is? Watch yourself like a lab rat. Begin to face your truth by keeping a food journal. I like to jot down what drives me to eat sugar, when I crave it, where I eat it, why I want it, and how I get it. For example, do you pop up out of your desk chair in search of cupcakes the second you hear people at the office singing "Happy Birthday"? Journaling can be helpful preparation for stomping out your sugar habit by making you aware of why you're eating it.

Begin to eliminate sugar from your diet. For thousands of years, people ate whatever sugar occurred naturally in their diets, and it didn't seem to be a problem, it was a treat. Registered dietician Becky Hand reports that the typical American now eats the equivalent of about 31 teaspoons (124 grams) of added sugar every day (about 25 percent of the average person's daily caloric intake), and that sugar alone adds up to almost 500 extra calories each day! Our bodies simply weren't designed to handle this massive load. The American Heart Association recommends that added sugar should be limited to no more than 6 to 7 percent of your total calories (not including naturally occurring sugars found in fruit and dairy products.) To put this in perspective, if you eat 1,200 calories a day, you should limit your intake to 21 grams of sugar per day. That's the equivalent of about 6 ounces of low-fat fruit-flavored yogurt or one 8-ounce glass of orange juice.

PastriesTo begin eliminating sugar from your regular diet, simply cut out foods with sugar, white flour, and high fructose corn syrup—including cakes, cookies, pastries, and most desserts. It's okay to have a dessert or sugary snack on occasion, but make sure it's not your main dish. Although sugar is generally found in desserts, added sugar can also be found in your main and side dishes, and even sauces. Look closely at the labels of processed foods, cereals, and sauces—like ketchup, barbecue sauce, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, and dressings. You can usually find nutritious alternatives with less sugar that taste just as good.

If you're a Team Beachbody® Club member, you can get a personalized, balanced online meal plan to ensure that you're getting the proper nutrition you need to meet your health goals. You can even use the food analyzer to search for the nutritional makeup of various foods, so you'll know which ones are high in sugar and should be avoided.

Eliminate hidden sugar. As you begin to decode ingredient labels, it's really important to know all the other words for sugar and sugar alcohols. Here's a hint: Look for words that end in "-ose."

  • Agave nectar/syrup
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Carob syrup
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate (apple, grape, or pear)
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sorbitol
  • Sucrose

Trick your taste buds. Using spices and herbs can trick your taste buds into thinking you're eating something sinfully sweet. Try adding cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, or other sugar-free flavors and spices to your coffee, cereals, or other dishes and drinks that could use an extra kick.

Fruit in CerealEat a healthy breakfast. What you eat for breakfast will actually influence your food choices for the next 12 to 15 hours, and influence your energy levels, moods, and overall sense of well-being. Dr. Joe Klemczewski, PhD, explains that eating a healthy breakfast balanced between lean protein (like egg whites) and slower-digesting complex carbohydrates (like oatmeal) will help you have good energy throughout the day, stabilize your blood sugar, reduce cravings, and make wiser food choices. Typically, your blood sugar is at fasting levels when you wake up in the morning. If you start the day off with a muffin and a latte, you're choosing to ride the roller coaster for the rest of the day. If, on the other hand, you begin your day with a veggie omelet and fruit or some oatmeal, you're opting for a balance of foods that will be absorbed at a slower rate. Then you'll have a steadier flow of blood sugar that's far easier to keep balanced than if it were fueled by a muffin, a bagel, or a cup of coffee dosed with sugar and cream.

Eat throughout the day. The best way to avoid impulse eating when you're overly hungry is to eat several small meals, spaced throughout the day. This will keep your blood sugar more stable than eating the traditional two or three large meals spaced farther apart from one another. Schedule your meals around your body's needs rather than around your to-do list if you can. You'll find it much easier to stop eating once you're full; to make smart food choices from a rational, calm place; and to maintain even moods and energy levels. Eating balanced meals is essential for getting real satisfaction from what you eat and leaving cravings behind. For most people, this means approximately 50 percent of your meal should be vegetables or fruit, and the rest should be split between protein (beans, meat, dairy, etc.), grains, and a bit of oil or other fat. However, everyone's a little different, and you should experiment to find what works best for you.

Woman Eating FoodHigh-fiber foods fill you up—yet they bring less fat to the table, says Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, the Guthrie Chair in Nutrition at Pennsylvania State and author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan. Plus eating high-fiber foods allows you to eat a higher volume of food while ingesting fewer calories. It's a concept called "energy density"—the number of calories in a specified amount of food, Rolls explains. Some examples of energy-dense foods are: apples (skin on) and bananas, avocados, flax meal, and kidney beans.

Find alternatives for when you have a craving. Make sure you find alternative foods and activities that you actually enjoy. If they aren't satisfying, you'll eventually abandon them for your old habits. When I'm craving something sweet yet healthy, I usually go for either low-fat Chocolatey Cats Cookies (for People) from Trader Joe's® (only 9.9 grams of sugar per serving) or chocolate Shakeology® (only 9 grams of sugar)—that's not bad for a sweet treat. Yep, I'm a sucker for chocolate, but I can still enjoy the taste without overdosing on sugar!

"I was completely shocked that my intense sugar cravings were GONE!"—Heather M., Texas

Related Articles
"5 Simple Rules for Eating Sugar"
"5 Quick, Easy, and Healthy Desserts"
"Artificial Sweeteners: How Harmful Are They?"

Debra PivkoQuestions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development, who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards, Steve Edwards, on Monday, January 31st, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT. Go to the Beachbody Chat Room.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration.

Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

Back to top.



Lose BIG with Brett Hoebel and Shaun T
Clear Spacer
Clear Spacer RevAbs®
Congratulations to Brett Hoebel, the newest trainer on The Biggest Loser! Brett's bringing you his incredible ab system to help you burn off fat and get a six-pack in just 90 days. Plus SAVE $8.00 through Saturday, January 29th.**

CLICK HERE
Clear Spacer
Clear Spacer
Clear Spacer INSANITY®
Transform your body in 60 days with the most intense workout program ever put on DVD. Shaun T will push you past your limits to get you the hardest body you've ever had. Plus SAVE $10.00 through Saturday, January 29th.**

CLICK HERE
Clear Spacer
Clear Spacer
2-Day Fast Formula®
Clear Spacer
Clear Spacer 2-Day Fast Formula®
Two days is all it takes to lose up to 7 lbs., increase your energy, and feel great! Try this creamy, delicious shake during your rest and recovery period—you'll reduce cravings and help burn off that hard-to-lose fat.*† Choose from Chocolate or Vanilla.

CLICK HERE
Clear Spacer
Clear Spacer
Clear Spacer
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer
Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or using any supplement or meal replacement product.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
**Discount s&h offers are Web-only.
This product is only available to residents of the United States and its territories.
Beachbody and RevAbs are not affiliated with The Biggest Loser or NBC.
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer
Shop All Best Sellers


Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share


Back to top.


5 Tips for Getting More Whole Fruit in Your Diet

By Joe Wilkes

All right, so no processed sugar. High fructose corn syrup is definitely out of the question. And now science is finally proving that all those artificially sweetened sodas we've been quaffing so virtuously are just as bad for us as sugar is, and probably worse. What's someone with a sweet tooth to do? The answer is the fruit, the whole fruit, and nothing but the fruit. While fruit juice contains some vitamins, you're really missing out on the lion's share of nutrients if you deprive yourself of the whole fruit.

Fruit

The skin of the fruit contains most of the healthy carotenoids and flavonoids that have numerous benefits—including, studies are finding, providing some protection against cancer. The pulp of the fruit also contains flavonoids and vitamins that can be lost through the juicing process. And where fruit juice really falls short is in its fiber content. An apple contains around 4 grams of fiber. A glass of apple juice contains no fiber. Fiber helps your body digest and metabolize fruit's naturally occurring sugar more slowly, which prevents your body from experiencing a "sugar spike"—the blood sugar elevation you get from drinking fruit juice. Plus we all know fiber is nature's Roto-Rooter®, scrubbing your digestive system clean.

The argument for working a few servings of whole fruit into your diet each day is a strong one. After all, that old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" didn't come out of thin air. When I was younger, I had a friend whose father was a doctor and she religiously ate an apple every day, including the core. Well, I thought that was a bit much, but I bet she was super-regular! A corollary to that old saying might be "An apple a day can make you pretty sick of apples after a couple of weeks." As with incorporating most food into our diets, variety is the spice of life. Here are a few ideas for slipping more fruit into your day.

  1. ApplesCut it. A lot of times, a big bowl of fruit can be too daunting. You might not be hungry enough to eat a whole apple and you might opt for a smaller snack. Try slicing up a couple of apples and putting them in an airtight container or bag. By tossing them in lemon juice, you can prevent them from turning that unappetizing brown, at least for a day or so. Keep them in the fridge, or handy on your desk or in front of the TV, for a healthy snack. Any sort of combination of cut-up fruit is a great idea for a TV snack. Instead of absentmindedly eating a day's worth of sodium and fat from the chip bag, you might eat your "apple a day" before you know it.
  2. Mix it. Tired of apples? Check out some of the more exotic fruits in your produce section or farmers' market. Have you tried kiwis, pomegranates, mangosteens, or gooseberries? Also, get to know what the seasons bring to your neck of the woods. In California, we're in the middle of Meyer lemon and blood orange season—delicious citrus varieties that aren't as available or as good at other times of the year. And by mixing up the variety of fruits you eat, you'll be getting a greater range of vitamins and antioxidants, thus maximizing your health benefits.
  3. Apple with Peanut ButterDip it. Especially for kids, a little fun time needs to accompany mealtime. But don't fool yourself into thinking that those apple-and-caramel dipper packages are healthy snacks. I guess they're better than pure caramel, but they're still pretty much two steps back nutritionally from just eating healthy fruit. Instead, why not mix up some nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt with a little cinnamon? You'll get the health benefits of yogurt. And cinnamon has been shown to have additional health benefits, like helping stabilize blood sugar. Dunking your fruit in a little unsweetened peanut butter makes for another great taste combo—the peanut butter gives the fruit some protein, and the fruit gives the peanut butter sweetness.
  4. Add it. Forget those cereals with the sugared raisins or other sweetened dried fruit. And I assure you that Cap'n Crunch® Crunch Berries® are not found anywhere in nature. There are a ton of hot and cold cereals that contain dried or artificial fruit, and while dried fruit has some nutritional value, it's nothing—in nutrition or in flavor—compared to adding some berries or cut-up fresh fruit to your bowl of bran or oatmeal.
  5. FruitFreeze it/can it. While fresh fruit is often the most flavorful and nutritious option, procuring it can often be geographically or financially prohibitive. If getting fresh fruit is a hassle, consider buying fruit frozen or canned, or freezing or canning in-season fruit yourself. As with all prepared food, check the label to make sure that fruit isn't merely a decorative addition to a can full of corn syrup. Fruit is best if packed in unsweetened natural fruit juice. (Pear juice is a common canning juice.) Bags of frozen berries are also great to have on hand to jazz up your morning smoothie or just to pop in your mouth on a hot summer day for a frosty snack. Making "grapesicles" by throwing a bag of grapes in the fridge creates a great snack for kids and adults alike. And here's another good tip: If you have some bananas that are turning brown, peel them and wrap them in foil and stick them in the freezer for later.

Related Articles
"Tropic Plunder II: 6 More Super-Healthy Exotic Fruits"
"7 Superfoods with Superpowers!"
"15 Easy Food Substitutions for Big-Time Calorie Savings"

Joe WilkesQuestions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development, who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards, Steve Edwards, on Monday, January 31st, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT. Go to the Beachbody Chat Room.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration.

Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

Back to top.


Carbs: Friend or Foe?

Contrary to certain diet fads, carbohydrates are an essential part of daily nutrition. But not all carbs are created equal. Find out which ones will help you achieve your fitness goals, and which ones will likely stand in your way.

Back to top.



Recipe: Low-Fat Plum Bran Muffins

Plum Bran Muffins

Dump the donut and scrap the scone. This is a low-sugar, low-fat alternative to get your day off to a healthy start. By combining the natural sweetness of fruit with heart-healthy fiber, you'll never miss the sugar and grease.

  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran or oat bran
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt or nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup chopped skinned fresh plums (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped prunes
  • Muffin tins
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, bran, baking powder, and baking soda and stir to mix well. Add apple butter, yogurt or buttermilk, and egg whites and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in plums and prunes. Lightly spray 6 cups of large muffin tin or 12 cups of small muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and fill each cup 3/4 full with batter. Bake smaller muffins for 12 to 14 minutes and full-sized muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing muffins from tin. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Depending on the size of your muffin tins, this recipe should make 12 small or 6 large muffins (6 servings).

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 to 25 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving; using wheat bran and yogurt)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
237 8 grams 8 grams 54 grams <1 gram <1 gram

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Back to top.


Print this page
Reviews
Be the first to write a review, opinion or comment.
Submit a review  
Previous Next

Beachbody Survey

Click here to compare Beachbody fitness programs
eGift Cards are here!—Beachbody®—Order Now
P90X2™
ChaLEAN Extreme®
Kathy Smith's Project:YOU! Type 2™
Debbie Siebers' Slim in 6®
INSANITY®
Brazil Butt Lift®—AVAILABLE NOW!
Now Available—TurboFire®—Intense Cardio Conditioning—Learn More

Follow Beachbody Online

Connect with Beachbody, fans, coaches, and your favorite trainers!

Social Media
Beachbody
Beachbody
Blogs
Carl Daikeler
Beauty By Beachbody
Steve Edwards
Tony Horton
Chalene Johnson
Message Boards
Beachbody Message Boards
RSS Feeds (What is RSS?)
Beachbody Newsletter
P90X Extreme Newsletter

Share This Page

Bookmark or share this page by emailing it to your friends, or adding it to your favorite networking sites! Simply mouse over the Share icon below for options.

Bookmark and Share