October Challenge of the Month – Moderation

I don’t know about you, but moderation ain’t easy. What can I say?

I’m an extremist and FOOD has always been my vice! I mean, I can’t just have a handful of chips, I gotta eat the whole damn bag.

Ever since I was a kid, I ate until my stomach ached and I felt sick. I LOVED food, especially sugar. I would fix myself a ginormous bowl of ice-cream after dinner and stuff my happy little face until I had to unbutton my pants. Ah, the good ole days.

Growing up, I was a sugar addict. I don’t mean the natural sugar that comes from fruit, I mean added sugar. Soda, candy, donuts, cookies, cake, milk chocolate, ice cream, cereal, muffins, bring it on! 

chocolate_face_girl

When Costco opened up in my small town it was heaven on a stick. Not only could I get my favorite sugary foods, I could get huge ass portions. The muffins were the size of my hand!  “Family Size” was on a whole new level. 

It was all so delicious and I couldn’t get enough.

Now for the not so heavenly news. As a result of this sugar party I was moody, I had horrible stomach aches, I had chronic constipation, and I felt like shit. But oh well, it was a price to pay. My body was jonesing!

My relationship with sugar remained like this until just a few years ago when a close friend of mine developed adult onset diabetes. For the rest of her life, she has to give herself insulin shots AND her life expectancy has been shortened by 10 years. Hell no, I wasn’t going down that road.

I started reading about the harmful effects of excess sugar and all the crap it causes our bodies.

Added sugar is bad news bears y’all and if there was ONE food to cut back on that would significantly benefit our health, it would be added sugar.

Most of us have no idea how much sugar we are eating every day. I certainly didn’t!

Sugar-Coated1-600x330

 

The average adult downs 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. Teens swallow 34 teaspoons.  A day!! 

Don’t believe me? The next time you’re at your grocery store, flip over a loaf of “healthy” wheat bread, and you’ll find sugar on the label. Or check out your favorite salsa, cereal, or soup,  and you’ll see sugar sneaking into the list of ingredients.

By the way: The ingredient list on a food label is the listing of each ingredient in descending order of predominance. If sugar is listed in the first few ingredients, no bueno.

Most ALL packaged foods include sugar. The same goes with most foods that come in a jar, a can, or a box. And most ALL foods that have a shelf life over days contain that nasty sugar biatch.

It makes sense though. Sugar is a preservative and flavor enhancer.  It makes highly processed, nutrient deficient, dead foods taste delicious. Our taste buds go crazy over it!

The only problem is that our blood sugar levels spike after eating sugar and then quickly plummet, resulting in a craving for more sugar after a couple of hours. Gotta get that fix!

And here’s the rub with added sugar:

  1. It’s linked to depression
  2. It’s bad for you teeth
  3. It promotes belly fat
  4. It’s highly addictive
  5. Added sugar = empty calories = high calories and no nutrients
  6. It can cause insulin resistance, a stepping stone towards Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
  7. Insulin resistance can result in Type II Diabetes
  8. It’s a leading contributor to Obesity in children and adults
  9. It raises your cholesterol and gives you heart disease
  10. It can alter metabolism, raise blood pressure, skew the signaling of hormones and damage the liver
  11. It can give you cancer

 So let’s break it down shall we?

  • Added sugar will make you fat.
  • Added sugar will make you sick.
  • Added sugar will contribute to an early death.

blisstree-sugar2

 

Ok, so now what? What can we do to curb this sugary diva? How can we minimize the health risks and kick this habit?

Well, there are two options:

  1. Quitting cold turkey
  2. Moderation and cutting back (which will ultimately lead you to your No More Added Sugar life.)

Ok, ok, before you get all Negative Nancy, I get it! Cutting sugar isn’t easy! I mean, come on, it hasn’t been compared to a highly addictive narcotic for nothin’.  This stuff is serious!

The ultimate goal is to cut it out completely, but let’s start from a place that is doable.

Let’s approach it from a MODERATE place and start simple.

What do you say? Let’s do this together! I’m in if you’re in.

We made two awesome calendars:

  • The first calendar is the No Added Sugar Newbie. It’s for any first-timers who want to transition off sugar slowly. I love this monthly plan. We have fun tips and weekly goals. You can start here and move to the more advanced plan when you are ready.
  • The second calendar is the No Added Sugar Ninja. It’s a more intense monthly plan. This is a no added sugar showdown! You’ll most likely experience withdrawals and cravings for the first four to five days, but stay on the course, it’ll be worth it!

Click on the calendars below and see what works best for you!

 NO ADDED SUGAR NEWBIE

NO ADDED SUGAR NINJA

Here’s a bonus tip from my heart to yours: When you feel a craving coming on, have a tall glass of water. Wait 15 minutes and see how you feel. Most of our “cravings” are just our body telling us we need water.

 

I’m really proud of you for accepting this challenge, it’s our hardest one yet!

You know what? We can do anything we put our minds to, it’s just one day at a time. 

Kick ass and take names! Show Miss Sugar that you aren’t playin’ around. 

Your life is so precious and you are worth it.

 

Leave a comment the box below and PLEASE keep me posted on your sugar journey.

Hop on over to our Facebook page and say hey! It’s a party over there too!

xoxo

Kel

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Comments

  1. Between you and Gustin I will be the clean mean eating machine! Whoot hooot love this Challenge…. Cut back tremendously but there is so much more I can do….

    See you on 10/25

  2. Love this challenge. I can relate to these sugar cravings and have been trying to kick the habit for last 2 months. Perfect timing. Thanks Kelly!

  3. Hello Kelly and thanks so very much for putting this challenge together. I just spent a week with my mom and other family members in another state, and I made a lot of sugary choices against my better judgment. So today’s a new day and I’m determined to do better … But I do acknowledge some slips and trips: because my side of the cupboard is bare after the time away from home, I served myself some almond milk from my husband’s side of the cupboard. THEN I remembered to read the ingredient list … and guess what’s #2 on that list! So that means two life lessons today: 1) read that list and the nutrition info all the time (I see that there are at least 20 names for sugar on the list at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/calories/added-sugars.html) and 2) love myself through a “whoopsie” and keep going! Again, many thanks!

  4. Just wanted to say thanks for the little “push” regarding the October “Say NO to Sugar” Challenge. And it’s also been worth the effort to include more greens for salads on a more consistent basis. There’s been less “cheating” between meals, LOL!

    Loved chatting with you and Julie for the little group meeting after your scheduled FCW event this past August. You are genuine, kind and a singular talent. Y&R is blessed to have you. (Maybe they’ll let you yodel, LOL! 😉 )

    Take care.

    Beth C. Pfohl