Tag Archives: Sugar

Phase 2, step 4 cheking in: hunger (Exploration)

The past weeks, we explored

  Phase I. The Preparation Phase. 

  • 1. Getting your kitchen and your life ready for change.
  • 2. The cook and the helpers
  • 3. Food and life

We are starting

Experential phase

  Phase II. The Experiential Phase

  • 4. Checking in: hunger, satiety, taste, pleasure, habits
  • 5. Cooking and moving: Long and short meals. Exercising versus moving.
  • 6. Eating with others. The gym and other places of fun or torture

 Checking in: Experiencing hunger (Exploration)

Some of you may remember when you were a child and you went to play with your friends; all of a sudden it was dark, and you came running home, announcing; “I am so hungry, I can eat a horse!”  

From experience, one big difference between thin and overweight people is that thin people can bear being hungry and can wait until they are home, or have finished preparing a meal before they eat. They don’t have to eat in the car even if they have to wait one or two before they can eat. Eating when hungry is a pleasure. Everything tastes better, the satisfaction is greater.

I had a client, Christina, so afraid of being hungry that she was eating as soon as she felt the first hint of hunger. As soon as she became aware of this fear, and recognized it as a feeling, not a precursor of a famine, she was able to eat less junk food between meals. She could wait until she took the time to prepare a decent meal.

Hunger is a natural mechanism, not to be avoided but to become aware of, so satiety can be recognized too.

woman-eating-fruit-salad-fb

Recovering  hunger  

Christina was not aware of her fear of going hungry until I suggested that she fast for a day. All spiritual traditions recognize the value of fasting as a practice with many benefits. It is a great way to break habits and to see how unaware we are of both our body sensations and our cravings. If we are usually eating at noon, let’s see what happens when we wait one o’clock or two. Is eating at noon a question of life or death? Probably not. If you are still eating a lot of sugar, you will probably go in hypoglycemia which is an indication that your body is not functioning right because of a high intake of sugar. If it is the case, it is even more necessary to cut off all sugars and carbohydrates for five days, to reset your body balance mechanisms and get rid of your cravings.

If fasting for a day seems too challenging, even during the week end, fast for half a day. Take a regular breakfast and abstain from eating until dinner.

There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less. If the sound box
is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean
with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes you
run up the steps in front of you.  Rumi

 Rumi for flyer

The inner war to lose weight

This mini fast is just a way to gain more awareness. It is not a suggestion to skip meals and starve yourself, if you want to lose weight. It would start a useless war against yourself.  If your desire to be slim cannot be achieved –in your imagination- unless you refuse to satisfy your hunger and your taste for certain foods, you will lose the battle sooner or later. Your desire to satisfy your appetite will increase as you become hungrier, as well as your desire for the kind of foods you refuse yourself. What you call your “will power” which is in fact a denial of the natural tendency to eat when hungry and eat tasteful food does not increase. The forces on each side of this imaginary war become more and more unequal. Finally the “you” which identifies to this “will power” loses.  

For this reason a great majority of people who lose weight through any kind of restrictive diet that denies them the satisfaction of their taste buds and hunger regain weight, as soon as they stop their diet.

With rare exceptions, thin people eat only when and if they are hungry…

 Next week will be about taste and emotions related to food

 womanpic1001_228x342

 

Phase 1, Step 3: Food (But before we talk about food let’s talk about sugar)

step 3

EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR

When Nasrudin was a magistrate, a woman came to him with her son.
“This youth,” she said, “eats too much sugar; I cannot afford to
keep him in it. Therefore I ask you formally to forbid him to eat
it, as he will not obey me.”

Nasrudin told her to come back in seven days.

When she returned, he postponed his decision for yet another
week.

“Now,” he said to the youth, “I forbid you eat more than such and
such a quantity of sugar every day.”

The woman subsequently asked him why so time had been necessary
before a simple order could be given.

“Because, madam, I had to see whether I myself could cut down on
the use of sugar, before ordering anyone else to do it.”

kind judge

The story reminds us that we cannot stop eating sugar easily, and those who pretend they can are liars or in denial.  In fact there is now scientific evidence that the more sugar we eat, the more we crave for it and need it every day.   Evidence that Intermittent, Excessive Sugar Intake Causes Endogenous Opioid Dependence  a  recent  research by a group of eight  professors at Princeton University and Los Andes University,  Venezuela,  concluded that an excessive intake of sugar caused behavioral and neurochemical signs of dependence and withdrawal similar to a dependence to opium and nicotine. Signs of Anxiety, change of body temperature, confusion were observed.

In 1975, William Dufty wrote Sugar Blues.  He published this book because he became a sugar addict and kicked the habit. It is an inspiring and frightening book about the effects of sugar:  sugar does not bring nutrients, it is addictive and is linked to many diseases.  Dufty warns about the rise of diabetes, and its correlation with soft drinks and sugar in snacks. The epidemic of diabetes  He describes how the tobacco industry introduced sugar in cigarettes, which increased dramatically the incidence of cancer for smokers.  It is now recognized by traditional oncologists that “cancer loves sugar.” 

Americans were sold on the idea that fat in food was responsible for their weight. In fact, fat like protein has a satiating effect. I never saw a bulimic eating one chicken after another. It is a “sweet” deal for the food industry. They  get  the same amount of money from low fat milk and sell the cream they took out of the milk for a high price.

Sugar in the other hand is cheaper than any food it is added too, and since it is addictive, it brings people to eat more.  When we eat a chocolate cake we have, at least, some pleasure. But when sugar is added to the meat, or the mayonnaise, we only gain a wider waist line. Companies are getting us sick but they are  protected because sugar is not considered as a toxic substance by the FDA, and we reproach ourselves this single piece of cake. . .

Sugar lurks in food in 50+ different forms

There are many words used by the Food Industry mainly to disguise the presence of sugar and hide the percentage. Put together the added sugars  would be listed  the first ingredient, included in many “health foods” like protein bars and cereals.

Here is a list of sugars by http://naturalbias.com/types-of-sugar-by-name/ : Dextrose Fructose Galactose Glucose, Lactose, Levulose, Maltose, Saccharose, Sucrose, Xylose, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Beet Sugar, Brown sugar, Cane Sugar, Confectionary Sugar, Corn Sugar. Corn Sweetener, Corn Syrup, Dehydrated Cane Juice, Dextrin, Fruit Juice Concentrate, Granulated Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Invert Sugar, Isomalt, Malt Syrup, Maltodextrin, Maple Sugar, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Raw Sugar, Rice Syrup, Sorghum, Treacle
Turbinado Sugar.

 Recovering from sugar addiction.

It is possible.  It takes a minimum of five days for the body to recover. My experience as a psychologist is that it takes two to four weeks for losing the habit to look for something sweet to eat when anxious. After a month of abstinence  you will be able to eat something sweet once in a while, like thin people do.

 The most difficult part is to eliminate the hidden sugars from your diet. We need to read the labels, and make no compromise.

It is still possible to find food without sugar but we have to look for it. I found only one brand of mayonnaise without sugar available at Trader Joe’s, but no bread without it. I have to go to the New Life Health Center. I found recently that sweetened water was added to raw meat sold in grocery stores. The % of carbs indicated is 0, simly because the serving size is very small  and the %  has been rounded to entire numbers. 

american-sugar-consumption

An interesting documentary to watch The Bitter Truth: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM by Dr. Lustig, Professor of endocrinology. It can help anyone with a sugar addiction.

 We, consumers have a lot of power. If we don’t buy the food with added sugar, we can reverse the process, eat less sugar and influence the food companies. In fact it has already started. 

 In the article, Consumption of added sugars decreasing in the United States, the researchers note a decrease between 2007 and 2008 but it conclude that it is mostly because of a decrease of consumption of sodas. We still need to ban the sweetened food from our homes.

.* (Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 September; 94(3): 726–734. Published online 2011 July 13. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.018366PMCID: PMC3155936,)