February 16, 2011

The Sugar-Free Challenge

We have become a country of sweet tooths.

Our national average of sugar consumption equals 5,664 teaspoons of sugar per person per year. That equals 118 cups.

That is a ton of sugar.

And we are paying for it. With rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease going through the roof all that sugar is coming back to bite us in our collective rear ends.

If you think switching from white sugar to artificial is ticket to all the sweetness you love and none of the calories, then you are in for a shocker.

New research shows that people who use artificial sweeteners actually encourage their bodies to crave more calories. Why? The taste of sweetness stimulates the brain into thinking that it’s getting calories as well as nutrients. When it doesn’t get its sweetness and nutrient fix it searches them out, causing you to feel hungrier, which translates into – “Let’s eat.”

The best way to lose your taste for sweet is to eliminate it from your diet altogether and that includes artificial sweeteners.

You need to retrain your sweetness receptors into finding the natural sweetness from fruit and unsweetened milk products to be the right amount of sweet.


You can start slowly by eliminating your biggest sugar hit. For most people this is either the sweeteners they add to tea and coffee or the candy they snack on.

But, going cold turkey may be the best bet.

There are always Mondays, a high school reunion, or the looming bathing suit season to take up a new eating plan, but I say today is a good as any day to take the Sugar-Free Challenge.

Back away from the candy, stop eating cookies, cakes, pies, donuts, baked goods with added sugar (100% whole grain bread is okay), all chocolate bars, soft drinks – including tonic water, sweetened yogurts, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and no sweeteners of any kind in your tea or coffee. No added sugar. Not’a. A big zero.

It’s a sugar-free week.

Go ahead and eat fruit, unsweetened plain yogurt or plain milk to get a hint of natural sweet. And be prepared for a shock. Your taste buds may just be surprised at what real natural sweet can taste like.

It takes at least one week to get your natural sweetness Mojo back. For all you hard core sweeties it probably will take about 2 weeks, don’t get discouraged, it’s worth the effort.

The bonus is you will reduce your chances of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, you will sleep better, feel more alert, have less mood swings, and you will probably lose some, to a lot of weight, depending on how much sugar you normally eat.

Get your friends and family onboard and beat the sweet tooth that is causing havoc in your body and our country.

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[…] post do you wish received more love and why? The post I wrote about reducing our sugar consumption. I asked people to jump on board reducing their sugar intake – I called it The Sugar Challenge […]


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