Is Sugar Stealing Your Mojo?

Do you crave sweet treats? Sugar can be addicting since it lights up the pleasure centers of our brains. Did you know that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine?

One bite is too much, and 1000 bites are never enough. (Author unknown)

It is estimated that 80% of American adults (and some children) are either insulin resistant, pre-diabetic or diabetic and many don’t know it. Diabetes is a serious disease, but we know that the conditions of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes do their own damage while they inch us closer to a diagnosis of Type II Diabetes. Insulin Resistance develops over decades, not overnight.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Simply, if you have been consistently eating foods that raise your blood sugar too high, the pancreas keeps secreting insulin but still can’t get the blood glucose to go into the cells.

What kinds of foods cause an increase in blood sugar and insulin?

Mostly, it is all those sugary and high-carbohydrate foods we love to eat. Even sugar-free foods can do their share of damage:

  • Sweet baked goods: pie, donuts, cake, muffins, cookies, pancakes, granola bars and more
  • Candy: all
  • Sweetened soft drinks (colas, juice drinks, lemonade, etc.), sweetened tea and coffee, and fruit juices/smoothies with too much fruit.
  • Starchy foods like breads/pizza crust, potatoes, rice, pasta, cold and hot cereals. Even too many of the healthier starches like sweet potatoes can cause blood sugar imbalance.
  • Foods with ‘hidden sugar’, i.e., ‘fat-free’ processed foods, commercial spaghetti sauce and baked beans.

How Do You Know if You Might Have Insulin Resistance?

Common signs are:

  • Belly Fat: a layer of fat around your middle that you can’t lose, no matter how hard you try.
  • Brain Fog: trouble remembering or focusing.
  • Burnout: feel stressed out and fatigued.
  • Elevated blood sugar

What to Do?

To become Insulin Sensitive, you must address all 5 essential lifestyle influences:

  1. Foods: Eat low glycemic-load foods in the amounts that keep your blood sugar levels below 100 to 110 (after eating).
  2. Movement: Include movement that helps to increase muscle mass (Burst Training is good). Any kind of movement is helpful. You don’t have to kill yourself at the gym.
  3. Reframe Stress Perception: Learn to reframe your thinking so you can maintain a calmer disposition. Find ways to relax during the day and before meals so your food can digest:  Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths before eating, meditation, yoga, running, soothing music, a walk in the woods, etc.
  4. Sleep: Get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep a night. You can’t fool Mother Nature!
  5. Meal Timing: Eat 3 meals a day with 5 to 6 hours in between – no snacking between meals or before bed.

Here are some resources to get you started in kicking your sugar habit – This is a great time of year to reduce your sugar load:

 Download the free Sugar Cravings Infographic here.

  • Download the free e-book here: Addicted to Sugar? 5 proven strategies to crush the cravings, blast fat and get energized!
  • Register for the FREE Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge. The goal is to not gain weight throughout the holiday season. More info and register.
  • Find out how you would feel if you didn’t eat processed foods for 7 days with the FREE 7-Day Ditch the Junk Challenge. Learn more and register here.

 Author: Joan Reid is a Certified Functional Health Coach and a Certified Insulin Resistance Coach. She coaches individuals and groups (especially mid-lifers) through her business, Heart of Health Coaching. She may be reached through her website: