Sugar and Weight Loss: How Sugar Affects Your Weight Loss Goals

GUEST POST:

Perhaps the biggest topic in health and wellness these days is sugar and how to cut back on consuming it. For ages, the average adult would add a spoonful of sugar here and there to food— it never seemed like a big deal. But over time, food manufacturers started adding sugar to just about everything in the grocery store, even foods that you don’t think of as sweet, like crackers and spaghetti sauce.

Today it’s clear that  sugar is linked to various illnesses and conditions, and it is likely a major culprit connected to the rise in obesity and weight gain in this country. The information below will  give some background on the sugar debate and suggest ways in which you can cut it out for good. More:

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Can your diet ever return to normal after weight loss?

a tomato splashed with water

Embracing the new normal in my life

With the coming of the new year and everyone making resolutions, I am reminded of how many New Year holidays passed while I me reviving the same, tired old resolution to lose weight. And then one year I did it. I lost 80+ pounds (read my story). What’s even better, I’ve kept it off for 8 going on 9 years. Statistics say that almost everyone who loses a significant amount of weight will gain it all back in 2-5 years. How discouraging!

As I reflect on why I’ve been successful where many have not, I credit my mindset going into this, my determination, and more importantly, my Christian faith. I didn’t feel like I was doing it alone.

That first year after I lost the weight, I remember having a conversation with a woman who posed this question to me: “So now that you’ve lost the weight, can you go back to normal eating?” I remember my answer to her, “No. My eating habits can never go back to the way they were. If I went back to my old ways, I would regain the weight.”

For me, the answer is not complicated. I am committed to a healthier lifestyle. I made lifestyle changes and adopted new habits and made them a permanent part of my life. I have a new normal and I’ve embraced it 100%.

Yes, there is the occasional indulgence, as is happening right now with the holidays in full swing. But I never give in fully to the old, poor habits of my past. I recognize they are addicting–as addicting as anything can be. When I eat a lot of salads and stop for a few days, I crave a good salad. If I fall into the habit of eating pecan pie more than only on occasion, I begin to crave decadent food. I don’t know if this is the same for other people, but it’s true for me.

I live with a husband that likes to have desserts and sweets in the house every day, so I don’t have the option of not keeping those things around. I fall back on my mindset and my approach to food, remembering why I love my new lifestyle–and life does indeed, feel normal.

Surviving summer picnics

two feet with red toenails on a scale

Change your inner dialogue

Are you surviving summer picnics? When you are standing on the scale, do you sometimes have the following internal monologue?

Damn, I’m up a few pounds. How did that happen? I feel like I’ve been pretty good over the last three weeks. How could I have gained? I should have stayed about the same, maybe even lost a little. This isn’t working. I’m so disappointed. The 4th of July is coming up and I know there will be two, maybe three picnics and barbeques to go to. How will I manage without wrecking my whole summer? Just thinking about it makes me want to eat something greasy and comforting. I may as well top it off with a dessert. Then I’ll feel better and I can get back on my program. After all, I deserve some pleasure in life.

Stop, rewind, and reframe your thinking more like this:

What? I’m up a few pounds. That’s a surprise, but I know I’ve been doing most of the right things in my plan. I’m not that far off the program, and I also know sometimes there are setbacks and plateaus. I believe it’s still working. I will focus on the end result and not dwell on this. I don’t understand why this makes me feel like eating something comforting, but instead, I’ll get back on my program right now. The 4th of July is coming up so I’ll plan ahead, and bring a healthy dish to the pot-luck picnic and I’ll have a light snack before I go to the pig roast so I won’t be famished and overeat. I can enjoy the summer and be in great shape.