sugar addiction

Help Me Break My Sugar Addiction! [Podcast Episode #044]

Your morning coffee, the breakfast cereal you eat each day, and your mind-morning yogurt snack - what do they all have in common?

Sugar.

And it doesn't stop there. The vast majority of foods we choose to eat contain some form of sugar, whether in small amounts or a whole lot! At first thought, this might not seem like a huge problem, but each of these food decisions can compound until sugar addiction has taken hold. What now?

Episode Resources:

Help Me Break My Sugar Addiction! [Full Text]

Dave: Hey thanks so much for joining me in this episode of the Make Your Body Work podcast. As you know, this show is all about help you live a healthier, happier life. I'm really excited that you're taking a few minutes out of your day to invest in yourself. Today, we've got a topic that I know is going to be relevant for everyone, myself included. The topic is sugar. It all stems from a question that I got from Susan, so let's dive right into Susan's question.

Susan wrote,

"Sometimes I like to eat junk. If I can just eat what I know I should eat, I'm fine. I totally know what is good and what to avoid in my head, but when I get tempted, or when I get down, or when I'm happy, or whenever, I put in a little sugar and then I'm hooked on sugar all day, or all week, or all whatever, until I can say no completely again. I love to exercise, there's no problem there, but what can I do about this sugar addiction?"

Susan, thanks so much for writing in. I thought it was really fascinating how you talked about the different times in your life, and you've been able to identify that. You said when you feel temptation, it could be when you're feeling down, it could be when you're feeling up. You said it could be whenever, that there's these times that crop up, it's cyclical, it's habitual, based on our routine, based on emotional things that are going on in our life, based on our habits.

These things will crop up and trigger these temptations to eat foods, including sugar, that maybe we don't really want to eat. For everyone listening right now, think about your own life. What is it that triggers those cravings, or those desires to get off the type of diet that you really do want to eat, and maybe dive into some sugar, or dive into some other unhealthy foods that you don't want to eat?

You know, maybe you can look at yourself and think, "Yeah, I get it. I see these patterns." But, then the next saga's question is, what can we do about it? How can we stop? That's why I'm really excited for my guest today for this episode.

Her name is Jennifer Powter, and she's been in the fitness industry for a really long time and has quite a miraculous story herself, as she'll talk to you about it. But, she went through a process of putting on a lot of extra weight and then systematically getting rid of that weight.

A lot of it had to with making choices and building in new habits that helped her break her own addiction to sugar and other foods that she knew she shouldn't eat, but that she was still eating despite that head knowledge. Without further ado, let's dive into the interview. I'm excited to introduce Jennifer Powter.

Meet Jennifer Powter

Dave: Hey, Jennifer, thanks so much for joining us on the show today.

Jennifer: Hey. Thank you. I'm so happy to be here.

Dave: I was reading about you online and you got an interesting story, because I know you own your own company, you've got 2 kids so you're being a parent, you just sound like someone who's so busy, but yet, you have quite a story of health and progress yourself, and success yourself. Maybe you can start off by sharing, with the listener's, where did you come from? What have you achieved?

Jennifer: Thank you, I will. Sometimes when you hear that somebody's in the fitness, or health, or weight loss industry, there's an immediate filter that's like, "Oh, well, it's probably for her, or it's oh so easy for him." I really would like listeners to know, it wasn't all that long ago that I found myself carrying a good 35 extra pounds after I had my kids.

It was just such a strange thing to experience because my degree is in this field, right? I've got a master's in exercise physiology and I've done iron man, and run so many marathons. Yet, there I was, night after night eating chocolate chips and drinking wine, and really not taking great care of myself.

About a year and a half later I was like, "God, why can't I lost this baby weight?" I thought that I needed to exercise more. I was already tired and sleep deprived with kids, and I registered for a race and immersed myself into a pretty rigorous training regime, and I just burnt out.

I had to go back to the research and really take a look at, for my own self, how do I manage all of these busy aspect of my life and still take care of me? I'm happy to say, I did figure it out.

It took some time and, obviously, some effort, but I got back to the weight that I felt good at and I enjoyed wearing my clothes again, and now, help other woman do or follow that same path. It is possible, it's possible, that's the great thing. It is possible.

Dave: I love that message. Can you say that again? That it doesn't mean that you have to exercise way more?

Jennifer: Yeah. I think, Dave, knowing the industry you're in too, that is the most common thing I hear all the time is, "Oh, I just don't have time to exercise or I'm so busy already, I can't exercise."

What I say all the time is, exercise is wonderful, but at the end of the day, we simply cannot out train our nutrition. What we put into our bodies matters. It matters more than we even realize. I think that was my real peak of awareness was starting to get a real understanding of food and its impact.

Dave: It's such a nice segue into Susan's question today. I know you read Susan's question, but to recap, she basically says she knows what she should eat but then she falls down the same path where she'll eat a little bit of sugar. She specifically mentions that sugar a couple of times and says it just spirals out of control. Is that something you see a lot? Do you work with clients who are in that same boat?

Jennifer: Yeah, I do. I'll hear people self-described as sugar addicts, or carb-aholics, or a sweet tooth. They can't figure it out and they try to do all of these extreme things like detox, and totally eliminate it. We really focus on the food. Where I come in is, I'm like, "Yeah, that craving, what you're trying to use food for is to really numb some sort of an emotion that you're not really willing to face or to feel."

That's such a difference concept in our world, it's like food has become so confusing. We think that, oh, we should eat good and if we eat something we're bad and we compartmentalize our feeling emotional self from our being physical self. Yet, they're so linked.

Why We All Crave Sugar

Dave: Okay, that's interesting. I'd like you to dive a little bit deeper into that. Can you talk about cravings and what part of a craving, then, is physiological versus psychological or emotional?

Jennifer: Yeah. Both are at play, such a brilliant question! If you're listening to this, you have to get that your cravings are, they're combined of 2 things, exactly what Dave said, that physiological component, because sugar acts on your brain. Sugar has this direct pathway to your brain where it stimulates part of your brain to secrete feel good hormones and neurotransmitters that say, "Yes, this makes me feel so awesome."

Then you feel that way and you want to feel more of that. But, what's also happening, occurs in your mouth and how our taste buds respond to the flavor, or the sensation, of sweet basically. The more sweet, or sugar, you have, the more you want.

I always say, you never crave the change you're creating. You crave what you've always done. You have to give yourself enough time to adapt and adjust to cutting back on sugar, while simultaneously working on that emotional, psychological aspect of what you're using the sugar for.

Dave: I could not agree more. The trouble with that answer is that it seems hard to approach. I'm just imagining what the listener's are thinking right now. "Okay, so I get it, there's this physiological component where my body does want that affect, that stimulant that sugar gives us. But, also, there's those habits and all those patterns that are trained in our life." Can you start with one or the other and talk about, what do you do? How do you deal with that?

What Do Your Food Habits Really Look Like?

Jennifer: When I work with my clients, we always start with the practical, the very practical aspect, like, why am I doing what I'm doing? What am I doing? The Mocha Frappuccino and the lemon loaf I might grab at Starbucks, what is that physiologically doing to me? So often, we become, I think, so unconscious with our habits around food, we're just doing it.

We might drive to Starbucks, hop out, grab a coffee, throw some cream, dump a cup of sugar packets in it, and it's just simply what we do now. We lack that consciousness and awareness of even what we're putting into our body.

I say, we cannot change what we're not aware of. The first step is awareness. What are you eating? Then, writing it down. So often people resist writing it down, and yet when my clients do it, they're very often shocked at the end of the week all of the crap that has ended up coming into their body.

When they're doing it in such little fits and spurts throughout the week, the handfuls, the little bag here, the grabbing of the handful there, it just doesn't seem like that much until you add it up. That's the first piece.

Dave: If I jump in there and encourage listeners, when you start writing it down, it's not always going to be an immediate reaction. We talk about food sensitivities versus a full blown reaction, like an allergy, that we might have to a food. You might eat something and then that could manifest into symptoms 8 hours later. It really does take some consciousness. Like you said, using that word consciousness, to start to identify some of those links.

Jennifer: You know what, I went to a lecture once Dave and I remember and I wish to God I could remember who it was. I'm going to ask you a personal question, have you ever been hungover? From alcohol?

Dave: Years ago, it's been a long time.

Jennifer: Me too, it's been forever, but I certainly have been. What he said is that most of us are walking around with food hangovers every single day but it's become our new normal. We actually now have no idea what good health and energy is available to us because of our day to day habits, we just think how we feel is the way we feel and that it's normal. I thought that was so interesting. I began to see and experiment with that in my own life and it was actually quite true.

You cannot change what you are not aware of! The first step is always awareness.

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Physiological vs. Emotional Hunger

Dave: That is interesting. With the clients that you work with, how do you help them because those reactions or those symptoms aren't necessarily directly tied time wise to the foods you eat? How do you help someone chart that out and record it?

Jennifer: Good. I work specifically with helping women who have tried everything to lose weight and can't, but still really want to, they have a bit of hope left. I come at it from a very scientific nature and then we dive into the emotional part of it. How I work them is that it's really about paying attention to when you feel the resistance.

When you know that you shouldn't do something and you do it anyways, I always ask what else is going on in your life at that time? There's going to be a trigger for why you want what you want, and you might not even know it. The trigger is going to be something like, either time of day, maybe it's 3:00 and all your co-workers are getting up to go for a walk to the local bakery.

Maybe it's people that you're around, your boss stresses you out and every time you have a meeting you want to eat chocolate. Maybe it's at night, between 8:00 and 11:00 are very tough times for my clients, and they quote, unquote, feel like something to eat.

I really help my clients distinguish between true physiological hunger and emotional hunger. Not many people help us understand what we're emotionally hungry for. Often, we have to develop that awareness.

Dave: It's interesting because, you've probably heard this as well but, sometimes I'll work with clients and they'll say, at a certain time of day, "I just really need." Using that term need, like I really need whatever it is, carbs, or I really need whatever. That idea of need, I think as you're talking there, maybe that's more of a psychological thing, that we feel like we really want it or it makes us feel good, or it helps in that situation, but does our body need it?

Jennifer: It helps us get through sometimes. I think it's, yes, I think it's both. A lot of my clients are protein deficient so they either grab a coffee in the morning, don't have breakfast, run on empty until lunch, eat a salad because they're trying to be good, and maybe more in that dieting mentality. There's just not a lot of good energy coming so of course, of course they feel crappy by 3:00, or 4:00.

They've just gone through their whole day with really nothing to fuel them, so they crave that quick energy. In many ways, their brain is sending them that signal, "Eat, eat something. I'm crashing here." They do. They go out and they grab and they get that sugar rush, and they're like, "Okay, yeah, now I can power through the next few hours." Whether it's the boring task of work or the chauffeuring of kids to all sorts of activities.

Discovering Your Unique Solution

Dave: I want to get back to the idea of tying our symptomatology to the foods that we actually ... Actually, I have a really cool story. I got an email this week from a listener who was listening to podcast episode number 38. For listeners out there, if you go to makeyourbodywork.com/38, and we were talking about tracking the food we eat, just like we're talking about right now, tracking the foods we at and seeing what symptoms follow.

Her story, it was so encouraging, she said, "I eat almonds, that's my go to snack. After listening to that podcast, I realized that after I eat the almonds, within an hour or 2 my body felt, and her term was, yuck." She just said, "I just felt yuck and I never put those 2 and 2 together." It was really easy because that window of time and the stimulus, eat the almonds, and then that symptomatology was so short that it's quite easy to identify that link.

What would you say for someone that it's 8 hours later, or the next day, or that night and it's harder to pinpoint what it was that caused the problem?

Jennifer: Yeah. That's a great question. I think, to be honest, so many times when you ask the question, I find it easier when you have to answer the question to somebody else. When I was alone in my struggle, on my journey, I knew that intellectually, I knew that red wine and chocolate chips between 8 and 10 at night probably were not my best choices. I'm hoping somebody else can relate [inaudible 00:13:55].

Dave: Don't you worry, all the hands are going up right now, I know.

Jennifer: I know, like let me call my own self out here. Yeah, I was really in denial. I can look back now and so clearly see that I was in such denial about what was really happening in my life. I didn't have anyone to process that with, or to talk it through with. Often, we don't want to change until the way we're living starts to just feel so badly that change seems better than continuing on as we're going.

Whether that's pants feeling too tight or just feeling too gross in your gut, or the headaches that don't go away. I don't think I'm totally answering your question, but at some point, you have an inner knowing that what you're doing is not taking you down a good path.

Most of my clients say that yeah, they know, they know they're not doing what they should be doing, but they can't seem to stop. That's the first indication that there is some emotional stuff at play. Maybe it's job stress, maybe there's relationship stress, maybe you're just not getting enough sleep.

We keep planning for big changes, but we often forget that small changes are the surest way to get there

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So many of my clients who are women, go, go, go all day and then between 9 and 11 is where they feel like they've got quote, unquote me time, so they're staying awake, maybe watching something, or catching up on Facebook. What they really need to do is go to bed.

Being able to learn true self-care, I had to go back to the basics. I had to re-parent myself in a way, which is kind of a broad term, but I really had to learn how to take care of my own self. I used to wish for a fairy healthy godmother to come into my life and just do that for me. It was ultimately that real accountability and sense of personal responsibility to not want to feel so crappy.

What Are You Willing To Give Up?

Dave: Something really wise that you eluded to there was the idea of taking a look at what we want to change and then figuring out what am I really willing to give up to achieve that change? I'll use your example of watching, say, Netflix, or checking out Facebook at night.

If you say you want to lose weight and you're chronically fatigued, but that comfort and the enjoyment, and the community that maybe you get from going on Facebook, all of those very positive and feel good things, if giving that up is actually more of a sacrifice than being 10 or 15 pounds overweight, then maybe it's okay to do those things. At least I think, I don't know what you think about that?

Jennifer: I do think that's okay, because that becomes personal choice. It becomes conscious choice. It becomes saying, "I'm going to do this and therefore I'm willing to not have that." What I find happens is most people don't make that conscious choice and it becomes this, "I'm a failure, I can't get that so I'm just going to do this." It's like second place in a way.

It's like they don't believe that what they really want can happen, or it's going to be too hard for them, or they tried in the past and they failed, and that failure has that bitter taste which makes them not want to try again. I find that there's a lot of fear that needs to be pushed through, because I truly think that a lot of people want it but are scared of what it might take to get it. Then, once they get it, it's so worth it.

It's like the resistance that we have to be willing to push through, which is why often, most of us need support. I make no hesitation of saying to people that I am a certified personal trainer, I was, and I still reached out and hired my own trainer. I am a coach, I reached out and I got help for me because I could not do it on my own. For some reason, there's a big belief that we should be able to just do this on our own.

Dave: I 100% agree. Going back to something you said at the start of this show, you talked about working with women who have tried everything and still aren't able to lose weight. I don't mean to be insensitive, but that idea of trying everything, that's a very subjective term and someone could say, "Well, I've tried everything."

In reality, when you boil it down, "Oh, I tried everything without giving up this, and without sacrificing that, and well, I can't change that because." I'm not just saying for our clients, for me too, I do that all the time, "I wish I could be like that but I can't because of this." It becomes this inner dialog, "Well, what am I willing to give up? What am I willing to change? How much do I want it?"

All positive change requires sacrifice. Is the potential outcome worth the guaranteed sacrifice?

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The Sure Path to Weight-Loss

Jennifer: Absolutely. I think you and I might be on the same, I'm not going to speak for you but you can agree or disagree, but so many solutions in our industry are real short term, quick fix solutions. 2 week this, 30 day that, 10 pounds in 10 days, build muscle.

We see all these FixPo pictures on Instagram, and Facebook, and Pinterest and not understanding that weight gain took time, true weight loss and health transformation also take time. I find that when I make, I'll usually make an analogy around money, it's like say you want to make a million dollars, or save a million dollars but you're spending everything you make every single day.

You're constantly frustrated you don't have a million dollars in the bank. You can see why, it's you're spending it everywhere all the time. If you really want the million dollars you have to cut back on your spending and save it.

With money, it's such a tangible thing, it makes sense. With weight loss, and food, and health, and fitness, these are things that are just, they're more confusing for people because it requires energy, and time, and also some confidence. Some lifestyle habits, which gets slippery when you get busy with career, and kids, and work life pressures.

Dave: I 100% agree. I love that analogy. The unfortunate thing is with money it's a linear path, if I save this many dollars per day I will have this much at the end of the day. Whereas it is a little more ambiguous because everyone's different and the path for weight loss isn't direct.

Jennifer: Yeah. It can be. I think that there can be a direct path, but it's a slower path. A lot of women think that they should consistently be able to lose 5 pounds week after week after week. It's just simply not physiologically true. Of course it depends on where you start but that's a lot of pure fat loss to happen.

Usually, it's very much beyond a healthy physiological expectation, but we have this belief that we should do that. Often what we think should happen versus what we're doing, which is actually quite successful, don't match up. Which is why it's so important to find that great advice, or that great guidance.

Dave: That's an inspirational message. Listeners, if you take away one thing, what Jen just talked about there, that idea of perpetually losing weight and being able to just do that forever, even if you've heard or met someone that's done that, it doesn't mean it's going to happen for me, or for you, or for anyone else.

Jennifer: I have some clients, Dave, who lose maybe a pound a week, or a pound and a half, right around there. We see over a month, 5 or 6 pounds go and I am double high fiving, fist pumping, or whatever because that's amazing. That's amazing, and time is going to pass anyways. In 6 months, if you keep that up, that's 30 pounds gone and if you lifted a 30 pound dumbbell lately, that's a lot of weight.

Dave: Agreed.

Silencing Your Inner Critic

Jennifer: For me, I remember picking up weights in the gym after I lost weight on my body and thinking, "God, no wonder I was so tired all the time." It took me over 8 months of consistent focus, and some weeks I didn't lose any.

Again, I do not live in this world of only eating algae and spinach. Sometimes people think you have to be so extreme I've got kids, we eat cake, and we bake, and we do stuff, and I still enjoy wine, but I did enough of my emotional work to not have food be such a coping mechanism for me.

Dave: That idea of building a proper relationship with food, I know that sort of sounds cliché but that is true, it is a relationship.

Jennifer: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. The relationship you're in with yourself. I think we fail to recognize we're in relationships with our kids, and partners, and our friends, but that little mean voice that I know some of you listeners know what I'm talking about, that little mean voice inside your head that says the meanest things to you, things that you would never say to anybody else.

The way you talk to yourself matters. Be kind to yourself just as you are kind to other people

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You're in that relationship every single day. We have to learn how to cultivate a much more healthy, positive, happier relationship with our own self, where it's not so full of shame, blame, and guild, and you should do this, and you're not good enough, all of those things.

Dave: Yeah, I couldn't agree me. Okay, this is kind of an embarrassing story, but a friend of mine got me hooked on this TV show called The Mindy Project.

Jennifer: Oh, yeah.

Dave: I don't know, whatever, it's a great show. It's really funny. Anyways, the season that I'm in right now, she's pregnant, Mindy's pregnant, and is having all of this really disparaging conversation with herself talking about how she's fat, and how she's ugly, and how could anyone love me? It's that same sort of thing. No one would ever say that to someone else, but it seems like we get this free pass to be our own worst critic all the time.

Jennifer: Yeah. I literally call it the inner critic. Sometimes I use a bit more profanity when I describe that little voice inside, I won't on your show. That's the thing, and so many people have become so accustomed to listening to that voice that they've got in, that that's just who they are, or the way they are. That's part of the work.

I bring, I can't remember who talked about this Dave, but as an emotional intelligence practitioner, that is part of the blend I bring to the physiology and the science of weight loss, is how do we work that part of our self to calm it down and not let it be the driver in our life.

Celerbate Every Little Victory

It's amazing and that's why change is so possible but you have to understand the process of change and how human you are, how normal it is to face bumps and roadblocks. It does not imply failure, it just means plot twist, like okay, you've got to move through this.

Sometimes I think if we really want something that it should be easy for us, and that, in my experience, really isn't the case. We can really want something and there are still going to be challenges and little forks and deviations in the road, or the path, to getting there. That is how we learn.

Dave: I totally agree. The idea of embracing our wins. I know this week, in one of the programs that I run, it's called the 10 and 4 challenge, there was a participant who had made huge gains, lost something like 13 pounds in the first 3 week.

Everyone was cheering and it's really exciting for her, and then I saw a comment from another woman, she's like, "I only lost 2 pounds this week." It's kind of like you were saying, double high fives, everyone should be so excited. I said that to her, embrace that win because a week ago, you were still carrying those 2 pounds and I know compared to someone who lost 13 pounds it might seem small, but that is a win.

Jennifer: Yeah. It totally is. My market is mostly women, it's who I work with. One of the things I do in a group program I lead is every single call we start it off with tell me the new, and the good, and what are you celebrating? We have these accomplishments and we'll just jump from one to the other without even giving pause to recognizing where we're kicking some ass in life.

Instead, we'll be like, "I'm not doing this, I didn't do this well." Yeah, I really focus on being able to say it, share it, like yeah, I did this, and feeling proud about it so we can build up that muscle of confidence too. I agree, celebrating our little wins along the way has got to be a part of the process.

Keep a positive attitude: You'll notice your wins a little more and overlook your struggles a bit more often.

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Dave: It replaces that negative dialog that we can have with ourselves. I know I find this one, I'll stop in the day and think, "Hey Dave, you're really good at this." It does feel good. Some of those, maybe, self doubts or other things that I don't like about myself do seem less.

Attune to the Positive

Jennifer: Yeah. I've got a personal story if you have time.

Dave: Yeah.

Jennifer: Great. Last night, I've got a son who's 8, my daughter is 6. She was really upset last night about something and what she was saying was, I was downstairs and I could hear them talking. She was like, "I'm a dummy, I'm an idiot." I heard my son say, "Liv, don't think those things. If you think those things, you're going to feel really badly about yourself and they're not true anyway."

Never have I been more proud of my kids. She's like, really, she's like, "Yeah, I guess." He's like, "Tell me all the ways that you are smart Liv." He's 8. It was such a beautiful moment to just be privy to but not involved in. That night, going to bed, I said, "Jake, how did you know that?" He's like, "Well, I hear you talk all the time Mom."

That's some of things that I say, think the good, choose the good, the choice is ours, what do we want to see in the world? It does take practice, because we're very much attuned to the negative. I just, I don't know, I think it's just such a cool thing to remember, that the choice is ours. We're doing great or we suck. Which one makes you feel better to think? I feel better if I think, "Yeah, I'm doing great, lots to learn, but I'm still doing great."

Dave: I love that story, it's such a heart warming story to hear you say that. Wow, congratulations. Honestly, congratulations on good parenting.

Jennifer: There's lots of fails, trust me. There's lots of fails in my life. In that moment, I'm like, "You are learning all of the things you need to know, you two are amazing." Just to hear that. Anybody who has kids out there, my kids can love each other until they want to kill each other sometimes. In that moment it was so tender and I thought, what if we can be that tender with our own self?

Make Your Body Work Takeaway

Dave: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Now, I know, I feel like you and I, we're having a little pep rally here just talking mindset and all these different shifts as we work towards change. Getting back to Susan's question, where she's talking about sugar, and we addressed a lot of that.

Let's talk about that action step. In this show, I like to do what's called a Make Your Body Work take away, something that someone can do today. What would you say? Where could Susan, or anyone who's like her, start today to beat their sugar addiction?

Jennifer: Yeah, I'd love to share that. It's funny that we've gotten acquainted with each other because I've become super passionate about shedding light on the role of sugar in our lives. Part of it has stemmed from my own research, and really how the food industry has played a huge role in our sugar consumption.

I've become so passionate about it, writing blog posts, creating content around it. I think that if you really want to know more, come and check out a blog post that I wrote called Is Sugar Really so Bad?

That's the name of it, but you can also go to jenniferpowter.com/quicksugarswaps, where you can get access to this eBook I've created, which is about the top 7 seemingly innocent foods that you should probably avoid if you want to decrease your sugar consumption, and what you can eat instead.

What I find so frustrating is people will often tell you what you shouldn't do, what you can't have, and then you're left with no alternative. It's like, "Don't eat this, don't have that."

I really wanted to make this easy for people in my community and anybody else who can get their hands on it, to know some real simple things you can do with products you're bringing into your house, that you can still enjoy but in a slightly different way. It will have a huge impact on your sugar consumption.

Dave: I love that. Anyone who listens to the show, you know I'm all about baby steps. It's really hard to say, "I'm going from being a sugar addict to saying, cold turkey, I'm not going to eat sugar anymore." That idea, I love that you put that resource together, that idea of swapping out some of the worst offenders and then having something as an alternative. That's fantastic.

Jennifer: Yeah. Can I share a quick one with you right now?

Dave: Yeah, please.

Jennifer: Okay. This is the one that, for most of my clients and my aunts, even my friends. Many people buy yogurt, we think yogurt's a health food. But, for a lot of my clients, they're buying yogurt that's a flavored yogurt or a fruit based yogurt, so raspberry, strawberry, or coconut, or lemon.

What's so crazy is when you're eating that yogurt, you literally are taking in as much sugar as if you are eating a candy bar, or chocolate bar. Yet, we think we're being healthy with it, right? People are like, "Oh, gross, but I hate the taste of plain yogurt."

An easy swap right now is go half and half, get that plain yogurt into your house and then buy the flavored yogurt, but do 50%, 50%, or half a cup of plain and a quarter cup of the flavored.

What's amazing is as you play with the ratios, eventually you will reach a point where even a tablespoon of the flavored stuff added to your plain yogurt will be enough. I can say that because I had to rehab myself with yogurt. Once I learned about it, I'm like, "Oh my God, I'm giving this to my kids in their lunches." Anyways, I've got lots of very practical tips like that in that resource, because again, you might not know.

Dave: That's a great one. I remember I used to eat, do you know what fruit bottom yogurt is?

Jennifer: Yeah, totally.

Dave: I remember just thinking it was absolutely delicious. Again, I'm embarrassed to say this but I would eat all the yogurt and then just have the fruit at the bottom and then eat the fruit. It's like eating super sugar jam or something. Now the idea, just after having gotten away from that type of food, I imagine eating that would probably be pretty gross.

Jennifer: That's exactly it because your taste buds have changed. I talk a lot about this. Food companies have optimized food to help you reach a bliss point, that's what they call it, mathematicians and food scientists.

What's crazy, for any of you mom's who are listening, your kids have a bliss point that is twice as high as an adults, which is why when they're eating stuff and you're like, "Oh my God, how can you stand that? It's so sweet." We're really conditioning them to handle sweet and want even more.

Again, from that brain chemistry and the physiology of sensory taste receptors, yeah, for me both, if I put coffee in my sugar now it's like, "Ew, disgusting."

At one point I couldn't have imagined giving it up. I think that, again, it's like inspiration, right? You and I are both in this industry and yet we've both done things and we've looked back like, "Oh, I don't know how I could've done that." When you do it, you can't imagine not doing it. It is possible.

Dave: Just so wise and I love the idea of just doing it step by step. Everyone, listeners out there who are yogurt eaters, if you're eating fruit bottom yogurt, swap in some plain yogurt and over time it will get easier.

Jennifer: Dave, what I learned to do with my kids, is I get frozen fruit now in a package of strawberries or raspberries. I put the puree into ice cube trays and then I dump the ice cubs into the yogurt for lunch. It melts in time and they've got a fruit yogurt. Again, it takes a little bit more work, but I totally believe our health is worth that.

Dave: That's cool, so inspiring. Jen, thanks again for taking the time to join us today, you're fantastic. For all the listeners, in the show notes of this episode I will have links to Jen's website as well as her sugar swaps document that she talked about, this eBook. For the listeners, if you go to makeyourbodywork.com/44, that will take you to this show episode and then you can learn more about Jen and download that eBook.

Jennifer: Awesome. Dave, it's been so great talking with you. I hope that, yeah, I hope that listeners got some of their questions answered around this stuff.

Dave: Thanks again Jennifer for joining us today and for sharing so much words of wisdom, but also so much inspiration and encouragement. I know, even while we were talking there, I could feel I was getting excited about this idea of self empowerment and how we can change, and how there's those physiological changes, but there's also a lot of psychological changes that we can make in our lives today. I appreciate that message and I know the viewers will as well. To you, the viewers or the listeners, as always, thanks so much for joining me today, without you there would be no show.

I'm just really excited to connect with you and I always say this, but it's true, I love hearing from you so if you have any questions for the show, or you just want some advice or want to talk, feel free to email me at any time. It's [email protected]. I'd love to hear what's happening in your life, about your successes, your struggles, and I'd like to do this journey with you.

What you send me via your emails really contributes to the direction of this podcast, and this show, helps me find guests who will inspire you and answer your questions. Hopefully, the show is all about living a healthier, happier life, and that's really what I'm aiming to deliver. Thanks for being in touch, I really love hearing from you.

If you are someone who is struggling with your own sugar addiction, I'd love to help you out. One of the purposes of the 10 in 4 challenge, the weight loss program that I run, is to build in some healthy habits that, step by step, and very systematically, remove those foods that maybe we crave, or that we fall back into, or that when we're going through those highs and lows in life, that we found those are our comfort foods or the foods that we just naturally have a tendency to lean towards. We replace those foods with healthier options and the result is feeling better, looking better, and achieving success that maybe we hadn't been able to achieve before.

If you're interested in joining me in 10 in 4 challenge, feel free to email me with your questions, [email protected]. Or, you can learn more at 10in4.com. Thanks again for joining me today, and I can't wait to see you here again next week.

Thanks for joining me today!

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  • Eve N

    Another danger with sugar addiction is the impact on your gums. Whenever you eat sugar or drink sugary beverages, the sugar comes in contact with the enamel of your teeth, the plaque on it and with your gums. This acid attack on a regular basis can cause tooth decay as the acid wears away your tooth enamel.

    The first manifestation is cavities. If unchecked then over time there is a serious danger of getting gingivitis – an inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease.

    Regular checks with a dentist are needed to ensure that you are able to limit and reverse the potential damage to your teeth and gums. People in Milton Ontario or in Scarborough Ontario should consider visiting Orion Dental for a thorough evaluation and treatment.