The number one biggest change you can make to improve your diet is to cut refined sugar and sweeteners out of your diet. American foods today contain about 20 times more sugar than in 1950 (when the American diet began to rely on mass produced foods). Sugar leads to weight gain. So a quick short-cut to natural weight loss is to simply forgo sugar.
Unfortunately, though, because sugar sounds like something natural, even necessary for life, it’s been hard to realize how harmful sugar really is at such huge quantities.
Cutting corn syrup out of your diet altogether is great advice. Visitors to the US often wonder if there is any American food that doesn’t have corn syrup. Corn syrup is guaranteed to pack on the pounds. Plus corn syrup damages the liver the way alcoholism does!
But if cutting out sweets is proves difficult, remember that corn syrup is 8 times more addictive than opiates like heroin! How’s that for hooking the consumer in the checkout aisle?
Stay focused on kicking the habit by recalling that people do not crave more sweets; rather it’s the bad bacteria living in the gut that crave more and more sugar, and in fact need it to thrive and take over and sap the host (you) of energy, stealthily compelling you to overeat. Deprive the gut critters of sugar and they will soon go away.
In a moment of weakness, remember that sugar-free sweeteners do more harm than good. Nevertheless, they are being added to lots of sugary products now, which is why some of your favorite snacks taste slightly different now from when you were a kid.
Although marketed as “diet” products, sugar-free sweeteners actually cause weight gain and lower IQ with long-term use, so that’s an added incentive to ditch the sweets altogether!
Next, eliminate processed foods, preservatives, and chemicals to the extent possible. Bread–both brown bread and white bread — are highly processed foods. Real whole wheat was first taken out of the American diet in the 1800s when bran and wheat germ were removed from mass-produced flour to increase shelf life. But you wouldn’t know it from advertisers’ descriptions of so-called whole wheat stone-ground breads that are really not so different from white bread. Bread is now mostly little more than smooshy, pasty stuff that does little more than raise your blood sugar, gum up the digestive works, and put on the pounds. And of course all American breads are packed with sugar.
Instead, look to the wisdom of the traditional diets of our ancestors for help in doing so. Menu ideas include the Mediterranean diet (a bed of greens with very little meat or fish, olives, tomatoes, eggs, and veggies on top with a refreshing tomato-based or grape-based gazpacho), Asian cuisine (a bed of rice or noodles with very little meat and many different kinds of veggies, herbs), or Mexican food (a staple of corn, beans and squashes with tomato, onion, garlic and spices).
Instead of giving in to the dessert sugar addiction, draw upon the traditions of the world to end a meal on the right note: slices of watermelon or melon, or a nice piece of cheese, or a relaxing cup of hot tea or coffee to follow the meal allow room to slow down and reflect on all the many blessings of the moment.
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