Okay, time to process the last couple days’ assignments. By now you should have:
- Taken these two quizzes: Sugar relationship and Food sensitivity, and
- Created your short list of reasons to change your eating habits.
Now to process what you learned there.
But first, a note. To keep things upfront, I want you to know that if you buy any of these books by clicking the links on this page, I’ll get 4-6% of the price — but that doesn’t affect your cost at all, and it helps keep this blog viable. So if you decide to do that, thanks! 🙂
You certainly don’t have to buy any books to start a diet, but for me anyway, understanding the “why” behind something — and knowing that other people have found success with a certain approach — goes a long way toward helping me really engage in the process.
Sugar quiz results
If sugar is your captor:
If, after taking the Sugar quiz, you discovered that sugar is your Jabba the Hut…
…then I recommend checking out this book: The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program, by Kathleen DesMaisons. DesMaisons proposes that some people have what she calls “sugar sensitivity,” making them biologically more susceptible to having an addiction-like response to sugar and carbs.
I was already living pretty sugar-free when I was introduced to this author, so I can’t speak firsthand about how her plan works, but the friend who told me about this book had good success with it, and the reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive. (And DesMaisons’ advice about eating potato at bedtime did wonders for my insomnia!)
A little about the author’s background:
As Kathleen DesMaisons neared 240 pounds, she thought losing weight was simply a matter of willpower: develop enough discipline to keep the pounds off, and everything would be fine.
But as time went on and things didn’t change, DesMaisons felt like “a slug who couldn’t get it right.”
Her work as the head of a treatment center for alcoholics and drug addicts caused her… to see her compulsive use of… sugars and carbohydrates, as an addiction. When DesMaisons lost weight through a friend’s protein and vegetable diet — and kept it off — she returned to school, obtaining the first degree in Addictive Nutrition. (Source)
She recommends that people with “sugar sensitivity” not rush to cut sugar completely out of their diet, and she lays out five other steps to complete first, to make the break-up with sugar easier and more successful.
If sugar is your “frenemy”:
Maybe you have some difficulties with sweets and carbs. You’re in friendly company; most of us do!
If sweetened drinks (including artificially sweetened ones), other sweets, and/or carby foods such as chips, crackers, pasta, and bread/bagels/donuts/muffins/etc. are currently a regular part of your diet, you might do best to just concentrate on reducing or eliminating those items for now.
One book that I think does a good job of this is The 21-Day Sugar Detox, by Diane Sanfilippo. Again, this isn’t a book I’ve walked through myself (I was already sugar-free when I started Paleo), but I kept hearing about it from others. Now I’ve read a good deal of it and it all sounds very solid! She explains the whys and hows of nutrition in simple, easy-to-understand language, and lays out a plan to get sugar and processed carbs out of your diet.
A little about the book, from Amazon:
Use the easy-to-follow meal plans and more than 90 simple recipes in this book to bust a lifetime of sugar and carb cravings in just three weeks. Three levels of the program make it approachable for anyone….
By focusing on quality protein, healthy fats, and good carbs, this program will help you change not only the foods you eat, but also your habits around food, and even the way your palate reacts to sweet foods…. After changing your everyday eating habits, you will begin to gain a new understanding of how food works in your body–and just how much nutrition affects your entire life.
So, if you’ve never eliminated sugar completely from your diet, or if you have but have backtracked, I think this would be a really solid place to start.
Let me repeat that, I want to make sure no one skips over it:
If you haven’t already eliminated
sugar and refined carbs from your diet,
start working on just those!
I’ll give you some specific direction later.
Already free from sugar?
Lucky you! If sugar and carbs aren’t a big deal for you, but you still have some issues you think may be diet related — such as fatigue, allergies, joint pain, digestive problems, mood swings, adult acne — you may want to consider eliminating some other foods from your diet. Read on…
About food sensitivities
If you scored high on the food sensitivity quiz — or even if you just have one item on the list that is particularly bugging you — you may benefit from trying an elimination diet.
That means eliminating one or more types of food from your diet completely for a specific period of time, watching to see if your symptoms improve. Usually, this is two weeks at the very minimum, but four weeks is better. Then at the end of the abstention period, you add back one type of food (if you were eliminating more than one) and watch to see if symptoms reappear.
Giving this proper attention would make this post reeeeeally long, so to keep your reading for today short, I’m going to continue this topic tomorrow.