If you haven’t already heard, I’ve lost exactly 100 lbs from my heaviest to where I am today! Growing up, I had an insatiable sweet tooth, and that really didn’t subside until my palate changed just a few short years ago…
My go-to snack after coming home from school as a kid was a milkshake, which was also often my bedtime snack. If I didn’t have a milkshake at bedtime, then it was a sleeve of Oreos, half a box of Chips Ahoy!, or something egregious doused down by 2% milk, which, let’s face it, is essentially glorified sugar water with no nutritional value…
When I was nearing the end of the TWO YEAR PLATEAU I experienced on my weight loss journey, I was turned on to the Paleo Diet. You see, up until this point on my journey, I was trying diets that were contingent on calorie counting and portion control. While these worked for short bursts of time (usually anywhere from 1-3 months), I’d inevitably get stuck at the dreaded 235 lb mark, would quickly grow discouraged, and would temporarily fly off the rails for a week or two.
While the Paleo Diet isn’t necessarily what I subscribe to anymore (either with myself or with my clients), it was the first method of eating presented to me during this difficult six year journey where I didn’t have to count calories, count points or watch portions… All I had to do was improve my food intake QUALITY while minimizing added sugars, grains and processed foods.
Both sugar and grains have extremely addictive properties. It’s been scientifically PROVEN that sugar is 8x more addictive than COCAINE, while the gliadin protein found in wheat has opiate-like properties that elicit a similar response to the one we’d experience when using HEROIN! Knowing how I couldn’t stop eating either of these types of foods when they were in front of me, I knew I had to quit them cold turkey.
The first week was AWFUL! I experienced withdrawal symptoms which included (but weren’t limited to): Sweats, migraines, the ‘shakes,’ extreme mood swings, inability to sleep, and, of course, SEVERE cravings!!
It was a tough period for sure, but after that first week, I could be around these types of foods without really wanting them…
But then, I decided to be a wise ass. After a few months without consuming ANY added sugars, grains or processed foods, I decided to go out to get ice cream with my girlfriend to this place on Long Island called Carvel. I used to love getting a vanilla milkshake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top when I went there, so that’s what I ended up getting when we went there during my first dietary experiment of this regard.
The result upon my first sip was disgust, as the milkshake seemed literally 100x sweeter than it was when I last had one just a few months prior! Within an hour, my stomach began to bother me, and in the middle of the night, I woke up because I ended up having to vomit the whole thing up!!
Sadly, because I’d reintroduced this incredibly addictive substance to my system, I began craving sweets again, and had to restart that process over again…
In the years since this first incident, I’ve been a wise ass time and time again. I’m not perfect – I admit it! The problem is, it almost turns back the clock, which brings the cravings BACK!!
Fortunately, I’ve learned a very simple trick to help my sugar cravings subside without eating a pint of ice cream, or a sleeve of Oreos: EAT A FRUIT!!!
But not just any fruit… A LOW-GLYCEMIC FRUIT!
What does ‘low-glycemic’ stand for? Well, to keep things simple, there’s a scale called the Glycemic Index that measures the glycogen response our bodies have in relation to ingesting a certain food. The scale ranges from 0-100 – 0 meaning there’s absolutely no sugar in the food whatsoever, and 100 meaning that all it contains is sugar.
Various fruits and vegetables fall along the spectrum of the Glycemic Index…
The ‘conventional’ way of approaching the Glycemic Index is that any food with a rating of 0-55 is considered a Low-Glycemic Fruit, and everything from 56 and higher is on the higher end. Since the scale is on a 100 point scale, I certainly take that with a grain of salt, and instead view Low-Glycemic foods as being anything falling between 0-49 on the index.
So, what I’ll do if I’m an asshole and I reintroduce sugar into my diet is I’ll grab a Low-Glycemic Fruit! Some of my most common turn-to’s are ORGANIC apples or organic strawberries. To find out if your favorite fruit(s) are low or high, simply Google ‘Glycemic Index of…’ and see what comes back.
While ALL fruits contain sugar, they’re also complimented beautifully with a rich combination of vitamins, minerals and fiber to help slow both the absorption and the digestion of the fruit’s sugars (otherwise known as fructose). If you’re ever craving a processed, sugary food, ALWAYS go with a fruit, instead!
Remember: If the fruit is 0-49, you’re in the clear! If it’s 50-100, you might want to reconsider ingesting that particular fruit.
So, do me a favor? Next time you have a sugar craving, reach for a low-glycemic fruit instead of the sleeve of cookies, and let me know if it helps! I have a sneaking suspicion that it will 🙂
P.S. If you feel you need more help on the nutritional side, then you’re definitely going to want to invest in both my Food Guide and my Healthy Recipe Book!
The Food Guide lays out the three phases of nutrition I use with my Permanent Weight Loss clients. Phase 1 gets you in the habit of making healthier choices, while Phase 2 really cleans up the frequency with which you eat healthier. Phase 3 is a strict macronutrient breakdown that will help expedite the process of weight loss, all while improving your health and making your body a well-oiled machine!
My Healthy Recipe Book includes 72 recipes spanning breakfast,lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers and desserts. I’m constantly adding to it, but these recipes are easy to make, simple and enable you to have your cake and eat it, too!
Normally, I sell each of these books for $10 a piece, but because I’m feeling generous today, you can get BOTH for just $13.99! 🙂
To get your copies, please go to www.weightlossbypete.com/foodguiderecipes.