[PODCAST EPISODE 20] Should You Give Up Sugar and Flour?Feb 25, 2021
One of the most common weight loss questions I hear is...
"Should I give up sugar and flour?"
If this is a question you're asking yourself, you won't want to miss this episode. Listen as I answer this question in a way that might surprise you. And after you listen, you'll be armed with the knowledge you need to answer this question for yourself today.
If you want to take this work deeper so you can lose weight and move on with your life, click here to join The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program.
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Read the full episode transcript below:
Welcome to the Weight Loss Before and After Pregnancy Podcast. The place you’ll get simple strategies you can apply to your life today to start losing weight. Strategies that’ll help you reach your goal, move on with your life, and focus on the things that matter most to you. I’m your host, Certified Life and Weight Coach, Andrea Scalici. Let’s get started.
Hey everybody. Welcome to episode 20.
Today, we’re going to talk about one of the most common questions people ask when they’re trying to lose weight.
“Should I give up sugar and flour?”
If this is a question you’re asking yourself, you’ll definitely want to listen to this entire episode from start to finish. I’ll keep it all simple and to-the-point. But this is definitely an episode you’ll want to listen to, maybe even more than once.
Ok. Let’s get right into it.
If you’re asking yourself whether or not you should give up sugar and flour, then you should also ask yourself why you’re asking that question to begin with.
Now, I’m not trying to be funny here. I’m serious. Why are you asking yourself whether or not you should give up sugar and flour?
There’s three main reasons that I can think of that you’re asking yourself this question.
One, you’re wondering if you really have to give up eating foods with sugar and flour. Because the truth is, if you’re asking yourself if you have to do it, or if you should do it, the truth is, you don’t really want to. You don’t want to give up these foods.
Two, maybe you heard other people say that you need to give up sugar and flour in order to lose weight. Maybe you heard it from Weight Loss Coaches, Personal Trainers, maybe you read it in magazine articles or on blog posts or in books, or maybe you heard it on a podcast somewhere.
And three, it’s possible that your Doctor has told you that you should give up these things or maybe that you need to for your health.
These are the three main reasons I can think of that you’re asking yourself this question in the first place.
And the one thing that all three of these reasons have in common is the underlying feeling that you don’t want to give up these foods. You feel like you have to or you should. Which doesn't feel good. And you’re not really understanding why, like the real reasons why, giving up sugar and flour is even a thing in the first place when it comes to weight loss. And you’re not really understanding why it’s so hard to give it up too.
So, if that’s how you feel about it, and you’re trying to give up these foods, your approach is probably going to be forceful. It’s going to be you trying to force yourself to give up foods that you actually don’t want to give up. And that forceful energy, that willpower, will exhaust you. Most likely leading to failure.
This is not what I want for you. And I know it’s not what you want for yourself or what you intend to happen when you’re starting out.
So, here’s a new approach to this. A new way of thinking about it. If you don’t already know the reasons why, start by learning why it’s even a thing in the first place to consider giving up sugar and flour when you’re trying to lose weight. Learn why.
There are several reasons why it’s important and I’m going to share three of them with you in this episode. They’re the three that I think are the most important. And they’re the ones that had the biggest effect on me personally when I was losing my weight.
The first reason to consider giving up sugar and flour is because of what happens inside your body with insulin when you eat those foods.
Now, I’m not a Doctor or medical professional, let me be clear about that. But I do want to share with you what I’ve learned about this because I think it’s important.
Ok. Insulin is a hormone inside your body and one of it’s jobs is to store and burn fat. Listen up because if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to get your body to burn fat.
When your insulin level is up, your body is in fat storage mode. And when your insulin level is down, your body is in fat burning mode.
Like I said, if you’re actively trying to lose weight, you need to get your body into fat burning mode regularly. But do it in a healthy way, not a crazy way, where you’re starving yourself or drinking your lunches or anything like that. Definitely don’t do that. But you do need to get your body into fat burning mode.
And this is one reason why giving up sugar and flour is important to consider.
If you eat foods with sugar and flour regularly, like daily, then it’s possible that your insulin level is on the higher side more often than it needs to be. And if it’s on the higher side more often, then it’s in fat storage mode more often too.
So, you eat something with sugar and flour, like a cookie, your insulin level is artificially high, your body is in fat storage mode. And if you keep eating foods like that throughout your day, your body will likely stay in fat storage mode and just pile it on layer after layer. This is basically weight gain.
Giving up or reducing your intake of these types of foods will help your body get into fat burning mode more often. And that’s what it needs to access and burn the fat that’s already inside your body.
I hope that made sense. That’s the first reason I have for you to consider giving up sugar and flour.
The second reason is because of something that happens inside your brain when you eat those foods.
Have you ever heard of dopamine? They call it the pleasure chemical because when this chemical is released in your brain, you feel a sense of pleasure.
When you eat foods with sugar and flour, you get a hit of dopamine inside your brain. Which your brain really likes. It feels good.
If you eat an apple, filled with natural sugar, you’ll get a nice, more natural dopamine hit. But if you eat a cookie, filled with artificial sugar, you’ll get a big, artificial hit of dopamine. Which, again, your brain really likes.
And your brain is smart. Every time you take a bite of that cookie, and get that massive dopamine hit, the artificial one, your brain learns how amazing that cookie made you feel. And it leads you to wanting more, or even feeling like you need more of that cookie.
Maybe in that moment, you eat the entire bag of cookies. We’ve all been there before. And maybe later that day, you crave cookies again. It’s because of that massive dopamine hit in your brain that felt so good.
Again, I’m not a Doctor or medical professional. I’m just sharing with you what I’ve learned about these things. And I think you’ll agree, they’re pretty important to know if you’re thinking about giving up sugar and flour.
Ok. That’s the second reason I have for you.
The third and final reason that we’ll talk about in this episode for why you might consider giving up sugar and flour is your emotions. I know, I know, nobody likes talking about emotions. But it’s important here, so let’s talk about it.
Where do your emotions, your feelings, come from?
They come from one place. Thoughts cause them.
Every single thought you have in your brain produces an emotion, a feeling, inside your body.
Some feelings are good. Some are bad. Some are neutral or just ok.
But when we have the ones that feel intense inside our bodies, it can be difficult to just sit there and feel it. It could be a good feeling or a bad one, doesn’t matter, but that intense feeling inside your body might be something you want to shake because, well, let’s be honest, it’s uncomfortable.
And if you’ve never learned how to manage your emotions, which I just learned myself a few years ago and now teach, but if you’ve never learned how to manage them, your first reaction might be to make it go away. One way you can do that, is by getting that dopamine hit from food that we talked about.
So, let’s say you feel nervous about something. You’re thinking a thought in your brain and then your body feels nervous. It’s an intense feeling and it makes you uncomfortable. You want it to go away. So, you reach for a box of cookies, or whatever you have, and you eat them. You almost instantly get that dopamine hit, that pleasure chemical hit inside your brain, and you almost instantly feel better.
Now, as you probably know by now, this pleasure feeling never lasts long. It does go away eventually. And you’re kinda left with the consequences of your action, of you eating that box of cookies. Maybe you get a stomach ache or you crash from the sugar or you just feel terrible or disappointed that you ate off your meal plan.
This happens. And it’s because you haven’t learned yet how to manage your emotions without food, without that dopamine hit.
So, let’s circle back here. If you’re asking yourself whether or not you should give up sugar and flour, now you’ve got three reasons why you’re asking yourself that to begin with.
One, so you can bring your insulin level down to burn fat.
Two, to avoid that massive dopamine hit in your brain that makes you want more of these types of foods more often.
And three, this one is similar to number two, to avoid that massive dopamine hit in your brain when you’re looking for something to take away the discomfort you feel with certain emotions.
This is super important stuff. And I’m just scraping the surface here. Inside my program, The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program, I teach all of this and more at a much deeper level. So, if you want to learn more, I definitely recommend you get inside that program. This is good stuff you need to know that’ll help you lose weight.
Now, I probably should stop this podcast episode here because I know this topic is a little bit heavy. But I’ve got a few more things to share with you. If you’re feeling a little unfocused right now because you’re thinking about everything I just shared with you, then pause this episode and come back to it later. But if you’re good to go, let’s continue. I’ve got just a little bit more to tell you.
Alright. If your Doctor or medical professional has told you to give up sugar and flour, I definitely recommend you listen to him or her.
But if you’re thinking about giving up sugar and flour, for any reason other than your Doctor telling you to do it, then hear me out.
We often think about things as yes or no, happy or sad, on one end or the other, all or nothing. And I don’t think that line of thinking is helpful here.
What I mean is, you might be thinking that your choice is to either eat all the sugar and flour or eat none of the sugar and flour. You might be thinking you need to completely give it up or not. Again, this isn’t helpful to you.
Instead, you could approach this as simply reducing your intake of these types of foods. Not giving up on them completely and not eating them all the time. Instead, you could reduce.
I always recommend you start where you are and gradually make changes. Gradually eat less and less of these foods, if you want to. And stay aware of yourself so you can find a good stopping point.
For me, when I’m not pregnant, as you know I’m pregnant right now, but when I’m not pregnant, my stopping point is at one or two foods each week with sugar and flour.
I might start out eating these foods every single day, and gradually reduce it, until I reach one or two a week. That’s where I like to stop and live my life. That’s my lifestyle.
You can start out where you are right now, and that might be eating these foods everyday. You can gradually reduce and stop where you feel is right for you. You don’t even need to know from the start where your stopping point will be. Just start where you are and stay aware of yourself.
And as I always say, you’re not dieting anymore. You’re creating a new, long term lifestyle for yourself. So, your stopping point should be somewhere you want to continue as your new lifestyle. Not a short term thing that you do to lose the weight only. No more dieting. Because you want to keep the weight off once you lose it.
But ultimately, it’s your decision. It’s your life. You decide if you want to give up or reduce your sugar and flour intake. You decide why it’s important to you. You decide how you want to go about it.
I’m a Weight Loss Coach, yes, but it’s not up to me whether or not you move forward with this or not. I can’t tell you what to do.
But now you have some of the information you need to make this decision from a place of knowledge. Instead of trying to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do, maybe because of something you heard someone say is important.
Now you can decide from a powerful, informed place. You know exactly why it’ll probably be easier for you to lose weight if you give up or reduce your sugar and flour intake. And you know that if you decide to do it, you should do it with the long term in mind. Not the short term, quick fix, diet mentality. Because you don’t want to do all this work and then gain the weight back again. That would not be fun.
Ok. I hope you got a lot out of this episode. I really hope it helps you make the decision that’s right for you.
If you want to learn more about everything we talked about here, join me in The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program. All the information is there waiting for you right now. Go to mcccoaching.com/join to learn more about it.
Alright. That’s it for now. I’ll talk to you in the next episode.
If you loved this podcast, I want to invite you to check out The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program. It’s my signature program that’ll teach you everything you need to know from start to finish to lose weight, reach your goal, and maintain it once you’re there. You’ll also learn how to have your own back through the process. Join me over at mcccoaching.com/join. I’ll see you there.
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