Hey everyone. I’m Dr Angela Zechmann, and I have a question for you.
When you’re thinking about weight loss, do you ever get anxious when you think about ending your relationship with sugar and flour? I mean seriously! If you want lasting weight loss, it’s going to require a lot less time spent with these two buddies and that’s scary!
So today I want to address this fear and I want to teach you how to overcome it. Sugar and flour can really sabotage your efforts at lasting weight loss. And I think it’s important to address this right off the bat.
Now in case you don’t know me, I’m a medical weight loss specialist and I’m also the founder of Journey Beyond Weight Loss, which is an online program designed to help people lose weight and keep it off. In the last few videos I’ve been teaching about what sugar and flour do to the brain. So I use sugar and flour almost interchangeably because there’s an enzyme in your saliva that turns flour, particularly refined flour – like what is in bread, pasta, and bagels, that kind of stuff, it turns it straight into sugar! Then these molecules get absorbed into your taste buds and there’s a sugar receptor there that is intimately connected in your brain with dopamine, which is the pleasure hormone. So sugar and flour basically behave like addictive drugs. As a matter of fact, it’s been shown that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine! So we’re dealing with with these drugs. And what I’ve said in the past is that the food industry has done a really good job of making sure that they put just the right amount of sugar in a food to hit what they call your ‘Bliss Point’.
So your ‘Bliss Point’ is that point where it’s just the perfect amount – and they’ve spent billions of dollars trying to figure out exactly what the bliss points are. This is no accident. The sugar receptors are not just located on the taste buds. They’re located throughout the entire body. You need to know that. They’re located throughout the entire digestive system. Some people are super sensitive to sugar. I have found in my own practice that in people who have a family history of alcoholism, their brains tend to be wired to be more sensitive to sugar. But really folks, 70% of people in this country struggle with overweight or obesity. That is the vast majority. We are all sensitive to this drug. So sugar and flour are very, very powerful. And if you want lasting weight loss, you want to seriously think about your intake of these products.
After listening to all of this, you might be deciding, ‘well, okay, you know, like maybe I should, maybe I should do this,’ but there’s this fear that pops up and it’s like, ‘oh my gosh, how am I going to do that?’ ‘What am I going to do?’ This is your brains fight, flight, or flee response kicking in. It’s like there’s a threat to the system and there are all kinds of things that might be going through your head as you’re thinking about how on earth are you going to pull this off.
I’ve divided them into internal struggles and external struggles. Take a deep breath and let’s talk this through a little bit. Some of the internal struggles, what are the thoughts that you might be thinking? How can you live without sugar? Like it’s impossible to avoid sugar everywhere you go. There it is. It’s in stuff that you have no idea. It’s in cough Syrup for heaven’s sake. It’s in everything. You might be thinking ‘I’m not going to be able to have any fun.’ Like ‘sugar is a like food’, and ‘I like food.’ I REALLY like food! And you might even feel like food is your only pleasure – and there’s actual science behind that. I’m going to go into that in another video about how that happens. You might feel like you’re going to have to be rigid and controlling and obsessive about watching for sugar everywhere. And that doesn’t feel good. You might be worried about the withdrawal and the cravings that you might have, and how you’re going to get through all of that.
You might have daily routines, for example, coffee with sugary creamer in it. What are you gonna do about that? And then, as I’m recording this, it’s late summer, cutting into fall, we’re about to enter pumpkin spice latte season. How are you going to handle that? Then you also might be thinking, ‘I’ve tried this before.’ ‘I do okay for a little while, but then I always fail.’ How’s this going to work? So those are some of the internal struggles.
External struggles have to do with how you’re going to handle a social situation. So for example, what are you going to do when you go out to dinner? How are you going to order food? I had a patient the last week who was just meeting – for the first time – her son’s fiance’s parents. So she’s in a situation where she wants to make a good impression and everybody was sitting around the table eating. Somebody, ordered a bunch of desserts and gave everybody a spoon. And so what is she supposed to do? She wants to make a good impression. Does she join in? Does she not? How do you handle those kinds of situations? What about if you’re over at someone’s house and they’re serving a meal and it turns out that it’s flour and sugar based stuff, or what if you’re at a birthday party or a wedding, something like that. What if other people in your family aren’t really supporting you? And so it feels like you’re eating separately from everybody. What if someone gets you a gift of food and you don’t want to be rude or unappreciative? So those are some of the things.
What about family traditions? Maybe your mother makes banana bread every Sunday. Or maybe its their holiday traditions. My sister loves to make gingerbread cookies. Maybe there are faith-based traditions or cultural based traditions that include products that contain these addictive substances in them. So how do you handle that? All of these questions are daunting and scary. What are you going to do in all of these situations? And again, this is where we want to take a nice big deep breath and we want to start thinking this through. You want to plan ahead. You ask yourself, what is your big “why”? Why are you doing this? Why would you want to be off sugar and flour? You want to get the proper mindset. I have a video that I’ll put the video in the description below about your ‘identity.’
Think about your new identity. Who are you off sugar and flour? What kinds of things can you do that you couldn’t do before? Imagine the freedom that you’re going to have. A lot of my patients, when they first come in, they say I feel so isolated all the time because my family is going out on a hike and I can’t. I don’t want to go along with them cause I can’t keep up. Or I just feel like I can’t do the things that I want to do. I’m not moving freely or they say “I feel embarrassed,” “I don’t want to be seen.” They’re isolating themselves. I want you to imagine what it would be like feeling free, feeling like you can move and like you’re not in pain all the time and you can just go out in the world and be yourself.
You can be your authentic self. What kind of freedom would that bring to you? Think about that kind of new identity and how free you’re going to feel. I don’t want to get all ‘self-helpy’ on you, but at the same time, I want you to realize this is the kind of decision that you’re gonna make that involves loving yourself. You want to love yourself enough to make this decision. Another thing you could do – and I would recommend it – is writing a list of all of the things that you are going to be a part of. You are your new identity and what it’s gonna mean for you to be off sugar and then make another list of what it’s gonna mean for you if you don’t make any changes at all. Okay?
Something that’s super, super important about this is you really want to allow yourself to be a beginner. When you’re in the process of getting off sugar and flour, you’re going to make mistakes. We all do and it gets easier for sure. But it’s never easy when you live in this country. I really want to let you know I’ve been at this for years and years and years now and I still struggle sometimes. I was just out this last weekend with friends and I had my own little sugar struggles. So the question isn’t, are you going to struggle or not? The question is how are you going to handle it when you do. I want to reassure you that this is eminently doable, that you can do this. Okay?
Now as you’re going through the process of letting go of sugar and flour, you might feel isolated because there aren’t too many people around you that are doing anything like this. Even people who are trying to watch their weight. There are all kinds of diet plans out there and lots of people are talking about Keto or intermittent fasting or just all kinds of different diets. There’s Weight Watchers, NutriSystems, Jenny Craig – they’ve been around forever. There’s the Paleo Diet. So Keto seems to be super trendy right now. But there aren’t too many people that are talking about the addictive nature of sugar and flour.
You want to be with people who also understand this. So I have a Facebook group and it’s called “Sugar (and Flour!) Buster’s Society.” I’ve developed this Facebook group to support you as you’re in this process. You can talk to other people and I’m right there too. And I’m giving all kinds of helpful information. We’re doing videos regularly to help you really get the mindset down and to develop this new identity of being somebody who’s sugar and flour free – that’s the way you want to think about it. Sugar and flour free!
So those are some thoughts to think about. If you are struggling with this fear of how you’re going to do this. Like how are you going to get off sugar when you live in this country, the United States. And you know, frankly, it’s everywhere. It’s all over the world! It’s not just in the United States.
I want to leave you with a quote and it’s by Henry Ford. Henry Ford says “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” When it comes to sugar and flour and getting it out of your system and getting off of it, I know you can. I’ve helped thousands of people do it and I know it’s possible – and I know it’s possible for you. So I want you to keep that in mind as you’re going through this, and I will see you next week with a new video. In the meantime, have fun getting healthy. Take care now. Good night. Cool.
xxx – Dr Angela