Mistake #2 Most People Make When Working Towards Health
In our office I make all my nutritional recommendations based on reviewing blood labs. These allow me to see a very comprehensive picture of what I like to call ‘peeking underneath the hood’. Labs don’t lie and they will tell me right away if you are making the #2 biggest mistake people make when it comes to their health. They tell me the whole story of what you eat, what you don’t, how much water you drink, how much stress you are under and how you deal with it. I’m not just guessing if you have a blood sugar issue, I have the answers in front of me. I also have a very accurate lipid panel that tells me about cardiac risk factors, and I can see the status of overall organ function and hormonal balance. I also test for inflammatory biomarkers that can lead to chronic disease and tell you exactly what you need to do correct them.
One of the most important things that I teach people to do is to balance their blood sugar. There aren’t many other behaviors that can have such a global impact on overall disease risk and long term health. When it comes to restoring blood sugar, one of the most common problems is the consumption of the wrong types of liquids that we often THINK are not hurting us. In my opinion, there is NOTHING worse for someone who has pre-diabetic labs than to start the day with orange juice or is a daily diet coke drinker. NOTHING!
Orange juice or juice of any kind [where all the fiber is removed] spikes your insulin first thing in the morning faster than Tony the Tiger. I am so sorry to burst your bubble, all you smoothie lovers and juice fasters out there. If you are looking to lose weight, restore insulin sensitivity or improve your blood biomarkers in any way the first thing that I have people do is cut liquid foods for breakfast. Most times, these drinks contain too much SUGAR and not enough protein your body needs to break your fast from the night before.
Even more troubling though is the consequences of consistent use of DIET drinks and artificial sweeteners of any kind throughout the day. First off, artificial sweeteners are designed to be addictive. They are chemicals made in a laboratory that when ingested feed dopamine receptors in your brain just like COCAINE does.
Second, artificial sweeteners are toxic. When your body tries to break down these foreign chemicals, like aspartame for example, you get byproducts like formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is known to cause gradual damage to the nervous system, the immune system and has recently been shown to cause irreversible genetic damage at long-term, low-level exposure.
Last but not least, despite what you might have been taught , thanks to clever marketing tactics and exorbitant marketing budgets, DIET DRINKS and the use of artificial sweeteners are the number one thing that is probably preventing you from losing weight! THE NUMBER ONE THING.
I have seen this to be true over and over again. In fact, just last week I checked in with a woman who I just created a 30-Day Nutrition Plan for. In the week it took me to construct her plan, I challenged her to do was to cut the diet Coke and she already lost 8 LBS!
If diet drinks are something you need to wean off of here are the top three things to do to begin the process:
1) If carbonation is the thing you crave most, swap it for naturally flavored seltzer water. The best bet is to invest in a soda stream machine and make it yourself with your choice of fresh fruit as the flavoring. It would be $100 well spent that will add years to your life and take inches off your waist line.
2) If caffeine is what you crave the most try coffee or brewed tea. Please note, my general rule is no caffeine intake within the 6 hour window before bed time regardless of how sensitive to caffeine you think you are. At least by making this swap you are cutting out a lot of artificial sugars, chemicals and colors that do not make you any healthier. This is especially important when it comes to people with any digestive disorders as chemical sensitivities and stimulants are often an underlying cause of digestive distress.
3) Swap natural sugars for artificial sweeteners until you can wean off of them completely. Yes, you read that correctly. I would rather you used real sugar, honey or stevia in its most natural form instead of any other type of sweetener. I will put this simply. YOUR BODY DOES NOT RECOGNIZE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS IN ANY FORM AS FOOD! At least with sugar your body knows what to do with it.
I hope that you have found these healthier eating hacks helpful. I will be covering more in future posts to come during our February Clean Eating Challenge month! Stay tuned.