Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies book cover

Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies

By: Dan DeFigio Published: 06-04-2013

Are you a sugar addict? Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies provides you a safe and healthy path to overcome your addiction, eliminate stress eating, and upgrade your nutrition for a healthier lifestyle.

Sugar addiction is a rapidly growing epidemic that can lead to obesity, chronic fatigue, diabetes, and a host of other medical and psychological problems. Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies helps those who are affected by this commonly overlooked addiction to outsmart their sugar cravings and overcome their addiction. The tips in this book will help you:

  • Learn to stop stress eating and perform a nutrition makeover that makes the low-sugar lifestyle easy!
  • Stop the frustration of yo-yo dieting, and finally find an eating plan that works.
  • Free yourself from the grip of sugar addiction and regain control over your life.

Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies contains everything you need to start your journey down the road to wellness:

  • Four common types of sugar addicts – which one are you?
  • Finally understand carbs, protein, and fat with a simple nutrition system for weight loss and healthy eating, including what to choose and what to stay away from
  • Detoxing from sugar and performing a kitchen makeover
  • Eating mindfully – making purposeful decisions instead of stress eating
  • How to survive holidays, restaurants, and special occasions
  • Building a support system
  • Exercise programs for energy and weight loss
  • Speedy low-sugar recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts
  • Staying on track and breaking the cycle of failure – including a step-by-step list of exactly what to do when a sugar craving strikes!

If you're one of the millions of people worldwide who relies too much on sugar for energy, comfort, or convenience, Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies is your no-nonsense guide to decreasing your sugar intake, losing weight, and changing your life for the better!

Articles From Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies

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122 results
Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-15-2022

If you're wondering "How do I get off sugar?" you're not alone. Sugar abuse is one of the primary causes of obesity, and the Western diet's love affair with this cheap, pervasive, and addictive substance has resulted in record levels of diabetes and overweight Americans. Beating sugar addiction is a matter of learning how to plan and eat proactively instead of reactively, and retraining yourself to be more mindful of why you eat, what you eat, and how much you eat.

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Food Labels and Fighting Sugar Addiction

Article / Updated 03-28-2017

The nutrition facts label is your key to uncovering the truth about the food and amount of sugar inside. The nutrition facts label shows you the serving size, the calorie count, the basic nutrition breakdown (protein, carbs, fat, sugar, sodium, and so on), and, most important, the ingredients. Even though most of your healthiest meals consist of whole foods without labels, you should watch out for trouble on the nutrition labels of anything you buy that comes wrapped or boxed — bread, crackers, nuts, and condiments, for example. Here are several things to watch out for on nutrition labels: Enriched flour: Even baked goods that prominently display whole wheat or whole grain on the packaging are often made of mostly enriched flour, with just a sprinkling of whole-grain flour added in. Read the ingredients list to see whether the primary flour is enriched flour, and look for products with organic whole-grain flours as the first ingredient instead. High sugar content: Replace any packaged food with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving with a lower-sugar alternative (the exception to this is unsweetened fruit, which contains more than 10 grams of natural sugar per serving). Note that the nutrition facts panel doesn’t differentiate between naturally occurring sugars (such as those in fruit and dairy) and added sugars (such as high-fructose corn syrup). Trans fats: If you see the word hydrogenated anywhere in the ingredients, put the item back on the shelf. Pay attention to the serving size noted on the nutrition label of packaged foods. Measure out a serving to see how that compares to the amount that you normally eat; you may find that without checking, you ordinarily eat many servings’ worth of calories and sugar! Some food labels display claims or descriptions like sugar-free or good source of fiber. The FDA has specific requirements for food label claims. Nutrition Content Claims If the Label Says Then It Has This (per Serving) Low calorie 40 calories or less Calorie free Less than 5 calories Low fat 3 grams or less of fat Fat free Less than 1/2 gram of fat Low saturated fat 1 gram or less of saturated fat Low cholesterol 20 mg or less of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat Cholesterol free Less than 2 mg of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat Low sodium 140 mg or less of sodium Very low sodium 35 mg or less of sodium Sugar free Less than 1/2 gram of sugar Good source of fiber 2.5 grams or more of fiber Lean (meat, poultry, and seafood) Less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg cholesterol Extra lean (meat, poultry, and seafood) Less than 5 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol High, rich in, or excellent source of Contains 20% or more of the daily value Good source, contains, or provides Contains 10–19% of the daily value More, fortified, enriched, added, extra, or plus 10% or more of the daily value; may only be used for vitamins, minerals, protein, dietary fiber, and potassium

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4 Exercises for the Thighs, Glutes, and Hips

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

The thighs and hips are some of the largest and strongest muscles in your body. They’re responsible for moving you around all day, and they’re the driving force when you stand, sit, walk, run, jump, squat down, and go up and down stairs. Keeping your legs strong is especially important for the aging population to keep good mobility and to prevent falls.

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2 Exercises for the Posterior Chain

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

Strengthening your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles is important for avoiding injury and chronic back pain. Mastering these exercises is also good training for keeping proper spine mechanics when you’re lifting things or bending over to pick up stuff.

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2 Pulling Exercises for the Back

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

Keeping the upper back muscles strong is important for good posture and for preventing chronic neck and shoulder pain. Most people who sit a lot need extra work in this area. In your workouts, be sure to do at least as much pulling as you do pushing, if not more.

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4 Exercises for the Shoulders and Arms

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

Keeping your arms and shoulders in good shape helps make you stronger for your daily activities. Doing so also makes you look great in T-shirts and sleeveless dresses!

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4 Core Exercises for the Abs and Waist

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

Remember that exercising your abdominal muscles doesn’t burn fat away from that area! Smart eating and consistent exercise create the physiological environment and caloric deficit needed to lose body fat. You can’t pick where your fat comes off, and you can’t out-exercise a bad diet!

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How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Winter can be a difficult season for staying on track with a reasonable eating plan. From Halloween to New Year's Day, holiday treats abound, there are parties galore, and family and friends love to stuff you with cookies, candies, and way too much home-cooked food. Though you don't have to be a complete Scrooge about indulging in some goodies during the holidays, you have several ways to execute some damage control and keep holiday weight gain to a minimum: Eat vegetables with every meal. The extra fiber helps you stay full, and you may be less tempted to overeat sweets. Shift your focus away from food. The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and good will toward mankind. It's not about stuffing your face every chance you get. Plan ahead. Know when a special high-calorie food is in store for you, and account for it when you're putting together the rest of your day's food plan. Alternate a glass of water with each alcoholic beverage. You'll cut back on both calories and alcohol intake, and you'll be more aware and make smart food choices if you're careful not to drink too much holiday cheer. Try to get in a few workouts each week, even if you're traveling. You don't have to work hard, but do something besides sit around all day! Don't take second servings. Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to eat it.

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10 Sugar-Busting Workout Circuits

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Strength training (also known as resistance training or weight training) is an important component of a successful exercise program. Muscle is what burns fat, so the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn doing everything, even sitting down reading this! A strength training circuit (also referred to as circuit training) is a workout consisting of a handful of strength training exercises that you perform with minimal rest between exercises. After you complete the group of (typically) five or six exercises, you take a short break and then repeat the circuit. You may even be able to complete three or four circuits if you're feeling tough. Circuit training combines the best benefits of both strength training and cardiovascular exercise. A high-intensity (lots of heavy breathing!) strength circuit burns calories, raises your metabolism, increases your strength and bone density, tones your muscles, and improves your core stability and balance. Not bad for 20 minutes' worth of effort! Remember: To ensure your safety, get a medical checkup before you begin an exercise program. The basic movements Six types of fundamental movements make up a majority of the exercises in a strength training circuit: Triple-extension movements are multi-joint leg exercises like squats, lunges, and step-ups. Triple-extension exercises work all the muscles of the thighs and hips. Pushing movements strengthen the chest, shoulders, and arms. Examples are push-ups, bench presses, and chest flies. Pulling movements work the back, shoulders, neck, and arms. Examples are rows, chin-ups, pull-downs, and reverse flies. Pulling exercises are essential for correct posture. Core exercises focus on the midsection — waist, trunk, and pelvis. A strong core is essential for spinal stability and the prevention of back injuries. Examples of core exercises are crunches, sit-ups, planks, twists, and back extensions. Overhead movements like the overhead press and the lateral raise are for the shoulders and arms. Posterior chain movements target the muscles behind you, including your hamstrings, glutes, and spinal erectors (your lower back muscles). You target the posterior chain with exercises like dead lifts, bridges, and hip extensions. The workouts This section outlines ten sample circuit training workouts using the six fundamental movements. Each workout is different, but you'll see the pattern of using variations of all the basic moves in each one. These workouts are designed to be easy to do at home, with minimal equipment. You need some dumbbells, some exercise tubing, a Swiss ball (an inflated exercise ball that looks like a beach ball), and a stopwatch. (Most smartphones have some kind of stopwatch app built in, so you don't have to buy a separate one.) If you'd like to try these workouts at a gym, you'll probably have access to a greater variety of equipment like medicine balls, suspension straps, and kettlebells that you can use to supplement the basic tools. Be sure to spend a few minutes warming up before you start a hard workout. Performing a proper warm-up loosens muscles, lubricates joints, and increases your nervous system's reactions. A few minutes of walking, marching in place, or doing jumping jacks should suffice. After each workout, stretch your three or four tightest muscles for 30 seconds, two times each. Don't forget to breathe! Workout circuit #1 This is an easy circuit to start you off. Perform one set of 15 to 20 repetitions of each of these exercises, resting for one minute in between exercises: Squats Rest one minute Push-ups on your knees Rest one minute Standing row with tubing Rest one minute Hamstring bridges Rest one minute Overhead press with dumbbells Rest one minute U crunches If one circuit is too easy, do two or three! Workout circuit #2 Perform each exercise for 45 seconds and then rest one minute before performing the next exercise. Lunges (alternate legs) Rest one minute Overhead press with dumbbells Rest one minute Single-arm rows (45 seconds each arm) Rest one minute Planks Rest one minute Bicep curls Rest two minutes at the end of the circuit and then do the whole thing again. Workout circuit #3 In this circuit, you perform 30 seconds of jumping jacks before every strength exercise: 30 seconds of jumping jacks 20 squats Rest one minute 30 seconds of jumping jacks 15 push-ups on your knees Rest one minute 30 seconds of jumping jacks 20 standing tubing rows Rest one minute 30 seconds of jumping jacks 30 seconds of U crunches Rest one minute 30 seconds of jumping jacks 20 bridges (no break here — get up) 30 seconds of jumping jacks 30 seconds of bicep curls If you feel up to it, rest about two minutes and try the circuit again. Workout circuit #4 In this circuit, you perform 12 squats after every exercise, with just a few breaths to recover in between. This one is hard because of the lack of rest! 30 seconds of standing tubing rows 12 squats 30 seconds of push-ups on your knees 12 squats 30 seconds of seated twists 12 squats 30 seconds of overhead presses 12 squats 30 seconds of Romanian dead lifts 1012 squats If you're really feeling brave, rest a few minutes after you finish one circuit and see whether you can finish a second one. Workout circuit #5 This circuit uses back-to-back sets of 30-second work intervals. Be ready to huff and puff! 30 seconds of dumbbell squats 30 seconds of step-ups onto a bench or stable chair One minute rest 30 seconds of push-ups 30 seconds of standing tubing rows One minute rest 30 seconds of sit-ups 30 seconds of seated medicine ball twists One minute rest 30 seconds of bridges 30 seconds of overhead presses 30 seconds of jumping jacks 30 seconds of mountain climbers — get in the push-up position, pull one knee up toward your shoulder, keep your weight on your arms, and switch your legs back and forth After you finish the circuit, rest for about two minutes and repeat it. Try to do it three times! Workout circuit #6 This circuit uses combination movements — exercises that combine two or more movements together. Lunge curls: While holding a dumbbell in each hand, do a lunge and then add a bicep curl when you come back up to the standing position. Do 10 reps on each leg. Rest one minute 60 seconds of bridges while squeezing a pillow or volleyball between your knees (works the inner thighs) Squat presses: Holding dumbbells up near your shoulders, execute a squat. As you come up into the standing position, drive the dumbbells up to the overhead position. Do 10 to 15 reps. Rest one minute 60 seconds of U crunches Squat row: Set up the tubing like you would for standing tubing rows. Holding on to the tubing handles, add a squat in between every row. Do 20 reps. Rest two minutes and then repeat the circuit. Workout circuit #7 This is an arms and abs circuit. 30 seconds of side plank on one side 45 seconds of single-arm rows on one side 30 seconds of side plank on the other side 45 seconds of single-arm rows on the other side 30 seconds of U crunches 45 seconds of curl and overhead press with dumbbells 30 seconds of seated twists 45 seconds of lying triceps extension with dumbbells 30 seconds of plank Rest one or two minutes and then repeat the circuit. Aim for three or four circuits total. Workout circuit #8 This circuit stacks opposite movements back-to-back. 20 squats 20 Romanian dead lifts with dumbbells Rest one minute 20 push-ups on your knees 20 standing tubing rows Rest one minute 20 bridges 20 U crunches Rest one minute 20 bicep curls (try them standing on one leg, 10 on each leg) 20 lying triceps extensions with dumbbells Rest one minute and then repeat twice for a total of three circuits. Workout circuit #9 This circuit features alternating standing and lying exercises. 10 lunges on each leg, alternating sides 20 bridges (try them on one leg if using two is too easy) 20 squats 20 lying triceps extensions Rest one minute 20 overhead presses 45 seconds seated twists 20 standing tubing rows 45 seconds plank Rest one minute and then repeat the circuit. Workout circuit #10 This is a speed circuit — you should perform the repetitions as fast as you can with good form. 15 seconds speed squats 15 seconds rest 15 seconds fast overhead presses 15 seconds rest 15 seconds standing tubing rows, fast 15 seconds rest 15 seconds fast push-ups on your knees 15 seconds rest 15 seconds quick seated twists 15 seconds rest 15 seconds fast bicep curls with dumbbells Rest one minute and then repeat. If you don't feel like you can execute the repetitions safely at a high speed, try 15 normal-speed reps instead of 15 seconds of fast reps.

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The Importance of Eating Breakfast

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

There's an old saying: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper." Many people do just the opposite, which is exactly the wrong way to eat if you're trying to lose weight! Skimping on breakfast works against you if you're trying to keep your energy up during the day and your mental performance level high. When you wake up, you've just gone eight hours without food, your body is craving nourishment, and your brain needs glucose to function at its best. Skipping breakfast sets you up for disaster in a number of different ways, but research shows that as many as 40 percent of Americans skip breakfast anyway, and many kids leave for school without it. People who skip breakfast are more than four times as likely to be obese than people who eat something in the morning. That's right, skipping breakfast makes you fatter! Numerous studies over the years have shown that skipping breakfast impacts the behavior and mental performance of school kids. Students who eat breakfast have better memory and higher math and reading scores. In contrast, kids who go to school without breakfast have a higher number of behavior problems, including fighting, stealing, having difficulty with teachers, and not acknowledging rules. People who eat breakfast are far more likely to get a healthy intake of vitamins and minerals than those who don't. In one study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found that people who ate a hearty breakfast containing more than one-quarter of their daily calories had a higher intake of essential vitamins and minerals, and lower serum cholesterol levels to boot. Higher-protein breakfasts translate into a more sustained level of energy throughout the morning. Protein fills you up longer than carbs, so you're less likely to have midmorning cravings. You're also less likely to overeat at lunch or to get so hungry that you'll grab whatever junk food you can get your hands on. Higher protein at breakfast increases metabolism, helping you maintain a healthy weight. In one study, a high-protein breakfast increased the metabolism of healthy young women by a shocking 100 percent! Adding protein to the traditional all-carb continental breakfast has definite advantages, but that doesn't mean you should have 1,000 calories of bacon! One-third of your breakfast should come from a lean protein source, and the rest from healthy fats and fibrous carbs. Here are some suggestions of proteins that are easy to add to your breakfast rotation: Eggs: Eggs are loaded with protein and other nutrients, such as phosphatidyl choline for the brain and heart. Scramble some eggs in coconut oil with spinach and sliced apples, seasoned with lemon pepper and turmeric (one of nature's great anti-inflammatories). You'll have a breakfast loaded with protein and nutrients. Choose pasture-fed, antibiotic-free eggs. Pasture-feeding yields eggs with a higher nutrient content. It's also better for the chickens, and it doesn't perpetuate antibiotic resistance like conventional chicken feed does. Greek yogurt: This thick yogurt contains active cultures, and it's higher in protein than traditional yogurt. Try a cup with nuts, grapes, or berries for extra nutrition. Nut butter sandwich: Buy whole-grain bread and spread some natural peanut or almond butter on a slice, fold it in half, and you have an easy, no-cook breakfast. It goes great with a glass of skim milk or some hot green tea. Whey protein shake: If you can't conceive of eating a protein source for breakfast that isn't bacon or sausage, try some powdered whey protein for your protein source. It's easy, inexpensive, and versatile; just be sure to buy pure whey protein without any added sugars or artificial sweeteners (visit www.BeatingSugarAddiction.com for recommended brands). You can mix whey powder in water, milk, or juice, or you can sprinkle some on your cereal. You can make a smoothie by adding frozen berries or half a banana, or you can try powdered whey in cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, almond milk, or rice milk. Adding a splash of flax oil to the shake adds essential fats and helps the smoothie stick with you a little longer. Experiment and see what you like.

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