Join the Conversation: Does this news excite you, too?
If you find it hard to say no to candies, cookies, chips, it may be because your brain is addicted to them, according to a new study.
In short, your brain is actually hooked on junk food, which, of course, leads to weight gain and obesity and other harmful dieases.
But promising news came out recently, which reveals taht you you can literally ‘reprogram’ your brain so that you not only break your food addictions, but you actually develop a preference for healthier non-fattening foods so you lose weight.
For my part, I’m simply thrilled by this exciting news.
You may wonder, though, is this just too good to be true? Not so!
Some definitive proof this is possible came from a September 2014 study by scientists at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show how the brains of volunteers had been altered during a six-month experiment, during which they forsake high caloric foods for low caloric ones.
Thirteen overweight or obese adults between the ages of 21 and 65 were placed in either an intervention group or a control group. The intervention group received 19 hour-long support group sessions during the 24 weeks in which they were taught how to use portion-controlled menus and recipe suggestions designed for high-satiety. The foods consumed in this plan were low-glycemic index carbohydrates along with high fiber and high protein (known as the idiet.) FYI, these are the foods I recommend, too, as you can discover in Beyond Sugar Shock.
These foods” have “a slower digestion profile and reduction fluctuations in blood glucose that could reduce hunger,” according to the study. The control group received no such counseling or support.
What’s intriguing is that before the experiment began and six months later, on its completion, all study participants underwent the fMRI scans as they were shown 40 food and 40 non-food images. The foods were half high caloric and half low caloric.
While being scanned, the volunteers rated the desirability of the images they saw on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being undesirable and 4 being extremely desirable. Those who had gone through the six months of intervention measured significantly less response in the striatum region of their brains (an area governing reward processing) when shown the high caloric foods and more responsivity when shown the low caloric images.
It was as if the brain charges they previously got from these foods had been disconnected. They also achieved significant weight loss, whereas the control group lost little weight and still had no control over how their brains craved certain unhealthy foods.
One of the study co-authors, Sai Krupa Das, Ph.D., who is with the United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center, observed how the weight loss program they used with high-fiber, low glycemic foods worked hand in hand with behavior change education to bring about the remarkable changes in weight and brain activity related to cravings.
“The weight loss program is specifically designed to change how people react to different foods, and our study shows those who participated in it had an increased desire for healthier foods along with a decreased preference for unhealthy foods, the combined effects of which are probably critical for sustainable weight control,” according to Dr. Das. “To the best of our knowledge this is the first demonstration of this important switch.”
Sources: “Training your brain to prefer healthy foods.” Tufts University. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-09-brain-healthy-foods.html.
“Pilot randomized trial demonstrating reversal of obesity-related abnormalities in reward system responsivity to food cues with a behavioral intervention.” Deckersbach T. Et al. Nutrition & Diabetes. September 2014. http://www.nature.com/nutd/journal/v4/n9/full/nutd201426a.html
iDiet program. https://www.theidiet.com/content/food
Join the Conversation: Does this news excite you, too?
Join the Conversation. What is your biggest Ahah! from this video, “Why We Overeat: The Toxic Food Environment and Obesity”? Talk to us now.
Do you or your loved ones overeat? Have you or your family members been gaining unwanted excess weight? Are you concerned about our obesity crisis?
To gain insights into why two-thirds of people are getting fatter and fatter and sicker and sicker, I urge you to watch a video of this fascinating panel discussion, “Why We Overeat: The Toxic Food Environment & Obesity,” thanks to the Harvard School of Public Health and the Huffington Post.
I’m so excited that I came across this video while doing research for my next book, Tame Your Crazy Cravings™.
This program presented an illustrious panel, which included:
Walter Willett, Chair, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, and Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition
David Kessler, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco; and Author, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
Dariush Mozaffarian, Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and
Michael Rich, Director, Center on Media and Child Health, Boston Children’s Hospital
The modferator of “Why We Overeat” was moderated brilliantly by Meredith Melnick, Editorial Director for HuffPost Healthy Living.
This program has many fascinating points, and I urge you to watch through it for the entire time.
In particular, I urge you to pay attentiont to these fascinating comments from Dr. Mozaffarian:
“Now sugar, I agree that sugar is a problem, but sugar is no greater a problem and then totally unsweetened refined grains. And the worry I have about just focusing on sugar, it gives the refined grains, it gets them off the hook.
“So white bread, all refined cereals that have no added sugar at all, they say zero sugar on the panel, those are just as bad. And when we’ve looked at populations of hundreds of thousands of people, the weight gain associated with Skittles is exactly the same weight gain that is associated with Corn Flakes or white bread or a bagel. So to think that a bagel, that has no sugar, is different than candy is really misleading. …”
Also, I invite you to keep watching to check out the second video (at 59:00) from the HBO film, Weight of the Nation, .where you can discover which beverages contain the most sugar content, thanks to The WATCH Nutrition Clinic.
I’d love to hear what you think about this video.
Join the Conversation. What is your biggest Ahah! from this video, “Why We Overeat The Toxic Food Environment & Obesity”? Talk to us now.
Join the conversation. Please tell us what you’re doing as part of The 31 Days of Kindness-and-Sweetness Campaign. How will or are you being kind and sweet to others?
When was the last time you did something really kind and sweet for someone else with no expectation of getting anything back in return?
Have you noticed that when you give freely to other people or organizations that you tend to forget or at least ignore your pressing problems? Plus, you feel so good for being so generous.
Now, for those of you who ned to weight , your frustrations about about the number on your bathroom scale won’t seem all that important when you’re focused on giving.
Plus, if you’re a sugar or carb addict, your plight will fade away or at least greatly diminish when you do something sweet for someone else or several something elses.
In fact, being kind and sweet makes you feel so good that it’s a lot easier and more enjoyable to eat healthy, wholesome, unrefined, natural foods that don’t contain a lot of sugar, gluten, salt, fat or other additives.
Anyhow, I’m so excited to invite you to join me for The 31 Days of Kindness Challenge.
Although I’d love to be able to claim this fabulous idea as my own, I can’t.
This great suggestion for The 31 Days of Kindness Challenge. comes from speaker/communicator Ryan Avery,, who is co-author with Jeremey Donovan of Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public Speaking, featuring the prize-winning speeches of Toastmasters World Champions.
Ryanaverys31daycahllengeFYI, please note that I’m personalizing the experience. Although I plan to do kind and sweet things every day for 31 days (and probably longer) and I’m printing out Rya’ns list, I won’t t follow his guidelines exactly. Rather, I’ll use them as suggestions.
Ryan-Avery-Keynote-Speaker-300x300Furthermore, with Ryan Avery’s blessing, I hope, for my fans, I’d like to rename this The 31 Days of Kindness-and- Sweetness Campaign, because you’ll be focused on giving or doing something kind and sweet instead of stuffing your face with something sweet.
Now, let me tell you how I plan to kick off tomorrow, day one of The 31 Days of Kindness-and-Sweetness Chaallenge.
At last, I’ll write a thank you letter to the amazing pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig for the valuable work he’s done to raise people’s sugar consciousness and to improve the health of the planet.
More importantly, though, along with my thank you note, I plan to make a donation to his Institute for Responsible Nutrition, whose mission is to reverse childhood obesity and type 2 obesity.
Institute for REsponsible Nutrition rewbztj9dvkvr8ifs30aThis is something I’ve been planning on doing for a while. In fact, my envelope (without a stamp attached yet) has been ready for weeks. So tomorrow, thanks to Ryan Avery’s polite nudge, I’ll finally do this.
As you probably already know, the remarkable Dr. Lustig is acclaimed for his powerful Sugar: The Bitter Truth lecture, which has had nearly 5 million views on YouTube.
You can watch Dr. Lustig’s lecture below. (By the way, Dr. Lustig will be participating in my upcoming Sugar World Summit. Stay tuned for details.)
In addition to watching the video below, I urge you to get Dr. Lustig’s remarkable, bestselling book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease.
So will you join me in The 31-Days of Kindness-and-Sweetness Campaign?
To participate, first get guidance from Ryan Avery, who offers great ideas on how to join in.
Then, will you join me by kicking off your involvement in The 31 Days of Kindness-and-Sweetness Campaign tomorrow by making a tax-detuctible donation to Dr. Robert Lustfg’s important Institute for Responsible Nutrition?
Join the conversation. Please tell us what you’re doing as part of The 31 Days of Kindness-and-Sweetness Campaign. How will or are you being kind and sweet to others?
It’s that spooky time of year again.
Not because of neighborhood kids masquerading as ghosts, goblins and ghouls.
Halloween candyBut because of scary candies.
Beginning Halloween, through the end of the year — for a whopping two-plus months — millions tend to completely “forget” the fact that too much sugar can trigger harmful effects on your children’s health, including obesity, of course. .
On Spooky Sugar Overload Day – my phrase for Halloween — millions develop collective amnesia about how rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other crippling sugar-triggered ailments are skyrocketing.
And every year, at this time, I watch in astonishment at how cool, chic and accepted it’s become to hurl your neighbor’s kids into Sugar Shock.
This year 74 percent of households in the United States are expected to hand candies to trick-or-treaters (80 percent of households with children will do so), according to the candy-promoting National Confectioners Association. http://www.candyusa.com/FunStuff/content.cfm?ItemNumber=5137&navItemNumber=4569
Of those sugar pushers, 72 percent of those households will give away two or even three) pieces of candy per trick-or-treater.
Let’s put this in simple terms: On Halloween night alone, the average child in your neighborhood may mindlessly scarf down between 5 to 50 teaspoons of sugar and hundreds of calories.
In short, Spooky Sugar Overload Season starts with Halloween.
Factor in all the sugar that most people will gobble up during Thanksgiving dinners, holiday parties, as well as Christmas or Chanukah vacations.
All this sugar gorging begs these questions:
Why has it simply become un-American NOT to hand out candies on Halloween?
Why is it outright weird NOT to give your neighbors’ kids sugar-filled treats, which will surely send them into Sugar Shock? (Think anxiety, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, temper tantrums, crankiness and much worse.)
Why is candy-giving expected even though just about everyone knows that too much sugar (candies) can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other diseases, which, in turn, can kill you?
Thankfully, a small but growing number of us are urging parents to give out safe, fun toys instead.
Unfortunately, though, it’s far easier to find candies than it is to locate sweet, sugar-free toys such as glow-in-the-dark insects, spooky fingers, Halloween-themed stickers or pencils, rubber worms, creepy fingers, action figures, kazoos and whistles, baseball cards, plastic animals, spin tops, and party favors like engine whistles, key chains, pen, and stickers.
Furthermore, let’s face it, these cool Halloween options cost more than sugar-filled, or high fructose corn syrup-laden candies.
Right now, I urge you parents to take charge. This Halloween, just become more mindful.
Every time you dish out candies, think about just two things.
You are an “enabler” – as drug addicts are to other drug addicts. Your neighbors and you could be paving the way for neighborhood kids to crave candies. For that matter, you could be addicting or re-addicting their parents, too. (A number of coaching clients confessed to me that they stole their kids Halloween candies!)
You could be contributing to soaring rates of obesity and other diseases in your neighborhood.
Do you really want to have that on your conscience?
Instead, why don’t you find ways to help your children and your neighbors’ kids to observe Halloween in a safer, healthier way?
For instance, you could:
Offer your kid(s) a healthy meal with ample protein, fiber and fat before she or he cavorts around the neighborhood.
Give away one candy per trick-or-treater. (Don’t let kids grab a handful of sweets.)
Hand out small bottles of water. That way, you’ll help trick-or-treaters stay hydrated.
When your child or children come home from trick-or-treating, have fun together doing high-intensity play or dancing for at least 10 minutes.
Hug your kids and figure out one or two other ways to give them lasting sweetness.
About the Author:
Connie Bennett, CHHC, CPC, ACC, is a self-mocking former sugar addict and author of two bestselling books, Sugar Shock! and Beyond Sugar Shock.
Her first book, Sugar Shock! How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life– and How You Can Get Back on Track, was praised by Dr. Mehmez Oz and many others.
Her latest book, Beyond Sugar Shock: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter, has been endorsed by numerous luminaries, including Wayne Dyer, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Bernie Siegel, Joe Vitale, Marci Shimoff, Kathy Smith, John Assaraf, Colette Baron-Reid, Janet Bray Atwood, Donna Gates, Alex Jamieson, and Dr. JJ Virgin.
Connie is also a certified health coach, certified life coach, EFT practitioner, widely published jouirnalist, columnist, and and essayist (AOL News, eDiets.com, The Los Angeles Times, www.SheKnows.com, etc.), as well as an in-demand speaker, entertaining TV and radio show guest (“CBS News Sunday Morning,” “Oprah & Friends Radio,” “The Howard Stern Show,” etc.).
In 1998, Connie was a tormented sugar-addicted journalist, who secretly “used” candies galore just to make all her deadlines. When she was bombarded by brain fog, heart palpitations, severe PMS and 41 other baffling ailments, Connie finally turned in deperation to a doctor, who ordered her to quit sweets. Much to her surprise, all her ailments went poof!, and the journalist was reborn, filled with determination to spread the sour news about sugar.
Now sugar-free (mostly) for 15 years, Connie — now known as The Sugar Liberator — had helped thousands of people worldwide to break free of sweets and discover that Life is Sweeter Naturally™.
Get free gifts at www.Connie-Bennett.com. Then discover if you’ve been brainwashed to become a sugar addict by taking The Sugar shock Quiz at www.SugarShockBlog.com.
Connie celery_clean copySugar and carb addicts, get help to free yourself from your potentially deadly habits on Sat., April 13 at 7 pm at Book Passage in Corte Madera.
Indeed, it’s now my honor and privilege to personally guide, coach, educate and empower sugar and carb addicts in the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, April 13, which is, coincidentally, two days before a momentous time for me.
Yes, on April 15, I will have gone 15 years sugar-free (mostly)! Bear in mind that I wasn’t perfect, and not beating up on myself too much or slipping is one of the keys to my success. (You’ll find out how you, too, can be imperfect but still triumph over your sugar addiction.)
The program at Book Passage is being presented, thanks to the remarkable organization, Left Coast Writers, a fabulous group that supports new and established writers.
Please note that this appearance at Book Passage is my first talk and book signing since the publication of my book, Beyond Sugar Shock: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter.
The reason that I didn’t do any book signings or give any solo talks in 2012 (other than one appearance as part of a group of authors) is because I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my terminally ill Mom before she passed away. Recently, I lost her. (In fact, I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast to be near her and be of service to Mom before she passed away. (One of our most fabulous moments during our last year together was when two boxes of books arrived from my publisher, Hay House, and my mother raved, “Absolutely terrific” and “Beautiful.” I have a video of the special occasion.)
Anyhow, during my first Beyond Sugar Shock appearance on April 13, I’ll give you insights and simple starter secrets so you can:
Activate the positive power of one of procrastination. (Huh? Trust me — it’s a simple, calming tool.)
Quickly decode and then welcome (really!) your annoying sugar cravings.
Remember the sour scoop about sugar (that it can lead to cancer, type 2 diabetes and even kill you early) when you’re overcome by must-have-sugar-now! feelings.
Pick yourself up after you’ve “slipped” and fallen off your less or no-sugar plan, especially after emotionally trying times.
Dissolve your desire for dangerous sweets but still enjoy tasty chocolate treats. You’ll even find out how to get recipes for healthy choco-goodie and get to savor tasty sugar-free desserts.
Stop being duped by innocent-looking, seductive foods that are actually sugar traps.
Laugh at my — and your — silly-on-sugar behavior. (You’ll chuckle at my former Sugar Shrew ways!)
In short, in our time together, you’ll get to Turbocharge your Sugar-Free Power.
The event on April 13 takes place at:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
For those of you who don’t know my background, here’s a short bio:
Bestseller Beyond Sugar Shock BSThe Sugar Liberator Connie Bennett is transformational speaker and author of the international bestseller Beyond Sugar Shock: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter. The Hay House book has been praised by a Who’s Who of health and empowerment experts, including Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Christiane Northrup, and Dr. Daniel Amen.
Connie’s second book is the eagerly awaited follow-up to her acclaimed bestseller, Sugar Shock! How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life—And How You Can Get Back on Track, which has been praised by America’s Favorite Doctor, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Connie’s sour-to-sweet journey began in 1998, when she was pummeled by 44 ailments, including crushing fatigue, brain fog, horrible headaches, rollercoaster mood swings, and severe PMS. When Connie’s new doctor blamed every single symptom on her excessive sugar habit and ordered her to quit consuming her cherished sweets, she reluctantly complied. Much to her surprise, all her ailments vanished, and Connie became energetic, focused, and free.
She succeeded, because while shedding her dangerous habit, Connie created cool tools to ease her dreaded and difficult transition and turn it into a positive, fun-filled, life-changing adventure. Since 2001, Connie has been coaching, guiding, and inspiring thousands of people worldwide on how to easily triumph over their carb addiction so they can discover that Life is Sweeter When Sugar Doesn’t Seduce You.™
Now, Connie runs her popular Sugar Freedom Now Retreat (virtual, recorded, and live), which is the companion program to Beyond Sugar Shock. She is also host of the Gab with the Gurus Radio Show, for which she interviews top names in a variety of fields from health to the Law of Attraction. Connie studied at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Get free gifts to help you reach Sugar Freedom at www.Connie-Bennett.com
Dr. Robert Lustig, anti-sugar advocate & author of Sugar: The Bitter Truth talks about the link between proccessed food, obesity & disease in his new book.
Do you feel addicted to sugar and refined carbs? It’s not all in your head! In recent years, scientists have discovered fascinating […]
While I was knee-deep planning and working many hours to launch of new book, Sugar Shock, New York City came up with a controversial plan to ban jumbo-sized sugary larger than 16 ounces in restaurants, movie theaters, concession stands, and food carts.
I’ll share by thoughts shortly about this much-talked about plan. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t post earlier, because I was busy spreading the word about Beyond Sugar Shock.)
For now, I urge you to watch this TV interview with Bloomberg.
Then, make sure to tell us your thoughts about his plan.
But before you watch, you need to know that a 20-ounce bottle — which people guzzle in one sitting — contains nearly 17 teaspoons of sugar.
Also, your soda addiction can put you at risk for obesity, as well as the Big Preventable Big Killers such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Weigh in now with your thoughts about Mayor Bloomberg’s Soda Ban.