Sugar is the new fat. Let me explain that. In the '80s and '90s, the low-fat craze hit its peak. Many experts claimed that a low-fat diet equaled a healthier lifestyle and big time weight loss. We know now that a low-fat diet is not all it's cracked up to be. These days it's all about cutting sugar from the diet, at least added sugars. Trainers Jackie Warner and David Kirsch both agree that America's reliance on sugar has gone overboard and that the empty calories do little in the way of good for our bodies. Instead, it creates a host of problems. And unlike the low-fat craze, cutting down our sugar intake is something I can get behind.
I've been hearing a lot about Dr. Frank Lipman lately, a specialist in integrative medicine, who is also the founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in NYC. Over the years, celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kyra Sedgwick, and Maggie Gyllenhaal have all worked with Dr. Lipman; he puts his clients on a specialized diet and exercise program that is supplemented with nutritional shakes and herbal pills in order to restore health and balance. Dr. Lipman is also adamant that most of us need to drastically cut down on our sugar intake.
Intrigued by Dr. Lipman's overall philosophy, I'll be trying his Remove program in the upcoming weeks, which I will chronicle along the way. To prepare, I'm slowly weaning myself off of certain foods, which include refined sugars. I don't expect it to be easy, but I'll be following these tips Dr. Lipman shared in the latest edition of GOOP:
- Eat regularly. Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. Blood sugar levels drop when you don't eat regularly, and when hunger hits, you're more likely to crave sugar.
- Add spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom naturally sweeten foods and reduce cravings.
- Move your body. Exercise, dance, or do some yoga. Movement helps reduce tension, boosts energy, and decreases the need for a sugar lift.
- Keep sugary snacks out of your house and office. It's difficult to snack on things that aren't there!
- Become familiar with sugar terminology. Recognize all the different names of sweeteners; corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, molasses, turbinado, and brown sugar are all sweeteners to be aware of.