There is a big difference between wishing and wanting. Every one of us wishes to look better, but almost none of us want it bad enough to sacrifice for it.

Nine out of ten people who begin an exercise program do so with the goal of losing weight. The sad fact that follows is that eight of those nine will fail to do so. This is not because they we exercising “wrong” or even too little. This is most likely because their diets were not in line.

The adage “You can’t out-train a crappy diet” really is true. The problem is that most of us think that our diets are pretty good and become really defensive if questioned about it.

Face it, your diet sucks. You drink too many calories, your dinner portions are too large, and a “handful” of chips is really half a bag. You may even be starving half the day. The problem is you’re eating the wrong stuff.

Chances are your diet is high in sugar, and more than likely is VERY high in sugar. Since 1988, sugar consumption in the U.S. has increased from 26 pounds per person each year to over 135. Prior to the year 1900 consumption was less than 5 pounds per person.

An influx of sugar into the bloodstream upsets the body’s blood-sugar balance, triggering the release of insulin, which the body uses to keep blood-sugar at a constant and safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat, so that when you eat sweets high in sugar, you’re making way for rapid weight gain and elevated triglyceride levels, both of which have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Complex carbohydrates tend to be absorbed more slowly, lessening the impact on blood-sugar levels. This is also true for proteins and fats.

Research has found that simply changing the makeup of your diet can positively affect fat loss, whether you eat fewer calories or not. To put it more simply, get rid of the bad foods, replace them with good foods, and you can eat just as much while actually losing weight.

Sugar is not just bad if you are struggling with fat. Here are a few other examples of how a diet of simple sugars might negatively impact your health:

Sugar can suppress the immune system.

Sugar can upset the body’s mineral balance.

Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.

Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).

Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).

Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.

Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.

Sugar can cause kidney damage.

Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

Sugar can cause copper deficiency.

Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

Sugar can promote tooth decay.

Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.

Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.

Sugar can increase total cholesterol.

Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Sugar can contribute to diabetes.

Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.

Sugar leads to decreased glucose tolerance.

Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.

Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.

Sugar causes food allergies.

Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.

Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.

Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.

Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.

Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.

Sugar can cause depression.

Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.

Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.

Sugar can cause hypertension.

Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.

Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind’s ability to think clearly.

There are a host of good food choices out there. By making a concerted effort to eat the right stuff, and not just what’s easy, you might end up thin without even  having to suffer for it.

Breaking an addiction is not easy. Work toward eliminating a few sweets from your diet each day and replace them with fruits and vegetables. This way blood sugar levels stay at a good level and you won’t feel the crash. Every few weeks, pull back a little more until you finally can eat like your body was designed to eat.

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