#BodyBabyStep One: Stop Sugar

Just as building a $1,000 starter emergency fund is Dave Ramsey’s indispensable first step toward financial freedom, eliminating sugar from your diet should be first in your #BodyBabySteps.

Why is this so important? I previously recommended a 2009 video from Dr. Robert Lustig, which does a great job of explaining the damage done by all kinds of sugar, and the special case of fructose. Here’s an updated version of Dr. Lustig’s talk, from 2013:

Stop the Sugar is #1 on my top 20 list as well, because sugar sabotages every other helpful behavior you attempt.

Sugar spikes your insulin, which causes your fat cells to accumulate energy instead of releasing it.

You cannot burn fat when your insulin is high, and as Dr. Lustig shows in the video, insulin also blocks leptin, the hormone that reduces appetite and increases energy expenditure.

In leptin resistance, as he describes it, your brain can’t see your leptin, and so you think you are starving and are driven to consume more fructose.

Every diet Lisa and I have used during the last four years, from Trim Healthy Mama to Tim Ferriss’ Slow-Carb diet to Dr. William Davis’ Undoctored plan to our current low-carb healthy fat diet, has called for limiting or eliminating sugar.

In fact, cutting sugar is the common thread in almost every popular diet that works.

So as you’re starting the #BodyBabySteps series, taking time to understand the sources of sugar in your diet will pay off in helping you to avoid self-sabotage. I’ll have more on how to do that, as well as insights from others I count among my Health Sherpas, in future posts.

If you think your friends might find this series helpful, I hope you’ll share by email or on your social networks using the buttons below.

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Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 13. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

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