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Breaking the Junk Food Habit

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I was talking to a patient the other day and she asked me this question:  if she had to give up one food from her diet, which one of the following should she get rid of?

Here are your choices. Choose wisely:

a.   soda pop

b.   white bread

c.   French fries

d.   Cocoa Puffs

As it turns out, this is a trick question. If you picked any one of the above you are wrong.   Here is the definition of food: any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth; also whatever supplies nourishment to organisms.

Accordingly, none of those meet the definition of “food.”  The term “junk food” is a huge oxymoron.  At our clinic we have what we refer to as our Junk Food Withdrawal Program. It works for adults and kids.  Each week for 8 weeks they, as individuals or family, remove one more noxious food from their cupboards.  The whole family buys into it and it can be a huge benefit for all.

The other problem with these non-foods is that they can interfere with good hormone balance.  Here at the Utah Wellness Institute we specialize in Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy and Nutrition.  They go hand-in-hand.  Eating junk food harms the adrenal system and adversely effects thyroid metabolism resulting in fatigue and weight.

One of the first things we have to get our patients to face up to is that they are addicted to junk.  Sugar. Carbs.  Call it whatever you want, but they can't leave it alone.  America has a love affair with sweets, and it's making our nation unhealthier as each year goes by.  But very few people really want to admit it personally.

Sugar can be just as bad as nicotine or alcohol in many ways.  If you want to find out if you have a little addiction, try going without any carbs (except for dark green leafy veggies etc.) for 48 hours. See how you feel overall.  In many circles they call it "withdrawal."

So many of my patients come in initially and we send them to the lab for blood work.  It comes back and shows that they have elevated insulin.  No, they're not diabetic; they're just insulin resistant, and as such they will never lose weight until they get that problem solved--no matter how much they exercise.  I tell them that they are going to have to get off sugar and they look at me with the "you're kidding, right?" look.  No, I'm not kidding.

So I become their junk food withdrawal coach, showing them how to do it with minimal withdrawal symptoms.  There are easy ways and hard ways of doing it.  After they go through it, they never want to go back again.  And that is the first leg on their journey back to good health.

Denial gets us nowhere.  Action is the best restorer of confidence.  Once you are over the hump you never look back.

We can help you and/or your family to a whole different way of life through healthy eating and balanced hormones.  Strategies that work.

Dr. Robert Jones is the Clinic Director at the Utah Wellness Institute in Draper Utah. Visit his site and get wellness tips here. 

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