Sugars and Starches Lose Their Reward

One promise of eliminating most sugars, starches, artificial sweeteners is that over time they lose their reward value.  The days when anything sweet or starchy gave a big reward in taste, flavor, satisfaction does in fact lessen the longer you stay off them.

Dr. Wolfgang Lutz noted in working with thousands of patients over his long career that in about a year to eighteen months most patients, in fact nearly all of the younger patients, found that they no longer wanted the sweets, that the foods they had ceased to crave the carbohydrate foods that had caused their obesity.  The older patients were the less successful–they were less successful with the diet as well; which is part of what gives rise to the old adage that an old dog can’t learn new tricks. Though I personally believe we (meaning people over forty) can learn new tricks, we often don’t, not because we cannot, but because we are more resistant to change in general.

I have found that indeed I don’t crave the things like donuts and cookies I once did, and the few times when I have eaten foods like fries or bread, they have lost most of their reward value. I simply don’t find they taste good to me anymore. But here’s the catch: even though they don’t taste good to me as they once did, they can still trigger a day or two of major cravings for carbs, which means I will start thinking about other carbo foods that I most likely won’t like either if I eat them.

Our brains have a long-evolved cue for carbohydrates precisely because for most of human history they were relatively hard to find and always in short supply, so you had to eat them when you could get them—the reason we are also programmed to glut.  The lesson is that we will never be truly free of our desire for carbohydrates, even though we can find our lives much easier with no more than 20-50g per day.

Part of me still hopes that there will be a day when I don’t have to worry about my weight, but I am doubtful that will happen, but at least I have a way to keep problems with the big three—sugar-starch-artificial sweeteners—in check.

My husband and I are very concerned about aging well for we have seen our older relatives succumbing to all kinds of problems in large part diet related. So even when one’s appearance is not as important, as it often is in youth, good health becomes far more important.

I’ve spent the last couple days immersed in studies on sugar damage to the cells, ergo the body; it’s not a pretty picture since they make for premature aging.  I plan to keep these in the front of my thinking as the holiday treats appear at every turn in the next couple weeks.

Yours in good health,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

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