Do you start your day with good intentions--and what seems like firm resolve--only to be derailed by chocolate or bread by midday?
Or maybe, you’re "good" all day, and then in the evening can't seem to shut-off the desire to snack?
Or maybe, you're tired of spending a countless amount of brain space and time figuring out what you will "allow" yourself to eat on any given day, based on a (twisted) calculus of how much you've exercised, what the scale says, what your weight goal is, and where you'll be and who you'll see that day?
And all this is making you feel exhausted, and ineffective in creating a change?
Since you've found your way to this page, I'm guessing that you're sick and tired of getting stuck. Tired of the self-betrayal. Tired of the self-justifying excuses, including "It was worth it," or "It's not that important to me." If the past is any guide, then you sense this pattern could repeat itself indefinitely unless there's an intervention.
If any of that sounds familiar then there’s good news and bad news: The good news is that you recognize it has to stop and so you're in the right place; the bad news is that all of the inner dialog I just described is actually creating your habituated self-sabotage, even self-hatred because you can’t seem to get it right.
I know, in an odd way, the familiarity of your habitual self-talk comforting, but it’s also throwing you under the bus. [Our health goals can be betrayed by our thinking and emotions if we don’t consciously address them. You’ll learn how in the program.]
If you’ve had good intentions before, but haven't been able to stick to them, now there is a path.
What you EAT (physiological) – Breaking the sugar/carb addiction cycle (and filling up on whole foods)
What you THINK (mental/emotional) – Using your thoughts and emotions to attain and maintain an ideal weight.
It's pretty hard to sustain long term change unless you address both of these.
For most of us, there's a gap between what we know we should do and what we actually do. And for many of us, there's also a good deal of confusion about what is healthy, since the recommendations seem to keep changing (vegan or paleo, grains or no grains, fruit juice or no juice, etc.). But you still know you could feel better -- have more energy, lose extra weight, less brain-fog. You just need a real, actionable plan. And, if you had some 1:1 support and accountability, then you really could make healthy changes and stick with it.
You can create a different future.
Once you have the right information, understanding, practices and support, you will be able to make your dream of being in control a reality. I’m not talking about the kind of super-strict type of vigilant control that makes you feel like you always have to be on your guard. I’m talking about the type of control that is born from freedom. It’s the type of freedom that comes when you’re on the “other side” of a sugar/carb addiction.
That’s really it: Once you address your sugar/carb addiction, you can approach the holidays with ease, joy, and freedom. Add onto that some mastery of your thoughts and feelings about food, and therein lies the formula for long-term, sustainable weight loss and emotional freedom from food.
That’s why I created this program, Breaking Free from Sugar. Once I admitted that I had a sugar/carb addiction (I was seriously in denial for years and years), and figured out all the pieces I needed to quit (craving hacks, right mindset, real health info about what sugar does in the body), I knew I wanted to share it with other people. Most people just don’t know how bad sugar is for them.
I was a terrible vegetarian: All I did was take the meat out. A typical day for me throughout my teens and twenties included:
- granola with yogurt for breakfast
- a morning glory muffin for a snack
- a humus sandwich for lunch
- a Snickers bar for an afternoon snack
- pasta for dinner, or rice and beans
- maybe some oatmeal cookies for dessert
Little did I know at the time that I had a wheat sensitivity, which turned out to be the reason why I had stomach pains and bloating for years.
Fast forward 30 years...
I work in the field of Public Health Communications, with a background in media studies and video production. Several years ago I was doing research for a book on how the media and government policies are contributing to the obesity epidemic.
I was deep into making connections between unlimited advertising of sugary cereals to kids and the normalizing of eating sugar...but was still in deep denial of my own sugar addiction.
One day, I'm in the grocery story looking for something to snack on for the drive home. I'm scanning those high-impulse snacks shelves by the check-out, and as I was reaching for a "healthy snack," I heard myself say, "You can have that, you worked out today."
Now, that is something I have said to myself hundreds of times before. But for the first time I actually "heard" it as though it were a voice separate from myself. It stopped me dead in my tracks, and I said (maybe out loud) "Who the heck is that talking?!"
Well, I knew it wasn't "me" talking, since I had my health goals which didn't include snacking on sugary treats.
OMG, That's the sugar talking!
That familiar voice that had been talking to me all these years -- that voice of self-justification that came through as TRUTH -- was finally busted! That moment of epiphany sent me on a deep dive into understanding the ways that we become addicted to sugar and how it acts in the body. And I tried to quit, which was super-hard at first, because I didn't understand all that I do now. It took me 1 1/2- 2 years until I felt like I had a "safe" relationship with sugar, one where it wouldn't send me spiraling down into a dependency again,
I put everything I learned into this program, and it gives you tools so that you can safely manage the three ways we become dependent on sugar:
- Physiologically (3 different ways!)
- Emotionally, and
- Behaviorally (socially)
And, learning to manage my thoughts was a key part of my success.
Once you’re free of a sugar/carb addiction, you have the total freedom to choose what you want to eat – unlike being so compelled to eat the bread as if you had no choice. When you’re on the other side of a sugar/carb addiction, you can look at that fresh basket of bread and butter on the table and be totally disinterested – no willpower required! Really! Even if you’re hungry. Some specific things you can experience include:
You can eat anything you want; it’s what you want to eat that changes
More consistent energy
Better mental focus
Feelings of not being able to master your weight
Not being able to control your impulses
Not being able to control your rationalizations (they will try, but you will out-smart them)
Feelings of the inevitability of your situation
Feelings of futility
Feelings “it doesn’t matter that much” (it actually does)
Once you’re free of the sugar dependency and can master your thinking, a “new YOU” can’t emerge; someone who has the freedom and control to eat what they want when they want. You become an intuitive eater, choosing what actually works for your body. It doesn’t come from following an outside set of rules (if you eat this then you’ll be thin); it is born within you when you experience the freedom and control that comes from mastering your thoughts and your blood sugar. You get to choose and create the healthier version of yourself.
The opposite of a binge isn’t willpower – it’s disinterest.
Now that is powerful.
I didn’t always have a handle on all this! I only figured it out for my own body after years of experimentation and failure, and extensive study of the theory and practice of behavior change.
But in many ways, all that knowledge just made me feel worse – there was an enormous gap between what I know I should do and what I actually did – until I figured out those two keys: quit sugar and right thinking.
And you too can figure it out for your own body too.
In the six-week Breaking Free from Sugar program, you get all the information, strategies, plans and hacks I used to break the chains of a sugar addiction (including teachings about the mental game).
If you are motivated to change, then the Breaking Free from Sugar program gives you what you need to succeed: knowledge, planning, recipes, worksheets, and a discussion forum to answer your questions and provide support.
The online learning materials include:
- Six modules of 58 lessons with handouts, recipes and worksheets. You're going to learn SO MUCH about your body and the health implications of eating this dangerous substance.
- Critical information you need to know about what sugar does in the body, impacting your brain, heart, liver and more.
- Handouts for reflection and planning.
- Staple recipes to build your repertoire.
Here’s more of what you will get, learn and do during the program.
Week #1: In the first week of prep, you'll learn the WHY-WHAT-HOW of going sugar free, and start looking at rewiring your unhealthy pleasures.
Also in prep week you'll learn about where all the hidden sugars are, and how much you've been eating.
Week #2: Start your No-Added-Sugar Challenge, and learn about hacking your cravings, how to make the “Magic Plate” that balances food types to help you feel nourished and satisfied; and, understanding detox.
In week 2 you'll also learn All About Carbs, how they affect you and how much you need.
Week #3: Learn about the sugar industry, and how marketing and government policies have led to this situation where 74% of food in the supermarket has added sugar in it.
Week #4: Learn about underlying conditions that may make it harder to understand the resistance to change.
You'll also learn about strategies for moving forward with a sugar-minimal lifestyle.
Here's what people are saying about the Breaking Free from Sugar program:
"The Breaking Free From Sugar program that Andrea created set me up for success for taking on the challenge of cutting sugar out of my diet. Her informative lessons, backed by thorough research, kept me motivated to see the challenge through to the end. I was also supported by Andrea's multi-pronged approach to setting up support systems, which ensured my success. Lastly, her positive messaging and down-to-earth approach allowed me to get over some early setbacks. I was feeling the differences occurring with my body in a matter of days. After 1 week into the challenge, my energy level leveled out and there was no looking back!" - Jason
"Breaking Free From Sugar has increased my awareness of how much sugar I was actually consuming. Andrea’s approach to this program truly takes in to account and is understanding of the fact that many of us are making major habit and lifestyle changes. Yet her encouragement and supportive educational materials made it easy to want to make a lasting change (rather than just eliminating sugar for one month and then going back to old ways). My new relationship with sugar feels sustainable. My body is thanking me - and Andrea!" - Suzy
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"This was a real wake-up call to the amount of sugar in our food. I did not think of myself as a sugar addict but I was surprised by how much sugar is in the foods I eat that I consider healthy (Go Lean cereal, Chobani fruit yogurt, fruit and nut granola bars). This one month challenge was a great way to make changes I plan on keeping." - Ellen E.
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"The science behind it is really what made me realize this is different. It solves the root of the problem versus a band-aid solution… I started losing 3lbs a month consistently for 6 months with very little effort on my part. I didn't have to count calories. I didn't feel like I was starving or hungry.” - Charlene T.
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“Before discovering the Breaking Free from Sugar course, I experienced cyclical weight loss and gain, year after year, with higher highs and lower lows as I aged despite continuous exercise. It was incredibly frustrating! …Doing this course was fantastic, eye-opening, game changing. I had no idea sugar was hiding in all the foods I was eating. I was a complete sugar addict and didn't realize it…In week 2 I dropped a pound a day. By the end of week 3 my belly and hips were measuring 2" less. The bloating just left my body. Plus, I’m calmer all the time and I have more constant energy.” Tara M.
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"I have had a lot of success with the Breaking Free from Sugar plan. I sleep better, have more energy, and have lost a couple of pounds without feeling deprived." - Ellen S.
I’m afraid to say, the cost of inaction is NOT just a few extra pounds. Even just 10 extra pounds around your belly (known as visceral fat to scientists) is linked to poor health outcomes.
There are some serious health implications:
- Diabetes, with the loss of freedom and being on medication the rest of your life. Or worse, blindness or amputation of a limb.
- Heart disease. Triple bypass anyone? My neighbor just had one after years of proudly saying “I have a wicked sweet tooth.
- Dementia. Now referred to as “Type 3 Diabetes,” and it’s on the rise. The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 47 million and is projected to increase to 75 million by 2030.
So, what do you think it will look like 20 years from now if you keep going the way things are going now?
There’s also the emotional toll and hit on your self-esteem that all this try-and-fail has taken. You’re smart. You “should” be able to figure this out, right? Well, it’s darn hard to do on your own, especially if you’re the only one in your family that’s paying attention to their health in this way. That’s why doing a program -- either by yourself or with others -- will give you all the info, tricks and tools to help you quit sugar.
1. Will I be able to have any treats during the holidays? This is totally up to you, and I'll coach you through the best choice for you. Some people need strict boundaries, otherwise they get on that slippery slope of exceptions...or worse, spiral into cravings again. If you do choose to have treats, I'll teach you a method to have "just enough."
2. Will I be able to have alcohol? If you want, you can – the program includes a clear guide on the very best choices to make.
3. What is Detox? The detoxing process, which can happen any time you stop doing something your body has been used to (hello coffee!), can result in headaches, lethargy, and just feeling lousy for a couple of days. Just drink lots of water, and soon you’ll be on the other side of it. In our programs, we give lots of helpful tips for getting through it. But once your body stops relying on quick carbs for energy, the symptoms subside and you can switch over to being a fat-burner instead of a sugar-burner for energy.
4. Do I have to give up dairy? Not unless you want to. We’re encouraging you to take small steps to improve your health, starting with removing added sugar and simple carbs from your diet.
Now’s the time for you to set a new course for your health journey, one with a vision for success. You got this!
To your health!