Damon Gameau: Breaking Free From Sugar
It's no surprise that many people you know have either dealt with or currently are in the process of breaking free from sugar.
Modern day research papers from top leaders in the wellness movement are now showing the exact science as to why it so incredibly hard to let go of sugar:
We are physiologically wired so that once we come in contact with sugar (which is rare in nature), that we crave it more and more.
With clients, I see a lot of great progress in activity, sleep, and hydration, but this sugar piece this is a subtle foe; when you least expect it, it can slowly creep back into the diet and start wreaking havoc on progress.
Sugar & Childhood
This episode hit me in both the chest and in the stomach.
On today's show, I talk about some things from my childhood that came during the live interview with Damon, and he shares the shocking findings of his 60 day “healthy food challenge” where he developed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and gained an incredible amount of weight.
All from eating 2300 or less calories a day while maintaining healthy exercise levels by eating “heart approved” healthy foods.
Breaking Free From Sugar
If you're on a wellness journey and letting go of old weight, or if you're looking for more energy then this is going to be an absolute knockout for you!
This week on the podcast, Damon Gameau of the documentary, That Sugar Film, shares with us how the food, media, and grocery store industries continue to push us into consuming more and more sugar, how that sugar affects us, and what we can do to fight back and eat healthy.
During the filming of That Sugar Film, Damon visited the United States and purposefully ate foods and drinks that we see as healthy, but actually have tons of hidden sugar. As you will discover, the experiment took a toll on his body, mind, and emotional energy.
There’s nothing wrong with treating ourselves to something delicious once in awhile, but when we have a soda here, a candy bar there, and a strawberry banana smoothie from Jamba Juice on our way home from work, every grain of sugar starts to add up. All these sweet foods and drinks may give us a quick buzz of energy, but left unchecked we can find ourselves in a sugar coma, ready to crash, and emotionally drained.
We all know that too much sugar is “bad for you,” but what do we do when there’s hidden sugar in supposedly healthy foods such as smoothies, yogurts, sports drinks, and juices.
Taking Advantage of Our Biology
The advertising and media industries have a lot of power that manipulates our food and beverage choices. Through television, social media, point-of-sale and other outlets, these advertisements can spread fast and vary greatly, including celebrity endorsements and promoting important charitable causes.
Celebrities such as Beyonce are singing the praises of Pepsi and even sports star LeBron James has promoted McDonald’s and the pizza franchise Blaze. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) sells some of the unhealthiest fast food that can cause so much damage to our bodies, but yet promotes cancer awareness by selling Buckets for the Cure.
These endorsements and promotions send mixed signals to children and adults alike.
Humans tend to crave sugars as a default. Even the mental image of sugary foods release the same endorphins as the feeling of love and happiness. Just simply seeing an image of a chocolate bar, soda, or a juicy burger from McDonald’s with the slogan, “I’m lovin’ it,” can flip the switch in our brain to crave these types of empty calorie products.
Thin On The Outside, Fat On The Inside
There’s a wide misconception that if you’re thin, you’re automatically healthy and if you’re fat, you’re unhealthy.
But the reality is, you can be thin and at a normal weight with a very high metabolic rate and still be eating lots of processed foods with added sugars. This is known in Australia as “TOFI,” or in America as “skinny fat,” where large amounts of fat surrounding your internal organs is present that can’t be seen from the outside.
At some point over the course of many years of drinking sodas and eating foods with high amounts of sugar, a person can face extreme health dangers such as diabetes and heart attacks. During the production ofThat Sugar Film, Damon himself suffered from the beginnings of fatty liver disease within just 3 weeks of his sugar experiment.
Can we turn back the clocks? Not really, but what we can do to improve our health for the future, is to go through the process of eating healthier foods and avoiding sugars. Over time, your body, mind, and energy will improve with natural sugars from fruits and vegetables.
Uncovering The Truth About Sugar
For many years, the sugar and food industries have been hiding information from us by not sharing entire lists or percentages of ingredients on nutrition labels. Without even realizing it, we were probably consuming even more added sugar than we should have each day!
These industries still need to provide more information to the public, but fortunately, organizations like the FDA are working to have the sugar and food industries include more information and larger labels on packaging to help people understand what they’re actually consuming.
This change is so important in order to have the freedom to make nutritious decisions each day.
You can turn your back to the food and sugar industries as well by doing your own research and discovery healthier alternatives. One good tip to keep in mind is to stay within the perimeters of grocery stores and try to eat as many foods without nutrition labels.
Just focus on eating natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, meat, and poultry.
Another resource about the withdrawal process of sugar can be found here as well.
More About Damon Gameau:
Damon Gameau is an Actor, Director, Author, filmmaker and the creator of “That Sugar Film” that will change the way you think about healthy foods.
As the highest grossing documentary of all time in Australia, it stars actors Hugh Jackman and comedian Stephen Fry. With over 300 special-effects scenes, what’s more intense than the ride you'll go on in the movie and in this interview, is the impact of this film on the sugar industry.
Not only is Damon well known forThat Sugar Film, but he also appeared in the Australian seriesLove My Way,the 2002 Australian filmThe Tracker, and in a small role in the US seriesHow I Met Your Mother.
You can read Damon’s latest blog, recipes, and more. He has also written That Sugar Bookwhich is based on the film.
Resources Mentioned In The Show
- That Sugar Film website
- That Sugar Film trailer
- That Sugar Bookby Damon Gameau
- The Sugar Association
- Research Data Alliance RDA website
- New FDA RDA Label For Added Sugars by 2017
- KFC and Susan G. Komen’s Charity Promotion
- Beyonce’s Pepsi commercial
- LeBron James’McDonald’sandBlaze pizza commercials
- Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
Listen To Damon Uncover
- How being “TOFI” or skinny fat by eating sugars can harm our health in the future
- Action steps you can take to beat sugar for good
- How to stop sugar fatigue
- What Damon learned about sugar from nutritionists and scientists
- How sugar affects our minds and bodies
- What to do to eat healthier and avoid foods and drinks with added sugars
- What you should know about the sugar and food industry
- How the media and celebrity endorsements work to get us to consume excess sugar
- Different sugars: fructose, glucose, lactose, and sucrose
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About The Author, Lauren Bryant, Podcast Production
Lauren Bryant is the Podcasting Assistant and Show Notes Writer for Wellness + Wisdom. She has a BBA in both Marketing and Spanish for Business as well as certificates in Advanced Business Communications and International Business from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.
Lauren’s wellness journey began at a young age when she joined her local YMCA swim team, The Wave, of La Crosse, WI. One of the most profound views on wellness that anyone has said to her was when she was an assistant swim coach for that same YMCA swim team.
One day during a practice, former head swim coach, Jon Brenner, shared with her that the most important thing about coaching the swimmers was that “It doesn’t matter if they become the best athletes in the world. What’s important is that we give them the tools and guidance they need to live a healthy, active lifestyle for the rest of their lives.”
Since hearing those words, she has taken it to heart to not only focus on continuously living her own healthy lifestyle, but to help others pursue their wellness goals as well.
Lauren is not only an avid swimmer, but a fan of running, yoga, cooking, and doing any activity outside that involves being surrounded by nature. In the Fall of 2014, she completed a long-awaited goal of walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
According to Lauren, wellness is about finding gratitude and joy in doing any type of physical or self-care activity that we love. Wellness means providing ourselves with self-love, good nutrition, and the inner peace that our individual minds and bodies need.