Train Smarter, Not Harder

Guest blog post by: Jon De La Torre, B.S. Kinesiology, ACSM CPT, CrossFit LF-1

“The faster you run, the faster you’re done.” Such a simple statement, but yet such a complex theme. How are you supposed to get faster, if you can barely run in the first place? What do the terms, Aerobic Base (AB), Anaerobic Threshold (AT), Maximal Volume of Oxygen (MAX VO2) and Lactic Acid (LA), mean and how do they affect my training performance? This article strives to help athletes understand the basic fundamentals of speed and interval training, as well as covers the three different intensities of running and their specificity.

First things first, your body utilizes two forms of energy, fats and carbohydrates. Depending on how intense you’re working determines how much of each fuel is utilized. Aerobic Base, or roughly 50-55% of your overall max effort, is the exact intensity where your body is utilizing the highest amount of fat per each calorie burned. Anaerobic Threshold, or roughly 75-80% of your overall max effort, is the exact intensity at which your body switches from using fat to carbohydrates as its primary fuel source. Finally, your MAX VO2, is the highest amount of oxygen that your body can absorb and utilize at one time and is also the exact point at which your body is primarily burning carbohydrates, and no longer fats as its fuel source. Regardless of overall body weight or composition, everybody has an unlimited supply of fat sources and a very limited supply of carbohydrates. Physiologically speaking, this is why you can exercise “forever” at your aerobic base intensity, aka tons of fat fuel sources, and also why you must stop so quickly when you’re at your anaerobic threshold intensity, due to carbs not being readily available or accessible.

In addition to which fuel is being utilized, it is important to also understand the production of lactic acid and its effect on overall performance. Lactic Acid is a byproduct of glucose breakdown and oxidation and is always occurring within the body. However under more intense conditions, such as cardio or strength training, the body begins producing more lactic acid then it can process, which can lead to slower muscle contraction, aka less production and eventually being forced to stop movement completely. Lactic Threshold and Anaerobic Threshold, though not exact, are normally interchangeable within 5-10 bpm, and either can be used to accurately estimate the other.

Now, for the good stuff. How do I use this information to benefit my training and overall performance? Train Smarter, Not Harder.

 IF your goal is to lose weight and/or increase your overall endurance, or ability to exercise at a consistent pace/intensity for a period of time than AB is your zone!

The main goal here is to train your body to become more efficient at utilizing fats, the more fat burned, the more weight loss. From an endurance standpoint, the more fat utilization at a higher intensity, means you can maintain that intensity or pace for a longer period of time. The more time spent within your Aerobic Base, the higher intensity threshold that can be reached and maintained. For weight loss and/or endurance, AB is the most bang for your buck!

 IF your goal is to increase speed or power, to get faster or improve on mile/pace time, and/or recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers than AT/MAX VO2 is your jam!

The main goal here is increase your body’s ability to breakdown and utilize carbohydrates for fuel. This type of training promotes speed and power, as well as the recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers, which allow for faster contractions, aka overall ability to produce faster movement! The more training within your Anaerobic Threshold, the more power produced and the faster pace achieved! To drop your overall mile time and/or improve overall peak performance, AT/MAX VO2 training is where its at!

For more info on training intensity/fuel utilization or to get a custom designed training program, please contact us at JON@JDLT.ME or (805)300-3276. Coach Jon is also available for online coaching services, as well as in person personal training and run coaching around the San Francisco/Bay Area. Check us out at to learn more!

Proven Ways To Get Rid Of Muscle Knots

San Fransisco, CA.

Let’s admit; we all are guilty of sitting in front of our computer in the same position for hours, chronically dehydrated and stiff. And that’s when we start feeling tension in our shoulder and neck muscles. Ever wondered why?

Well, this is because of the fact that our muscles get overworked, tangled and are unable to relax. As a result, the muscle fibers become lumpy, have lack of oxygen and nutrition and form a muscle knot. Needless to say, if you have ever formed muscle knots, they are extremely painful. Occasionally, muscle knots go away on their own, but in most cases, proper steps should be adopted in order to loosen the tense muscles and relieve the pain. Let’s have a quick insight on how to prevent muscle knots from developing in the first place. As they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound in cure.

How To Prevent Muscle Knots From Developing?

1. Eating right

Being dehydrated might be a major cause behind the muscle knots. You should be drinking7-9 glasses of water, but if you are experiencing frequent muscle knots, it could mean that your body is not getting enough water. Achieve your body’s water requirements by carrying a water bottle with you, or by setting a reminder on your phone that will notify you to gulp a glass of water every hour.

Furthermore, maintain a safe distance with coffee and alcohol as they tend to dehydrate you, so it is important to include an additional glass of water every time you consume any of them. Further, it is highly recommended to include calcium, magnesium, and potassium in your diet. These minerals are essential for muscle health and relaxation.  Deficiency of any of these can cause painful muscle cramps, knots, and stiffness. Intake of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables is always recommended.

2. Keep moving

Avoid sitting in the same position for too long whether it is while you are reading, playing games on your phone and so on. It is important to get up and walk around every hour at work. Even while seated at your desk, make small movements like turning your neck from side to side, straightening out your back, uncrossing the legs and the likes. This can go a long way in preventing muscle knots.

3. Exercise regularly

Our bodies are built to perform. Various day to day movements like moving, lifting and stretching keep our muscles healthy and flexible. Exercising regularly works by releasing tension from the muscles if any. It is highly suggested to keep at least 30 minutes for light exercises and stretching every day.

4. Improve your posture

Just like sitting in one position for too long is not good, slouching at a desk or in front of the television is bad for your muscles too. Keep your posture right, sit in a way that the muscles are not strained and blood flow is not blocked. Keep your head upright and your back straight. Slouching or hunching your back can cause stress to the muscles of the back and lead to pain. Keeping a good neutral posture will help in preventing muscle knots and cramps.

However, if the other preventive measures have not worked for you please call your local chiropractor, or massage therapist.  For more information, please call at 415-788-8700 or book an appointment here.

Treating Muscle Knots: Advice from San Francisco’s Leading Chiropractors

San Francisco, CA

In this day in age of over work, over stressed, poor posture humans it is an anomaly to find someone that doesn’t have muscle knots rather than finding someone that does. Luckily there are effective ways to treating them and most of these tried and true ways can be achieved at a SF Custom Chiropractic location.  

If you do have a painful muscle knot or any kind of stiffness, here are a few ways in which it can be treated.

1. Massage

Massage is not only an occasional luxury that you need to save for your vacations or spa but is also a therapy in itself. Massage therapy can help a lot in treating muscle knots. A good masseuse will know how to deal with areas of tension and muscle knots by applying the right amount of direct pressure on the grain of the muscle till the knot is located. Once the muscle is isolated, it is massaged outwards from the knot till it is broken down.

2. Active release technique

Treating muscle knots using the gold standard active release technique is another reliable way that chiropractors around the world help patients feel better. ART treatment is like a deep tissue massage with motion which works by breaking up adhesions in the soft tissues of the affected area. This technique is very popular amongst athletes for performance and sports injuries. Each ART session is specially customized depending on the severity and location of the muscle knot.

3. Heat

Heat increases the flow of blood in the affected area. It may also reduce the pain and muscle tension by helping you relax. Taking a hot shower for a few minutes, or using a hot pack to treat the muscle knot can help you in fetching quick relief. Place a towel between your skin and the hot pack in order to prevent your skin from burning. Heat therapy can be used three to five times a day till the knot disappears. It can definitely give you temporary relief in acute cases.

4. Stretching

Gentle stretches can help in reducing muscle tension and pain from pulled muscles or knots. Stretching keeps the muscles pliable. Including stretching in your daily routine can prevent muscle knots. Yoga or tai chi combines exercise with stretching. To treat muscle knots, one could practice this for an hour every day.

5. Heat and ice

Contrast therapy can also help you in fetching relief from muscle knots. A heating pad or cold compress can ease some of the pain that comes with muscle knots. It is important to use a cooling spray in coordination with stretching. Start with cold for 10 minutes then use heat for 10 minutes and finish with cold for 10 minutes. Never put ice or hot packs directly on the skin.

If you you like to try any of these treatments for your muscle knots, feel free to give us a call at 415-788-8700 or book an appointment here.


FAQ #1: why does it sound like something is popping?


Chiropractic is new and unfamiliar to many, leaving them worried about what actually takes place during a chiropractic adjustment. One of the biggest fears is experiencing the well known popping noise that accompanies getting adjusted. Some patients continue to be scared about the noise’s implications, but this is because there is no understanding of its cause.

Chiropractic doctors adjust subluxations, which, in the simplest terms, are stuck joints – parts of our body that have lost a full range of motion over time. People experiencing misalignment also face pain, inflammation, and complete loss of function of any of these areas of the body. These joints may and, often, irritate nerve tissue, which explains many of the neurological symptoms that patients complain about.

Although there are multiple ways to treat subluxations, the most common and traditional way involves a chiropractor finding the spine and administering a painless thrust, which corrects the subluxated joint.

The pop that patients hear is called a cavitation. In the production of synovial fluid, yielded by synovial joints (joints of the spine), oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide are byproducts. When a joint is opened up from a chiropractor, for example, applying a quick thrust to the spine, the gas is released, and you can hear the popping sound. Once this happens, this synovial fluid lubricates the joints once again, and patients can experience a more normal range of motion. How quick and how complete the relief is that follows depends on each unique person and the circumstances that led up to the experience.


Why Filtered Water?


Time to consider getting that water filter or, better yet, filtered water bottle that you’ve been eyeing! Here’s why.

(One of the biggest questions many people have is getting filtered water on the go. In the house, you have so much control. You can choose a specific type of jug to add to your fridge, and some even come built into appliances now. But what about when you go out?

While you can fill up a water bottle from your filtering jug at home, you don’t have much control once you’re out of the house. You fill the water up from the nearest fountain and expect a cold, fresh mouthful of water. Instead, you can taste chemicals and dirt. That’s enough to put you off drinking water again!

Click on the link at the bottom of the blog for suggestions for a specific filtered water bottle.)

Why Filtered Water?

water filtration system in laboratory

Let’s start with a look at thefiltered water. What is the big deal about it?

There are debates over filtered water and whether it is better for you than tap water. Experts are on both sides. Tap water is full of minerals, which can be good for you. Fluoride is just one of those minerals, and water will also include some iron, copper, and calcium. But while in small amounts the minerals can be good for you, they can also be bad for you.

The minerals also make water taste different. Along with that, you get some trace amounts of chemicals and poison! Yes, tap water can have the likes of arsenic or mercury in it. You end up drinking it yourself and giving it to your children. And then you must deal with sulphur and other chemicals that leave eggy smells and tastes behind.

Tap water goes through some filtering, but it picks up things along the way. And you really have no idea of all and the quantity of chemicals in the water daily. So, you need to look at filtered systems.

Did you know that there are toxins and chemicals in water that can lead to stomach diseases and ailments? Those discomforts that you feel and the reasons for your food intolerances could be linked to some of the bacteria and toxins in your drinking water! These are factors that we don’t tend to consider. After all, why would water companies not get rid of harmful elements? Why wouldn’t our governments protect us from the potentially dangerous chemicals in drinking water? However, gastrointestinal problems increase by 33% because of the unfiltered tap water that we tend to drink daily.

And this is something that is supposed to make us healthier!

Filtering will help to collect all the bad, so you end up with only the water passing through into the glass. You’ll need to wash out the filter on a regular basis, but you’ll get to see just what is being picked up in your water stream: the stuff you’re drinking when you don’t have a filter in the way.

Filtering only used to be available in larger jugs. Now you can get them for your water bottle system. Take your filtered water on the go and fill up anywhere without having to worry. You won’t regret it!

Anyone will benefit from getting a filtered water bottle. This is something that is suitable for all ages and even for smaller children. It’s certainly suitable for those who like to hike or do a lot of walking or exercise. Those who just want to increase their water intake will also benefit.

But you need to find the right type of water bottle for your needs. There are just so many filtered water bottles out there, how do you know which is the best? Here’s a look at the top options and where they support and fail your drinking needs.

Wait, Why Not Just Get Bottled Water?

water production line

Should we really bother with filtered water bottles when there is distilled or bottled water available to buy? Just what’s the point in spending money on a filtered system instead?

Well, distilled and filter water are not the same thing. Filtered water does allow some of the minerals to get through. You’ll only get the good ones that will protect your body, rather than the poisons and chemicals. You get fresh water without going through too many processes.

Distilled water will have a flat taste to it, due to the processes it goes through. It doesn’t tastefresh, and you can still have some of the chemicals like chlorine in the water. They tend to have a different boiling point to water, so burn off sooner and through the system. You also get rid of every mineral that is good for the body from the water.

Well, what about filtered tap water that is pre-bottled for you? Why not get that instead of putting it through your own system?

The bottled water is in a plastic bottle. That means you’re dealing with the chemicals in the plastic getting into your water. You’re also contributing to the problem of landfill. The plastic doesn’t breakdown that quickly. In fact, there are still bottles from decades ago trying to break down. Experts don’t know how long it takes to break plastic down and suggests it could take a lifetime. Do you really want to contribute to the growing concern of the landfills?

Bottles also have chemicals in them. While BPA is the most concerning and one that manufacturers are staying away from, there are plenty of others that you will need to be concerned about.

What about glass instead? Well, these aren’t the safest for carrying around in your bag. While there is a bit of a fresher taste than plastic, you must deal with the weight off the glass in your bag.

A filtered water bottle is made of safe and durable material. Sure, it won’t break down, but you’re not buying multiple bottles daily. You get one bottle to last you a lifetime, so you’re not contributing to the waste daily. You also get the best of filtered water, instead of wondering what type of processes the manufacturer has put their bottled water through.

Let’s also remember that it uses up fossil fuels to make the plastic bottles—and to go through the distilling process. You’re burning through the Earth’s non-renewable energy sources, and we’re already running through them at an alarming rate. We need to manage that better, and we can do our part by using reusable water bottles.

Oh, and we need to remember that the bottled water doesn’t always come from where it says it will! A lot of it is tap water! So, you’re not actually cutting out the bad elements that you thought you were.

We also can’t ignore some of the extra chemicals that the manufacturing companies can put into the water. Do you really know what you’re drinking? Has it been bottled at source and had all the chemicals and bacteria removed? Is the water really going to help support our health? Will our bodies be able to cope with potential chemicals and toxins added to them?

And we need to think about the way that manufacturers make the water taste fresh and clean. Does the water go through a filtering system or are we putting other chemicals in our bodies? Some companies will go through a distilling process instead, which means some of the chemicals will still be in the water.

While filtered water, bottles don’t completely remove the need to create products—we still must get filters—they will help to minimise the amount of pressure we put on our environment. We also minimise the amount of money we spend while protecting our health.

View this blog on its original website here. It, also, offers suggestions for a practical and efficient brand of filtered water bottles.

Welcome Dr. Erik Steine!

erikDr. Steine was born and raised in the heart of Packers Country — Black River Falls, WI. Erik left the nest when he entered enemy territory to complete his undergraduate education at Winona State University in Minnesota. There, he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in K-12 Physical Education with a minor in Coaching. Following his time in Minnesota, Dr. Steine moved across the country to complete his chiropractic coursework at Palmer College of Chiropractic at its campus in Port Orange, FL. Almost ready to graduate, he sought out a promising place to establish his chiropractic career. It was only in July that he packed up his bags for the Bay Area. Dr. Steine completed his three-month preceptorship at SF Custom Chiropractic before recently acquiring a position as an associate chiropractor. As a former collegiate athlete, Dr. Steine has always had an interest in functional movements and injury prevention, particularly after sustaining a number of injuries during his playing time. Dr. Steine says that the most important element to staying active but pain-free is remaining well-rested — with a good night’s sleep of seven or eight hours. Dr. Steine will be starting Tuesday and Thursday from 7am until 10am.

Ways You Didn’t Think of to Add Veggies into Your Meals

It can be a challenge to meet the recommended servings of vegetables each day – especially when you’re planning on one thing that specifically doesn’t include veggies in its recipe.

Try these ideas:

  • Add greens to a breakfast smoothie. (Spinach and kale taste great in a fruit smoothie.)
  • Use a spiralizer or julienne tool to experiment with veggie noodles.
  • Substitute avocado-based pudding for your chocolate pudding.
  • Add minced broccoli and/or cauliflower into your scrambled eggs dish!
  • Puréed carrots or peppers and onions can make basic tomato sauce have more than one vegetable.
  • Instead of munching on potato chips, make your own kale chips and lightly coat them in oil and sprinkle them with salt for additional flavor.
  • Zucchini bread is a go-to for many for a reason – it helps your sweet tooth while fulfilling a daily veggie requirement.
  • Veggie fries work! Slice zucchini, carrot, green beans, or avocado, and bake them until crispy.
  • Grab some celery sticks, and treat yourself with almond butter and sweetener.
  • Blend water, celery, and bananas for a post-workout drink (or raw Gatorade).
  • Marinate vegetables with your favorite ingredients – olive oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, or all of the above!

Lastly, here’s one recipe that you’ll only be upset that you didn’t try sooner!

Sweet potato brownies use a puréed vegetable for the base, but you would never question their taste.



4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder (I use aluminum-free)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup organic cane sugar

2/3 cup sweet-potato puree (or one skinned, boiled sweet potato, pureed)

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square pan; set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Remove pan from heat, and stir in cocoa. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in sugar and sweet-potato puree, then egg.

Add vanilla to cocoa mixture. Then add flour mixture to cocoa mixture and stir until no traces of flour remain. Spoon into prepared pan; smooth the top. Bake until surface of brownies looks barely dry and an inserted knife comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.

You can find this recipe on its original blog “Food Loves Writing.”

Stay Motivated to Keep a Health Diet


Many benefits of having a healthy diet go unrecognized. Generally, a good diet helps with the following:

  • Preventing diseases and infections
  • Promoting body growth and health
  • Enhancing mental health
  • Maintaining weight (reducing risk of undernutrition or obesity)
  • Contributing to aesthetically pleasing qualities (for example, a glow noticed in hair and skin)

Most recent estimates claim that 36 percent of Americans are obese, according to an article by National Public Radio. However, 75 percent of survey participants said that their diet was excellent. So, where does the discrepancy exist?

Nutritions scholar Marion Nestle at New York University says that Americans just eat too much. Rather than focusing on portion size, people generally pay attention to what they should eat.

What are some realistic ways to maintain a health diet? Positive Health Wellness has supplied its readers with an informative graphic to highlight some ideas that anyone can start as soon as possible.


Find the original site with the graphic here.


National Chiropractic Health Month



The American Chiropractic Association, or the ACA, had been preparing for National Chiropractic Health Month 2016 for months. Each October, the ACA brings attention to an important and recurring theme in chiropractic or, more generally, alternative forms of medicine. This month, the goal is to raise awareness about the U.S. epidemic of opioid overuse and abuse and to encourage people to use more conservative forms of pain management.

So, How Bad is the Problem?

Thousands of Americans relying on opioids have caused their dependency to become an epidemic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one in four patients who have been prescribed opioids for non-cancer pain deals with addiction. Consider this against the fact that more than 1,000 people are treated in the ER for misusing these prescriptions.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoes in 2014. Opioid addiction drives the issue – with 18,893 of those overdoses related to prescription pain relievers.

In the same year, another 2 million people abused or were addicted to opioids.

Your Part

The ACA has chosen this theme in hopes that readers, like you, will spread the word. Those raising awareness are doing so through social media and in their communities. On ACA’s website, you can find a toolkit with effective suggestions for getting involved and showing your passion for the cause. Their suggestions are as follows:


For the rest of this month, SFCC will be using the hashtag #chiropractic1st to demonstrate our participation and hope for the cause. Be sure to do the same!

How To Combat The Symptoms Of Sugar Withdrawal

You’ve decided to change your diet. Part of that involves cutting out all the refined sugar you’ve been eating. In some cases, it involves cutting out all the natural sugar. Now you’re dealing with the pesky withdrawal symptoms.

Did you know that sugar is like a drug? It’s addictive. The more we eat, the more we want. And when we don’t fuel our bodies with it, it goes crazy with symptoms that encourage us to give up the plan of healthy eating and stick to our hold habits.

Instead of giving into the symptoms, it’s time to combat them. Here’s all about sugar withdrawal, the symptoms, and the ways to combat those symptoms.

Sugar’s Not Really That Dangerous Is It?

Surely your body can deal with sugar, can’t it? After all, it has already handled the sugar you’ve fed it, and cavemen ate fruit without an issue, and that’s full of natural sugars!

Well, there’s different between the cavemen’s natural sugar foods and our refined sugar foods. Cavemen had fruit as a small part of the diet. They focused on meats, berries, nuts, seeds, and eggs. They ate the stuff that they could get while hunting and gathering. There was no added sugar. In fact, it wasn’t really until the 15th century that we started to eat more refined sugar in our diets!

The body has had to adapt quickly. Whenever we eat sugar, it needs to release insulin to combat the increase in our blood sugar levels—the blood sugar levels are the reasons we get that instant high after eating refined sugars.

By constantly forcing our bodies to release the insulin, we’re doing damage to it. It may taste great, and you may want to stick to a diet where you can enjoy your treats, but you’re not doing your body and health any good. Here’s just a look at some of the biggest dangers of eating more sugar.

It’s taxing to the pancreas

The pancreas needs to release more insulin into the body. Just think of the damage you’re doing to it by doing that! Just think of the damage you’re doing to your body overall!

If your pancreas has to work harder, it isn’t going to work as long. Just think about how we use up our energy throughout the day. If we do a lot of hard work in a short space of time, we need longer to recover. The problem is your pancreas isn’t going to get that break that it needs. You’re forcing it to work, and work, and work!

Now think back to yourself and if you kept pushing yourself when you need a break. You’re eventually going to run out of energy, and your body will pack in. People collapse from exhaustion and end up making themselves ill. You’re going to force your pancreas to stop working effectively or even at all.

And it’s not just your pancreas that is affected when you do this. Your other organs, especially your live, are forced to work harder. They’ll find it difficult to keep up with the stress you’re putting them under, so will end up damaged sooner.

Your body gets used to the insulin

So, the body has to release insulin on a regular basis because of the sugar you eat. After a while, it gets used to those levels of insulin and isn’t affected by them. The body has to release more to handle the sugar you used to eat, and the body will get used to those levels. This goes into a vicious cycle, and eventually you develop Type 2 diabetes.

Think about how our bodies have become resistant to some medications, especially antibiotics. Bacteria can be multiple despite taking the pills that were supposed to kill them. We don’t get better, and instead, we have to take other types of medication, face surgery or hope our immune systems kick in instead.

Well, this happens with the insulin. The blood sugars don’t reduce with the old amounts of insulin, despite them once being enough. The pancreas is put under pressure to release more insulin. The body then becomes resistant to that.

Eventually, the body can’t get rid of the blood sugar levels that it once could. We cause the health problem known as Type 2 diabetes, which is a rising concern for health professionals.

It can lead to the need to take medication just to get rid of it. Some people have to avoid sugary treats completely because of the damage they’ve done!

Do you want to get to the point where you can’t enjoy sugary treats at all?

You ruin your weight loss efforts

More sugar = a larger weight gain.

This happens for a few reasons. First of all, the treats that are higher in sugar are usually higher in calories. This is especially the case for treats that are full of refined sugar, rather than natural options!

You’re also more likely to eat more treats. They don’t fill you up as well because they lack the important food groups of protein and fibre. Both of these food groups will help to regulate your hunger. They break down slowly in the body, so your stomach doesn’t keep relaying a message to your brain that you need more sustenance.

Second, of all, the insulin increases and your hunger hormone doesn’t work properly. Even if you are full, your body gets the message that you need to eat more. You eat far too many calories than you need to, so your body can’t get rid of them all. Instead, your body stores the calories, and you end up gaining weight.

Finally, your metabolism doesn’t work properly. Even if you didn’t eat too many calories, your metabolism starts to slow down and struggles to burn the energy you’re feeding it. You end up with eating more calories than you need to, in the end, making it harder to create a calorie deficit to help you lose weight!

You may feel like you have more energy, but will you honestly exercise more? There are high chances that you won’t. In fact, you’ll have a sugar crash before you even have a chance to do more exercise.

You’re opening yourself up to more disease

A healthy diet is the best thing for a healthy immune system. Eating too much struggle is affecting its ability to work, and also affects your organs negatively. You’re opening yourself up to far more disease.

Let’s just look at the type of foods you’re eating. That refined sugar is the main ingredient in foods that don’t have many proteins and fibres. They also don’t have many nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Your body isn’t getting the antioxidants it needs to boost the immune system and fight off infection.

We’ve then also got the problem that your organs are working overtime. How do you expect them to get the toxins out of the body when you’re forcing them to do so much other stuff?

They simply can’t, so the toxins stay in your body. You end up at a higher risk of kidney and heart disease, as well as problems linked to obesity. Joints are put under more pressure, and you’ll find that the brain isn’t able to function properly.

In fact, your cells are also more susceptible to abnormalities. This means you’re opening your body up to the risks of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases. We’ve already touched on diabetes, too! Do you want to put your body under all this pressure?

More sugar = more cavities

That’s all about your organs, but what about your teeth? You know your dentist would tell you off for eating so much sugar.

Your teeth are more at risk of cavities, gum disease, and so many other problems. You see, your saliva can’t work to get rid of the sugar on a daily basis. Brushing and flossing aren’t going to be enough, and bacteria can grow in the mouth. There’s also more acid in the mouth.

What do these all do? They wear away the enamel on your teeth and affect the pulp in your teeth. Cavities form, and you need more fillings. You can also end up with the nerves being damaged, meaning you need root canals or tooth extractions—and they’re not pretty!

You become highly addicted to it

Sugar is addictive. We’ve mentioned it but not gone into why.

The more you eat sugar, the more you’ll want it. You’re feeding that addiction.

You see, sugar releases dopamine in the brain. This is the hormone that tells you that you both want and need more of something. It’s the hormone released when you take drugs, drink alcohol, and eat fatty foods.

This will affect those who are susceptible to addiction more than others, but everyone will have an element of it. If you keep feeding it, it will just get worse. You’re willingly causing all the health problems we’ve mentioned above.

It’s the dopamine that causes the withdrawal symptoms we experience when it comes to cutting down on sugar. These symptoms are ones that we need to ignore completely.

You get a high and crash cycle

When you eat a lot of sugar, you’ll experience what is known as a sugar high. You’ve heard all about it. Children get it all the time, and it’s a running joke of grandparents sending their grandkids home to the parents after eating lots of cookies and chocolate. The parents are the ones who deal with the hyperactivity and the crash that comes with it.

This is what you’ll experience, and it’s all linked to the dopamine and insulin levels that your body has to deal with.

When you eat more sugar, you’ll get a sudden rush as the sugar is absorbed by your body extremely quickly. Dopamine levels suddenly increase because your body likes what the sugar did to the energy levels. The insulin is quickly released to handle all the blood sugar, and you suddenly feel a crash. You’ll be tired, fed up, and crave more sugar to deal with the crash.

If you’ve eaten the sugar to give you a quick boost, you’ll find that the crash just makes you even more tired than you originally were.

Just What Are the Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms?

Many of the symptoms are the same we experience when we stop drinking as much caffeine or when we cut out alcohol and drugs from our lives. They include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Bloating/gassiness
  • Insomnia
  • Boredom
  • The sweats/chills

The amount and severity of these symptoms will depend on the severity of your addiction. Those who have eating high levels of sugar for decades will find that the symptoms are worse, the last longer, and harder to get over.

Giving sugar up doesn’t mean giving all sugar up. Great, right? For a healthier diet, you’re aiming to give up refined sugar—or at least heavily cut back on it. Everything in moderation. That means natural sweetness is still up for grabs.

However, you need to combat the symptoms when you cut out the refined sugars. You need to find ways to fight against them, so you feel great about and keep working on only having natural sugar in your life.

I Can Deal With the Sugar Withdrawals?

Here’s all you need to know about combating the withdrawal symptoms so you can give up sugar. It’s time to help yourself focus on a healthier lifestyle.

Goal setting is your friend

You may have heard about goal setting for your life and your weight loss efforts, but what about when it comes to giving up sugar?

It can be one of the most effective methods of getting you through withdrawals. There are going to be cravings now and then. When you decide to give up certain foods, your brain starts to tell you that you want more of it.

Think of it in a toddler’s point of view. When a toddler is told no, that’s all they want to do/eat. They will do anything they can to defy you. Our brains just don’t like the word no.

So to get around this, you need to give yourself a reason to ignore your brain. Setting a goal or two will help with that. You have something to work towards. When you give in, you know you’re taking yourself away from successfully reaching that goal.

Every time you struggle with a craving, it’s time to revisit your goals. What’s so important about them and why do you want to reach them? This is why having specific and realistic goals are important.

You may have heard that you’re on the verge of diabetes and want to reduce the risk of developing it. Your doctor may have told you that the sugar intake has caused your weight to rise, or you may just want to stop putting your organs under so much pressure. Some people are just fed up of the sugar high/crash cycle that comes from eating far too much sugar.

Think of goals and reasons that work for you. There’s no point asking your friends what your goals should be. Sure, get their opinion on the subject if you trust their judgment, but make the goals and reasons your own.

Keep your hunger under control

One of the best ways to fight against the sugar cravings and withdrawal symptoms is not to give your body a reason to need sugar. You can do that by controlling your hunger cravings.

Remember one of the symptoms is the feeling that you’re hungry. You will usually crave the bad stuff: it’s easy, and that’s what will give you a quick boost, right? Well, it’s not going to give you enough energy throughout the day.

You can avoid the hunger cravings by focusing on a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure you get your three large meals or six small meals—whichever way you prefer to eat—throughout the day. Don’t forget snacks if you opt for large meals during the day.

When your hunger is at bay, you won’t feel as lethargic. There’s no need for your brain to start telling you to eat, and make you crave all the sweet, sugary goodness that’s really bad for you.

But what about those snacks? You need to eat something, right? Well, that brings us to the next way to deal with your sugar cravings.

Opt for the natural sweet foods

Switch your chocolate bars for fruit and yoghurt. Sure they won’t taste as great at first, but you will get the natural sugar from them. Your brain takes in that you’ve had something sugary.

The benefit of the natural sugar from fruits is that they are released over time. Your body doesn’t get an instant high, and you don’t have the sudden release of insulin. There’s no need for your body to get used to levels of insulin and you don’t feel a sudden crash afterwards.

Fruits are also full of fibre and vitamins. They keep your body healthy, and you will feel fuller for longer. That one snack will last you until your next meal, rather than you feeling like you need something else to eat during the day.

And this trick doesn’t just have to work for your snacks. You can incorporate naturally sweet foods into your diet on a daily basis.

Start adding more ginger or lemon juice into your meals. Look at some nutmeg, cinnamon and even coriander to your meals. They are all naturally sweet, so you feel like you’ve had the sugar that your body is craving.

When it comes to dessert, enjoy a fruit salad with pineapples, melons, and even mangos. They tend to be the sweeter options available, and you’ll feel like you’ve had a treat. Enjoy every piece, and try with some natural yoghurt flavoured with some lemon juice, ginger or even nutmeg. These additions just trick your brain, so you fuel the craving on a daily basis.

Balance the blood sugar with your diet

Naturally sweet foods will still lead to some blood sugar. There are also carbs that you’ll need to consider that tend to break down quickly and sugar in the blood.

Balancing out the bad with the good is a sure-fire way to balance out your blood sugar levels. You can do this so easily too: just add more protein, fibre, and fat.

Remember that the protein and the fibre will break down in the body slowly. You don’t get the same response to your blood sugar, and you won’t end up eating far too many calories. But how does the fat help?

To start with, the body needs fat for a healthy brain, especially omega 3 fatty acids and other unsaturated options. Fats will also help with the absorption of some vitamins. You’ll have a healthier body overall, and your organs are supported throughout all their processes.

You’ll also feel fuller. You get rid of some of the cravings, especially as you feel you’ve been naughty anyway. Try to eat more cheese or dairy products to give your body the nutrients that it needs and trick your brain into eating something to combat the cravings.

It’s time to rehydrate

Dehydration is a major problem for the body. Not only does it mean your organs won’t work as well, but you’ll also affect your brain and cravings. You’ll suffer more headaches, making those withdrawal symptoms worse. You can also end up feeling much hungrier than you are.

You see, your brain can’t distinguish between hunger and thirst. When you’re dehydrated, your stomach will send the message that you’re hungry. It will tell you that you need to consume far more calories than your metabolism needs for the day.

The next time you feel hungry and get a craving for something sweet, enjoy a glass of water. You can even add some slices of lemon or chopped up strawberries to give your water a little naturally sweet taste. There’s no need to add artificial sweeteners or fruit juices to get rid of the bland taste.

As you drink, you’ll feel fuller and get rid of the hunger pangs. If you find within a few moments that the pangs come back, then you were hungry for a meal! Reach for a substantial meal and not something sweet to tide you over.

Before you eat any meal, have a glass of water. Not only will this help you increase your intake of water, but you’ll take up room in your stomach. You’ll feel fuller quicker, so you won’t get that need to eat more sugar.

Do watch out for drinking too much water, and don’t replace all your meals with it. Check the time. If it is an hour that you would usually eat a meal, don’t replace it with only water. Enjoy a glass and then have something substantial to eat. If you replace all your meals with water, you run the risk of many other health problems.

Try to take your mind off it

The cravings will often come when you aren’t doing anything. Boredom eating is a major problem for people trying to lose weight and cut down on refined sugar.

You’ll also find your other sugar withdrawal symptoms are worse. Your mind is constantly on them, so you end up reaching for the treats.

It’s time to find a way to take your mind off your sugar cravings and the withdrawal symptoms. The more you ignore them, the less they’ll affect you. Start by doing a hobby that you enjoy or finding a new hobby that you have always wanted to do. As you find enjoyment in something else, your happy hormones will rise, and you won’t feel as anxious or depressed over the lack of sugar.

When you’re watching TV or doing something else that can lead to snacking, keep your hands busy. Some women have found that knitting or croqueting help. They can keep their eyes on the screen and enjoy their favourite shows, while their hands are doing something. Their minds are taken off the regular calls for sugary treats.

Find an activity that you love to do

Getting more exercise is an excellent way to combat the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The trick is to take up an exercise that you enjoy. If you do one just for the sake of it, you’re not going to get all the benefits.

Exercise raises the endorphins and serotonin. It’s a great way to fight against depression and anxiety, and will also help to get rid of muscular aches and pains and headaches.

By finding an exercise that you also really love doing, you’ll find your brain benefits in more ways. You’re not forcing yourself to do something. More good hormones will be released, and you’re more likely to keep it up. When you don’t feel like doing something, it’ll be easier to force yourself, so you do reap all the benefits.

When you exercise, you’re also taking your mind off everything else. You find the withdrawal symptoms easier to handle because you forget they exist!

Fuel your brain with sleep

You’ve fuelled your body with the right fuel, and you’re protecting both brain and body with exercise, now it’s time to find other ways to fuel your brain. You see, protecting your brain will mean that it works in your favour much more.

A well-fuelled brain will fight against cravings, depression, and all those other annoying withdrawal symptoms you’re experiencing.

So, how can you do that? It’s time to sleep more.

This is much easier said than done for many. You’ll remember that insomnia is one of the symptoms of sugar withdrawal. When you do sleep, you may have some crazy dreams that leave you not really wanting to sleep. Just how can you overcome all them?

Well, you can start by setting yourself a routine. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Train your body into sleeping through. As you get your symptoms under control in other ways, you’ll find that it’s easier to sleep on a night. Your insomnia and weird dreams will become a thing of the past.

It’s also worth helping your body and mind relax. Have relaxing baths with a good book or find soothing music that helps you fall asleep. With more sleep comes a healthier brain. You’ll fight against depression and anxiety naturally, and curb those other unwanted symptoms from giving up the sugar.

Make it easy for yourself

There’s no point going on a sugar-free diet unprepared. The best thing you can do is have everything to allow yourself to stick to the plan.

This means to get everything out of your kitchen cupboards that have sugar in it—and watch out for the hidden stuff! Read the packaging and make sure you remove all those items that will just make it harder to get over the withdrawal symptoms.

Fill your cupboards and fridge with nutritious goodness. Porridge oats may sound bland, but you can add in some fruits and honey for natural sweetness. You can add cinnamon or nutmeg to get another boost.

The easier you make it for yourself, the easier you’ll find it is to get through the withdrawal process.

Now is your chance to focus on a healthier lifestyle. You deserve to put your body first, but that isn’t always going to be easy. When giving up sugar, you’ll likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Make it easy for your body to adapt to your new lifestyle by curbing the symptoms and getting rid of the stuff that’s bad for you.

By following the tips above, you’ll not have to worry about the dangers of eating too many sugars. You’ll focus on getting all the nutrients your body needs and enjoy a long and happy life.

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