Vice is Right?

When talking to my clients about nutrition, there always seems to be an area or two that some people struggle with when it comes to eating.  There are these vices people have that no matter how hard they try or how perfect they eat, they cannot go without a certain type of food or liquid.  These are called vices and I am a guilty party just like many of you.  However, in speaking with my clients there seems to be a commonality of what the vices are and they are broken down as followed:

  1. Sugary
  2. Salty/Crunchy
  3. Alcohol
  4. All of the above

Sugar is in everything and is everywhere.  You cannot walk down the street or watch TV without it being shoved down our throats.  This fine white grainy substance is not only sweet and great tasting but also very addicting and detrimental to our health.  Sugar can be responsible for diabetes, weight gain and an addiction to more sugar.  As clean as I eat, my vice is sugar.  Sometimes after a good dinner, I just want something sweet to satisfy my palate.  I do try to control my sugar cravings with alternate substitutes such as fruit, greek yogurt, honey or raisins.  Always try to keep it under control and eat in moderation.  Sugar is one of the hardest vices to keep in control in your eating lifestyle but like most anything else, the longer you can go without it, the less you will crave it.

On the other side of the spectrum is the salty crunch side.  Some of my clients fall into this category stating they “just can’t stay away from the chips.”  I combine the two because it is hard to have one without the other because most crunchy things we like to eat are salty.  The salty crunchy vice is just as devastating and addicting as sugar because we all know we can not have just one chip or the other motto: once you pop, you can’t stop.  The salty crunchy comes in forms such as chips, crackers, popcorn, candy and tortillas.  The problem with a lot of these products is that they are highly manufactured, highly processed, come from a box or bag and have a very long lasting shelf life.  The cheaper the product and longer the list of ingredients in it, the more damaging effects it is doing to your health.  I generally try to avoid any foods that have a long lasting shelf life and are still good a week after they are opened.  I do occasionally enjoy some chips and salsa but other than that we do not keep a lot of these types of foods in the house.  I give my kids crackers but I found these nut crackers that actually do go bad after opened and do contain a better list of ingredients than most chips.  My suggestion would be to keep this vice in moderation and maybe limit it just to the weekend.

And then there is our other buddy alcohol.  Alcohol comes in many, many forms and is used for any and all occasions, used as a stress relief, as  liquid courage, to numb the pain and to socialize.  The main problem with alcohol is the empty calories that sometimes goes down way to easy and way too many.  Regardless  of your choice of alcohol whether it be beer, wine or hard alcohol they all add on unwanted calories to our bodies.  Most alcohols also contain a high amount of sugars which can send your body into a whirlwind of pumping out high amounts of insulin to counteract the effect and not to mention the hard damaging work your liver and kidneys have to do process and filter it.  Alcohol does taste really good and can be quite relaxing but you also build a tolerance to it.  What starts out as one glass of wine a day to help relax turns into a glass and half and then maybe two as the weeks progress in order to get the same effect as before.  I once had a client tell me she wanted to lose 3 more pounds and I told her to stop drinking wine.  She flat out looked at me and said “what else can I do?”  If you find yourself having a drink every day or most days of the week, I would look into the connection between how you are feeling and why you are drinking.  Yes, they do say wine is good for your health but they also say in moderation.  Like I said before, sugar is my vice and I am not much of crunchy salty type and alcohol is one vice I could do without.  I do enjoy a glass of wine or beer maybe once a week or so, but I do not feel like I need it or have to have it.

Lastly is the deadly combination of all three vices.  If you find yourself eating lots of sugar, salty crunchy things and drinking, well you are going to find your waist line and weight going in the same direction, up.  The combo of the three is a toxic sugar party wrecking havoc on your body and cells.  The sooner you can eliminate one or two vices from your system the better you will start to feel.  I know we have all been there before, we go out to a party, the drinks are flowing, there is a table with chips, dips, salsa and guacamole, on the other side of the table there is a big platter of cookies, brownies and candy.  We start having a good time and enjoying our company as well as everything else on the table.  You go home, sleep terribly and hopefully feel bad as well.  I have been there before and I always feel pretty crummy the next day because my body is not used to the onslaught of all the calories I just consumed.  I hope the same goes true for many of you as well.  The best thing to do is to start back on a track with a healthy, all natural meal to help your body get back in balance.  Some people like to think since they already had a terrible weekend of eating or night, they might as well continue it again and again and you should do the opposite.  The sooner and faster you can fuel your body with “good food” the sooner and faster you will continue to crave “good food” and the set yourself on the path to healthy eating again.

Whatever vice you have, be aware of it, try to take control over it and do so with moderation.  We are all human and we do love to eat and enjoy a lot of the finer not so healthy things in our lives, as well should, but at least if we, continue to make fruit, vegetables, meats, eggs and nuts the staple of our meals and we can afford to indulge every once in awhile.  Have a wonderful day.

One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.

Albert Schweitzer





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