You got stressed out. Your unhealthy in-laws came for a visit. Your child was hospitalized. There’s a big project due at work and you’re on a deadline and working 14 hours a day. Your mother fell and broke her hip. Your adult child moved back in. You were sick. A relative or close friend has passed away and you are grieving. If this wasn’t bad enough, you’ve found yourself back into your favorite sugary treats, you’re gaining weight, and you feel even worse. Sometimes there is no obvious stress. You didn’t even notice until your clothes started feeling tight.
You can’t figure out how to get out of this horrible cycle of weight gain, self-judgment and shame. There is no reason to feel ashamed.
There is a good reason why you feel powerless and out of control.
Scientific research clearly shows that sugar is a powerful addictive drug.
In the brain, sugar increases dopamine levels that control the brain’s pleasure responses, exactly like many drugs of abuse – such as tobacco, cocaine and morphine. As sugar addiction progresses, the increased dopamine leads to the opposite, a reduction in dopamine levels. Then you need higher amounts of sugar to get the same level of reward.
One or 2 cookies doesn’t do it any more. You need 5 or 6 – or more – before you feel satisfied enough to stop.
Sugar is so powerful, it is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. Is it any wonder people suffer daily cravings for sugar?
Eighty percent of processed foods contain added sugar. So this means 80% of processed foods are actually what I call “edible drugs.” Edible recreational, soothing, pain-relieving drugs. No joke.
In order to get off sugar, you will need to go through sugar detox as your brain chemistry rebalances itself.
To determine whether a person was of normal weight, overweight, or obese, it’s common to measure a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index). The body mass index is calculated using height and weight only. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story, and in fact, can be completely wrong. Consider the muscular person with a low body fat percentage could have a high body mass index and be classified as obese, when in fact they are not. Conversely, even at a normal BMI, many are at risk of disease due to a high body fat composition.
The Body Composition Test
In our clinic, we pay more attention to percentage of body fat. We use a technique called “bioimpedance,” which will analyze your body fat percentage and weights of fat and fat-free mass. In general, males over 25% body fat need improvement or treatment, while females over 30% body fat need improvement or treatment.
Obesity is a treatable disease, but it will require life-long vigilance to keep the disease under control.
“Diets”, which have a starting point and an ending point, will not help, and will actually worsen the disease, because once you end the “diet” you will most likely regain all of the weight you lost, and then some. If this has happened to you, don’t beat yourself up. It is the natural history of this chronic disease.
~Angela Zechmann, MD
Dedicated to Weight Loss Medicine
Our office is located on Ensign Road across from Providence St. Peter Hospital’s Emergency Room
Our new location is:
3425 Ensign Road NE, Suite 340
Olympia, WA 98503
Teresa Owens, MSN, ARNP is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner.
Teresa Owens, MSN, ARNP is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington and her Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University. She is a member of the Obesity Medicine Association, where she serves as an active member of the Advanced Practice Committee. She is also a member of the Association of Nurse Practitioners, and Sigma Theta Tau, the Honor Society of Nursing.
In addition to her work at South Sound Preventive Medicine, Teresa has an obesity medicine practice in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. She lives with her husband and teenage daughter in North Seattle near Green Lake, where she can often be found strolling around the lake with her two Miniature Australian Shepherds. A South Sound native, Teresa grew up near Yelm and has fond memories of berry picking at Spooner’s.