Eating for Two? Hold the Sugar

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OK, so this might be the only time in your life when you can gain weight and blame it on someone else. Unfortunately, poor eating habits don't just contribute to weight gain - they can make you & your baby sick.

Sugar, in particular, wreaks havoc on your body - whether you're pregnant or not. Refined carbohydrates like sugar contribute to belly fat, lethargy & fatigue, and even wrinkles. Over time, excess sugar consumption can lead to the development of diabetes. And if you're pregnant, eating sugar can make your baby predisposed to obesity & diabetes - and can lead to problems like gestational hypertension and preeclampsia for you.

Keep in mind that flours are also refined carbohydrates, so your body treats breads, pastas & pastries essentially the same way it treats sugar.

It's easy to avoid refined carbohydrates once you get the hang of it. And usually, the first couple of days are the hardest. For tips on keeping your blood sugar stable and enjoying the holidays without going overboard, check out my articles below.

Obesity Prevention Begins in the Womb

Holiday Survival Guide

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Holiday Survival Guide

I wrote this article for non-mamas-to-be on the Can Can Cleanse blog. While some of the tips don't apply to my Natal Nutrition clients & readers, many of the suggestions ring true regardless of what's going on in your uterus at the moment. And even if you are an A+ nutrition student, chances are, someone in your life could benefit from these tips (ahem, husbands!).

If you're having trouble implementing these tips & tricks on your own, you're not alone. That's why I always lead a clean eating program after the holidays. Click here to learn more and join up.

Check out the article below, and have a very happy - and healthy - holiday season.


Pumpkin pie. Hot toddies. Stuffing. Cookies. Cocktails. More than any other time of year, the holidays pose the greatest challenge to our willpower - and our waistlines. But fret not! Try a few of these simple, easy tweaks to enjoy the holidays to the fullest without sabotaging your health... (Read more)

Just Use Sugar?

I'm thrilled to be partnering with the one and only Can Can Cleanse on monthly blog articles! My first one went up last week. You'll want to read this one - I give permission to do something this holiday season that no nutritionist will ever give again!

The holidays are approaching, along with that spare tire that seems to appear around your waist this time of year. You’ve heard that sugar is the latest enemy in the war against weight gain, so maybe you’re considering baking your holiday pies with Splenda or using Equal in your pumpkin latte to help avoid those extra seasonal pounds.

Want a nutritionist’s perspective? Just use sugar.

No, that’s not a typo. If you’re going to use a sweetener anyway, it’s my professional opinion that you should just use regular, old-fashioned sugar.

“What?!” you may ask. “But how will I ever lose weight by using sugar?”

Well, to be fair, you won’t. But you won’t lose weight by using artificial sweeteners, either. There is no evidence that artificial sweeteners help anyone lose weight. In fact, they may increase weight*! Think about it: I bet you know plenty of overweight people who drink Diet Pepsi.

How do lower-calorie sweeteners cause weight gain? This excellent article suggests that they confuse your brain. Their sweet taste prepares your body for an insulin surge that never occurs, but your brain still craves that energy boost. You end up eating more carbohydrates to satisfy that craving - and you gain weight. According to the article’s author, “In one study, people who used artificial sweeteners ate up to three times the amount of calories as the control group.” Perhaps that’s why the obesity epidemic has perpetuated despite the plethora of diet foods on grocery shelves.

Worse still, artificial sweeteners may also pose serious health risks. Saccharin (Sweet’N Low) is carcinogenic. Splenda users have reported stomach pain, headaches and skin rashes. Aspartame (NutraSweet) affects mood & behavior, and may cause seizures, migraines, hives, and nerve disturbances* - not to mention its link to diabetes**.

If artificial sweeteners aren’t proven to make a difference to your waistline AND they’re potentially toxic, then there is no reason to use them.

Don’t mistake this for an endorsement of table sugar. Sugar isn’t healthy - unless you’re comparing it to artificial sweeteners. Sure, there are natural alternatives to sugar. You might try stevia, honey, or fruit to sweeten your holiday dishes & drinks. But the single best thing you can do to lose weight and maintain good health is to change your taste for sweets. Stop using sweeteners - even if they’re natural. Once you retrain your tastebuds, you’ll find you don’t need additives to satisfy your sweet tooth - and the pounds will begin to melt away.

It’ll take time and willpower - especially during the holidays - but breaking your dependence on sweet flavors could be the best thing you do for your health. And it may be the only thing that makes a dent in that holiday spare tire.

*Murray, M., Pizzorno, J. & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. Safe Eating. New York: Atria.
**Ross, J. (2002). The Mood Cure. Out With the Bad-Mood Foods: Ridding your diet of emotionally hazardous edibles. New York: Penguin Books.