Living the Sugar-Free Life - Michael Collins

healthier healthy Jun 22, 2021
Mark Struczewski, Michael Collins

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Michael Collins is the founder of SugarAddiction.com and chairman of the board of the 501c non-profit The Food Addiction Institute. He has been sugar-free for over 30 years and raised two sugar-free children. He coaches folks from all walks of life to quit or reduce sugar in their lives.

UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT

Mark Struczewski
Michael, welcome to the Mark Struczewski podcast.

Michael Collins
Thanks, Mark. Thanks for having me, man.

Mark Struczewski
I will tell you that this is with the exception of the episode I did a number of months ago, with a gentleman from Walt Disney World, he did some kind of algorithm software, you can go to Disney World any day of the year, and actually see everything. I have not done any prep for this show. And I'll tell you why audience because this is such an easy topic to talk about without doing any preparation. Because I know my goal that we don't need sugar. Yet, if you look at the ingredients of 90% or 80% of our food, some crazy number like that, and there's sugar in it. So let's talk about sugar and why we don't need it.

Michael Collins
Sure, man, where do you want me to start? I mean, it's it's in 80% of our food products off the shelf. It's just a ridiculous growth over the last 30 years the high fructose corn syrup getting in the diet and the obesity numbers model it that just goes right. I mean, you can put the two next to each other and and the graph is identical. And we went from almost no obesity and in children as well, but no obesity at all. Now we have a third of the country over a third. Actually, that's funny. I just heard the other day that the obesity record or the obesity numbers passed the numbers of people that are just plain overweight. So it's more than a third are obese, and third are overweight. So yeah, it's it's uh,

Mark Struczewski
You know, before we get into the why people are addicted to sugar. You know, when I read, you know, my Bible in back in the day, I think the sweetest thing they had was figs. And we walked everywhere. And we were very active, no one sat around, I don't think they had obesity problem back in the biblical days. But now, we have smartphones, and we have computers, we don't even walk to the car anymore. We have people bring food to our house, we have, you know, the Amazon guy brings the packages to our door, we don't go shopping anymore. And so we're not as active as we used to be. And our food is, the cheap food is not good for us the good food that you have to go searching for now harder and harder to find over time. Is is more expensive. It's harder to you know, get a hold up. So why do you let's start back at the beginning. Why do you think people are so addicted to sugar? Is it because it's so available? Or do you think it's because we're lazy? We don't know any better? Why do you think we're so addicted to sugar?

Michael Collins
It's a great question mark and one that I think we're in the very early stages of in the last five years, starting with Dr. Lustig video on YouTube that went viral. Just no effort at all went to a million views. Now at 8 million views. We've really researched the brain chemistry around what sugar is. And it hits the dopamine it hits the serotonin it hits everything the oxytocin, it hits all of the reward systems in the brain. And we're very early and people are just because it's been enculturated into our our diet over the last 300 years since the days of slavery in the Caribbean impacted growing England as the largest, you know, basically drug dealers in the world of the sugar and grew their entire Empire on the back of sugar. It's been an enculturated thing that something you can give to a one year old. But, you know, that's changing with the research. And, you know, I don't know if you saw my bio stuff, but I'm the chairman of a group, a nonprofit group called the food addiction Institute. And basically we're trying to get sugar named in the DSM five which is the the medical medical book that diagnose for diagnosis for psychiatric stuff as a substance use disorder because you know, we work with people day in and day out that are really pretty severely addicted to sugar. So It's not just a, you know, kind of sort of gee whiz, it's turning into a real medical issue, Mark.

Mark Struczewski
And I agree with you, 100%. And you mentioned drug dealers. I think it's funny that if your drug dealer went into another elementary school to give your kid heroin, people go, oh my gosh, that's disgusting. But yet, sugar, they're giving sugar for free, and the kids are consuming it. And it's not good. Your body is not saying, Oh my gosh, I'm craving for sugar. It's craving water. It's craving fruits, vegetables, and Goodsell fours. But sugar is in everything. And I think it is a drug. And I hope you guys have success in this because people are so addicted. And I see people. I'm sure you have you go someplace. I've got doughnuts, Dana's whatever, and people plow three, four of these dangers, your donors in the mouth, and the body is just doesn't even realize what it's eating because it's all empty calories. It's just all this is, it's stuffed, it's not good for us.

Michael Collins
Oh, yeah. I mean, we're way beyond empty calories, I actually thought of the dumbest ideas I've heard in a long time, empty calories has become one of them, you know, it's like, they're a calorie is not a calorie and I mean, it's like there's not there's a difference between a calorie from a nutritious vegetable or from sugar, you know, sure. It'll give you a little bit of boost of energy. But that energy doesn't come from, you know, food or nutrition. It comes from the hitting that dopamine receptor hitting that serotonin receptor. You know, it's energy. That's just, it's really, I mean, Gary Taubes book, the case against sugar. It outlines he's about three books research so deeply, you can't even one of them 600 pages about the effects of sugar on the body. And it really is not just a Yeah, it reminds me I know, have you ever seen this thing? George Carlin had a thing about baseball and football, you know, I mean, calories are not calories, sugar, calories, or, or toxins. You know, they're just toxins and this dose dependent toxin, meaning, the more you use, the more the toxin is in your body. So the idea that, you know, empty calories or calories, it's like a free pass. Like George Carlin said, that's a free pass. You know, that's just crazy. I mean, it will affect you over time, it takes a long time. sandpark Marcus, it takes a while it takes 10 2030 years, for a pound a year to gain or to the for the diabetes to manifest or whatever, it's going to be the weight gain. But it does happen, and it will happen over time.

Mark Struczewski
And from a productivity standpoint, when you are giving your body all this sugar, what happens is it's got to work harder, which means you have less energy. And so what I try to do 99% of the time is I try to drink water. The body is composed of 60% water, we're designed to drink water. And when you're thirsty, you shouldn't go get a soda or a pop, depending on what part of the world you're in. Or some other sugary beverage, your water, your body wants water because you drink water, the body knows what to do water, okay? When you have sugary substance, your body goes, Okay, I have to go through this liquid or this food and figure out where's the 1/10 of 1% stuff that I could use and the other stuff and get the rest of stuff it gets rid of?

Michael Collins
Oh, I mean, you know, one of the symptoms of diabetes is frequent frequent urination, right, because the body is just trying to get the stuff out. It's just trying to get the sugar out the worst in worst, first out kind of thing. And I mean, even people who don't have diabetes and drink a lot of sugar going to the bathroom a lot because the body's trying to get it out very quickly. And people that quit sugar and people that we work with that quit sugar, it's like they're they're thirsty for days, like three or four days, like because they're literally dehydrated, they've been drinking all the sugary drink sugary beverages, but they're really not getting any hydration. That's actually and caffeine you add caffeine to the sugary beverages like cola or whatever. And that's a diuretic as well. So you're literally going in the wrong direction, just as he says, you know, the body knows what to do with water. But he has no idea what to do with this stuff.

Mark Struczewski
Exactly. And one of the things I do now, I will admit, I do like my diet Coke. But as a rule, I usually don't have it in the house. My wife and I usually go out to lunch once a week and we have diet Coke. And we we actually have water brought to our house with the big five gallon containers because I believe you're going to drink whatever's easily available. So I'm thirsty. I walk out in the other room. There's this big water dispenser with this delicious tasting water. Well, I could go get soda. But guess what, I usually don't have soda my house now, full confession right now I have Diet Coke and a little moment of weakness? Well, most times I'm drinking water. And I think if we just start taking small steps, we're not saying if you're, you're drinking and eating a lot of sugar to stop it today, because it won't stick. But maybe you should start drinking more water, go get some bottled water, and maybe have a glass of soda and then a bottle of water and work your way out. And what's going to find is when you get off the soda, completely, you're going to have more energy, you're not gonna be as thirsty. But I don't think anybody should go cold turkey because I don't think that habit will stick Will you agree with that?

Unknown Speaker
Well, it's it's, it's a catch-22 in that regard, the cold turkey stuff or the all at the same time seems to be after a slight taper, depending on how big your habit is almost the only way of see there's a kind of a breakdown of people. And you can kind of probably recognize it in alcohol, that about a third of people really can't biochemically ingest sugar, and they really become addicted to it in a physical, physiological way. And you really can't outrun it both in diet. And in the addiction, there's no way that your body can process it. Well, about a third of people around the edge, they can go either way. And you know, 30 people can take or leave. It's kind of like your friends that drink alcohol and end up with an alcohol issue, you know. And so the people that are a third that they just biochemically can't handle it. And we don't know why yet, we probably won't know for 10 or 15 years scientifically, but those folks who really have to go cold turkey, the other folks, yes, you're right, they can taper down, and they can occasionally enjoy it. But you know, as long as it's not a consistent daily thing.

Mark Struczewski
I agree with you, I will tell you, like I said I like my diet coke. But if I don't have any I'm not going through withdrawal symptoms. I'll get some water. I know some people have to have their Starbuck they have to have their Coke, whatever every day. I can't function without it. And like, have you ever tried given up soda for a long period of time? Well, no. Well, how do you know see, they don't they haven't tried it. So they don't know. They just assume that they need the caffeine. We'll do an experiment. Go get some water. And next time you're really thirsty, drink a bottle of water and see how you feel because the water is going to cleanse your system. It's going to be easily absorbed in your body. And you're going to be able to cleanse the system. The soda is just complicating the problem. But I think it's because it's easy. It's it's in the refrigerator, the beers in the refrigerator, the wines in refrigerator, whatever. And we go for that instead of water because people say well water is boring. Well, well, well first of all, what kind of water you're drinking I drink. Here in Texas we have something called ozarka water. It's mountain spring water. It tastes really good. Yes, there is horrible tasting water. So first of all, I would say is fine, good tasting water. Because if you don't like the taste of water, you're not going to drink it. Would you agree with that?

Michael Collins
You're hitting there you're talking you're asking the wrong guy that question I literally have a water bar. I have water from all over the world. Oh, interesting. water tastes different believe yes, I do not drink. I am a little bit strange. They have become a little bit of a water snob and I only drink water and glass. The water that I have sitting right here is from the cap Korean mountains in Croatia and Kenya. And so it's like, there is a difference between the taste of water and people should seek out the best tasting water. A lot of areas that country like always are down there. They've got you know, different mountain valley they got all kinds of waters all over the country all really good. All delivered, like you say in the five gallon stuff or they can buy it at their store or whatever. It's very inexpensive. Strangely enough compared to soda. Yeah. And yeah, no, I think that's a great alternative. And folks got more into the water and understood it more and get a water filter at their house if they need to for their cooking and stuff. Absolutely. Water is the best choice.

Mark Struczewski
I remember the first time someone suggested I try a bottle of Fiji water. And I'm like it's water. And I open that bottle and I drank it I'm like this is the best water I've ever tasted in my life. cuz I've always had tap water before that. I'm like, Oh my gosh, water can actually taste delicious. And guess what happens when it tastes good? we're more likely to consume it. Sure,

Michael Collins
exactly. There's a guy here I'm in Los Angeles a guy here he's a water some of the I think I said pronouncing that right like wine. And he they have a certification and all that kind of stuff. And and there really is a difference. I mean, you can taste the difference between different waters. Some of them are I mean, it's just awful. just terrible. Forget about some of the tap water. I come from Central New York and near Syracuse and the Syracuse water supply is supplied by a lake called skinny Atlas Lake, right? It's like the one in the 100% purest places on earth and the water tastes great right out of the tap. But that's not the case in Los Angeles.

Mark Struczewski
It's amazing. And I and I just can't emphasize people enough that we need to drink more water and pure water don't add anything to it like flavoring. If you're so addicted to soda, yes, water is going to taste boring. But if you give yourself a chance to start drinking more water, you're going to very quickly adapt and go oh, this is delicious. But don't get reverse osmosis water, where that's the cheapest bottled water you can get which takes out everything. Go get yourself some natural spring water because it's got some natural flavor in it. And I love my water. I really do. Although I met Michael sometimes I do have weakness and Diet Coke will be on sale. And we'll do it for a while. But I still have water. Even the days I've Diet Coke. I still have water. So I never go a whole day without drinking water. I use an app on my iPhone called water minder. And I track how much hydration they have. Because not just water. A lot of people are severely under hydrated because they don't drink enough. They they're just not paying attention. But that's beyond the scope of this podcast. So your story is fascinating to me. absolutely fascinating that you have been sugar free for over 30 years. And I think it's funny. I mean, I made fun of this when I intro in charge you. You raised two sugar free children. So are you saying your children not sweet?

Michael Collins
They're good kids. Very good. They're little. They're adults now. But yeah, they were. They're very good kids. And honestly, I believe they're good kids simply because they didn't have sugar. I mean, I studied this for many, many years now. And I see children having temper tantrums. And I'm, you know, this sounds crazy as a parent, but my parent, my children never had temper tantrums that way they never, you know, like, I'm sure you've seen this mark, where you're in the grocery store. And the kid sitting in the cart, and he's trying to get at the candy bars. And the checkout line is literally rocking the cart and crying and screaming at the top of his lungs. Right? My kids had no idea what that was they used to build it like colored blocks. They didn't even know what it was and no idea.

Mark Struczewski
So why? Well, let me ask this question first. If someone's listening to our conversation today, and they said, You know what? I know I drink too much sugar. But Michael, what do I how do I start? How do I make the transition? For getting sugar out of my life? What would you tell them? What would be the first in the second step you tell them to start getting control of this stuff they're putting in their bodies, which is basically the toxin because I read a study someplace not too long ago, they're thinking that high consumption of sugar may lead to cancer. I don't know if they've actually proven that or not. Do you know if they prove that or not?

Michael Collins
Well, I mean, there's no definitive proof. But we have a yearly kick sugar summit. We had Dr. Louis cantlie from Cornell on and he we asked him point blank on the interview like this one, you know, does it cause cancer? He said, yes, it causes cancers. And some scientists are now are willing to say that but they have a lot of opposition. It takes a while. You know, to answer your question, how folks get off it. It's mostly what you and I are doing here. It's awareness. It's awareness that this is just not an innocuous substance that is a little sweet this this could be and it's not no one's fault. I mean, people want to blame somebody all the time. It's no one's fault. It evolved into our system over 300 years and now is, you know, the food manufacturer, I have no problem with those. They're trying to maximize shareholder value trying to do the best they can. But now we realize this and we need to be aware and you will be a little bit of a pioneer. There is a lot of pushback from family from schools from workmates, they think moderation sometimes is the answer but for that 1/3 of folks that I mentioned to you, that really can't use the products without you know, having health effects or having you know, gaining weight or you know, just having it's really this is the part and You know, this would fit right into your podcast is it's that mental time that you lose thinking about, should I shouldn't I that and back and forth. I mean, if it's part of your life or not part of your life, you can just draw a line and be over with, right? There's no one that I've ever worked with whose life did not get better in a million different ways when they quit the sugar, right? Just even whether they were addicts or not addicts that once they dropped it, and had a little bit of eternal vigilance, then they did very well. And things changed. But you got to start and you got to be aware. I always say, look, you got a test right? Test your beautiful body, you got this beautiful body or an adult? I call it adulting. Marking proudly. Yes, you're an adult, right? Look, let's go 3060 days without if I told you not to eat broccoli for 30 days you do it. And then we have a problem that good steak, well, I like steak, well, you're gonna test your body, see how it works? And you would do it. So here we are, let's just test it. 60 days no sugar, 90 days, no sugars, 30 days, I don't care just make a test. What happens is people can't seem to do it. That should be a clue right there that they can't seem to make it 30 days, they could make the state they can make the broccoli? And so if and then see if they lose a little weight. See if the brain fog clears up, see if their skin clears up. You know, just test it out.

Mark Struczewski
That's all. What about peer pressure, let's say you're going to go sugar free. And then you go to a networking event, you go to a meeting, and they got Danish and doughnuts and orange juice and all this other stuff. And and you're the only one. And it's like, Oh, you know what, how does someone do something like that? Because obviously, all these companies, they always put the sugar in all the meetings or the networking event. So if you are trying to go sugar free, how do you handle going to a situation like that?

Michael Collins
another great question, literally a one of the modules in some of the stuff we speak about because, look, it's important. I mean, we wrestled when we were raising the kids, with the schools, the grandparents, the other kids, parents, everyone, they they think we're harming them or whatever. They're depriving the poor children, right? And the same thing happens to adults, right? If you say, I'm going to quit sugar, whatever, and everyone's got that same line, oh, just a little won't hurt, right? Well, some folks who can't take just a little because it gives them cravings, and then they're on their way to 711. From the networking event, right? So you got it, you know, you got to look at it as a whole. And the social part of it is very, very important. And you've got to learn to say no, pleasantly, you've got you don't want to get people you don't want to draw them into a conversation about it. You just want to say no. And what I always use is, I've used it for 30 years in restaurants. And only two people have ever asked, I say no, I can't have sugar. And the major assumption is that you have diabetes, and they back right down. Oh, no, I can't have sugar. And they, yeah, no, the major assumption is that you have the diabetes, but no one ever asked. And then they're very accommodating after that. So anyway, little true one of the little tricks we use.

Mark Struczewski
Now I'm sure you've never heard this before. But Michael, everything without sugar tastes like cardboard. What am I supposed to eat?

Michael Collins
Right? No, no, the what am I supposed to eat for sure is like they and all I say is Whole Foods just go on the outside. You've heard this before, I'm sure you go on the outside of the grocery store. And you go where the meat and seafood and the fruits and the vegetables and the dairy occasionally, whatever eggs and and you just get nothing in a bag box can package. You just, if you got to read the label, it's probably a chemical experiment. drastic or anything, but it really is a minefield, trying to read the I mean just now and 2018 and 2019 that the added sugars are going to be on all the labels instead of just the plain sugars. But yeah, people think that and one of the things you were talking about the water and you're talking about other foods and children that are raised, but people but I don't like foods that are like pasta and bread and these other kinds of products that are sugar filled. And that's problem. You know, it does take time for your taste buds to readjust, but once they do, the other stuff tastes terribly sweet. I mean,

Mark Struczewski
Yes, I could tell you that I'm not as good as you. I will admit that up front, but when my wife and I go to McDonald's, Burger King, whatever for our Friday lunch, and I pig out. I mean, I literally pig out on I allow myself to get all the sweet stuff. A couple hours, and you'd think I'd learn, but a couple hours afterwards. I'm like, I feel like crap, why do I eat that stuff and I do it every week. Now eventually one of these days my brain's gonna go Hey, dummy. How about if you don't eat that stuff anymore? Let's just start there. But what happens is for me, and I wrote down a question, it'd be here before I forget, it's everything in moderation. Whenever someone says everything in moderation. I'm like, Oh, so you can beat your spouse in moderation. You can have heroin in moderation. No, you can't. That's not good. And I think because people are going well, it's food and surely, Michael Surely, the the sugar lobbyists they wouldn't lie to us, would they? We're not gonna get it. We can't get into that one. Because it they carry a big stick. Yes, yes, they do.

Michael Collins
But the moderation thing is, uh, you know, you're right about the heroin. You're right about the spousal abuse. I mean, you cannot, the people who have a real issue, and I do this thing I do if you're old enough, you'll remember this guy's name is Rodney Dangerfield? Yes. Ronnie has asked for your younger viewers that go

Mark Struczewski
Google.

Michael Collins
Go, go go go Google him on on YouTube. You'll like anyway, he says, I don't get no respect. No, that was his tagline. I don't get no respect. And he used to say that and not even have to say a joke, right? He just say I don't get no respect when people would laugh and share gets no respect as a drug, a psychoactive drug that that could possibly harm you in a lot of different ways mentally, physically. I mean, they're calling diabetes, Alzheimer's three, for goodness sakes, you know, that should be a clue. And so it's, you know, they can't they're they're trying to figure out whether or not they can use this product in moderation. And they've never done our little experiment that we just talked about, they never tried without So yeah, I mean, it's a moderation is probably the enemy of, of this thing for sure.

Mark Struczewski
Now, what about fruit A lot of people will say, well, fruit has sugar in it. What's the difference between sugar in a Snickers bar and sugar in a honey crisp apple? Man, you're doing your research and get digging deep? Well, this is not my first time I've had a guest on the show. So I'm educating myself. I'm 54 and I plan on living to triple digit so I'm educating myself I'm a becoming more aware of what I eat.

Michael Collins
Cool, cool. Well, here's the thing and the eminent Dr. Lustig who just retired so that he could do this full time and got a law degree so that he could affect policy has had success now. isolating the, the bad metabolite, and that metabolite is fructose. Okay? fructose, the fructose in an apple is no different than the fructose in a Snickers bar. It's really, I mean, and I asked him point blank when I got to interview him was Dr. Lustig you think that fructose is a psycho? He didn't even let me finish the question psychoactive drug. He says yes, and we have a lot of evidence for that. Wow. And that the fructose, especially when you think about orange juice with no fibers straight fructose to your liver, right. And this is what is causing the fatty liver disease in children, because it's metabolize different than glucose, which is the other half of the table sugar molecule. And so the fructose is just now coming to the fore as the like in nature. Mark, if you were to look at a banana 300 years ago, it's just all full of seeds. You can't really eat it. And it's been hybridized fruit has been hybridized for 300 years for the sweetness. I mean, come on, let's look it up, navel orange, right? How does a product in nature continue if there's no seeds? So here we are, in a situation where we got straight fructose. You know, we were supposed to eat a little bit so that we would spread the seeds around right and it had an effect on us made us feel a little bit better. But there was just it was only once a year when it was right. So now that we have it 20 473 65 in all the grocery stores. You have to look at the fruit sometimes you have to look at an overwhelming amount of fruit or fructose the same issue.

Mark Struczewski
So having an apple is good. Sure. Well, it's not really good sugar, but I guess it's it comes with vitamins and minerals where if you just have a Snickers bar, it's basically just pure nonsense for your body. Is that Am I understanding you correctly?

Michael Collins
Yeah, exactly right. But there is fun. There is fiber in the fruit. It does help it pass slower instead of hitting the liver all at once. But when you're eating the juice when you're drinking the juice of fruit juice, now we're talking no fibers straight to the liver. And that's a tough one for the body.

Mark Struczewski
Now, when you started your now, well, your kids raised sugar free from birth, or did you make the transition at some point during your life when you became aware of the sugar addiction in our country?

Michael Collins
You know, they never had sugar in the womb until they were six years old. Yeah, no, I don't know how I talked my wife and she went with it. So, you know, no flour, no sugar, no caffeine in the womb until they were six years old. And, you know, I honestly, look, I mean, I just there's a guy. It's a long story, but he runs a group called nutrition for recovery for alcohol and drugs. And he was talking about the first 1000 days are very important for brain development. Right. And I just think, you know, the story is kind of mind boggling about my boys. But I just really believe that the brain develop better because they weren't, they did not have sugar in their early days. And then I'll never forget the day it happened. We were at a birthday party and outside birthday party and was in a roller skating rink, and the cake and ice cream came out. And both of them looked at me and they're twins. And they both look at me. And they said can we put you know, they didn't even say anything but like the look, can we please Dad? And so we gave in it was six years of like we said fight in the schools and the grandparents and everybody. And so that time after that at the outside birthdays, parties once a month or so they did have sugar, but mostly we never had it in the house or anything like that. But yeah, no, they they were sugar free kids, for sure.

Mark Struczewski
And I will tell the audience that if you dispute what we're saying, Give up sugar for 30 days, and then go have your favorite dessert, it's going to be so sweet to you, you're going to be shocked and you won't don't take Michaels word or my word for it. Try it yourself, I guarantee you if you give up sugar for 30 days, and then go have a nice piece of cake or pie, you're going to go oh my gosh, it's the same pie or cake. It's just that you have cleansed your body for 30 days, and your body's going What in the world is going on right now.

Michael Collins
I'd like to add something to that if they can actually accomplished it that 30 days. See what happens to your your mind your what happens to how you feel after you ingest that new that same favorite product, right? You're gonna feel like you had two martinis, like the world's gonna be a little brighter, you're going to feel a little bit better. And you're going to be like, Whoa, also during the withdrawals, if you make it for the first five or six days and you have headaches, and lethargy and all the things and you really want to go back, try it and see how quickly the sugar will alleviate the headache and alleviate the lethargy and push you right back to normal. That should tell you right there that should be a clue.

Mark Struczewski
Yeah. And now if you want to know how to go sugar free, it starts with as Michael already said, bringing awareness to yourself and looking at the labels. You have to read the labels because I got caught into Oh, Clif Bars throw me with all organic stuff. Um, organic sugar is still sugar doesn't matter if it's organic, high fructose syrup, or conventional. It's still sugar and I think I always think it's fun. And I go to my supermarket aisle, and it says organic sugar organic candy. Really? are we worried about if this is organic or not? It's still sugar. Correct? Absolutely. No, full stop. Yeah. So what I need to do is I was really good for a while there Mike. I mean, I was really good of not having a lot of sugar, I would have some sugar but I've come enough come off the wagon, because my wife and I operate in their policy. Don't have it in house. That way if you go to a Christmas party, okay, you can gorge yourself for a couple hours whatever at the Christmas party. But if you don't have in the house where you live, then you're more likely to okay you fall off the wagon once a while. But if you're buying the hohos, the dong Ding dongs the ice cream and popsicles and the soda pop. And you have in your house. Your brain is going to take you there first. And so I would start with your home base where you spend the most time and make that sugar free. And then if you go out and fall off the wagon when you go off to dinner with someone you want to get A piece of pie or something like that, that's fine. But the more you give up sugar, that pie is not going to taste as good as it used to take. I just I can't taste. I just want people to realize that.

Michael Collins
No, no, no, it tastes like syrupy sweet. I actually did a survey, it was weird. And they people don't understand it that the the main complaint of some of these food products that people are the food manufacturer coming out with this, the customer says that you're too sweet, and they're not listening to them. It's weird.

Mark Struczewski
Yeah, it is strange. And I will tell you that when you try to make the transition to sugar free, you're going to get people going, why are you doing that? And they're gonna make fun of you. But the thing is, what is your goal? Do you want to have more energy? Do you want to be healthier? Do you want your and you have more energy? Because we alluded earlier. If you're not eating all the sugar, your body doesn't have to work as hard. That's why you have more energy. And you're gonna feel criticism. People are like, Oh, how can you eat raw carrots? How come? You're eating raw broccoli? What are you crazy? No, I just want to live a long life. And I don't think we know because you said this earlier. I don't think we really know how bad sugar is for us. I think we're early in the game. I mean, the sweetest thing they had, as far as I know, I wasn't around when Jesus walked the earth. The sweetest thing I had think they had back then was figs. They didn't have Dunkin Donuts and ice cream. If you wanted something sweet. You'd have figs in now to find good healthy food is more of a challenge these days.

Michael Collins
Yeah, no, absolutely you're I mean one of the things that we haven't brought up and in talking about energy is like a lot of people when they quit they don't realize that the brain fog created by sugar is so enormous that you're literally again they call in diabetes, or yeah Alzheimer's diabetes three and and all of the research now is focused towards that reward center of the brain and when people get off the stuff they have this clarity of thought which is so much better and I also believe that and this is early in the fructose research and and I just in working with so many people over the years I've seen people their energy that's was their energy level but they're I guess it wouldn't be their energy level but their their motivation for everything in life changes to so positive and I actually believe like marijuana I think sugar is an a motive creates a symptom symptom sin syndrome called a motivational syndrome I really believe that people call it couch potato these days, I mean, they had slang for it because they're eating bonbons on the couch instead of out there running or you know, starting a business or doing something else. But I think the interrelation of people who have quit and that I know of hundreds of them that are that are no longer those are two of the benefits that are outside of the physical well I guess mental is physical but outside of the weight in the health or you know whatever. Is that mental clarity you get in the in the game and motivation for everything in your life so I think it's a real positive when people look at it that way

Mark Struczewski
well as one who has been sugar free for over 30 years share with us what do you eat because I'm sure people listening to this episode are gonna go okay Mark please ask them what kind of food does he eat so share with us some of the foods you eat that are you find very delicious and very tasty. So we have some ideas inside how this sugar free lifestyle is.

Michael Collins
Yeah, sure no problem I I've done a lot of different experimenting with diets over the years and I've been vegetarian and vegan and raw food vegan and I'm the research now for me and I'm not afraid to you know go against any dogma or whatever I'm doing it all for health right? And so today currently I am I guess what would we call like a similar to a keto diet I eat fatty meats and fishes and all kinds of green leafy green vegetables, I love leafy green vegetables I I actually happen to like the taste of them. But you know, all this research says they're wonderful for you. I really have gotten off the fruit in the grains but that was late, late in my years only been like three or four years now. But I had a lot of improvement physically when I got off the fruit and the grain, you know, the high fructose and the grains. My hair was falling out and the hair came back even my barber said, I mean my teeth, the periodontal my eyesight had changed a little bit I get the first cavity in 30 years, and that you know that stuff went away. So I mean, it really is an evolutionary process. says that you have to and this sounds trite mark, people don't want to pay attention to this feeling or this thought or this construct is that you have to listen to your body and do the research and then do the experiments that you and I have been talking about through this podcast is that, you know, let's see how your body treats certain things, but I delicious. All kinds of cuts of meat and fish and chicken and, and all kinds of great vegetables. I'll take I'll do an occasional berry of blueberries or strawberries or something occasionally, and some macadamia nuts occasionally, but I've been cutting back on them trying to trying to figure out if my body really can live without the this this many carbohydrates, right? So and I don't again, I don't preach any diet. Like I have coaches that are vegans. I have coaches that are keto, I have people that work for me and with me that we're diet agnostic, as long as it's not a package or a magazine as a whole food, then you're going to be good.

Mark Struczewski
So if we showed up at your house, and you invited us in, what kind of snack food would you share with us?

Michael Collins
Okay, so you're bringing up a very interesting topic, right? And, and this is, I actually believe in I got a friend of mine who's a doctor is a bariatric surgeon, who's done 1000 bariatric surgeries, and now will no longer do the surgery unless you understand this addiction construct to carbohydrates and, and sugar, mostly in flour. And he believes and I'm beginning to believe this, and I want my little phrase of adulting. I think that snacking in general is an emotional break, be it from work, or whether it's television and sitting around after dinner, whenever it's more of an emotional break than it is a nutrition break or something where you need to live. And I think if people did the experiment, and didn't snack for 30 or 69 days and just ate their three meals a day, and maybe even two meals a day, I think they'd be much better off. I don't snack to be honest with you. And there are currently no nuts in my house because that would be my only go to.

Mark Struczewski
So the answer. My question is if I dropped by your house that I better I better have something in my stomach. Or if you're coming for dinner, you know you have a great dinner, but you're not going to get much after dinner snacks. But though, yeah, I think that's another topic for another podcast where people we absent mindedly will sit there and just put food in our mouth and not even pay attention. So one of the things I done for several years now is I use an app to track all my food because what they're finding out when you want to have almonds, potato chips, whatever the case may be, and you actually weigh them, you're gonna eat less than if you just bring the whole bag out. And you just like watching TV or sports, whatever you just, you know, spoon in one, one chip or whatever in your mouth at a time. So taking a couple seconds to weigh it and enter it because no one's going to open up an app and say I hit 37 Oreo cookies, you're just not going to do it. And so there's little things you can do. But I think it's really important that people, like I said, the biggest thing you said is talking about awareness. And I think that's really important. So what is another tip that you can give people before we wrap up today? That if they said, Hmm, I really want to try this. You talked about the 30 Day Challenge. You talked about bringing awareness, any other tips you can give us that we can grab ahold of, so we can maybe start the journey of becoming sugar free?

Michael Collins
Yeah, no, that's a great question. I think it's really again, it's not so the the awareness for sure. But it's the information in the testing and on your own body. But I think you have developed some organically in your quest processes that work, which is you know, not having an in house. being committed, there's an eternal vigilance to this because of the society we live in. So if you you know, make your home a safe space, that's the great a great first step, you know, and if you're aware, and I think if you do the research on people don't seem to be attracted to this research because, man, this is going to be taken away my favorite What's something something my favorite thing? So they don't do that. And I think if if people are health conscious, which most people try to say that they are, and they did just a little bit of research on sugar and fructose that they would end up way ahead of the game.

Mark Struczewski
Yeah, just take baby steps. I mean, yeah, you didn't. You become addicted to sugar and got overweight and you have no energy with one Snickers bar. And so it's good. Take time, but if you are really dedicated and you really want to become sugar free, you can do it. The thing is, is that yes, is kale is sweet as ice cream. No, but your body will adapt. I think a lot of people are afraid of, Oh, I don't want to eat cardboard rest of my life. I said, Well, it's not cardboard. The problem is you're addicted to sugar. I was we were talking before I started recording today, the movie fed up, go watch the movie fed up or go rent the movie fed up or go buy it, you will be shocked of how much sugar is in our food. And just do some research. I mean, you've listened to this podcast, just go to Google and type in how do I break sugar or, you know, the downfalls of sugar, the informations out there, don't just because it's available at the meeting or the networking event, once in a while, it's okay. The problem is people are eating McDonald's, you know, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Once the while it's okay, if you have you know, McDonald's once a week, or once every two weeks or once a month, that's not gonna kill you. The problem is, is you're not eating, you know, the greens and the fruits and the vegetables and all the stuff that's good for you, all you're eating is crap. It's gonna take time to turn it around, I think people are going to want to instant fix, and there's no instant fix, it's going to take time, like you said, testing, I think people, you're going to get more energy, which means it's gonna make you more productive, if you will take these steps. So what listener what's the thing you can do today? As a result of this conversation with Michael, what is the thing you can do today? To take that first step to going sugar free? Now, you may not go sugar free for six months, nine months or a year. But what can you do today? That's going to get the ball moving in the right direction? Because I think if you just ponder it, it's never gonna happen. But if you do something, you're more likely to succeed. Would you agree with that?

Michael Collins
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, for sure. You've gotta you got to replace the the bad with some good to find some new good stuff, you know, buy stuff you like, find a new meal you like find a new place that doesn't have sugar stuff? Absolutely.

Mark Struczewski
And just reading this read the labels. I mean, like you said, Michael, when you go in the store, all the endcaps have all the sugar and high fructose syrup, all that stuff in there. You have to hunt, literally hunt for the good stuff. There's a reason for that. The reason for that the reason why the lettuce is buried, okay. And just so you didn't misunderstand what I said earlier, organic sugar is not good. It's still sugar. Okay, it doesn't have it's organic. It's still sugar. So well, Michael, we covered a lot on the episode today, but we can go to sugar addiction calm. So awesome. You got that domain sugar addiction calm for more information. And so tell us a little bit more about where we can find you and the services you provide.

Michael Collins
Yeah, we have a do it yourself stuff on the site. You know, you can try and do it yourself. I mean, I actually think that folks need support. To do this. They really need a group setting. So we have a private group on Facebook. I've got a book on Amazon that's free. The last resort sugar detox, no charge if you're in the United States. Small charge I think Kindle if you're in other English speaking places. We have coaching I mean, if somebody is dead serious and really has a serious problem, they can go to sugar addiction, calm forward slash call and book a call with me for 30 minutes and we can figure out you know, if you're, if you're really ready to do this, we'll do it. But yeah, there's a I got a something I don't know the actual URL of it. But, you know, we have a masterclass about the myth of sugar detox, a lot of times, Mark, folks try and detox and then they go right back to it, which is sometimes kind of worse. You know, you want to make it a lifestyle. You want to make it happen over time, right? You want to be able to either cut way back and make it a lifestyle or completely quit if that's what you think you need to do. So yeah, lots of ways to reach us. Most of this the site, we've got a page on Facebook at 12,000 people just hyper sugar addiction, or facebook.com forward slash I can remember these things quit sugar now. But yeah, I mean, Neil, look, if you put sugar addiction and Facebook, it'll come up. So first one, so yeah, we've got lots of ways to reach us and they're like you said lots of information out there. I would advise folks to be careful. Some folks are most sugar detox is out there are an extension of a diet plan of some sort or multi level marketing kind of plan. So be careful in there. If they're trying to sell you want even supplements and and shakes and smoothies. And that's probably not going to get you where you want to go.

Mark Struczewski
I will say this that Arianna Huffington, his book, The sleep revolution, will rock your world for sleep. Gary Todd, his book, The case against sugar will rock your world. It's, it's not a book you want to read before bed. It's very heavy, very deep. But he does his research. So if you go, what a Michael Mark, no, go get the sugar, this case against sugar and read it, it'll scare the crap out of you. I mean, because the sugar lobbyists don't have your best interests in mind. They want your money. And so go get that book. Actually, I'm actually inspired because of our conversation. I want to go back and reread that book. Because it's a book I think everybody needs to read. It is scary. Because Gary has data. He has scientific data. The proof is not it's not as opinion. And I think if people make themselves aware and educate themselves, they're going to realize that sugar is not your ally, it's your enemy. And if you want to live a healthy energetic life, you've got to get rid of sugar. And I know the people who love their pastries and or bond bonds, and there's Snickers it's like, but it's just one stickers. Yeah, he had one sticker year, it's one thing but you're not having one Snickers or you're having one Snickers a day. That's the problem. So that I think people should make the choice. I'm inspired as a result of our time together. Now I'm going to you know, tell my wife, then we're Diet Coke in the house, because it's here. That's what I go for. I don't go for the water, I go for the Diet Coke. If my doctor told me that number of years ago, don't have the stuff in your house. Because you're not going to get your car drive to Walgreens to get a Diet Coke. You'll drink the water. So don't have the stuff in the house. It's really simple. When you go shopping, and you come home, the family goes where's where's the coke didn't buy it, why you don't need it. And and you can start gradually making your family become a healthier family. So Mike, I was called to Gary, Michael. Absolutely. Yes, it is. I'm going to go reread it again. Great book, thank you so much for being on the show today. This is a very, very important topic to my heart. Because I know at 54 that if I'm going to make it the triple digits, I have to take care of my health. And one of those is getting rid of the sugar. And it's scary for a lot of people. But I think it's really important. So I want to thank you for being on the show today. And I just hope that people take what you said. And actually, one become more aware to start making those difficult decisions. And I think as they start feeling better, they're gonna go wow, I feel much better than I did when I was having all the sugar.

Michael Collins
Absolutely, absolutely. I'm losing my voice here. No. Yeah, no, we, we interviewed Gary Taubes, and he is just amazing. So they can go to Kickstarter summit and watch the last interview. Excellent. Well, thank you.

 

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