Sugar Rush: How to avoid the sweet stuff and lose weight - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Sugar Rush: How to avoid the sweet stuff and lose weight

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Millions of Americans consume tons of sugar everyday, and it's virtually impossible to escape what some health experts call a toxin destroying our bodies.

In the past 20 years, Dr. Paul Bradley says he's seen a startling increase in obesity and diabetes. He said two decades ago only half of the country was overweight, now, more than two-thirds of the country is overweight.

One reason for this, he believes? Sugar.

"If you look over the past few centuries not decades our increase use of sugar in our diet just tracks beautifully with increased weight," Dr. Bradley said.

Sugar is everywhere, including the places we least expect it.

"You have to be careful. Sure, the sweet tea, the soft drinks are just loaded literally

packed with sugar. It's in the cakes and candies, but sugar is natural too."

Sugar is obviously nothing new, but Dr. Bradley said what is new, is how we live our lives.

"We're less active. We have sedentary jobs."

This on-the-go lifestyle is what led Dr. Bradley to come up with his company, OurSkinny, aka, the easiest diet ever. He told WTOC the idea came to him while he was waiting in line at a fast food restaurant, in between appointments. He realized people don't usually eat fast food or junk food because they truly enjoy it, they do it because it's fast and convenient.

One of his patients, BJ Randolph, lost more than 100 pounds in six months on the OurSkinny program. She also said cutting sugar out of her diet had a lot to do with her success.

"I was really surprised to see cutting back on sugars was a big deal."

Sandra Brassard, a registered dietitian and certified diabetic educator at Memorial Health, said sugar is simply empty calories with no nutritional value. She works with patients everyday who struggle to manage their sugar intake.

"There's people that may wake up in the middle of the night, or with their meals, and have a piece of desert but can't stop at that one piece they'll end up eating half the cake or all the cake," Brassard said.

And of course, there's the sweet tea and soda junkies.

"Here in the South, sweet tea is a huge thing and some people are addicted to the sweet tea," Brassard said.

If this sounds like you, both Brassard and Dr. Bradley said all hope is not lost, as long as you're willing to make some changes. That means sacrificing certain foods and beverages, or at least substituting them with the low-calorie version.

Randolph said the most important thing to do is believe in yourself, and you can kick the habit to the curb.

"Instead of saying I need to, just do it. That's my advice. Give it a try, don't say you can't, give it a try you can change. Everybody can change their lifestyle."

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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