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Are Stimulants Stealing Your Energy?

Are Stimulants Stealing Your Energy?

All stimulants or extreme foods send your body’s chemistry soaring out of balance, then crashing in the opposite direction in an effort to restore balance. The sound and image of a bomb dropping— phhheeeeeeooooow–boom!—is the best way to describe what takes place in the body when stimulants are consumed. This is a good thing to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to indulge in them. And the reason the second Eating-for-Health Guideline is: eliminate or relegate stimulants to rare occasions…the more distant and rare the better.

In terms of foods and beverages, stimulants include, but are not limited to:

  • Sugars – including refined carbohydrates (high fructose corn syrup, white refined flour, etc.) and all other concentrated sweeteners
  • Refined Salt
  • Caffeine & chocolate
  • Alcohol, tobacco
  • Some food additives, such as MSG and artificial sweeteners

These extreme substances are anti-nutrients that act more like drugs than food in the body. They’re notoriously addictive in nature and the biggest thieves of your energy and mental clarity. Stimulants also hijack your taste buds, cause unnatural cravings and lead to chronic conditions ranging from mild to severe. Some of the many problems associated with stimulants include: arthritis / inflammation, lowered immune function, fatigue / adrenal exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety / depression, PMS/menopausal issues, cancer / heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sinusitis / allergies, tooth decay, kidney & liver problem, hypoglycemia, digestive disturbances, candida (yeast over growth) and headaches.

If that’s not reason enough to eliminate stimulants altogether or only have them on rare occasions, I don’t know what is!

Get Back Your Real Energy!

People frequently dismiss the notion of cutting out the extreme foods in their diet because they mistakenly believe they’re providing energy. When in fact, the stimulants are what’s making you increasingly tired in the first place. And the more you depend on them, the worse it gets.

For example, when Carole first came to an Eating-for-Health program she wanted more energy and to lose 5-10 pounds. She drank coffee every morning “to get her going” and 1-2 caffeinated sodas to “get her through the day.” When I suggested that letting go of these beverages would restore her energy and help her to lose the weight she had desperately been trying to lose, she vehemently opposed the idea.

“No way am giving up coffee or cola,” she protested. “They’re my only source of energy. I can’t function without them. – And since when does cutting out coffee or soda help with losing weight?”

I explained to Carole that she was riding the double-whammy roller coaster of sugar and caffeine, and that the longer she continued on this ride, the worse she’d feel and the longer she’d hold onto excess weight. I challenged her to go off the coffee and colas for a week, starting on a Friday so she’d have the weekend to lay on the couch as she withdrew from these drug-like beverages. I promised that if she pushed through this withdrawal period that by Monday or Tuesday she’d feel better than she had in years.

The following week Carole reported, “I took the challenge and quit drinking coffee and soda. By Friday night I was going to die! But I pushed through, drank a lot of water and rested like you said. By Sunday I felt better and ever since then I have had so much energy I’m driving my family crazy! You were right, I feel better than I have in years. But what’s even better is – I lost five pounds!”

Inspired by these results, the next week Carole quit eating refined carbohydrates. She simply switched from the white stuff (i.e., white sugar, bread, and pasta) to the brown stuff (i.e., whole grain bread, pasta, and natural sweeteners). After which, she felt even better and lost the other five pounds she had been struggling to lose.

Unlike Carole however, not everyone is able to go cold turkey on the stimulants. Although the concept of eliminating stimulants from your diet is pretty simple, because they’re so addictive, doing so is often not that easy. In fact, out of all the guidelines this may be the most difficult to implement. Starting with the most prevalent stimulant in your diet is frequently the best place to start. And for most people in the U.S. today, that means sugar. We’ll talk more about that all-important topic in an upcoming article. So stay tuned!

241171bec7a049dee9725210.L._V192232312_SX200_Kelly Hayford, C.N.C. is the award-winning author of If It’s Not Food Don’t Eat It! As a former chiropractic assistant and junk-food junkie turned nutrition and health coach, Kelly has helped thousands restore their health, energy and natural weight.

For more information on Eating for Health including a FREE REPORT ~ Secrets to Overcoming Unhealthy Food Cravings, visit: or call 209- 815-1444. 

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1 Join the Conversation

  1. Linda Alexander says
    Feb 24, 2023 at 6:54 PM

    Thanks Kelly, I'm fighting a battle against most of the stimulants you've mentioned. I seem to be sensitive to most. I quit smoking a very long time ago and drinking alcohol, 3 years ago, stayed away from MSG for the last 30 years as that turns my stomach inside out. I avoid caffeine, have got off sweeteners. I was addicted to cheese, managed to wean myself off that. Can't handle wheat, that bloats me and causes cravings. I'm almost free, but finding the last hurdle is chocolate and sugar. I did a month sugar free and put on 5 pounds because I ate pasta (eye roll). I'll have a look at your website. I'm in the UK. I did have a very good chiropractor that I've not seen in a while.

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