Kelly Ripa quit sugar by adding more whole foods: doable or why bother?

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Kelly Ripa has a new forward to a lifestyle change book that helped/maybe paid her. It’s called Get Off Your Sugar: Stress Eating to Strength Eating by Dr. Daryl Gioffre. It helps people quit eating sugar-rich foods by understanding how addictive it is and what it does to your body and substituting whole foods instead. It sounds practical, and Kelly said that it helped her beat her sugar addiction for good. She used to have a “sugar drawer,” I’m assuming at work, and was able to stop eating sugar by following Dr. Gioffre’s plan. I could relate to her story so much. People Magazine reports this:

Dr. Daryl Gioffre’s new book, Get Off Your Sugar,… focuses on adding nutrient-dense foods to one’s diet to help kick sugar addiction, as opposed to taking things away.

According to Ripa, she used to be addicted to sugar herself, but Dr. Gioffre’s program has “helped changed [her] life” over the past year.

“For years I had a candy drawer at home that I kept fully stocked and would dip into whenever I felt the faintest urge for sugar,” she writes. “I knew that sugar isn’t good for you, but I figured that everybody needed to have some kind of vice, right? What was so bad about rewarding myself with something sweet?”

“What I didn’t fully appreciate is just how addictive sugar truly is,” she says, adding that Dr. Gioffre told her that “sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.”

“That helped me feel better about having them, but I still didn’t know how I would prevent the cravings from happening in the first place,” Ripa says.

Ripa says that she previously did Dr. Gioffre’s alkaline cleanse to help remove acidic foods from her diet, which gave her “great results” that eliminated “some recurring aches and pains that I had chalked up to getting older.”

“I was so inspired, I got rid of the candy drawer,” she recalls. “If only my cravings had disappeared with it! Sadly, they didn’t. When life got super busy with work, or the kids, or both, the urge to eat jelly beans would come on so strong it took everything I had not to send my husband out to the deli to pick some up…”

Dr. Gioffre tells PEOPLE that the average American eats about 130 lbs. of sugar a year, which “creates its own self-perpetuating cycle of cravings, and because it’s so acidic, it makes your body work harder just to keep going.”

He recommends starting the day with green juice and incorporating more healthy fats like avocado to help kick the sugar habit.

“There’s actually an alternative to [stress eating] called strength eating,” he adds. “As you start to add more strength foods into your diet, it will begin to crowd out the stress foods. Strength eating is not based on deprivation — it’s based on adding to what you are already doing. You can’t choose not to eat, but you can choose what to eat. And once you begin to strength eat, big things start happening: Your energy increases. You lose weight. Your digestion improves. You sleep better. Cravings naturally go away, and your body just plain feels better.”

[From People]

Kelly also claimed that Dr. Gioffree “tested her biological age” and it was 35. Maybe that’s how he got her to write the forward to his book. I’m just doing my job and being snarky, but she bugs. She is really healthy though and I would never have guessed that she was a sugar addict. I hope people say the same about me, but I doubt it.

A few months ago, I got the Whole 30 book from the library. I know a lot of you swear by that plan but I get ragey at diets that make you give up entire food groups. If you cheat even a little with dairy or gluten it makes you start all over again. Instead of doing that, I vowed to cook more and eat more whole foods, which sounds similar to this book. I was able to do it somewhat and have been cooking and baking more, but I still regularly buy chocolate and ice cream and sometimes candy like jelly beans and Necco wafers (shut up I love them). I think this plan is doable for me and I’m really interested in it. However I haven’t made giving up sugar a resolution this year. Lately I feel accomplished just getting through the days, doing my work and getting a workout in. I don’t want to put more pressure on myself to give up my main vice, as Kelly said. I haven’t had a drink in four and a half years! Candy is minor, right?

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36 Responses to “Kelly Ripa quit sugar by adding more whole foods: doable or why bother?”

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  1. Esmom says:

    My college age son has done this. At 21, he has not eaten a cookie or candy for at least 5 years. Preparing and eating a load of fruits and vegetables every day is practically a full time job. He swears he doesn’t miss sugar but sometimes I wonder. He’s on the autism spectrum and can be uncommonly rigid and focused on things, though. I feel like most people who are neurotypical can’t adhere to something like this as easily. I have plenty of friends who do Whole 30 periodically to try to reset themselves toward healthier habits but no one I know has stuck with it indefinitely.

  2. Reddish says:

    I’m a sugar addict, and it’s insane how much I can and will eat as I’m snacking or because I “need” a dessert. I’ve decided right now to not eat dessert at all during the week, and only eat it on the weekend. That might not seem hard to some, but I unhealthily use candy as a reward for getting through my day sometimes. I’m hoping banning weekday binges helps.

  3. Becks1 says:

    LOL! we are doing the Whole30 now, but I’m not super strict about it, so Melissa Urban would frown at me. (as in, I use my regular chicken broth, which has some yeast extract so I think it’s a no-no, but I figure that’s not what’s holding me back from life, you know?) what I like about it is that while it does make you give up entire groups of food, its only for 30 days – its not meant to be long term or sustainable. Its really about helping you figure out how different foods affect you – sugar gets a really bad rap, but soy is SO prevalent in so many foods and that may also adversely affect you, so something like the whole 30 helps you sort that out.

    Here is where I admit I’ve never made it the whole 30 days though, lol (the longest I’ve gotten is 25 days) but this month we are super motivated.

    I will say that what I have learned from when we attempt it is similar to what this person is saying – the more “whole” foods I eat, the more full I feel, and the less I reach for that 3 pm pick me up. a little cup of homemade guacamole with some carrot sticks really fills me up.

    In general, in my view, the thing with trying to reduce sugar, soy, corn, whatever – it forces you to read packages and you realize how much sugar etc is in everything. So while you may think of “giving up sugar” as just giving up candy bars – then you start reading labels and its like, hey, why is there sugar in my mayonnaise? HOW much sugar is in this ketchup or barbecue sauce?!?! Etc. and that’s where I think it can be really helpful.

    • Noodle says:

      My mom developed a soy allergy later in life, and it forces us to investigate those ingredients list every time we get together (which is much less this year). It amazes me how much soy is in EVERYTHING. Even my Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s favorites have soy in them, and I wonder what are the long term effects of this much soy consumption in our communities. It’s a very cheap additive, and used in so many oils (hint: vegetable oil IS soy oil) and protein substitutes.

      • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

        @Noodle and it’s absolutely devastating nature. The amount used to feed animals to fatten them up so that consumers can gorge themselves is doing very real ecological damage. A vaste swathe of the Amazon has been permanently destroyed for soy crops.

      • Noodle says:

        @AN, she has to ensure that any fish she eats is ocean-caught rather than farmed, after eating salmon and having an anaphylactic response. She never had a response to salmon before, but it turns out farmed fish are fed soybeans… Now when we go to restaurants we not only have to ask for ingredients lists, we have to ask about sourcing for meats. When I cook for her and shop groceries, I have to do the same.

  4. paranormalgirl says:

    I eat very little processed sugar. On occasion, I will have some dark chocolate, but really, salty is my craving, not sweet.

    • Jo73c says:

      Same here. I mostly gave up added sugar and highly processed carbs at the start of last year and haven’t really missed them.

  5. Rocķy says:

    I’ve been seeing a dr and put on a plantbased diet with little processed food. Iv really noticed a difference in my cravings. As in, I don’t get them anymore. This from someone who has been “dieting” my whole life while steadily gaining weight and being ar the mercy of my cravings

  6. Ann says:

    Sugar is hard. Also the addiction to fake sugar is rough. I love aspartame. I would drink diet coke all day every day. Flavored sparkling water has been a major game changer. I love the Aha brand flavors. I have a 12 pack of diet coke I bought before the election and I’ve only had 2.

  7. cherbear says:

    As soon as I make something “forbidden” it’s all I want.

    I think the focus should be more on portions – nothing tastes as good as that first bite or two, so how big does that bowl of ice cream need to be? But demonizing a few jelly beans in the afternoon or a reasonable dessert when you’re otherwise eating healthy – that sounds really restrictive and not a healthy relationship to food.

    • Granger says:

      I agree to a certain extent… but I think it can really depend on the person. I have the ability to eat one cookie and feel satiated. My best friend does not. If she opens a package of cookies, she isn’t happy until she’s eaten 8 of them in one sitting. I think some people are bingers–or maybe you can even call them addicts–and some are not. So in order to stop themselves and hopefully change their habits, bingers often have to go “cold-turkey” and completely give up the food they binge on.

  8. smee says:

    There’s solid evidence that sugar is carcinogenic, not that it stops me. BUT since I’ve been intermittent fasting, I am way more conscious of what I eat and eating whole foods is very satisfying now. I also realized I was eating most of my sugar after dinner, which I can’t do any more with IF….

    This seems like a solid plan and not a fad.

  9. LittlePenguin says:

    I follow a few dieticians and they all agree it is very slippery slope to remove ENTIRE food groups. What you are doing @celebitchy is much better – cook your food at home so you can see what you are putting in it and change out things.
    I have a female relative who cut out booze. Ok, no problem. Then meat. Ok. Then she cut out dairy. And fruit (!!!!) And carbs. And Sugar. She lives on chickpeas and plain oatmeal. (Yes, we worry about her, but she is not willing to talk about her ‘diet’)

  10. Willow says:

    I remember reading an article years ago in National Geographic that sugar is a starvation diet. Basically, sugar has no nutrition, only calories, so ancient people would only eat it when there was nothing else left to eat. This would trigger the body to know starvation was coming, so the sugar would immediately be stored as fat, and the body would be encouraged to eat as much sugar as possible before it was gone, which is why it’s so addictive.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Sugar has always called my name (plus salt) and I’ve been veggie or vegan since ’93 but it was overly processed about 80% and fruits/veg the rest. Add in Covid, poor eating habits, overeating, binge eating and I ended up gaining about 25 lbs since early April. Then add in a little weekly wine and by fall I was feeling absolutely terrible. My BP was high, and a couple of other health concerns popped up. I decided I was done messing around with my health and I needed to get back on my bike as well (used to cycle regularly). So, mid-November I switched up to WFPB (whole food plant based) which was a lot easier than I thought. Maybe because I already didn’t eat meat and minimal dairy.

    Almost 2 months in and I’ve lost 20 lbs, BP is back to normal and the other issues that popped up are gone. I have never felt better from a health stand point. I don’t miss all the junk either. I eat plenty of nutrient dense calories and am discovering all new ways to enjoy the food that doesn’t do a disservice to my body.

  12. Candice says:

    If I could cancel anything, it would be diet culture. I am sick of people with obvious eating disorders and body dysmorphia getting huge platforms to encourage this toxic mess. Intuitive – mindful eating along with information about nutrition plus self-care is really all we need to focus on.

  13. hindulovegod says:

    I did it years ago to help resolve a health issue and used the I Quit Sugar program. It promotes a more gentle, gradual approach to weaning off, which made it easier for me. It wasn’t all or nothing, so I never felt like I was failing or cheating.

    • KhaoManee says:

      Agree! I mean Rippa looks like hell and has for a long time. My feeling is she is on the Adderall diet. She looks unwell and malnourished.

      • Sankay says:

        Agreed. I remember when Ripa first got the job with Regis and she was a nice healthy (not fat) weight. She changed and became so slim and then acted like it was natural. No way. Unfortunately, she was probably “asked” to lose weight by the shows management.

  14. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    That family of hers is gorge (as I shove Christmas Cadburys in my pie hole).

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Congrats on 4.5 years sober! That is definitely the most important thing.

    • booboocita says:

      YES!!! Came here to say that! Way to go!

      Early last year, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I had to give up all refined sugars, added sugars, and most fruit (berries are good, but just about everything else is a no-no) to get my blood glucose under control. I gave up most grains as well, except for steel-cut oatmeal and a slice of sprouted-grain Ezekiel bread once in a while. It worked — my blood glucose is usually between 90 and 110, and my last A1c was 6.2, below the recommended 7. But those first couple of months after my diagnosis were MURDER. If someone had waved a candy bar in front of me, I would have ripped their arm off to get it. The cravings are mostly gone now, thank goodness. But unless you HAVE to give up all sugar, like me, I don’t recommend it.

    • Snazzy says:

      Agreed! That is the most important. Enjoy your wafers CB!

  16. Amber says:

    I am always suspicious of cutting out entire food groups or categories of things unless someone is really doing that under the counsel of a registered dietitian or other health care professional, for health reasons. I like baking at home, and so I eat something with sugar in it probably every day–though the amount I use in my pastries is probably less than what’s in store-bought stuff. But especially right now, when we are in a really stressful time, there are worse things than eating candy/dessert for comfort. If a bowl of ice cream gives somebody a moment’s pleasure/escape from the current terrible reality, good for them. I don’t think now is the time to try to make big lifestyle changes. And as always there is an enormous amount of privilege involved with ‘whole foods’ vs ‘processed foods,’ having access to whole foods and the time to prepare them is a privilege not everybody has.

  17. Prof Trelawney says:

    so…I had a serious sugar addiction and diabetes runs in my family, plus I’d been learning how really ugly sugarcane is to the environment, to workers, to the body, and it’s not needed. No nutritional value whatsoever. And more addictive than cocaine they say…

    So about 7 years ago, I decided to take it out of my diet. It was like a drug withdrawal at first, not too bad but headachy, but then the clear-headedness in particular made it worth it. I wasn’t constantly arguing w myself about should I have a cookie should I not, should I get a candy bar, etc.

    It also woke up my taste buds so that all kinds of other foods — fruits, yams, etc. tasted so good. And it also took out all kinds of other bad stuff too often mixed in w sugary treats. It was hard at first, but within about 6 weeks, I didn’t miss it and never looked back. For the transition and ongoing treats, grapes, dates, pure dark chocolate w a bit of honey, a bit of maple syrup in coffee, etc. do the trick.

    But I think I was like an alcoholic in that moderation was v hard, but not everyone has that so cutting back can also be good. Socially it can also be awkward, so so many celebrations center around sugar, but I’ve learned to just politely say no thanks, later, etc. And if anyone asks I just say I have some food sensitivities…

    Anyway, here’s to a happier healthier saner 2021 however that happens for all!

  18. Veronica S. says:

    Good for her, I guess, but I’m going to be honest as somebody trying a keto-esque diet to deal with weight management after thyroid disease that I find it kind of sucks. 😂 I really shamelessly have a massive sweet tooth and love baking, candy, desserts, etc. and having to give all of that up (and it’s not like I’m eating it constantly, mind) because my body simply can no longer maintain a healthy weight through just exercise and calorie counting alone makes me grumpy. I hear people go on all the time about the energy high they get from those low carb diets, but I’m not getting any of that lol. I am 100% having to choose between eating what I enjoy and eating what will allow me to be thinner (both for health and vanity’s sake), and I have no problem being a grouch about it. It is simply not fair, y’all. 😂

    • FancyHat says:

      I feel you on that. I have thyroid issues and have to give up sugar and chips to get my weight under control so I don’t end up with diabetes. Super pissed about it and honestly seeing a 25-lb Ripa talk about awesome it feels to give up sugar makes me ragey.

  19. Kathy Kack says:

    She is insufferable. SKIP.

  20. Marigold says:

    I do a combination of Sugar Busters, Atkins, and Keto. It works well for me.

  21. Haapa says:

    I saw the words “alkaline diet” and that’s all I needed to know that this doctor is a quack.

  22. Moorele says:

    “I get ragey at diets” lol same here

    • Anne Call says:

      Huge semi grifter industry preying on women who will spend endless money on different fad diets. Just eat healthy, have a bit sugar in moderation and get exercise everyday.