Guest book review: Good Sugar Bad Sugar by Allen Carr

A “thank you” in book report form by the King of the North for the Rogue Minstrel.

“Motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes. When you’re driven, whatever is in front of you will get destroyed” –David Goggins

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true. The other is to refuse to accept what is true.” — Soren Kierkegaard

“Believe, Achieve, Succeed!” –poster at your yoga studio

I’ll start here, because the skeptic in me clung to this when I read Goggins book “Can’t Hurt Me”. Essentially it is semantics. Then throw in some truth and smother the whole thing with a heavy dose of confidence.

Every step of the way, the author reminds you that he is simply undoing the brainwashing that the food industry and society have you under. The constant reminder seems suspiciously like brainwashing. The flow of the book is nearly identical to the EZ Peasy method for porn by hackauthor. Do not skip ahead, obey all the steps. Will power is for chumps. Knowledge is power. Claim victory.

There is a ton of truth that the author skillfully lays as the foundation. Example: Our supermarkets have shelves absolutely saturated with refined sugars, added sugars, artificial sweeteners, etc. The estimate given is that only 20% of the store would remain were you to remove all products with those unnatural additions. This sets up the diet (bad word) clearly: Tier 1 foods are the ones that nature has provided and ready to eat. In order, water heavy fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds. Tier 2 are the things that require some preparation. Veggies that can’t be eaten raw, meat. Tier 3 would be extremely rare. Wholewheat bread, cheese, butter, etc. Though he doesn’t actually break it down quite this way, the feeling is that you should be eating 80-90% fruit and veggies. Notable exclusions are rice and potatoes.

The focus on becoming aware and not falling for the junk food trap follows throughout the book. This, I think is the root of success for people adopting the lifestyle. Understand what the empty calories are doing to you. Understand there are smart people trying to make money by selling it to you. Understand the “false benefits”, that you’re really not missing out on anything. Understand the benefits of the new lifestyle. Believe that you aren’t duped anymore and claim victory. See the world differently and claim victory. Claim victory! DO IT!

While there is some sarcasm there, I must say, I think the book gives a compelling push. The authors big claim to fame was getting folks to quit smoking and branched it into several other topics. Heroine addiction chief among them. People change when they are “sick and tired of being sick and tired” or at least thats what Dave Ramsey would say. The fundamental eating habits pushed are like the fundamental financial habits Ramsey pushes. Adding to the parallel, simply knowing that credit card companies, banks and payday loan operations are sophisticated, destructive and targeting you gives you the mindset needed to avoid them.

Ultimately, it was a good quick read with a solid push to avoid being stupid, embrace a better life and love doing it. I can ignore the somewhat cheesy “believe in yourself” style motivation, its not entirely wrong. But I dispute the “you’re not missing out on anything” claim. I’m dreaming about a chocolate croissant from my local bakery as I’m a week into this plan.

My experience has been that eating a lot of fatty meat makes that feeling go away pretty quickly.

Yeah, I’ve done something similar (Whole 30) with decent results. I can usually avoid the emptiest of calories (candy, soda, chips, etc.), but its the quality, luxury stuff that I miss. Like, a high end charcuterie board, a grass-fed beef cheese burger, artisan pastries. *drools a little*

So broadly speaking, the book didn’t answer the question of what makes for a healthy psychological relationship with your food.
When I eat, it’s with the intention of feeling as good as possible while doing things other than eating.
So I tend to neglect sensory experience.

Hmm, no, I suppose it doesn’t. Although it uses psychology to try and push you into an objectively better relationship with your food, it doesn’t specifically address what that relationship is.
He touches on the biological impact of good and bad sugar, the marketing and evolution of our food industry, what its like and why the grass is greener living this way, but maybe I’ll skim the last chapter (summary) for a few more nuggets to hit my brain.

About Aeoli Pera

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4 Responses to Guest book review: Good Sugar Bad Sugar by Allen Carr

  1. Zeb Zebley says:

    Re: Healthy psychology of food

    my thoughts: A lot of food psychology is situational- social bullying and praise, physical demands from lifestyle, stress, and food convenience play a large role. I see willpower as a pretty abstract force in all of it.

    ADHD phenotype so take the above with a grain or mountain of salt, but I never cared what I put into my body until I started sports, where bad food would make me pay for my choices within hours.

    the American and Mexican obesity epidemics make me think there are other economic factors.

    anecdote re: convenience: when I soujourned in mexico, I lost about a half-pound a day on average for over a month, and I felt like I was eating much more, and more satisfying fare. it was so dramatic that my mentor there mentioned that I smelt like ham after about a week, which I assume was kwa-sludge leaving my body.

  2. Pingback: Psychology of food idea (followup to Allen Carr book review) | Aeoli Pera

  3. aiaslives says:

    When you really eat healthy for a year or more (as I have) your taste buds will do a turn-around and you’ll realize just how SHIT everything people normally eat is. Everything’s too sweet, too salty, too sharp, too spicy. Water has a certain mystique, “bland” food really isn’t bland, and oddly enough, flavor loses its appeal. What I really care about now is texture.

    Protip: try drinking a raw egg in milk in the morning. Put in more than one egg if you want it to be more difficult. This is actually delicious for me now.

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