Episode 137 |

Kicking Your Sugar Habit with JJ Virgin

Don’t miss celebrity nutritionist @jjvirgin as she breaks down what we need to know about sugar and how to eat for optimum nutrition on today’s @OptimizedGeek. Click To Tweet


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This Week’s Guest:

Take a moment to guess what the #1 recreational drug in the world is. Marijuana? Cocaine? Opiates or opioids? Perhaps surprisingly, it’s sugar. That may sound harsh, but when you think about it, it makes sense. Many of us are addicted to it and if you don’t think you are, try going cold turkey for a while!. It’s also much more harmful than many of us realize. For example, if your blood sugar is regularly just 10 points over where it should be, you have five times the risk of developing dementia.


In this episode, you’ll learn more about this problematic addiction to sugar (as well as what you can do about it) with celebrity nutrition expert JJ Virgin. JJ is the person who people go to when they’re ready to finally lose weight and transform their health and lives. She’s a prominent TV and media personality, an experienced speaker, and a four-time New York Times bestselling author. Tune in to learn how to drop sugar, change your life, and feel better than you ever imagined! I can personally attest to how much difference it makes when you (mostly) quit sugar, so I can’t recommend this episode highly enough.


Find Out More About JJ Here:

JJ Virgin
JJ Virgin Store
JJ Virgin on Facebook
JJ Virgin on Instagram
JJ Virgin on Twitter


In This Episode:

  • [02:39] – What, exactly, is wrong with sugar?
  • [04:15] – JJ talks about the problem with all-natural sugars such as honey.
  • [06:19] – We learn what happens when we eat a candy bar or drink a soda. As she answers, JJ shares her surprise that candy bars are still available for sale.
  • [08:56] – JJ talks about why fructose is the worst of all.
  • [12:07] – JJ takes a moment to rant about the WIC program for underprivileged children in schools, which provides apple juice.
  • [13:17] – Do artificial sweeteners also increase your risk of diabetes and the other diseases that JJ has been talking about?
  • [15:30] – Which are the worst, and the least-toxic, of the artificial sweeteners? JJ points out that they’re all bad, and recommends some natural options instead.
  • [16:56] – Exposure equals preference, JJ points out.
  • [18:16] – The first step in getting off the hamster wheel and getting off your addiction to sugar is wanting to do so, JJ explains, then offers more advice on getting off of sugar.
  • [22:01] – JJ talks about eating cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, and other fruits typically considered healthy.
  • [23:15] – Stephan mentions something that was helpful for him when he got off of sugar, which was going cold turkey.
  • [25:46] – What’s the process for going from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner?
  • [28:51] – Stephan points out how much of eating and snacking is based in habit rather than hunger.
  • [30:34] – Is there such a thing as healthy snacking, and what kind of healthy snacks would JJ recommend?
  • [32:52] – JJ talks about whether she recommends people take food sensitivity tests.
  • [37:11] – Is there a particular gut microbiome test that JJ recommends?
  • [39:39] – JJ shares her thoughts on kombucha, a supposedly healthy drink that has sugar in it.
  • [41:00] – What sorts of genetics tests does JJ recommend?
  • [43:19] – We learn about the problems with drinking water from plastic containers.
  • [47:15] – JJ discusses what to do with the specific information on body composition that you can get from a smart scale.
  • [49:05] – JJ offers some of her tips for taking care of yourself while traveling.
  • [50:29] – Does JJ believe in water fasts, or detoxing by taking food completely out of the diet every so often?


Links and Resources:


Your Checklist of Actions to Take:

☑ Cut my sugar intake as much as possible and avoid food that is high in processed sugar such as soda, fruit drinks, and candy.

☑ Be aware of the different types of sweeteners and understand what they can really do to my body. The more I know about them, the better my health choices will be.

☑ Get my blood sugar tested. It’s good to know my blood sugar levels so that I can be proactive about my health.

☑ Give my kids all natural produce. A box of apple juice has too much sugar for a child to handle.

☑ Regularly drink green juice with some chia seeds to regulate my blood sugar levels.

☑ Use sugar alternatives such as stevia or monk fruit as sweeteners.

☑ Always check labels. Read the ingredients on the food I buy and see how much sugar is in them.

☑ Create a meal plan and limit my eating to only 3 times a day, snacks included.

☑ Be disciplined enough to form a habit of eating less sugar. Get rid of all the junk and learn how to stop myself from eating outside of my schedule.  

☑ Grab a copy of JJ Virgin’s books, The Virgin Diet and The Sugar Impact Diet.



S: I don’t know about you but I’ve had a problem with sugar. A lifelong problem, a love affair with sugar. And it wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I was able to get off of sugar, not completely but I don’t eat dessert except on holiday like my birthday and I’m a changed man. So if that’s possible for someone who is a complete sugar-holic, then it’s possible for you. Why would you do it? Well here’s some important questions you need to think about and you’re going to get the answers in this episode. Like what is sugar really doing to our health? Why is fructose worse than glucose? What’s so bad about artificial sweeteners? Or how do I know how much sugar I can eat? Or how do I find some safe sugar substitutes? What do I do if craving hits me? I’ve been a sugar addict my whole life, how do I stop these cravings? How do I get rid of my sweet tooth? Or how do I go from a sugar burner to a fat burner? If you’ve had any of these questions or if you have these questions now and you’re intrigued then this episode number 137 is for you. I’m so excited to have our guest today, JJ Virgin. JJ is a celebrity nutrition expert and fitness hall of famer. She’s the person that people go to if they want to break through food and carb intolerances to finally lose the weight and transform their health and lives. JJ is a prominent TV and media personality whose previous features include co host of TLC’s Freaky Eaters, health expert for Dr. Phil and appearances on PBS, Doctor Oz, Rachel Ray, Access Hollywood and the Today Show. She also speaks regularly and has shared the stage with notable including TD Jakes, Tony Robbins and Brendon Burchard. JJ is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, The Virgin Diet, The Virgin Diet Cookbook, JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet and JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook. JJ, welcome the show.


JJ: I’m excited to be here.


S: Let’s talk about sugar. What exactly is wrong with sugar?


JJ: Oh, it’s all fine. Go ahead and eat it.


S: I have a feeling you’re being specious here.


JJ: Overrated. Everyone makes a big deal out of it. It’s no big deal. No, truthfully, I actually haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to it until I wrote The Virgin Diet because I genetically don’t have a sweet tooth. I just didn’t realize what a big deal it was. I know that might sound ridiculous. When I wrote The Virgin Diet, I had so many questions around sugar, so many questions.

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