Why Is Giving up Sugar So Hard?

Joel Byars is a comedian, podcaster and trophy husband with over ten years experience performing comedy suitable for everyone from the grandkids to grandparents and even granddogs!

Not only has he toured the world doing stand-up, but he has also interviewed over 300 comedians like Jeff Forxworthy and Cedric the Entertainer on his award winning Hot Breath! Podcast.

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Submit your questions for the podcast here


Carole Freeman: Hey, we’re live everybody. Are you struggling to give up sugar? Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard? This episode is for you stick around because I’m going to be talking with comedian, Joel buyers about his stint going sugar-free Joel. Don’t tell me, I don’t even know yet.

If you’re still sugar-free, I’m going to do a quiz here for everybody, but don’t, let’s make it a surprise, even for me. Welcome everyone to Keto chat live. I’m your host Carole Freeman masters in nutrition and clinical health psychology. I’m a board certified keto nutrition specialist. I primarily specialize in helping women 40 plus follow a keto diet for sustainable weight loss.

And today I’m so lucky to have a special guest cohost Joel Byers, he’s a comedian award-winning podcaster trophy husband with over 10 years of experience performing comedy suitable for everyone, from grandkids to grandparents and even grand dogs. I am a grand dog mother myself, so I appreciate that.

Not only is he tour the world doing standup, but he’s also interviewed over 300 comedians like Jeff Foxworthy, Cedric the entertainer on his award-winning hot breath podcast. So welcome. Welcome, Joel.

Joel Byars: Thank you so much for having me, Carole. I’m so excited to be here.

Carole Freeman: You are you ready to do the medical disclaimer? I gave you a short, very short assignment. A joke, right?

Joel Byars: I’m ready. Do I read the whole thing?

Carole Freeman: yeah, read the whole thing. That’s legally. We just gotta make sure that we’re not given,

Joel Byars: oh, so you’re put, I see you’re putting this on me. So if somebody goes and tries to do that, they’re gonna be like, but Joel said it not Carole. Now it’s.

Medical disclaimer. This show is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not medical advice nor intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any condition. If you have any questions or concerns related to your specific medical condition, please contact Dr. Obvious and seriously, please contact your personal healthcare professional.

Carole Freeman: Oh, thank you so much for being game for that on the spot joke, writing challenge. Oh, I’m so excited right here. I’ve got a, I’ve got a quiz to engage our list, our viewers or listeners right now. Joining us. I see. We’ve got people live. Here’s your quiz for this show is how many days did Joel give up sugar recently?

How many days? So put your guesses in the chat now and we’ll reveal it in a bit. Joel, where do you, where are you joining us from?

Joel Byars: I am in a ATL. Atlanta.

Carole Freeman: Are you at the airport? Is that ATL? The airport I’m in PHX.

Joel Byars: Phoenix?

Carole Freeman: Yes.

Joel Byars: Oh, no. I’m near the airport. I’m not far from the airport. Yeah.

Carole Freeman: I’m an SCA transplant. Let’s see. Test your chair. Yes.

Joel Byars: Nice.

Carole Freeman: That’s an easy one. Yeah. 27 years in Seattle and just been here almost two years and I love it.

Joel Byars: Yeah. I’ve been in Atlanta. Most of I’ve lived in Georgia, majority of my life, and then been in Atlanta for several years now with my wife.

Carole Freeman: I don’t have you worked hard to get rid of the accent? I don’t really hear.

Joel Byars: Oh, I worked real hard. I made a private school and she took me to liberal arts school to not sound like this right here.

Carole Freeman: Now I believe

Joel Byars: I call that’s my redneck Tourette’s. I definitely have an accent in there, but

Carole Freeman: I grew up in Oregon. Can you hear that redneck accent in me? We talked about getting a worse rag to clean your face. And

is it, my mom always did the come here, let me clean your face off.

Joel Byars: Oh yeah. My dad would do that for sure. My dad would do that.

Carole Freeman: Oh, my gosh. Joel, I didn’t give you the overview, what we’re going to do. I figured I’d just give, a personal interview first about how you got into comedy and how you got into quitting sugar and I’m going to use, so this may be different than what you’re used to, but I’m going to use your quitting sugar as a teaching moment on the show here.

So I’m going to talk about, symptoms. How would people know they may have problem with sugar? Why it’s so hard to give up? I really nerd out on the brain chemistry of addiction stuff and then I’m going to give my top tips for how people can get off sugar without cravings. And yeah. And then we’ll tell everybody how to, how they can connect with you.

Let’s talk about you first.

Why giving up sugar is hard | KCL40

Why giving up sugar is hard? Carole interviews comedian Joel Byars about his experiment of quitting sugar and provides tips and strategies for making it easier to quit.

Joel Byars: I’m with it, bring it on for anything. No question too personal. I want to it’s this health journey is definitely something like, as I’ve gotten in my thirties, I’m taking more and more seriously, but yeah, no. Yeah, please don’t hesitate to ask anything. You won’t offend me.

I want to talk vulnerably to hopefully help other people, cause it’s very it’s. I can just see the difference physically, mentally, emotionally, just based on what I am eating. So I’m excited to talk to you about this as well. But I didn’t mean to derail your interview. I just wanted to put that little asterisk to please ask away because I’m learning right along with everyone here, listening.

Carole Freeman: The the show titles, Keto chat live, so it’s less, it’s not totally formal. It’s more of a chat format. I have some things I want to ask about, but also we can go any which way we want during this. Also, I have a note to myself because when I do my transcripts for the show, I start every sentence with and or so, and so remember to try not to say so many of those so’s and and’s I don’t know if it’s working or not, but, how did you get into comedy, Joel? You’ve been doing about 11, 12 years.

Joel Byars: Yeah, February 1st 2010 was my first time doing it. So I’ve been doing it a little over 12 years now. I’d always wanted to be a comedian and do comedy. I loved watching comedy growing up. I was always the funny kid, but I didn’t actually decide to pursue comedy until my senior year of college.

I was about to graduate. And I was like I have nothing to lose. Sallie Mae took it all. So might as well try this little comedy dream. And then as soon as I did it, it was like taking the blue pill in the matrix. I was immediately, as soon as I did it, everything in my life immediately became revolved around getting as good at this as possible and making this my full-time career, which I’m fortunate enough to say is now the case.

Carole Freeman: Oh, after college, how’d your parents take that news then?

Joel Byars: My mom has always instilled like that growth mindset within me and always was sure. I was aware that I I had a special gift that I would be sharing with the world. And so she was always supportive for it, and always not like what took you so long, but yeah, I’ve known this your whole life type deal. So there was no, no reservations when I had to move back in with her to be a dishwasher with a college degree and things like that. You know what I mean?

Carole Freeman: Wait, I’m going to guess you’re an only child.

Joel Byars: I have two older sisters.

Carole Freeman: Oh, the baby. Okay. That was the other

Joel Byars: for sure. The baby

Carole Freeman: you’re the sweet, innocent one that can do no wrong probably.

Joel Byars: Yeah. Especially if you asked my sisters. Yeah. I’m sure they would say that. Yeah.

Carole Freeman: Makes sense. I’m following.

Joel Byars: Yeah. But it’s all been supportive. I feel very fortunate that I haven’t really had anyone in my career who was like, are you sure? Or when are you going to quit this comedy silliness and get a real job, so fortunately I’ve had a lot of supportive people around me in this journey because when you’re on stage, it’s usually the opposite when you’re bombing or comedians being competitive. So it’s good to have that those family members in your corner.

Carole Freeman: And how did you maintain your drive to keep going? Because a lot of times comedians have to suffer through career that they hate. And then they’re like, oh my God, this comedy thing is what I really want to do. And it, the contrast is much more motivating. And when you don’t have a safety net, you’ve got to work a little harder. I know there’s both ways can be equally hard, right?

So you have the cushion of being able to live at home and the support of your family. Especially being as young as you were at that time. What, what drove you to be as successful as you are?

Joel Byars: I think it was always just part of the process. I never lost the perspective of like, me, okay. Working at enterprise all day and then being out all night at open mikes and then being up again at six to work at enterprise again, write jokes on my lunch break and then do open mics at night and doing that for like over a year, saving up a nest egg to then move into a studio apartment in the hood of Atlanta where I’m waiting tables and washing dishes and refilling many bars.

Like all of those sacrifices were in service of the bigger picture and in service of just what I knew was going to happen. So when I did bomb and beat myself up, I would have to remind myself that this is all part of it. Everyone struggles. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But just maintaining that, it’s just what I wanted to do.

I wouldn’t want to do anything else. Like I would rather be out at an open mic at 1:00 AM bombing. Then having to be up early, to go rent cars and things like, it’s just, it was always just like in hindsight, it’s I used to play like sports and I played football and we would have three a day practices for like team camp or whatever.

And the summers in hindsight, I’m like, I don’t know how, why I would ever do that and could never do it again. But when you’re in it, it’s just part of that process. And when you’re working towards a bigger vision, I think it always helps to have that reminder that you’re working towards something bigger than just this immediate moment of discomfort.

Carole Freeman: So it sounds like you did have that contrast of a day job that you knew you didn’t want to make your career. So you had that as a motivator to keep going with the bombing at night,

Joel Byars: for sure. Yeah. Yeah. You need that. Yeah.

Carole Freeman: And you have a successful podcast. How long that’s been going in? When did you get started with that?

Joel Byars: Yeah, that’s been going on. I think almost six years now. I think this summer it’ll be six years and it started as a way for me to interview Atlanta comedians. I’ve always been a fan and champion of Atlanta comedy. That’s why I still live here and never decided to move to an LA or New York, even though I could have, but I really wanted to create a grassroots foundation self-made opportunities from here in Atlanta.

And I wanted to showcase Atlanta comedians that were on last comic standing NBC’s in a competition. So I set a goal to interview all 10 or 11, all 11 of the Atlanta comics on last comic standing. And then from there it just kinda kept going, I’ve already started. I took a little bit of a break to figure out what I wanted to do.

And then I had a friend just be like just keep going, just keep doing it. And it’s, it became the show I wish existed, which is how I make a lot of decisions of do I wish this existed? So my favorite moments of any comedy podcast were when they were nerding out about how to write a joke or how to negotiate a contract or how to book a late night set and things like that.

I always, those were my favorite moments. So I made a show that was just that’s like inside the actors studio for comedians. And it turns out other people enjoy that as well. I’ve seen other shows come up that are like similar to that vein as well of just comedians, really like getting into the process and everything.

But it all started with me just creating a show I wish existed, and now it’s just become so much more.

Carole Freeman: I think that comedians that are listening right now, listen to what he’s saying. Because I think there’s a lot of comedians that think that, newer comedians that think oh, I want to start a podcast.

And they just want to, trash talk with their friends all day long, but think about what who’s going to want to listen to that. I I think some people think, oh, that’s what you do as a comedian and you start a podcast and I’m hilarious. So people will just want to listen. But if you’re a big name and you have a following, people will listen to you talk garbage with your friends.

But if you’re just starting out think about what Joel was talking about what would you like to hear? What would be a value to you? What would you take your time out of your day to listen to that would help you improve as a comedian? Think about starting that podcast rather than you just want to talk into a microphone with your friends for an hour or two.

Joel Byars: Exactly. And there’s so many, I think it’s like, gosh, it’s like like 70 or 80% of podcasts on iTunes have less than like 10 episodes. It’s like belligerent, how like just the turnover rate and churn of people wanting to start a podcast. So yeah, you want to make sure it’s centered around something you’re super interested in something you’re super passionate about because there’s going to be moments like anything you’re pursuing.

There’s going to be moments where, you’re up at 6:00 AM editing to get it out by 8:00 AM, because that’s what you promised your four listeners. So you got to do those things, and it’s making sure that you’re creating a show that you would listen to, regardless of whether or not other people were listening to it.

So it, it is it’s true with everyone wants to start a podcast, it’s, it’s work.

Carole Freeman: The a hundred percent. Yeah. I’m one year into this and this is episode 40, so thank you for being here.

Joel Byars: Oh my gosh. That’s so exciting.

Carole Freeman: And I, this is where I can plug in. I’m actually speaking at a podcasting conference in may, in Orlando, Florida, and yeah.

Pod Fest. Yeah.

Joel Byars: Oh yeah. I’m good friends with them. Chris pre pandemic. Okay. You’re gonna have a great time. I met so many great people there. It’s going to be awesome.

Carole Freeman: This is their, they took whatever year or two off, right? A lot of things did and. They’re anticipating having over 2000 people in attendance.

So it should be pretty darn big, but yeah. I have you can use my discount code, ketocarole to get I think it’s 20% off tickets. I think that’s what it is. So come hang out in Orlando.

Joel Byars: It’s worth it. Yeah. For anyone listening that conference is well worth it, that you just get access to so many people and learn so much from the best in the game. Yeah, it’s totally worth going.

Carole Freeman: I’m going to be speaking about a live video podcasting, so awesome. Yeah. Can’t wait. I’ve never been to Orlando, so I’m sure in may, it’ll be nice and miserable.

I’ve been to, I’ve been to Austin, Texas during June and July. So I can’t imagine may and Orlando’s much worse, right?

Joel Byars: Yeah, you’ll be fine. You’ll be fine.

Carole Freeman: They taught me last time. I was in Austin that they talk about how many short day it is. Do they do that in Georgia? Atlanta

Joel Byars: Shirt day.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. So oh, what’s a three shirt day. Like you sweat through three shirts. Like how humid it is.

Joel Byars: Oh, no, I haven’t heard that.

Carole Freeman: Oh, Ooh. It’s a three shirt day today. Oh, it’s a hot one.

Joel Byars: Nobody in Georgia wear shirts. That’s probably why

Carole Freeman: It’s a three wife beater day

three NFL Jersey day.

Joel Byars: Maybe just body tats. It’s probably just body tats.

Carole Freeman: That’s what I expect Florida is too. I’ve been to Miami beach. I’ve never been to Orlando though. Oh, your different areas? I can’t wait. Okay. Let’s talk about your sugar journey. When did it start? When did, when, when did you start to think maybe it’s a problem.

Joel Byars: When did it start? What was rock bottom. What’s interesting is. Sugar is so fascinating to me, just because of how everywhere it is and how poisonous it is at the same time and just politics, the business behind it. But that’s all things I got into, I think, as I’ve gone into the journey more, but I think where it started is really growing up.

My mom was always mindful of sugar intake. Like we never really had sugary cereals, like Crispix was an edgy day, which they used to advertise that help kids focus. And then I think ended up getting sued about that, but it’s incredible. The advertising. She was always very mindful of like our sugar intake and just, she was a teacher.

So she was probably around a bunch of kids who are on sugar a lot. And just she had the foresight to realize, oh, this probably isn’t great. As a, as an upcoming football player, you do life hacks, like bullet cornflakes, and then you glaze it in a pound of table sugar until it’s like a sugar fondue in, like I did all that, so honestly never saw it as a problem until maybe I started tracking as I’ve gotten older.

I’m 34 now, but like probably late twenties. I started keeping track of just day to day tracking my time. What am I eating? How is my sleep affecting what I’m eating? What am I drinking affecting? Like I quit alcohol. Like I’m sober now. Like I quit completely. I quit for last year and then started drinking again in January and was like, I just don’t want to, I just, it, when I noticed the direct connection between me drinking and then anxiety, depression, and then also sugar cravings on top of that.

Carole Freeman: Yeah.

Joel Byars: So, I can’t think of a moment where I was like, I need to get my life together because there’s just, there’s been several. I don’t know if, I don’t know, cause I’ve never been diagnosed or gone for therapy. So I don’t know if I would say I have a binge-eating disorder, but I’ll def, I’ve definitely gone through stages or like phase of like deprivation and then just bingeing or like I’ve been driving and eating cereal before.

Carole Freeman: We’ll talk about that as one of the symptoms of addiction. Yeah.

Joel Byars: I don’t know what that says or going to a movie theater and just have a bunch of like terrible food and just eat it in there. So I would catch myself doing this and then try to retrace maybe the cause and effect and things. So I don’t think there’s a singular moment. I think it’s like an accumulation of oh, I’m doing this again after literally saying I’m never going to do this again. And then as I’m doing it, like saying, I’m never doing this again, so

Carole Freeman: yeah.

Joel Byars: I don’t. Yeah.

Carole Freeman: Your perspective is more of a biohacker like, you’re just trying to figure out how to feel the best possible in your human exterior experience. So you noticed alcohol made you feel better avoiding it. And so the sugar is along those lines as well, too.

Joel Byars: Sugar, for sure. Directly connected to yeah. Anxiety and depression and all. And then just physically, I probably have some sort of body dysmorphia too, where, like I eat something bad and then immediately see in the mirror, like a different person, I don’t, I haven’t gone to therapy for any of that, but these are just things I’ve observed and like I’m aware of at least,

Carole Freeman: I have a master’s degree in psychology trained to be a clinical diagnosis, all that stuff.

I have a different perspective though, on binge eating disorder and it gets labeled as like a mental health problem, but it’s really. Our brain and our body reacting to hyper palatable foods in the way that we’re designed. So it’s a mismatch of human evolution. We’ve been on this planet for 200,000 years and we’re designed to seek out high reward foods, but they were rare.

And so food manufacturers have figured out a way of, engineering, these foods that are very high reward that make us crave them and over eat them. And so our body’s just doing what it should do in when those foods are in our presence, but we get, but we’re taught that oh no, you should just all foods fit and you should have moderation.

Joel just control yourself. And if you can’t, you have a mental illness so even though I am at, trained in that field, I have a totally different perspective on that. I don’t think that actually should be a mental illness. It’s more of a. It’s unrecognized that’s just the way our bodies are, our brains are wired. We’re wired to eat those foods. And then we feel guilty, because we’re told, oh, that must be something wrong with you. Cause you can’t control yourself around those things. But I’ll tell you most people can’t control them selves around that. It’s more rare that the person, that they can eat one handful of candy and then they’re like, oh, I’m good. I don’t need any more for a few days. That’s somethings that’s mental illness.

Joel Byars: I think that’s what helped me is like realizing that I’m not alone in doing this and I’m not I think the step one, everything is so gradual. It’s you want everything overnight, but it takes years of like consistency, but of just like trying it for a little while and then maybe falling back and then trying for a little while and fall, like it’s just constantly just going back and forth.

But I think what helped me keep positive momentum is just not beating myself up, but if I did do something where I was like, I’ll never eat a box of cereal alone again. And then I do, I stopped beating my, I stopped beating myself up. I didn’t say I’m stopping this. It’s I’m just, if I do this, I’m just not going to beat myself up.

And that was probably the first step in my life. Long journey of getting more, just like control and mindful about my eating is just if I’m not a hundred percent perfect or whatever, I’m not beating myself up about it. And that’s really helped me and realizing other people, this trillion dollar industry, designing food to exploit our biology yeah, you may want to eat an entire box of cereal because they spent good money. To make sure that you want, so

Carole Freeman: there’s a, there’s a fun book. If you haven’t read it the Dorito effect explains a lot of this, that, how they manufacture these foods to make us crave them and over eat them. And it’s interesting though, because mental health professionals, aren’t trained this way.

Most dieticians and nutritionists are trained to know this and doctors aren’t. And so they’re out there telling you just exercise more and just have portion control, eat less calories and move more. But all the, while the mood food manufacturers, like we make more money, just keep yes. Portion control, wink, wink

Joel Byars: Low. Yeah. It’s low fat and then high sugar. Yeah.

Carole Freeman: And Joel you’ve figured out something too. Somebody I’ve learned a lot from is her name is Joan and she is a process food addiction. She has a PhD in process food addiction. She literally wrote a textbook on this.

And so she says, one of the keys to not going into relapse is to focus on the physical pain of eating sugar or whatever substance you’re trying to stay away from and not getting stuck in the guilt of it. She says, the guilt will keep you in relapse. It will keep you using that substance because it makes you it numbs out the guilt.

But if you focus on like how physically bad it made you feel that will help you avoid a future relapse.

Joel Byars: Oh, wow.

Carole Freeman: Yeah.

Joel Byars: Yeah.

Carole Freeman: We tend to want to get stuck in the ruminating, like beating ourselves up and then we just need another box of cereal to make ourselves feel better. Cause we feel so bad about ourselves, right?

Joel Byars: Yes cereal, that’s mine.

Carole Freeman: So are you still sugar-free how many days?

Joel Byars: I’m mostly sugar-free cause I’m mindful of like me going feast or famine to where I’ve done challenges before or whatever, and white knuckling it and then just fall off the rails. So it’s each time I do something I get better and just more mindful and mindful.

So I mowed, I did. So I did sugar free for 30 days and then

Carole Freeman: good for you.

Joel Byars: My in-laws. Thank you. And then I took a before, this was my first time taking a before and after photo. Okay. And not a photo every day, but like I took a photo on day one and then day 30 that, that was a game changer to see in 30 days, the effect of not having.

I was fairly blown away and I’m going to keep that photo forever. It’s like motivation of it’s more than just like me trying to deprive myself. There’s so many benefits and anytime I’ve gone off sugar, so many amazing things have just happened and I’ve just been happier than ever. So I definitely want to make this part of my lifestyle, but I say that to say on day 30, my in-laws came into town and they brought like a homemade cake.

So on the next day I had some with them, but I didn’t. Since then, like my wife has brought home ice cream. I didn’t have any, she made granola, which I would normally be all over. So I’m not, but I’m not approaching it from the way of like I’m depriving myself. I’m trying to have a healthier mentality around.

It’s just, I just don’t really want it. I think sometimes I would eat it because I felt like I should. Or something like that, like when in Rome type deal, but I’m just trying to be more mindful about listening to what do I really want? And I think once you get away from that pull of sugar long enough and being mindful around consumption of it and seeing the cause and effect of when you do it and when you don’t, I think that’s just a big motivator for me now is I do have a lot of things I want to do.

And it’s a lot of work that I’ll need to do. And if I’m half the time having anxiety or depression or worried about my brain going everywhere because of just the neurochemistry of consuming sugar. There is there’s the laundry list of things that sugar does for us. That’s bad is infinite, but so I’ve had it a little bit, but it’s honestly not even something that like, oh, when it gets to Friday, I’m going to get to have my cake or like something like that.

It’s just, I’m trying to have a mindful balance and it’s, it’s a daily. A daily thing. I’m taking it one day at a time but I’m just trying to maintain mindfulness and thinking of the bigger picture of that piece of cake looks like a panic attack tomorrow. That’s I’m trying to just think of it more in those terms.

Carole Freeman: That’s a great technique. First my stack of post-it notes, I don’t have them handy, but I’ll recommend for my clients that struggle with, certain, on keto, we’re avoiding sugar, we’re avoiding processed, refined, grain products and things.

And so sometimes things that are maybe something that they’re very attached to I’ll have them write. The name of that thing on a piece of paper, a note card, or post-it note, and on the other side, focus on all the pain that brings you, right? So for you, that’s what you’re doing already. You’re oh that box of cereal is a panic attack.

And so you’re associating those within your brain and that’s a really powerful way at creating an aversion to it. Your so have you ever had food poisoning from anything you ate?

Joel Byars: I don’t think so. No.

Carole Freeman: So you’ve ever heard of people though that they had shrimp that one time and now they can never even look at it because you can create a powerful aversion to something if you associate that thing with the pain of it. And if you immediately think of the pain of it. So for food poisoning for people, their body like violently creates that aversion to that food. And so that’s one of the tricks you’re figuring these out very smartly associate that food with the pain.

Whereas often when we are stuck in a craving cycle, our brain keeps fantasizing about the pleasure it brings us. And when you’re stuck in the fantasy about the pleasure of it, that increases cravings and it makes it harder for that’s where you feel deprived. But what you’re focusing on is oh, that equals a panic attack.

I’m not deprived. I’m choosing not to have that,

Joel Byars: get the crash, then I’ll just want to nap and then be worthless the rest of the day or week or whatnot, why do we want. I won’t say we, I do this. I tend to want to, self-sabotage like be on a roll and then, but even it’s like through the day, it’s oh, really healthy today.

I better have five tablespoons of peanut butter. Oh seven o’clock to completely cancel out any positive momentum. And I’ve caught myself doing that several times in several instances with food of ending up self-sabotaging

Carole Freeman: well, I just, I have you heard of the book, you are the mountain. Oh, it just, I was popping up all over my tick talk and I just got a copy of it. And it’s all about self-sabotage and how, there’s not a mountain in our way. We’re the ones that are, is creating the obstacle for us. So I’m just a couple of chapters into it, but basically it talks a lot about when we have things that we do that we self-sabotage it’s because we have conflicting values or things that we want to have happen.

So what you, on the one hand you want all that mental clarity, you want to feel awesome and amazing and be productive and accelerate your career. And on the other hand, there’s something else that you’re using that sugar, maybe the peanut butter, because it does the same thing too, to soothe yourself for.

So it’s like identifying, what am I using that for? What am I, using it to avoid? Or, so basically you’ve got two different needs that one need is to be clear and not anxious and not depressed. And the other need is to soothe yourself from something. And so the part of the, the work is then figuring out, so why am I using the peanut butter?

What is it doing for me and what is my real need? So it, not that it immediately is clear, but taking some steps, what happened before you had to have the peanut butter? And we’ll talk about, so that Or is it? So our addiction and our brain is an, I think of it as an autopilot program.

And so foods that we can become addicted to, there are things that, in nature, they were rare and valuable, right? So honey, for example, or fruit historically has been, very seasonal, hard to find and fruit even historically has been little tiny things. So have you ever seen natural berries on a trail versus the one you can, strawberries in the store, this big.

We, we seek them out and we’re trying to eat as much as possible, but they were self-limiting nuts as well. So nuts. Have you ever seen, real nuts where you’ve got to crack the shell and pick them out with the picker and takes you half an hour, by the time you get it? You’re like, that’s not that good.

Now. Now we can buy five pound bags in Costco and they’re roasted and they’re sugared and salted and you can eat them by the handful, right? Nuts. If we get them the way that they were existing in nature, they’re hard to overeat. Like almost everything was that way, but we’re still wired to try to get as much as possible.

So our brain memorizes, right? Try to find the honey every year, the brain would memorize, oh, this time of the year, the temperature, the time of the day where you walked on the trail to find the honey in the first place. So our brains still do that. And so every time you’ve used sugar or maybe, the sugar in the peanut butter, cause what’s even more rewarding to our brain is sugar and fat together.

So peanut butter is the perfect sugar. In fact, together, like that’s even more rewarding to our brain. And so every time you’ve used that your brain memorizes, everything about that, like how you were feeling, what time of the day where it is, right? So you might have a habit loop going on that like the end of a stressful day after you’ve had dinner, after you sit in this chair, you get this beverage and then your brain goes, now it’s peanut butter time.

So figuring out, so those there, they can be like a hardwire groove in the brain that it’s just, you cue the first part of that autopilot series. And it’s almost impossible to turn it off once it gets queued. And so the trick of that then is if you find every night, you’re like, oh gosh, why do I want this so bad?

Like one thing is you can just not have it in the house, then it makes it impossible to have it. But sometimes it’s figuring out what’s the first cue that tells your brain that we’re going to have peanut butter. So it could be, you’ve finished dinner and you did the dishes or something, or for some of my ladies, a struggle with giving up wine in the evening, it’s like how they relax. And they always went and sat in this chair and they, so figuring out what is the whole autopilot series. And doing something before the first cue of that. So it’s basically an instruction manual in your brain.

That’s like these things all happen in this order. You got to figure out what number one is. And before number one’s gets queued, do something different. So create a whole new routine in the evening for yourself. And then your brain will actually be awake and alert and going, oh, what are we doing? This? Isn’t the peanut butter autopilot. This is something new. I need to pay attention because we’re learning something new here. So that’s one, one, that may be what’s going on of why it’s hard in the evening to not have that one thing.

Joel 30 days before and after

Joel Byars: Oh, that’s gold. Yeah. Thank you so much. I love that.

Carole Freeman: Let me, so let me just give people, I’ve got the like eight signs that you may have a sugar addiction, but these can also be any other foodstuffs substance. So one is, this is a fun fact, I think is cravings. So most people don’t realize that cravings are not normal. Cravings only go with addictive substances. You may have a hankering for a steak or something like that, but you’re not craving it so much that you’re obsessed that you will eat it while you’re driving in your car. Or spend your last penny on getting a steak, like having an urge or desiring, or the appetite for healthy food is one thing. But anything you crave is a sign of addiction. We’re a weird thing cause we’re so used to having cravings.

Number two is tolerance. So it’s when you use it you find yourself using larger and larger quantities over time. That appears for most people sugar. And I’ll tell you too, I grew up. I sugar addict. Okay. Like my dad’s love language was candy. And he would, he was a police officer and he worked night shift. And so to get him through his night shift, he packed his pockets full of candy that he ate all day long.

And yes, he does have diabetes now. And whatever was left over. So when we got up in the morning, we could go into his police coat and pull out whatever candy was left in his pockets as dad cared about us type of thing. And I remember going over to my friend’s house and they had a big bowl of m&ms on their dining room table.

And it was just sitting there. It was just sitting there. Nobody was, I was like how have you not five minutes? Why is it just there? Exactly. And then we worked at, you talked about the cereal growing up too. We were so poor. We couldn’t buy any brand name cereals, no sugared cereals. But. Bag of sugar on the counter.

We could have as much of that as we wanted. So I, I say that when I was growing up my mom met well, but she wasn’t that great of a cook, but there were only two flavors of food we had, it was ketchup and sugar. I don’t know.

Joel Byars: And catch up his sugar.

Carole Freeman: Yeah, exactly. Vinegar, sugar and sugar. So yeah. You do you figure out the trick, like if you put the milk on the cereal first, then more sugar will stick to the, the flakes.

Joel Byars: Whoa, I don’t know, because I guess part of me didn’t want it to stick because at the end I just have my sugar suit. I just had my own little,

Carole Freeman: One of benefit. Yeah. So I figured out the yeah, you get the, if you get the flakes wet first, then some of the sugar will stick to the flake. So

Joel Byars: I don’t know if I ever was mindful enough. I was probably in a hysteria the whole time I was doing. I just

Carole Freeman: I want to say I empathize. Empathize with everyone, struggles with sugar. And when I started keto, my keto journey I did it because I had I was in a car accident. I had a brain injury, I had crushed legs. Like I did it for medical reasons and I was so afraid I was gonna fall off the wagon with my sugar addiction that I, so everything that I’m gonna teach you here is things that I threw at my own approach.

Like everything I’d ever studied about the way that, addiction part of the brain, I use this approach so that I could give myself the best chance at healing and not falling off the wagon. I had a medical reason to do it and I was like, oh my gosh, I don’t want to sabotage myself with my own sugar issues.

I get it. I get it. So now, so we were talking about the top signs or symptoms that you may have a sugar addiction number three, Repeated attempts to quit. That’s something that you shared to Joel that you like, you’ve tried many times if something wasn’t an issue for us, we wouldn’t keep trying to quit it.

Number four, spending a lot of time thinking about it, going to buy it and, or consuming it. Number five is interesting too. So neglected roles. So we think about this in like real drug addiction, right? Like where you stop, meaning your responsibilities at work school and home, but sugar can start to bleed over into that as well.

So some of the things you’re talking about, right? If if you have a sugar hangover where you end up having to take a nap or something like that’ll interfere with your ability to have perform work in school and home life stuff as as you could, or as well as you could.

And so number six then is social and interpersonal problems. This includes isolating so that you can go eat your food and private spending less time and social things because you want to go home and eat your, whatever you want to eat. Number seven is actual withdrawal physiological withdrawal symptoms.

And so since sugar hits our opiate receptors in our brain sugar withdrawal can feel just like a hard opiate drug withdrawal. I’ve had some of my clients that have had this so severely happened to them. So it literally feels like you’re going off of heroin, like aches and shakes and shivers and fever like flu feeling, headaches like really severe joint pains and things like that.

So when people get into heavy use like that, they literally can feel like they’re withdrawing off of heroin. And I’ve had a few people that have gone on the keto journey with me, and they were such heavy sugar users to start with. Day three of their withdrawal of this are literally under their desk, like a George Costanza hiding under the desk at work.

And they’re like, what is keto doing to me? And I’m like, this is actually a sign that you really need to get off of the amount of sugar and refined processed stuff that you’re eating. If you’re having this much of a withdrawal. And then hazardous use of it. So you were talking about like eating while driving, right?

So nobody’s ever gonna, I, there may be somebody out there that does a bit, like you’re not typically going to eat like steak and broccoli while you’re driving. You can wait until you get home to eat that. Whereas sugar refined, processed stuff, even fast food that sugary stuff like eating while you’re driving can be a little dangerous.

And so that’s sign number eight, that you may have an issue with sugar.

Joel Byars: Check a lot of boxes there.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. Then I want, talk a little bit more too than about like, why is sugar so hard to give up? Part of it is then a lot of the things I’ve talked about already is that it activates addiction part of the brain it’s hyper concentrated, right?

So sugar in nature doesn’t exist the way that we consume it. Maybe there’s some in fruit you could get sugar cane, but that’s only a regional thing, right? Nobody’s got sugar canes in their kitchen or anything like that. And so we’ve just, as humans figured out ways of, purifying it and concentrating it and it creates this unnatural dose that we couldn’t get in any natural foods.

And again, like I said, it hits those opiate receptors in your brain. Here’s the, here’s a little fun fact too, is that sugar water is used as a pain reliever for infants and any little boy that’s had or a man has had a circumcision, they’re given sugar water as a pain reliever before they do that procedure.

Joel Byars: Oh my God.

Carole Freeman: So that’s how potent it is of a pain reliever for sugar. And and I talked to you about that autopilot thing that happens as well. And one of the, one of the things that influences how addictive something is how convenient and frequent we can use it. Because sugar is ubiquitous, right?

It’s easy. It’s everywhere. It’s socially acceptable. It’s just empty calories, right? It’s how we show love to each other. Oh, just, you look a little one of my best friends is her grandma always told her like, oh, you have a little sugar. She literally thought that sugar fixed everything.

She’s you’re looking a little peek at you’re not feeling well, you need a little more sugar, probably more sugar in your diet. And so the more frequent you can use something, the more situations your brain memorizes, the use pattern, the more cues you have in your environment, right?

Like it could be the time of the day, the place you are, like going to the movies. It could be, driving for me initially, my dad would always stop on a road trip and have us go to the convenience store and fill up a bag of candy. And so when I first was doing keto, it was really hard when I got in the car, I wanted to go have something sweet to eat at the same time.

So the more cues you have that you use that substance. So that’s are all the reasons why sugar is so hard to give up.

Joel Byars: And it’s ingrained in like our social lives. Anytime you get together with someone, there’s food involved. There’s like the arts involved and it’s so interesting. What I’ve noticed is it’s like, at the end of the night, they’re like, oh no, take it. I shouldn’t take any of this. I was like why do you bring it in the house? It’s and food. And people show a lot of love through food as well. And especially like family recipes and things that may not always be the healthiest.

So it’s like tough to also try to not indulge out of fear of obligation that you don’t want to someone either. But while also putting yourself first and being like, no, I’m doing this for myself and my own reasons. So I can be a better family member, coworker, whatever it is as well. But it’s the environment thing is huge, you know.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a very Southern thing too, that you don’t want to offend anybody, so you’ve got to have just a little bit of it.

Joel Byars: Yeah.

Carole Freeman: When you’re right in that, the reason it’s so associated with showing love is that they, the neurochemicals that it triggers in our brain endorphins and opiates it, that, that simulates the feeling of love. And so there’s a reason why we use those things instead of actually just showing love. We’re like, no, I want to chemically make you feel it.

Joel Byars: Yeah.

Carole Freeman: All of these items. I’ve got five tips for getting off sugar without cravings. Do you want to hear them, Joel?

Joel Byars: Oh, please let them read.

Carole Freeman: So number one is getting adequate protein, especially at breakfast. So 20 to 30 grams of protein for breakfast or more, and at every meal. So what this does is it sets, sets the stage for having stable blood sugar and so adequate and protein. We actually have a protein appetite and there’s a doctor out there right now. Dr. Ted Naiman in these talks about the protein leverage hypothesis where it’s not his theory.

He’s the one I learned it from though, where it’s like, because we have a certain amount of protein that we need. Part of the reason why we overeat is because a lot of these foods are very low in protein and we’re trying to meet our protein needs. And so we overeat them. And so if you get your protein need met first, your appetite overall will be lower.

But also having adequate protein helps your blood sugar stay nice and stable, and that re greatly reduces your sugar cravings. Another one that usually sounds insane for people, but you did this already is no sweet at all for 30 days. So not only no sugar, but I actually say nothing sweet at all.

So no sugar free sugar sugars. The reason for this is that it will actually it rewires the autopilot thing in your brain and it also reorganize your taste buds. So this is a fun fact that if you avoid anything sweet at all, you’ll actually your taste buds will create more savory ones and less sweet ones.

So did you notice, I don’t know if you kept sweet stuff in like sugar-free sweets, but did you notice that like less sweet is like almost gross now? Like things that weren’t.

Joel Byars: What I did was I did some fruit. I didn’t do like super ripe bananas or dates, or I was very mindful about just not eating much sugar in general, but I would do some natural sugars, but nothing heavy.

I really wanted to be mindful about it in general. And I can, but I can tell a difference just in how sweet, like an orange tastes now, when you’re not like dumbing down with all this processed food, like your taste buds, actually, I think the, maybe they regenerate and you like tastes like candy now. It’s pretty cool.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. Yeah. So it, it makes your existing sweet taste buds much more sensitive. And so a little goes a long way at that point. Yeah, and I actually recommended people’s struggle because a lot of people I worked with like their self-proclaimed sugar addicts when I work with them and they’ll say oh, I’ve tried to give it up so many times.

And the cravings are just too intense. I can’t even stand it. So this approach that I’m talking about actually will get rid of the cravings. So no sweet at all. So part of that, the taste buds we talked about, but also it rewires the brain. So when you crave something and you give your taste buds, what it’s craving, it reinforces it.

It says good job craving. Come back again. Tomorrow at the same time, it’s very reinforcing. And in fact, in invites its friends to come back tomorrow as well. And so even if you’re doing your body, can’t tell the difference between real sugar and artificial sugars on your taste, on your tongue, right?

Your brain, the way it processes like no. That’s all I know. And oh, I got rewarded for craving with the sweet, so I’m going to crave more. And so if you actually don’t give into the cravings by having something sweet, you make them go away. Now it’s like most things with, addiction. They say like the first three days are typically the hardest, but if you make it past that, then the cravings actually completely go away because it’s kinda if do you have kids Joel?

Joel Byars: No, I have a dog.

Carole Freeman: Okay. If you imagine a child or, a dog that’s been spoiled, that is throwing a fit because they want something. And if you, if they throw the fit and you give it to them, they’re going to throw the fit again. But if you’ve, if trying to correct poor training in the past where you’re like, okay, I gave him a bag of treats and sugar every time now I don’t want them to have it the first three days of not giving into that anymore, imagine with a child there, they would throw a tantrum like bigger than they did before the first three days. But eventually they’d stop. They’re going to stop. If they realize you are really serious, you’re not going to give them that. So I think of the, the cravings in our brain are like little kids throwing a tantrum. If you reward them, they do it more.

Joel Byars: Yeah. It could take a few. For people listening who are like, I like to do 30 days, I would honestly say. Up until they 15 or 20, like it’s hit or miss, like you may be evil, like edgy angry, almost conspiratorial in a sense of like people I don’t know, like my brain went to some dark places getting off of it, as it does every time or when I get on it, then I start to have these negative thoughts and things as well, which is so weird.

But yeah, it’s like it takes the withdrawals are very real. And I think it’s worth people doing, just to understand like what’s at stake. Like not only just your health physically, but mentally and relationships you have. Sugar affects us all in ways that are completely invisible, because it’s just become ingrained with who we are, but it’s yeah, it’s insidious like that.

Carole Freeman: Next time we do it. I’ve got a couple more tips here too, but next time, try doing all of these and see it shouldn’t be a month of misery or even 15 days, like

Joel Byars: great.

Carole Freeman: Typically following all these by the second week, it will be like, oh my gosh, this is the first time I haven’t had cravings or these thoughts.

So maybe the protein for you, I would really avoid even the fruits and things like that, too. And here’s another big one too, is avoiding sensory input to minimize the cues, the craving cues. So don’t look at or listen to, or smell any sweet things. So don’t walk through the bakery and go, oh, I wish I could have all these things, cause that just cues your brain.

And that turns on the cravings and the misery. Don’t look at. So for me, I had to stop watching, cooking shows that I watched all the time in the past stop looking up recipes on Pinterest, stop fantasizing about wow, I can’t wait until I can have blah, blah, blah again. And also not looking for substitutes for it.

So not trying to find cause your brain can’t tell the difference between a real cupcake in a, a, not a know sugar substitute cupcake, it that’s the same thing to your brain. Looks the same. It’s going to cue the same. Pathways to so avoiding any pseudo sugary foods, no sugar-free sugars.

So that’s ends up being a really big one, as well as avoiding the cues. So

Joel Byars: social media is a big one too, like following your favorite donut shop and all that long way.

Carole Freeman: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. Avoid anytime you see anything like that, you basically, I thought I talked about the stop sign technique.

It’s like literally picture a stop sign. Tell yourself, stop. Think about something else. I still have to avoid like one of the thing. My favorite times of the year was always like the week after a holiday where all the candy was half price. I have to avoid grocery stores, like the big table of garbage.

They put out half off. Growing up poor. I was like, what’s a bargain. It’s so cheap. Like I had enough of those my whole life. I don’t need any Cadbury eggs anymore.

All right.

Joel Byars: Those are very helpful. Yeah. I’ll remember that for sure. Yeah. I’m glad your listeners are getting to learn this. So things I had to learn the hard way.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. You figured out some really clever stuff though on your own too. So the, associating with the negative instead of fantasizing about the pleasure of it. And what was the other one that you did given it up for 30 days, there was another one that you did as well. That was like, oh, that’s so smart.

Joel Byars: I don’t know. Brushing my teeth has helped. Brushing my teeth after a meal to get all that out of there. And then the late night thing brushing my teeth right after dinner.

Carole Freeman: Okay.

Joel Byars: Has helped me with any like late night eating and things like that, but it’s getting myself to do it. It’s I’ve had several nights where I was like, I should go brush my teeth right now because it’ll just take all the stress away. And then I don’t, and then I ended up like overeating on something, so I’m trying and learning just like everyone else.

Carole Freeman: But brushing the teeth, like it’s two things you’re doing there. So it’s a cue to your brain that we’re done eating. You brush your teeth and then you don’t eat anymore. So you cued that habit loop, but also it’s you’re doing something different than you used to. So used to eat and not brush your teeth. So the fact that you eat and then brush your teeth, like your brain’s oh, this is a new thing we’re doing. I better pay attention and learn the way that we do this. So

Joel Byars: I love that.

Carole Freeman: Do you, have you ever used any strict tracker apps or anything? Like how many days in a row you did something,

Joel Byars: but I’ve done it on like a calendar, like a 38 link calendar and I’ll X off each day that’s helped me stay consistent

Carole Freeman: your brain loves those. So things that get immediately rewarded get repeated. And so one of the reasons why it’s so hard to get off sugar also is because it gets immediate reward. And so when you don’t have sugar, there’s no immediate reward. But a cool thing is that a checkbox is an immediate reward to your brain. And and then seeing the progression of that, like how many days in a row is also an immediate reward.

So that’s a little trick that you can do as well as give yourself some kind of immediate reward, which literally the brain is that kind of silly, like it’s gamification of it. And that shows that, if you can, game-ify you give yourself a gold star, a sticker, a checkbox on there, like that literally gives you an immediate reward and it, that will get repeat.

Joel Byars: I love that. I haven’t heard that before. That’s gold. You’re dropping dimes out here. It’s like you’re an expert or something.

Carole Freeman: I just I remember I’m very skilled at Keto, but I’m nerd out at the psychology side of it. So it’s that’s what I bring to my clients I’m really passionate about because it’s not, you don’t really have a lot of people talking about both sides.

Like people are experts in little bits of this. And it’s really important if people are trying to make a long-term dietary change we need to address like what makes habits, what makes us want to keep doing the thing? That’s a bad habit versus, not eating sugar. There’s no reward in that.

So you’ve got, and then the neurochemistry of addiction, cause that’s really, so prevalent in our food world that we live in, there’s addictive foods everywhere. And like you said, it’s ubiquitous and know it’s love and it’s on every corner and it’s how we Sue them ourselves. And yeah.

I love talking about all this, so thank you so much for giving me the opportunity. So

Joel Byars: I love learning about it, seriously.

Carole Freeman: I know we’re coming up on your time. You got go do your husband like duties. Was there anything else you were hoping I would ask about anything else that you want to share about your sugar-free stint? Any comp, any questions, comments from our viewers listeners. Okay.

Joel Byars: I think for me, maybe, yeah, maybe I would say for people who are listening to this and are like, I’ve always wanted to try to quit sugar, be better at being more mindful about consumption or whatever of just taking it incrementally, like one step at a time.

Because even for me to get, to being able to fairly comfortably, go 30 days without sugar and not really. Hate myself for it. Like I’ve done in the past, like when I’ve tried to do this a lot it’s just, I’ve taken each each attempt as a lesson and just making, learning from what I’m doing and remembering what works, what doesn’t work.

So this time I knew having the calendar that I could X off every day, I knew that would help. So it’s just like making it a goal, but like how it goes and then having people in your corner, like Carol, like your environment is huge. And a lot of the times it’s like in a household, one person may have one set of dietary standards and the other is the opposite, so it’s just making sure you have people in your corner to help and support you through this. But it’s just one, one bite at a time, literally, good decision at a time will lead to another good decision. And if you don’t make the best decision, not beating yourself up, but almost celebrating it as oh, great.

Look at this lesson I learned, when I am left alone, maybe I do eat the cereal and then have to go to the grocery store and buy another one and act like nothing happened. Those things

I could I’ve confessed more on this than I probably have about any of my eating habits. But what would you say for me where I’m at now? I feel good about where I’m at with sugar. And I wanna re I wanna continue being mindful. And I don’t really like aspire to be like, oh, in June, I’ll go back to eating sugar.

I really want to I don’t want to say completely cut it out just for the sake of whatever circumstance or whatnot. But I do want to like make this, like my lifelong kind of routine now is that I don’t really eat that much sugar and I don’t really want to and things, but for an expert like you do you have any advice on how to sustain that?

Carole Freeman: Yeah. So just be mindful like you are, it sounds like you’re very self-aware that the tendency is for it to escalate. So you’ve got this 30 days sugar-free, it’s like it restarts, much less goes further now. And so that’s why you feel like, oh, I can have a little bit here and there and I don’t have crazy cravings, but just know that the tendency of the substance is that you’re you’ll want more and more over time.

And so maybe for you, you just have I don’t know, you have some kind of a hard line where you’re like, okay, when things get to this point, it’s time to do another 30 day reset or something like that. But just, knowing that where you’re at now, as long as you keep sugar in your life, it’s gonna, it’s gonna increase.

It just will like because that’s just the way that it works. Kinda like I quit heroin 30 days in once a week. I’m going to be able to keep it like this. And you’re like, like it’s like quitting smoking or quitting drinking. So I would just have decide what your lines are, right.

For drinking, maybe people do dry January, they quit. And then there, for some people they’re able to go okay, just once a week or once a month or something like that, maybe they can stay there cause they create their there’s a book called bright lines that kind of talks about like it’s for eating.

And you basically use, you draw your lines of yes and nos. I allow myself to do this, but I don’t do this. So maybe it’s for you, you set out, I’ll have sugar on my birthday or at a wedding or birthday or something like that, or just, I would encourage you to figure out where your lines in the sand are.

So that, when things have gone too far and not, it doesn’t work for everybody. So some people struggle so much that they’re just like have for me, no sugar hard no, I don’t want to mess with it anymore, but for you, it sounds like it may be something where you could just make some rules for yourself and follow that.

And, as long as they don’t get outside, you don’t start coloring outside the lines then, that can work.

Joel Byars: But even like I saw you did a giveaway with keto chow. So like even those almost like alternatives to process food can become a substitute and it not like I love cereal so

Carole Freeman: I saw you at the Catalina crunch.

Joel Byars: If it wasn’t $8 a bag, I tagged them through a brand deal. I got it on clearance. So I really enjoyed that cereal and such. So it’s like maybe making that more part of it as well and not like making that part of it. And I can be more consistent with that as opposed to like once a month or whatever.

It’s I just want to be confident and not feel like, oh my gosh, there’s a cake. If everyone left the room right now, I would have to eat it all and then bake another one before they got,

Carole Freeman: I had that rule symptom, number nine, that you’re addicted to sugar is you preplan, how are you going to replace the thing you just ate? Cause you don’t want anybody to know you ate it

Joel Byars: and you have to clock it out. Okay. She gets five. So if I do it at 11, I’ll have time.

Carole Freeman: And when like you’re fantasizing about some kind of time travel that you could just go back in time and replace it before you even it is that

Joel Byars: you’re good. You’re good.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. The bright lines is one way of looking at this where you make rules for yourself of yes and no. And another one is the concept of red light, yellow light green light foods. So for my clients, when they’re bringing things back in, I have them watch subjectively how does this affect you?

Can you eat this food without it causing you to be obsessed or to crave it? And so those end up being, green light foods, things that you can have in your house, you eat them in normal portions, you enjoy them, but they don’t call your name all night long. You don’t eat some and then fantasize about eating the rest of it.

Those will be green light foods and they can live in your house. Then maybe there’s yellow light foods. For me nuts or yellow light food. Like I don’t like to have them in the house because I want to eat all of them. But if I, go on a trip or something, or if I can pre portion them, I, have them out someplace else I’ll eat them.

But also I don’t like them living in my house because I’ll want to over eat them. Then there’s red light foods, which are the ones that like, you can’t control yourself no matter what the portion sizes, no matter what the environment is. And you’ve just decided that those are hard. No, I don’t eat those.

They don’t serve me. I’m not able to control myself. And I don’t like the misery of living in that like obsession craving place. So I, that’s another concept that you could use about deciding, like which ones work and which ones don’t for you. And you also have the the not obligation, but the the prerogative to reassess at any time, like you can change categories and change okay.

That worked for awhile and now it doesn’t. So I’m going to reassess. Re set up my parameters for myself. So

Joel Byars: I love that. Yeah. I’m excited about that. Yeah. I just love the topic more relevant. Like people are slowly getting hip to sugars and 80% of the food and grocery stores and it’s killing us.

Sugar literally kills us. It makes us dumber. So people are slowly getting onto that. So this is all going to become more relevant. So I just, yeah, and just, I want to do, I just want to do my best, Carole. I just wanted to do and be my best.

Carole Freeman: Did you find that your during your 30 day sugar-free that you like, did it affect your comedy?

Did you find your more prolific writer or sharper or anything like that or.

Joel Byars: Everything is better.

Carole Freeman: Okay.

Joel Byars: Everything

Carole Freeman: Hundred percent more subscribers on your YouTube channel during that time. And like the comedy classes,

Joel Byars: it all like, honestly, like it’s like the mindset is better and more optimistic and healthier. You feel better physically. I’m a better husband. I’m a better, I’m a better everything when I’m not on sugar, to be honest. And that’s why, like this time I’m like, I want, I just, I want to, I’ve gone on and off for a while for several years, and I just, I want to be like, I’m not aiming for the middle, with like my comedy career, I do want to be taking care of myself so I can achieve all the things I want to achieve. And I know at the heart of it, quitting drinking was a huge one for me, because that was one where it’s one is too many, a thousand is not enough, like that whole thing. So I caught myself with that and the drinkings, then I’m seeing it with sugar and I’ve seen it with sugar.

And I just, I know getting this under control just helps my life overall. It’s the mental side of it. Like physically you feel good and you look good, but like mentally I don’t know how much people understand how much sugar affects our mental health.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. There’s a book that came out. It was last year, the year before by Gary tobbs called the case against sugar.

Joel Byars: Yeah.

Carole Freeman: So basically, 50 or 60 years ago, probably about 60 years ago now. Literally Gover government officials were paid off to say, oh, it’s fat, that’s causing heart disease and everything. It’s not sugar look over there. So it’s finally like coming out that was what happened.

And but we’re still in a place where most people just think sugars, empty calories still, oh, maybe causes tooth decay, but can’t be that bad for us, but

Joel Byars: yeah,

Carole Freeman: sugars pantsers now

Joel Byars: I’m glad it’s happening at this moment though. Yeah. Eating and getting to talk to this at this moment.

And I’m hoping it helps people in general, with their own health journeys. Cause it’s, it is a journey and it’s up and down and all around, but enjoying the process. Helps me maintain just consistency and optimism on days when you just don’t feel like it or your brain, my brain will tell me it’s dumb and it doesn’t matter, oh, this one time will be fine. And then the one time all of, into one month, so

Carole Freeman: I talk, I call that the car monster and your brain. It’s always trying to talk you into oh, one won’t hurt. Like they’re one of my, one of my ladies was in a 12 step program and she shared with me the phrase they talk about is that while you’re inside getting sober, your addictions in the parking lot, doing pushups,

ready to tackle you come outside again. So

Joel Byars: that’s hilarious. You’re helping a lot of people, Carole. I appreciate you having me be a part of what you’re doing

Carole Freeman: here. Thank you, Joel. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you like it just really cool to find that. You know how committed you are to just trying to be a better version of your yourself, and what we call them the health spaces, biohacking, like that’s what you’re doing and trying to figure out how to be better.

And all this stuff that you’re doing your podcast. I didn’t remember how I heard about you, but I think it was through your podcast. Somebody recommend your podcast probably a year or two ago now, and then just, starting to catch you on your lives and everything like that.

It’s really fun. If you guys don’t know Joel’s got classes, you do you do any coaching or is it just some online classes you do too? And you’ve got,

Joel Byars: yeah, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. I have some shorter workshops about joke writing and storytelling and such, and then I have bigger like full length masterclasses, and I do one-on-one coaching as well and have the podcast, hot breath that’s on YouTube and all podcast platforms.

And then my own standard. My website, Joelbyerscomedy.com. I self produced my own comedy special called the trophy husband that’s available on my website. But yeah, I I think in everything I do it’s my mom was a teacher. She always taught us to be of service. She was a single mom with three kids on a teacher’s salary.

She never, we may not have the money to donate, but she always instilled us like the service mentality and always giving what we can, whether it’s time or books or whatnot. So I’ve instilled that into my entire career, whether it’s with my comedy, where I wanted to make sure people are laughing, but also learning and connecting, grandkids to grandparents.

I really just, at this point in my life and career, I’m finding service to be a big motivator for all that I’m doing. So whether you’re an aspiring comedian or just a comedy fan, I think you’ll enjoy the hot breath of verse as we call it.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. Ah, yeah. And just getting to see this other side of you too, of like how just Joel, you’re a good guy. You’re a good person I can tell through and through.

Joel Byars: Oh, thank you. I appreciate you saying that my mom will be proud. And you said that,

Carole Freeman: oh, that’s what we want in our lifes for mama to be proud of us. So how do I spell your website? Joel Byers.

Yeah. So check his website out. You can find all of his things. He mentioned again, like whether you’re a comedian, a comedy fan check it out and cheering him on in his sugar-free journey.

Joel Byars: Yeah. We’ll have to do an update and see what we’re doing and what’s goody, I’m excited.

Carole Freeman: Will you send me your before and after photos of the face that you did. So we can put that in our blog posts. We turn this into a blog post too. So that would be really good.

Joel Byars: I’ll definitely send that to you. That was a game changer. Yeah.

Carole Freeman: Thank you everyone for watching today. Keto chat live, we’re here most, every Thursday. Let’s see, share with a friend, give us a review.

Remember help us grow and we help you shrink. Thank you, Joel, for being here.

Joel Byars: Thank you, Carole. Thanks for having me.

Carole Freeman: Bye everybody. We’ll see you next time.


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