DH 50 | Battling With Sugar Addiction

 

The daily diet of the average person in this day and age has been evolving ever since we found ways to mass-produce food. In particular, people have been consuming and becoming more addicted to high-sugar products. Host, Dr. Trish Murray, interviews Michael Collins, CEO of SugarAddiction.com, to talk about sugar addiction and his story behind getting rid of sugar in his life. He discusses the dangers of too much sugar intake, having an unbalanced diet, and how society has been battling over sugar addiction. Bringing with him his book, The Last Resort Sugar Detox Guide, Michael then presents to us a way of conquering sugar addiction successfully.

Listen to the podcast here:

Is Sugar Addiction Real? With Michael Collins

This show is entitled, Is Sugar Addiction Real? I am honored to have with me Mike Collins, who has authored a book entitled The Last Resort Sugar Detox Guide. Let me share a little bit of his bio, but before I do that, welcome to the show, Mike.

Thanks for having me. I’m honored. It’s a pleasure to be on your show.

I’m so glad to have you. I’m looking forward to this conversation because sugar is near and dear to my heart with my patients in the functional medicine world. Michael Collins is the Founder of SugarAddiction.com and Board Chairman of Food Addiction Institute. He has been completely sugar-free for many years and he’s worked closely with others to help them regain lives ravaged by this addictive product. He has been in recovery from substance use disorder for many years and can speak on recovery topics separate from sugar. He raised two children sugar-free from the womb to over six years old. That’s amazing in itself when they only had sugar once a month for their entire childhood. His book, which was rated number one in Healthy Living on Amazon, will also be available to you for free to download. Mike, first of all, I’d love to start every conversation with each person I interview with, how did you come to what you’re doing? Many of us that are out here in this world of integrative and being of service to people and truly helping them get better to have had our own story. Share yours with us. What’s brought you to where you are now?

The short version is I was like everyone, a regular kid. My mom was a sugar junkie and my favorite sugar junkie and she always had a stash. We grew up bread and butter and sugar sandwiches. It was Kool-Aid before we were able to afford soda with three cups of sugar in it instead of one. I had candy all the time, cake and cookies. It was a treat. My mother genuinely believed that sugar was love for children and everyone. It was a philosophy or enculturated belief that has transcended the world for 300 years since the largest cartel started from the Caribbean and ended up back in England. It’s been ingrained itself into society.

This is long before the science now is starting to change people’s minds when high fructose corn syrup came into the diet. I didn’t realize back then that sugar changed my state of feeling, how I felt what I was feeling. I don’t think anyone does, to be perfectly honest and very few people do now. Some people have consciously attacked this issue. When I was about 13 or 14, I started in alcohol and drugs and I realized that it helped a lot more. I could talk to girls. It was much easier. That hole in the soul, that insecurity, that feeling of less than, whatever those feelings that you’re feeling the shame, the guilt, the hurt, the worry or the pain was gone and maybe with drugs.

Flour and sugar are the same. The flour turns to sugar in your stomach. Click To Tweet

That party lasts until I was about 28. Basically, I went back to sugar. Long story short is I was off alcohol and drugs and I’ve been sober for many years but the reality is that like a lot of addicts, I used more of sugar. As I started to grow in recovery, I read a book called Sugar Blues. I loved that book. I loved the history lesson more than anything. It was amazing to me that I never knew. I was in the dark just like anybody elsewhere the largest cartel was ever grown. They started in England with empty ships. They went to Africa and picked up slaves. They went to the Caribbean and the United States and picked up sugar, molasses and rum and built a gigantic empire all over the world.

As a result, it quadrupled or jacked up the amount of sugar that the average person couldn’t use when it was before for kings and queens. I kept studying the stuff. One of the stories in the book is awesome. The author was at a party. He was getting two lumps of sugar in his coffee. He was in an event and a voice from behind him said, “I wouldn’t have that stuff in my house, let alone my body.” It was Gloria Swanson, that famous movie star. He ends up marrying Gloria Swanson. That book was pretty popular. It’s written in the ‘70s and updated in the ‘80s. It was pretty popular back in the day.

Fast forward, I had a regular life, a regular business career. I stayed sober. I also stayed off sugar. I raised a couple of kids sugar-free. Somehow my wife at the time, I talked her into this crazy experiment. She was from the womb to there about six years old, no sugar, no flour, no caffeine. That experiment worked. I’ll be honest with you. We can get into that if you want. The boys turned out without this craving that I had, this desire for these substances to help change how they feel. About a few years ago, I bought the name SugarAddiction.com and started putting out information and helping people get off sugar.

I realized pretty quickly as an anthropologist to the twelve-step in self-help recovery groups that the people in the food addiction, the food world, those people had solved an issue that many years has decimated most of the world, the obesity issue, by total abstinence from flour and sugar. At that point, it was a little bit anecdotal. I can get into why and how that all evolved from the largest food group. Dusty church basins have hidden the secret for many years. At the end of the day, the science is now winning out. The science is now the reason why sugar production is down. The sugary beverage is down. People are getting educated and it’s going to take some time. That’s where we are and that’s my short version of the story of how I got to where I’m sitting now. I call the people that are getting involved with this the canaries in the coal mine. The people can see this now pretty clearly like drinking and driving or smoking in public or condoms in bathrooms. The things that science says, “We have to change this,” and that’s where we are and that’s how I got here.

DH 50 | Battling With Sugar Addiction

The Last Resort Sugar Detox Guide: Learn How to Quickly and Easily Detox from Sugar and Stop Cravings Completely

Many people have different ways into the issues that we’re learning about and teaching about in the functional medicine world. Yours sounds like it was more from addiction as you have shared. Many people might come from pain. Many people may come from anxiety or depression. Sugar as you know well, I want the audience to understand, is a neurotoxin. It does disrupt the brain. It also causes inflammation definitively. If you are having pain and you have anxiety or you have gut problems or you have even heart disease, most chronic disease has an underlying root cause suited in inflammation. If you are eating too much sugar as the typical American is and I don’t know if you were going to quote this, but the typical American consumes 100 pounds of sugar per year. It’s causing a problem. I’m more in the chronic disease world and people with cognitive decline and osteoarthritis, that’s getting worse pain, anxiety and depression. It all starts in our guts and the fact of what are we feeding our microbiome, what are we feeding our brain and the fact that we are disrupted. Please tell us about your book, The Last Resort Sugar Detox Guide. Let’s understand how we can use that and what it’s all about.

It’s a story of my history, how we raised the boys and basically how I came through the world. It’s interesting that you mentioned. I’m a big fan of what you do because you’re a little bit more plugged in allopathic medicine. They’re a little bit more plugged in than the pill pushers. What I’m getting at here is that the addictive background has been such boom in the last few years since Dr. Lustig came out about fructose and the effects of the brain chemicals. The book goes into it a little bit but moreover, I’m interested in getting the message out that 95% or more, maybe 98% or 99% of the $67 billion diet industry is focused on health, insulin, exercise, moderation and all this stuff.

Over the decade that I’ve been doing this, I’ve come to understand that people come to me all the time. They’re 100, 200, 300 pounds overweight. They’re losing limbs. They are going blind. They’re getting diabetes diagnosis, “You’re going to die if you don’t stop using sugar,” and they still cannot stop. To me, that looks like an addiction. That looks like something that it needs a program that is devised to help you understand what’s going on with your brain chemicals. Why the reward system, the dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA and all these things are being manipulated exactly as drugs and alcohol do. It’s this education that’s missing ingredient in that diet industry, in that weight loss industry, in that fitness industry. It’s like the recidivism rate is more. It’s famous. It’s like 95% of people who lose and have a substantial amount of weight, gain it all back and some in the first year.

The people that do that decrease their life expectancy by as much as 5 to 10 years.

We’ll be talking about inflammation. That’s the kicker here. People didn’t think that this was causing inflammation. The brain inflammation, brain science comes out every single day. We’re getting closer and closer to understanding how dopamine has manipulated. The tech companies are manipulating dopamine. There’s a company here in Los Angeles called Dopamine Labs. Their job is to figure out how to reward people playing games and using social media. The sugar has been doing this since people were in the womb, since they were children. It’s a powerful psychoactive motivator. It evolves so that we would have sex and seek out food so our species would survive. We’re playing with it with a substance. It happens to be sweet and happens to have evolved in nature, the fructose.

People talk about the molecule, half of it is glucose, half of it is fructose. They talk about glucose all the time. I don’t need to get into that. What I want to get into is the fructose. The fructose, which we were supposed to have once a year when the fruit was ripe. Now we’re having a powdered processed version of that. A 100 pounds, divide that two pounds a week, go get two pounds and look at what it looks like. It’s a lot of power to push through your body. That goes directly to your dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. It’s like play in with your brain folks.

You don't need to be overweight or sick to be eating way too much sugar. Click To Tweet

I totally agree with you. Sugar is one thing. The other thing is the food industry is out there to manipulate us. We are growing. There’s more people overpopulation. The bottom line is if we don’t eat more than we should, they can’t sell any more product. If they manipulate us to want more and need more and not even know when we’re satiated and know when to stop, we’re going to buy more. They’re going to make more money because in the world, everything comes down to, for whatever reason, economics. It’s such an important part. Let’s talk even a little more like is sugar addiction a real thing and is it truly serious?

In the early days, what I found is trying to get this message out as people don’t like that word first of all. I understand it. I get it. They do not like the word. They don’t like the phrasing. They don’t like the idea. They’re addicted. They think when they seek addiction. There’s a lot of work being done in the substance use disorder world to de-stigmatize it. Substance use disorder or addiction and addicts and all this being replaced by the word substance use disorder. We’re trying to get it to be a health issue here. There’s no shaming involved here.

Is addiction real? I have to believe that it is. Simply because if someone would spend five minutes in my Messenger or five minutes in my email, they would understand the pain out there of people trying to stop this. With all the maladies, mostly weight and all the metabolic syndromes and now diabetes 3, they call Alzheimer’s. The science keeps coming out and people are being informed of this are doing research on it and they still can’t quit. It’s like your friend who has a drinking or drug problem and you can’t say, “Why don’t you stop?” You say that to sugar addict, you say that to someone who is heavy that their sugar use is out of control and they think it’s a logical construct, but they still can’t do it.

They wake up in the morning and they say, “This day is the day.” By 3:00, they’re back using sugar. That to me, if you go down DSM-5 criteria for addiction, sugar addiction does fall into that for all of the people who are chronically using it. I think of it as words. It’s semantics. If it’s a problem, call it whatever you want, but if you can’t stop, if you need some help, reach out to someone who’s done it, someone who can help you not feel crazy. There’s a quote from an Indian guru guy and he says, “There’s nothing great about being well-adjusted to a sick society.” If reality is that this product, sadly as it is, that it got enculturated over 300 years plus into our society as something you can give to a one-year-old and an integral part of every single celebration, sometimes every single meal and now in 84% of food products somehow got into the food system this way and now we have to reverse this. It’s hard. I understand it, but it has to be done. Is it an addiction? Yes, it’s an addiction.

To add to that, if we talk about comfort food, that concept in our culture, sugar is one thing and it’s affecting the reward centers in our brain as we’ve talked about. Also, if you talk about flour, gluten and everybody says gluten is bad. To be honest, if you’d say glue and you want your GI tract to be sticky and glue-like, go ahead and eat all the gluten you want because that’s what it does. The other thing that’s interesting about flour, particularly glutinous flour, is that it goes and binds with a particular receptor in the brain when it converts to a chemical called gluten morfom. Does that sound a little familiar to morphine? It binds to opiate receptors in our brains. It’s no wonder we get addicted. It binds to these receptors and makes us feel more relaxed, calmer and it’s like an opiate. It’s not that someone doesn’t have the wherewithal to get off of it. It’s the idea that it’s going to be a struggle. It’s not that anyone’s per se week or something, it’s the idea that there are true chemical reactions going on and leading towards addictions. It is a serious issue for our culture. I’ve had many patients come and say, “I’m having a hard time on my own getting off sugar or getting off gluten,” for example. You’ve seen that a lot.

DH 50 | Battling With Sugar Addiction

Battling With Sugar Addiction: It takes time, effort, and awareness to understand that sugar is playing with your dopamine and serotonin. It’s an addictive psychoactive neurotoxin that plays with your brain.

 

Part of our program, I hate to scare people away, but it’s to the point now where he had many people. Our program is no flour, no sugar. You cannot do one without the other. It’s not possible. Flour and sugar are the same. Flour turns to sugar in your stomach. The gluten-free movement is the craziest thing in the world. It should be flour-free to be honest with you.

One of the top things I explained to people is that if you go back to the pyramid diet, they were recommending 8 to 10 servings a day of grain. That all gets converted to sugar. One of the top first recommendations I make to anyone to start their detox is to reduce all grains, whether you’re talking gluten or non-gluten or anything to 1 or 2 servings a day at first and move towards exactly eliminating them completely as much as possible.

You’re speaking my language here. We can probably get into the fruit thing later with the fructose, but I was many years into a no flour, no sugar, no caffeine diet, but I still ate quite a bit of grain, a lot of fruit, fruit juices, organic for whatever crap. I literally started to get a little cognitive decline. I’m like, “What the hell?” It’s like not walking into the room and you can forget the keys. One of my parents died of Alzheimer’s and I was scared to death. I talked to a few of my friends on the board at the Food Addiction Institute and they talked about no grains, no fruit and no fructose. The most amazing thing happened and I eliminated all grains and all fruit, pretty much, all fructose. Literally, my hair was falling out and started to regrow. I went up one prescription. My eyes got better. Bleeding gums stopped for the first time in my life. No fructose, no grains and even no sugar. I had bleeding gums for all that time. Every time I brush my teeth, I have bleeding gums. That went away.

The cognitive decline disappeared overnight. In other words, it took about a month or whatever, but it stopped. I’m an internet guy. I got 25 browsers open at the same time. I’m going back and forth. I couldn’t remember which one I was at five seconds ago and that went away. It literally disappeared overnight. I’m not afraid to use my own body as a human guinea pig. These are actual results that happened to me. The stories that I can tell you of people who have quit sugar, flour, caffeine, grains and fructose, those people have changed their lives. They had hundreds of pounds lost. It’s crazy and to see it over and over again and to have to continue to tell the rest of society that this is an issue. I don’t understand, but I’ve got to keep soldiering on it.

We have a connection also with this because my mom passed away from Alzheimer’s and developed it when I was in my twenties. I was the fifth of six children. My mom didn’t even have a child until she was 30. I horribly watched mom decline from her late 50s. She didn’t pass until she was 86. I’m familiar with that Alzheimer’s concept. I’m passionate about it. It starts decades before you start to lose your memory. Absolutely sugar is a neurotoxin and it’s one of the biggest issues. Dr. Dale Bredesen is one of the top neuroscientists out there talking about the fact that there are as many as 30 different lifestyle factors that could be playing into why you’re developing cognitive decline. One of the top issues, the top two subtypes of why people will develop cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s is inflammation and sugar. Sugar is the subtype of diabetes, the fact that we have obesity and a diabetes epidemic in our country.

Sugar is the management system we use for our emotions, that when we quit sugar, we start to get emotional. Click To Tweet

We’re preaching to the choir to each other. The literature is there if someone wants to read it. The overarching topic is addiction real. These are health constructs that are not in the health world. They’re not in the gym. They’re not in the diet books. Nutritionists are the worst of all of them. I hate to say that, but they are the worst of all of the balance diet thing or whatever. This concept of denial is well-known in the addiction world. This idea that we can deny the idea that we don’t have that bad a problem. This is people who are not necessarily overweight either. You don’t need to be overweight or sick to be eating way too much sugar.

The sad part is that you’re a meth addict. You’re going to be not looking good. You’re a drinking addict. You’re going to be drinking, driving and wrecking cars and stuff. Sugar addict, it’s going to be like your mom or my mom, which at the end of her life, was with no mental capacities. All she wanted to eat was sugar. It was definitely that her physiology, her body, she had to have sugar. I don’t want to be the spokesman. I never wanted to be the anti-candy guy. I don’t want to be the spokesman for this societal change. I’m not, believe me. There are a lot more educated and credentialed people than me, but I don’t think they’re looking at it from the addiction side as hard or as strong.

It leads me to the next question, is sugar the original gateway drug to other drugs?

Absolutely, 110%. There was an awesome video that your subscribers would love on YouTube with Eric Clapton being interviewed by Ed Bradley from 60 Minutes. They are sitting at a $7 million Antigua Treatment Center that Eric built with his own money to help recovering people. Ed says to Eric, “This addiction thing, Eric, this all started with heroin?” Eric Clapton says, “No, Ed, it started with sugar.” Ed quizzically says, “Sugar?” He said, “Yeah. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I was eating bread and butter and sugar sandwiches.” I’m like, “We used to eat those things.” He said, “Anything that would change my state, I would eat.”

It’s the same story that I told you as he got older, as he started to need another substance, he got into other drugs. It happens in reverse. Sadly, one of the most amazing things that have ever happened to me in my journey here is that after my parents passed, I went public with my substance use disorder on the website and stuff. I had this flood of people in recovery, not just people who have recovered from alcohol, drugs, everything you can think of, but they could not put the sugar down. It’s not only going in but going out.

DH 50 | Battling With Sugar Addiction

Battling With Sugar Addiction: The pioneers and the people who are successful are those willing to take self-responsibility and  look at their situation in an objective way, eliminate all the biases from it, and then act on the stuff they have.

 

Leading up to their first use of substances, overdose and overuse of sugar, unconsciously and ubiquitous and free. The price is not an issue for most people. You can find it around your house even as a child or you can get access to it or you can steal it. There are many stories of stealing candy all the time. When you get into drugs and alcohol, on the way out, people substitute sugar, caffeine and nicotine for those things. They’re going on the way out. It takes time, effort and awareness to understand that sugar is playing with your dopamine and serotonin, exactly the way it is. It’s a neurotoxin. It’s an addictive psychoactive neurotoxin that plays with your brain.

We are not educated yet enough. Science is not educated enough to say a perfect diagnosis like, “That’s lung cancer. We can’t say that this is to what degree, with what sensitivity. Different people have different sensitivities. Sugar is acting on the person’s dopamine receptors or even what it does. There is enough evidence now that it does play with that. People that are honest can tell you that they get a buzz. I wish more people would understand this that you get an elevated sense of self-esteem, of calm, of relaxed, of all is right with the world especially people who are abstinent of sugar for 90 or 120 or a year or whatever, a long time. When they get accidental ingestion, they feel the buzz intensely.

As we get to be adults, we’ve used it for so long, we think it’s part of our life. We think we craved a candy bar. We’re playing with this feeling system that’s inherent in our body. It’s part of our nature, our makeup, our evolution. Yet we don’t make it understandable. We don’t realize what’s happening because the product is almost free and ubiquitous. We don’t understand that our “cravings” are synonymous with cravings for a beer or a joint or whatever. They’re not put together in the equation. We think it’s life and we think it’s aging. People get these maladies. They didn’t get the maladies in the old days. They didn’t exist.

Each one of them is a chemical that’s affecting the reward centers in your brain. For example, alcohol or other drugs that we call drugs, our culture and our society have named them that and categorize them as a drug. Sugar doesn’t happen to have fallen into that because as you brought up the book, Sugar Blues, the history of it from the beginning, sugar was controlled by governments and organizations in the religious world. It never got a bad rap. It’s been okay supposedly in our society. It doesn’t make it that it’s not a drug. It doesn’t make it that it’s not neurotoxic. Now we’re bringing it out into the world. Functional medicine docs and functional medicine providers are looking at this hard because it’s connected to health.

You’re way ahead of 90% of the shows I get on. You’ll give me a menu and what’s the diet plan and that stuff. I don’t think it’s deep thought at this point. It’s pretty obvious, but they haven’t even gone down that rabbit hole. They’re health providers or health coaches or what happens.

Somehow, all the success stories are pioneers in their own right. They're not afraid to go against the grain of the society. Click To Tweet

The other thing is that not everyone is as sensitive to each and every chemical within each and every food. You could be talking about a nightshade vegetable. You could be talking about gluten. You could be talking about dairy. I am sensitive to dairy, gluten and caffeine. I have been and I’ve been those things free for many years. I’ve done a ketogenic diet for the last few months. I’m exactly like you. My brain is much clearer even though I run an amazingly busy business and have a lot of stress in my life. I can handle it 1,000 times more than I was even a few years ago when I still had grains in my life. I still wasn’t eating a lot of per se sugar, but I was eating more sugar and grains were a part of my life.

That’s the interesting part. That’s going to be much harder a mountain to climb and people are starting to relate to the sugar. You can see it’s processed into a powder. The grains somehow are going to be another one but I believe that like you do. I think the grains are equal. I don’t think we evolved. The evolution of when we started eating grains is about five minutes in human evolution. It’s not long and we haven’t adapted well to it.

Let’s shift, Mike, and talk about how do we help people? Why does typical sugar detox not work? People get off of it for a little while, but they pour in back into it. How can we help? How does your guide help them be able to be successful?

That’s the important question and thanks for asking it. The solution does lie in the universal success of peer support groups simply because you will be alone, your workmates and your family. People have a credibility problem. The reason I named it The Last Resort Sugar Detox is because everyone has tried ten different other things to do to get off sugar or what every diet book says. 95% of them get off the white stuff. They’ve tried and they’ve tried, everything, weight watchers. The stuff I’ve never heard of, they’ve tried everything. They’ve paid money, done pills, potions and whatever.

In reality, if people would do their own research and get into the stuff that you and I have been talking about and get together with a group of people that have done it before, that are successful in doing it and stay with that crowd because we’re herd animals. The people in your family, your work or the people who believe in moderation or the health coaches who are counting their carbs or whatever, I don’t think those folks are maliciously trying to derail anyone. They don’t want you to leave their group. They think it sounds extreme to be 100% abstinent from these products and they think that it’s not necessary. I’ve heard many stories about moderation.

For some people, you can’t outrun your biochemistry. It sets up cravings. We’ve got a guy who’s about six months off sugar. The cravings are less every day that passes. Your mind is not screaming and the physicality. I wish I had words to describe how cravings affect people because this is why people keep using the product, craving the stuff. You can’t eliminate the cravings. What happens when you get with a social group, you can pick up the telephone and you can say, “I’m losing my mind. I’m a normal attorney. I have a case coming up. I have to have a Hershey’s bar.” The other person can talk them off the cliff.

Once you get past that 30 days, once you get past that 60 or 90, we call it the gift of 90 days. Once you get past 90 days, the physical cravings have diminished but that’s when the real work starts. That’s the emotional part. I don’t know if you want to get into this because it gets deep. It’s something I believe with all my heart I’ve been through and I’ve helped hundreds of people go through it. In the early days, the reason these drugs work is that when your parents yelled at you or they wanted you to do something, they motivated you with sugar. Sugar became a reward system, a way to change your state to change how you feel. As you got older, this was your go-to management system.

This was the management system that you use for your emotions. People can’t believe that when they quit sugar, they start to get emotional. They get weepy. They’re irritable. They’re scared. They’re crazy. They’re wild. Their emotions are bouncing all over the place and they don’t understand why. They don’t have time in their life to change this. What they have to do is go to work and what they used to do to go to work is to have a big block day with sugar in it, and they were okay because it calmed off the withdrawals. You have got to get to the other side and you don’t get to the other side. Once you get to the other side, you’ve got to understand that this recidivism that we talked about, that 95% of people going back was when an emotional situation comes up.

Either one, you started to remember from way back when or a new one, you will not have this for a go-to emotional management tool to use anymore. You have to have new ones in place and ready to go. It’s not that you’re starting a yoga practice, a meditation practice, walking, call a friend, get a hug or go to a group. Whatever is comfortable to you to do something different than walk or to grab sugar to help quell the bad emotions, to quell the rougher emotions, if you don’t have these things in place, you’re doomed to failure. It’s a deep subject. There is some great literature out there I can refer your people to, but it’s my fascination with all this that we’re playing with our life coping mechanisms. We’re using a substance to do it. That’s what we got to try and get out of. That’s what we’ve got to reverse. It’s an easy program.

I couldn’t agree with you more, you’ve got to lean on your fellow man. You’ve got to get social groups. We are social beings. In this world, we are becoming more and more isolated. They’ve done studies where if they test the inflammation markers in someone’s body, they rise if someone is in more and more isolation. We’re back to inflammation and what are they seeking to quell the inflammation, the anxiety, the depression or the feeling of alone? They want to affect the reward centers in our brains to shift those negative emotions. We’re reaching out for things that are going to help us do that. I couldn’t resonate with you anymore on this topic. That’s awesome.

Listen to your body, but do your own research. Click To Tweet

My clinic, we run group visits because that’s what it’s all about it. On the American College of Family Practice, they’re doing a whole education on how doctors could be doing group visits and using insurance to pay for them for people. We do it in my clinic on a regular basis because it works. People support each other, hold each other’s hand and learn from each other. I don’t have every answer for every person. Maybe the person sitting next to you does and maybe they’re the one that’s going to help you save your life. Please get into a social group. Hold hands with your fellow men and find the people that are going to help you be successful. I couldn’t resonate with that anymore.

It’s a rare group that understands all this. Some twelve-step groups understand it, but there are also pitfalls there. We’re trying to figure out ways to do it online, but that also has its drawbacks. It’s better in person, but it’s better than nothing and a lot of times, you meet online and meet in person.

We also do online group Zoom things and talk to each other. My health coach and I work with people through telemedicine and we do group visits. You don’t have to live in the White Mountains in New Hampshire to work with us. How about you? How are you working with people and how do they reach out to you and find you?

It’s exactly what you are talking about. We have the same types of Zoom meetings and our goal is to have them 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the hour. We have the largest group on Facebook, a forum on Facebook. We have the largest sugar addiction page on Facebook. It’s truly a community. It’s a group of people who are the canaries in the coal mine. They’re the people who have come to a conclusion. I find that somehow all the success stories are pioneers in their own right. They’re pioneers in some other thing in their life. They’re not afraid to go against the grain of the society a little bit if it means health for them and their family. That trait seems to be persistent or prevalent among all the people. Our stuff is the same as yours.

People talk about the internet changing the world. They used to talk about rock and roll and television, cars doing the same thing. It is what it is. We have to integrate it in the best positive light that we possibly can. Telemedicine, tele groups, forums and all that stuff are magic for people. I’ve seen it. We have a two-year birthday every single week now in our forums. A lot of people didn’t participate in anything else except they went online and they talked to people and type to people. They ended up getting committed more and more each time. Every time they slipped, they’d come back and they got success. Here’s a great story in the New York Times. There’s a no drinking forum on Reddit. Reddit is like the cesspool sometimes in the world. I don’t know if you know what it is, the giant forum. It’s like the number 4 or 5 site in the world. It’s a big site. There are one million people there helping each other to quit drinking. There’s no program. There’s nothing like that. There is none of that stuff. It’s amazing. I think it’s positive.

It’s people helping people which is what it all comes down to. We help each other get where we need to go because this is a journey. It’s not a destination. The idea of giving up all sugar and all grains. It’s not typically something that someone’s going to do overnight and forever. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes focus. You’re going to fall off the wagon at times and you’re going to get back on. That’s how life is. Mike, is it SugarAddiction.com? Is that where some of them go first off to try and reach out to you?

It’s SugarAddiction.com. We’ve got quizzes and stuff. You can take a quiz, watch your video or read the blog. I would suggest that if you go to the website or if you read this entire interview, you probably don’t even take the quiz. Sugar is probably an issue and you’re thinking about it. Our Facebook page, you just put sugar addiction into Facebook and we come up first. You’ll find us. We’re trying to build a platform of people that you and I have been talking about. What you and I are basically preaching to the choir is that there is a group of people out there who believes as you and I do. It’s just that they’re not aggregated together. They’re disparate. They’re separate from one another and we need to get that group together for them and for their children, for their families. You can find us. We’re on the interwebs.

Make sure you download Mike’s book, The Last Resort Sugar Detox Guide. It’s essentially a free download is what I understand. Make sure you download that. Mike, thank you so much. I always like to end my interviews with this question. What’s your number one tip or your number one secret that you would recommend to everybody to live a healthy life?

It’s think for yourself. The present company excluded doctors and no one really knows your body. It’s a trite old saying, “Listen to your body, but do your own research.” The pioneers and the people that are successful, the people who are willing to take self-responsibility and to look at their situation in an objective way, eliminate all the biases from it and then act on the stuff they have. If it doesn’t work, try it again. You might fall off the wagon, you might do this, might change whatever, but do it for yourself and don’t follow a crowd that is possibly not going in the right direction. The answer is to do your own research and be your own doctor. Learn to be your own doctor.

I couldn’t resonate anymore being a doctor myself that suffered an injury in my late teens as an elite athlete and permeated the disc at the back of the base of my spine. Every traditional medical doc basically had no answer for one. I kept looking and looking and finding my answers to the way to heal myself. That’s what’s led me down the path I lead, which is I have a relationship with every patient and it is a mutually respected relationship. I do not necessarily have all the answers. My job is to educate people on different options. What’s the traditional medical model? What’s the functional medicine model? What are other models? If I can help you find the answer and the person that’s going to help you be successful, so be it because that’s all that matters in the end.

There are not enough of you out there, to be honest with you. That’s a great ending. I like that.

Michael, thank you so much for being on the show with me. Make sure you go to SugarAddiction.com and learn how you can get off all the sugar and the grains because it’s not going to keep you in a healthy state. Thanks, Mike.

Thank you. Take care.

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About Michael Collins

DH 50 | Battling With Sugar AddictionMichael Collins has been completely sugar-free for over 30 years. He is Chairman of the Board of a Food Addiction Institute that helps raise awareness about processed food and sugar worldwide and is the founder of SugarAddiction.com, which has been helping thousands successfully quit sugar for over nine years.

Michael and his wife raised two children sugar-free from the womb to six years of age. For over 30 years, Michael has worked closely with others to help them regain lives ravaged by various substance use disorders.

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