How much sugar are you eating?
The main reason people find it tough to lose body fat is that they are eating way too much sugar. One of the problems is that many people want to eat healthily and cut out their sugar but they have no idea how much sugar is actually in their food.
I have written many times before about regulating blood sugar levels, but it really will help you lose body fat.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY BODY?
When we eat a sugary food, our blood sugar levels spike. To regulate these levels the pancreas releases Insulin, which causes our cells to open and the sugar to be transferred to these cells, causing us to put on fat. This release of insulin causes the blood sugar level to dramatically drop and we will experience a sugar crash. Our energy will drop; we may become irritable and will crave more sugar/ carbohydrates. So the cycle continues, more insulin is released, more fat is stored and even though you are doing lots of exercise you have no idea why you can’t get rid of the fat around your belly… sound familiar! So in conclusion, insulin makes you fat.
HOW TO CONTROL OUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
The problem is that when people start to “eat healthily”, they cut out chocolate and sweets but don’t realise how much sugar is still in their diet.
How much of the following are you eating?
· Sugar in your tea/ coffee?
· Chocolate/day/ week
· Sweets/ day/ week
· Fizzy drinks (if you want to lose weight cut these out, even the diet drinks)
· Cereals; Special K has as much sugar per 100g as vanilla ice cream. The manufacturers have also been increasing the amount of sugar added over the years. Since 1978 special K has twice as much sugar.
· Packaged food- salads, sandwiches etc.
· Processed foods; Ready meals can have as much as 23g sugar/100g
· Tinned foods
· Bread and bagels
Just so you are aware all carbohydrates are sugar’s and cause your blood sugar levels to spike and fat to be stored. It is the type of carbohydrate you are eating and what you are eating it with that will determine how much of a spike you experience and how much insulin is released. Therefore breads, pastas, rice, fruit, cakes, sweets and fizzy drinks are all responsible. So for those of you that have toast with honey or jam for breakfast and wonder why you get an energy crash mid-morning, this is why.
Bread and bagels are another food that can be very high in sugar. When the grains are harvested, the manufacturers remove the brown outer layer (fibre) and the germ (minerals and nutrients). They are left with the endosperm which is made into flour. This flour contains no fibre and very little nutrients (many manufacturers add some man made vitamins and minerals). When we eat the bread, bagels, cookies etc. made with this flour our blood sugar levels spike as there is no fibre to slow down the digestion process. That is why eating whole grain bread, pasta and rice are all better for you as it still contains the brown outer layer/ fibre and helps control the insulin release.
SO WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING?
· Wholegrain breads, bagels, pasta, rice, quinoa . Brown bread is quite often white flour dyed brown.
· Protein with every meal; again this slows down the digestive process and stops an influx of sugar being released into the blood.
· Full fat dairy products. Low fat yoghurts and deserts may well be low in fat but they are high in sweeteners and additives to make them taste better. These also cause an insulin release. It is not the fat in the food that makes you fat it’s the sugar or sugar alternatives.
· Eat fresh food. Why buy packaged foods/ ready meals when it is so easy to make good healthy food?!
· Read the labels. Look out for the words sugar, dextrose, glucose, high fructose corn starch, mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol, maltodextrin… these are all sugars or sugar alternatives.
The key is to stop the rise and dip of the blood sugar levels. Just remind yourself that every time you have an energy crash after eating food, your body is storing fat as insulin has just been released. Eat protein along with your carbs and don’t eat processed foods and sweets!
Your body only craves these foods because you eat them regularly. If you stop feeding yourself these types of food you will stop craving them. It may take a few weeks to get out of your system but once you cut them out you won’t even miss them. If you have ever given up something for lent of a long period of time, you will agree that after a few weeks-month you stopped even thinking about it.