If you want to lose weight, there is one thing you ought to eliminate from your diet…sugar.
Sugar is a villain in your quest to lose weight. You are probably thinking, “Of course, everyone knows that sugar is fattening.” Well, there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s important that you understand exactly why you ought to avoid sugar.
First, let’s define sugar. Sugar takes many more forms than the white table sugar with which you are familiar. Sugar includes corn syrup, maltose, lactose, fructose, sucrose, brown sugar, honey, molasses.
When you ingest cakes, cookies, chocolate, cereal, etc.—in other words, simple carbohydrates—you flood your bloodstream with sugar. (You need to begin to read ingredients labeling to determine if there is sugar in the food. You’ll be surprised at just how many foods contain sugar in one form or another.) The pancreas then produces insulin, a hormone designed to pull sugar out of your bloodstream and deposit it in your cells and your liver.
Because the pancreas does such a good job, your blood sugar rapidly drops lower than it should. (That explains your swings in your energy level.) Your brain then gets the message that your body requires more sugar to return the level to normal. As a result you feel a need to eat more sugar. And the cycle begins again.
Many people believe they are “addicted” to sugar. I guarantee you that, if you didn’t eat sugar for three or four days, that feeling of “addiction” would pass because your blood sugar levels would be stable and you would no longer feel the craving for sugar.
In addition, the pancreas releases another hormone called glucagon that helps to release fat from your cells. When you eat sugar all the time and the pancreas has to constantly release insulin, it is prohibited from releasing glucagon. As a result, you are literally locking fat in your body.
You might ask, “What about fruit?” Many people think of fruit as a great diet food. How often do you see someone having a plateful of fruit for lunch? Remember that fruit contains fructose, a natural sugar responsible for the sweetness of the fruit. It’s important to know that just because it’s natural, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s alright to eat it. It works the same way as any sugar. Now, we know that fruit contains many vitamins and minerals and should be a part of your food plan. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you need to keep your fruit consumption low, focusing on those fruits that contain less sugar, such as apples, pears and most berries.
Now, I don’t want to leave you thinking that you can never again have sugar. Even while you are losing weight, there is one time that, if you must, you can give yourself permission to eat sugar. That time is immediately following an INTENSE training session. But be sure the session is intense because working hard will deplete your body of its glycogen stores (that’s the name for sugar stored in your cells and liver for energy). Your body can store only a small amount at a time so it is possible to deplete it during an intense workout.
But don’t overdo it. Remember, while you are in a weight-loss mode, you need to be particularly careful with what you put in your body.