Week 11 Challenge – Say Sayonara Sugar!
Oh sugar… sugar, sugar. It’s all around us, and most people don’t even realize how much of it they’re consuming daily. The average yearly consumption of sugar is an astonishing 150 pounds. That’s over 180 grams of sugar per day… just 2 cans of coke (or any regular soda for that matter) is around 90-100 grams of sugar alone!
If you’re not visualizing this yet – then hopefully this will help:
A typical bag of sugar that you’d find in a local grocery store is 5 pounds. In 1890, the average yearly consumption was 5lbs… and now, it only takes the average American 2 weeks to go through that 5 pounds of sugar.
It’s enough to make you SICK! … and boy, does it.
Here’s a list of what sugar can lead to, for starters:
- Heart Disease
- Headaches and Migraines
- Kidney Disease
- Hyperactivity (especially in children)
- Crash in energy levels throughout the day
The list could go on, but I think you get the point.
Aren’t you sick and tired of that pudge around your waistline? Do you or your family have a history of diabetes? Is your digestive system out of whack at times? Do you suffer from headaches or migraines? Does your mind feel cloudy, making it hard to concentrate at times?
Well here’s a kicker: It’s NOT because you’re eating sugar!
It’s because you’re eating TOO MUCH sugar!
One very important thing to realize is that sugar (glucose) is a very important fundamental fuel for our bodies. The part that people either don’t know or don’t care enough about, is that our body needs only a fraction of the 180 grams of sugar that the average American consumes annually. What our body doesn’t use for energy ends up getting stored as fat.
- If you drink a couple cans of regular soda per day – then you are most definitely already consuming way more sugar than you should be.
- If you binge at night time on sweets – then you are most definitely already consuming more sugar than you should be.
- If you love that energy drink every day – then you are most definitely already consuming more sugar than you should be.
IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, then welcome to the Week 11 Challenge:
It’s time to Say Sayonara Sugar!
If you’re wondering why sugar is so bad for you, then here’s a basic explanation of what happens when you consume too much sugar:
- Your body cannot metabolize a sweet snack (or soda) as fast as you can eat (or drink) it.
- The excess sugar is either put into your bloodstream as glucose, or is stored by your liver as glycogen for later use.
- But your liver can only hold about 90-100 grams of glycogen.
- When your liver can no longer store anymore glucose, it packages the excess as triglycerides through fatty acid synthesis.
- These triglycerides are then transported to various organs as long term glucose storage, thus making you more fat.
The good news is that these triglycerides can be reconverted back into glucose and used as energy. This is what we all call “burning fat.”
And now that you understand how sugar metabolism works, you hopefully want to consume less sugar!
Cutting back on 1 can of soda a day is certainly better than nothing, but it’s simply not enough. This week is all about making sure you’re not consuming too much sugar – so it’s time to say bye-bye to all the added sugar you’re so used to, and may not even think about.
Here’s some ideas to help get you rolling successfully:
- STOP reading this right now, and go throw away anything in your fridge or pantry that is processed and/or has refined sugar (poptarts, specialty coffees, candy, icecream, snacks, sugar itself, sugary juices or fake juices, etc.).
- STOP using sugar in your coffee, tea, oatmeal or anywhere else. Instead, opt for an all natural sugar-free sweetener like Stevia (it tastes just like sugar).
- STOP drinking soda, right now. Do it for a week and see how you feel… I promise, you’ll want to quit.
- EXERCISE MORE – the more you exercise, the more energy your body needs, and the less sugar it will store as fat.
- LOOK FOR FIBER – Fiber helps trigger your brain in making you aware that you are full. Although fruits can have a lot of sugar, they are also high in fiber, which is a good thing.
Many people have a huge problem with quitting soda. You may have even tried in the past, only to come back to taste the sweet, bubbly flavor of that favorite canned beverage.
But if there’s only one thing you do, make it to cut out regular soda for good – It is so important to do this. Here’s why:
Soda is very high in fructose, which is very bad for you because of how it is processed through the body. Fructose can only be processed by the liver, which means more calories. Fructose sends about 3 times more calories than glucose through the liver process, which means a much higher storage of fat and bad cholesterol.
Fructose also changes the way your body recognizes hunger by resisting leptin -the protein that is vital for regulating hunger. In other words, there is absolutely no way for your body to tell you, “STOP! I’m GOOD with energy for a while now!” Additionally, soda (especially Coke) has lots of sodium in it. Who would want salt in their soda? Well, it’s there to make you more thirsty. Sodium (and Caffeine, which many sodas contain) makes you urinate more often, making you that much more thirsty. That salty taste is all masked by adding more fructose, resulting in the high sugar contents of soda.
As a result, you drink more soda… and in turn, storing more and more fat.
Now this isn’t all to say that cutting out sugar is going to be easy (I actually don’t recommend going completely cold turkey). Take 2 or 3 days to step down. Sugar can be physically easy to cut out, but psychologically can be much more harder to quit. This is because sugar can actually cause a dependency. And this dependency has a best friend: it’s called Stevia.
Studies have shown that the dependency caused by sugar was unchanged when sugar was replaced with artificial sweeteners. This leads researchers to believe that the dependency is not calories (whew!), but rather, sweetness.
And if you have to have that sweetness, try using Stevia – an all natural sugar-free sweetener made from a leaf extract. As you gradually lessen your “sweetness dependency,” you will certainly notice the difference.
And this, ladies (and gents), is your challenge this week.
Say SAYONARA sugar! 🙂
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To health and life,