Monday, November 1, 2010

For The Girl Who Loves Pastries, You know Who You Are.

Sugar. America is basically addicted to it. In any form really; chewable, suckable, drinkable, name it. It's been done. It's addictive, but why is that? Many people have created a habitual need for sweets. For example, let's say you routinely have dessert after dinner, and so now your body craves that sweetness every time you finish a meal. Or perhaps you keep a bag of Peanut M&M's in your desk drawer at work, and you munch on them throughout the day. Now whenever you sit in your desk at work it's like Pavlov's Dogs, you feel that need to munch on your M&M's. All habits are learned, so this means if we learned them, then we can unlearn them as well. Your routines CAN be broken, but that doesn't mean it will be a piece of cake, (no pun intended.) Cravings exist because we feed them, and so we continue to have them. We have to take control and cut out the sweets, in order to cut out the cravings.

Every time you have sugar your blood sugar levels spike due to the fact that sugar, and simple carbohydrates are absorbed quickly into the blood stream. To try and facilitate this rise in your blood sugar, your insulin levels rise. This creates a hormonal imbalance in your body, and sets off a series of hormone releases. You want to avoid an increased level of insulin because it is a storage hormone, excess insulin will cause you to store fat...which if you are constantly causing surges of insulin through eating a lot of sugar and refined carbs might create a problem for you. Insulin will work until it can get your blood sugar back down, and at that point there will be an excess of insulin released. Your body will want to raise the blood sugar again so there is something to counteract it, causing cravings for more sweets. Do you see the vicious cycle that is forming? 

Whole grains, lean protein, high fiber, and greens keep the blood sugar at bay. When you realize what those refined sugars do to your body it's no wonder every diet tells you to cut them out. FYI, the average American consumes about 115 pounds of sugar per year. That is a LOT of sugar.

So what should you do? If you are looking to cut down on your sugar make a log of what you are eating every day, writing down the grams of sugar that your ingesting. You might be thinking about the candy you eat as sugar, and failing to realize that the pumpkin bread, apple juice, protein bar, and breakfast cereal are packed full of sugar just as much if not more so than the candy you're eating. You should be aiming to eat no more than 30 grams of sugar per day, not counting the natural sugars found in fruit. If the average American is consuming 115 pounds of sugar per year that means the average American is consuming about 150 grams of sugar per day. Yikes! And we wonder why we have problems. 

If you're an addict, find some good healthy alternatives. Fruit, natural frozen yogurt, healthy cereals, etc. Cut out the sugar and you will see miraculous results with your weight loss.


Benita said...

bless you. what would i do without you and these posts. i'm going on 4 days strong today.. woot woot.

Cody Sanders said...

Love this Megan, can I post this on PHITpro's facebook page? After this weekend, I feel the effects of sugar overload, and I refrained from eating that much. It's true, our body does feel so much better when it is hormonally balanced. Thanks for the reminder!

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

I needed this post so bad!! I have been eating way too much sugar! I am switching over to fruit for those sugar cravings! Thank you so much for your sweet comment yesterday, it seriously made my day! LOVE YOU!!

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