JitFit Sugar Challenge!

There’s this constant debate as to whether sugar is addictive or not, but debates aside, it’s a fact that over consumption leads to weight gain (not to mention tooth decay too!).
It’s really important to start off by understanding that our bodies have no need for sugar at all; in fact our bodies would continue to function just fine without any sugar whatsoever.

‘We need sugar for energy!’ I hear you cry. Well in actual fact, the body prefers complex carbs for its main source of fuel rather than the white stuff, which is classed as a simple carb. Complex carbs like sweet potato, rice, wheat, whole grains etc. also give the body loads of other nutrients and good stuff. As the breakdown of these foods takes longer, the release of glucose (sugar) into our blood is at a much slower rate (slow release of energy). Simple carbs (sugar), on the other hand, is broken down instantly which causes a huge spike in your blood sugar levels. Not good!

Unlike those who cut whole food groups out of their diets as a means of losing weight, for example, cutting out carbs completely (which is stupid and does not work in the long run), cutting out sugar would have no negative effects whatsoever and your body would continue to function perfectly.

The big problem we have is that over the years food corporations have been packing our foods with sugar without consumers even realising! Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the Government waged a war on fat, people were explicitly warned of the dangers of consuming too much fat and we were lead to believe it was the reason behind the nation’s obesity problem and of course, the number one cause of heart disease. This prompted food manufacturers to offer foods that were low in fat or fat free, however in order to make sure it still tasted good, they loaded it with the white stuff. This meant, the majority of the nation had been eating low fat diets and yet the obesity crisis continued to get worse. It is now so bad that the poor health outcomes caused by being overweight could bankrupt the NHS!

When I discuss cutting out sugar with my clients, the initial response is usually along the lines of ‘well I don’t really have any sugar’ (sound familiar?). The truth is that so many of the foods that we consume already contain naturally occurring sugars or sugar has been added to them. This has left many of us not really realising or understanding how much sugar we’re consuming, until we actively become mindful of it. Let’s take breakfast for example: a bowl of cereal, most will contain added sugar, the milk we add to our cereal also has sugar (lactose), if you add fruit to the mix that has sugar (fructose) too, and to finish it off, throw in a glass of orange juice which is also packed with it! So you can see that from breakfast alone, you could have already consumed quite a bit of sugar and that’s just the beginning of the day.

Right, I hope your still with me, I know it’s a lot to take in but I’m almost done (it’s also interesting to note that by cutting out sugar you can also increase your concentration, mood and regulate your hormones!). Let’s quickly discuss the idea of how brown/cane sugar or sugar in fruit or honey is good for you.

At this point you’re hoping that I say it’s good for you and you can eat as much as you want….right? Well apologies, but sugar is sugar and whether you have it directly as the white stuff or in the form of honey, it behaves in exactly the same way in your body. The reason why fruits are good for you in moderation is because they have not been refined and still have lots of other nutrients, fibre and vitamins. So of course, it you’re looking for a sugary snack, fruit would always be the better choice over a bar of chocolate or a chocolate digestive, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it doesn’t contain sugar.

I realise by now, you’ve probably had enough truth for one day, so I’ll leave you to have a think about your own diets and the secret sugars you’re consuming without even realising. Whilst, I think it would be great if everyone was able to cut sugar out of their diets completely, I also know that sugar is one of the most addictive substances known to man. I think it’s really important that we are aware of this and start to take control back from the food corporations who have been sneaking sugar into our foods and make conscious decisions to be responsible for what we are eating. I mean, we all want to be around as long as possible, right?

Now, the first step is to sign up for the challenge, you may ask why the challenge is two months long? Well folks that’s how long it takes to change behaviour and ditch this bad habit!

Jit joshi
JitFit Ltd