There are lots of challenges when it comes to dieting. There are all sorts of obstacles and set-backs; but one of the worst is sugar.
It’s so fattening and yet despite our best efforts it tends to slip in and wreak havoc on our diet. Why is it so bad for us? That’s a really complicated question, but it mostly comes down to this; sugar doesn’t do anything useful for our bodies. It provides no nutritional value so it’s empty calories.
Sugar does pretty much nothing but turn into pure fat. About the only time this would be “healthy” is if we were facing starvation and needed to get some meat on our bones in a quick and effective manner. That’s not the case in first world countries. If anything, a lot of major countries are suffering obesity statistics like never before in history.
Some fats are useful. Meat is fattening but its high in protein so it’s good for people who work out a lot. Dairy products can be fattening but they’re high in calcium and promote strong bones. But just sugar by itself, sadly; doesn’t really DO anything. It’s just pure useless fat.
The good news is that this makes cutting sugar out of our diet a very straight-forward decision.
But just because taking sugar out of your diet is simple in concept doesn’t mean that it’s simple in practice.
Cutting it from a diet is hard because it tends to sneak in to food items where you’d never suspect it. Almost all of us have too much sugar in our diet. So how does so much of it get in?
A big problem is that sugar is put into almost every processed food as a flavor enhancer. Having some dressing on your salad? Odds are there’s sugar in it. Having some meat with your meal? Odds are the glaze or marinade it was cooked in has sugar. Having some ketchup on your hamburger? Yes, sugar again. How about a glass of healthy fruit juice? Tons of sugar.
Even though we don’t eat pure sugar, it’s still packed into almost everything. So lots of it tends to sneak into our day to day diet.
The best weapon you have here is education. Know what you’re eating and what’s inside it. Read labels and find out how much sugar is used. Also find out how much sugar occurs naturally in certain foods, such as fruit. You’ll find you have some low sugar options such as blueberries, when compared to other fruits. Realize that sugar in fruit has fiber, and that means your sugar level won’t spike as high as when you drink fruit juice without fiber.
When your sugar spikes, it then crashes soon after, leaving you feeling hungry all over again. The more you eat, the more you want.
Having SOME sugar in your diet won’t be the end of the world. It’s just a matter of portion control and knowing how much you’ve had over the course of one day. If a little sneaks in here and a little more sneaks in there, over time it adds up. Make sure you’re careful about what you’re eating.
The less processed your food is the least likely it is to contain high levels of sugar.
But it’s not just what we eat; it’s also what we drink. For some people, this is actually the worse factor when it comes to sugar intake. With food, we get full. If we eat too much, we reach a point where we physically can’t put any more in. But drinks? They move through our digestive system a lot faster and it’s easier to just drink more and more of, say; soda for instance.
Sodas are extremely notorious for getting a ton of sugar into your diet. They’re almost nothing but pure liquid sugar, and they never make you feel “full” so you could just drink big heaping amounts throughout the day.
One of the simplest, most effective first steps a dieter can take is to drink water. Notice we didn’t say “diet cola,” we said water. Yes, diet Coke doesn’t have sugar, but artificial sweeteners come with their own list of cons; such as making you hungrier when they’re in your system.
Lots of people have lost weight JUST from drinking more water and eating/drinking less sugar, so if you’re going to start living healthier, then this is a great place to start.
When you start reading labels you may be surprised how much sugar is sneaking into your daily diet.