Do You Have a Sugar Monster?
I know I have a huge sugar monster inside of me. If you’re anything like me, you probably struggle with this as well. But WHY does it matter and what can we do about it? Sugar has been demonised a little bit recently and it’s not quite as bad as it’s made out to be. The good news: you CAN have a little sugar in your diet and still lose weight and get a lean and toned body.
But when we have too much sugar in our diet, which happens without most of us even realising it, that’s when fat loss stalls.
Watch the video for my top 3 tips to reduce sugar, tackle tummy fat and accelerate your fat loss results:
Why does it matter?
In a nutshell sugar does a couple of things. Here’s the super-simple explanation:
It’s a carbohydrate that gets quickly converted into energy by your body. Unless you’re being very active and using the energy up instantly, your body doesn’t need it, so it saves the energy in your fat cells or liver for later use.
The problem is that most of us don’t get around to using it up later on so our body fat just increases. Bummer.
In addition, to cope with the influx of sugar that hits our blood stream after we eat certain foods, our body releases insulin, to clean up the mess. Insulin is a hormone that also signals to our body that it’s time to store fat, so the more sugar we eat, the more we store fat, especially in the tummy area. Double Bummer.
The problem with sugar consumption is that it’s highly addictive. Before we even eat the food, our brains are having a dopamine party, when chemicals are released which make us feel good in anticipation of the rush. The feel-good factor that occurs when we eat sugary foods is very real. Then when it goes, we crave more, which is why one little biscuit can start an entire cycle of sugar bingeing that lasts the whole day.
BUT I DON’T EAT JUNK FOOD!
This is how you don’t realise it’s happening. When you eat cakes, sweets, pastries and sodas, of course you know you’re eating sugary foods, they taste sweet, right? But what about the other foods that don’t taste so sweet but have exactly the same chemical interaction with your body?
Rice? Bread? Pasta? Fruit Juice? Yoghurt? Raisins? Melon? Low fat foods galore? One of the issues is that you might not be aware of which foods are causing this cycle to kick in and are hindering your lean body success.
On top of that, sugar is added to a lot of foods that you wouldn’t even think would need it. I found it in a tin of organic kidney beans the other day. (WTF?)
It’s really easy to see how it all piles up when you put it into a bit of context.
For example, the American guidelines say that adults should be sticking around 75 grams of sugar a day. I would say if you have a fat loss goal, it needs to be lower, more like under 30-40 grams or as little as possible.
Now let’s put the 75 grams of sugar in context: 5 grams is a teaspoon, so we’re looking at roughly about 13 or 14 teaspoons of sugar a day, and that includes sugar that comes from fruit, milk, added sugar—the whole shebang.
Let’s say you have an orange juice in the morning—that’s around 5 teaspoons of sugar for a low-sugar version. Then you might have a couple of slices of bread—that’s 5 or 6 teaspoons, as bread is often made with added sugar. As for yoghurt, sugar is often the second-biggest ingredient in plain or flavoured yoghurt. Tea, breakfast cereals, ice cream—(ice cream alone already has 23 teaspoons of sugar on average) and it’s easy to see how a few things add up.
Long story short...
We’re eating foods that are quickly turned into glucose by our body (like starches and fruits) and these make up a higher proportion of foods in our diet than they should.
If you live on bread, pasta or a very starchy-carbohydrate heavy diet, like most women I know do, then this could be where it’s all going wrong.
The simple fact is that most people are probably eating at least double the amount of recommended sugar, which means they’re eating at least 4 or 5 times as much sugar as they should be if they have a weight loss or fat loss goal.
So how do we take it down and get leaner faster?
For women, as you go into your 30s and your 40s, this becomes even more important because we’re looking at perimenopausal hormone changes that mean we need to really get that sugar demon under control.
As you age, you become less tolerant of a high sugar diet and your hormonal balance starts to be affected by too much sugar as well.
Here’s 3 tips to get it under control:
1. Where is my sugar coming from?
Read the back label when you’re buying food and look for added sugars – Try and choose foods that don’t have added sugars. Sugar comes in many forms and it’s not just called ‘sugar’ on the label—anything that ends in –ose is generally a sugar. We’re looking for: high fructose corn syrup, glucose, lactose, maltose, maltodextrin, MSGs, and dextrose.
2. How can we cut down sugars in our diet?
Even natural things like honey, agave, organic sugar, coconut sugar are still sugar and, from a fat loss point of view, your body won’t know the difference. Don’t swap out processed sugars for natural ones—you’re still going to be sabotaging your weight loss goals. Think about how you can sweeten without those sugars.
3. What can I change to take out added sugars?
Use stevia. Stevia does not induce the same insulin response in your body and it doesn’t have calories. It is a great natural way to sweeten your food, though it tastes slightly different from sugar.
Watch what kind of fruits you’re taking in. Especially as you get 40 plus, depending on your unique blueprint, you might need to avoid some of the high glycaemic-index fruits like pineapple, mango, and banana, and instead eat some of the more hormone-friendly fruits like blueberries and raspberries. This will help take down your insulin response.
Dealing with cravings and reducing sugar intake is something that we all struggle with. My 8-week ‘Lean and Lithe’ Program for women over 30 teaches you how to handle cravings, how to balance our blood sugar, and how to make sure we’re doing all of this with a fat-loss goal of building a lean, toned body post-30 or 40.
For more information on Lean and Lithe and whether it’s right for you, you can apply here for a complimentary 1:1 Body Breakthrough Session with me where we’ll look at what you’re doing now, how to improve your results and find out if the Lean and Lithe program is a good match for you. I only work with a handful of women at a time to make sure you get the results you desire. Apply now to get started.
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