Today I want to continue building on our Wednesday theme – the subject is sugar – you probably guessed it by the title! Let’s get right to it!
I know you hear tons about sugar already but I want to shed some light on key information as it relates to the holidays. I have been a weight loss coach for many years and I have seen many levels of sugar addiction. It’s fascinating to see how many different people with different backgrounds are all affected by sugar.
I want to talk today about hidden dangers of sugar and what you should know now (before the holidays) because what you don’t know can in fact harm you or the ones you love most. The holidays are almost upon us so we have to hurry up and take a serious look at this!
Most people know that sugar is not good for them, but for some reason, they think the risk of high sugar intake is less of a problem than having too much saturated/trans fat, sodium or even calories. If you really understood what sugar was doing to your body, you might just put it at the top of your “foods to avoid” list and prevent your loved ones from over consumption during the get-togethers.
Sugar and alcohol have similar toxic liver effects on the body
I bet you didn’t see this coming! Well it’s unfortunately true. The authors of a 2012 paper published in the journal Nature showed evidence that fructose and glucose in excess can have a toxic effect on the liver the same as the metabolizing of ethanol – the alcohol contained in alcoholic beverages.
Sugar already hides in many everyday “non-sugar” foods
Many people attempt to avoid the typically known sugary culprits prior to the holidays (candy, cookies, cake, etc.), they often are surprised when they discover some of their healthier preferred foods also contain lots of sugar. We are talking tomato sauces, fat free dressings, tonic waters, marinades, crackers and of course bread. You knew about bread but since it is the taxi that transports many other foods, as Lise likes to say, I figured I’d mention it again. She is totally right, it is!
An overload of sugar may shorten your life AND significantly affect the quality of your life.
A 2013 study estimated that 180,000 deaths worldwide may be attributed to sweetened beverage consumption. The authors summarized that deaths occurred due to the association with sugar-sweetened beverages and chronic disease risk such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. “Just say no” to the glass of soda – it’s not worth the risk!
The list could go on and on but I want to point out a relevant link between sugar and this time of year. Many of us have traditions over the holiday period. Some have cookie exchanges, bake offs, baking days (I raise my hand on that one) and so on. This is just the first part of the holiday sugar battle. The second is going to those events! I want you to consider that all those events had a “first time”. You might consider starting another first this year… just remove one of those traditions and replace it with a sugar free alternative!
Christmas time is well known for being a sugar-coated holiday, and if you are determined to not fall off the wagon (and feel like crap because you did), get in there with a plan! I’ve got a few key tips to share:
Explain to people what you’re doing, early on. This way they won’t feel offended when you don’t take their special Christmas cookies, which they are probably proud of and eager to share. (They might even try to send them off with you to save themselves from eating the whole batch!)
Pack healthy snacks and bring them to share. IP offers nuts, chocolate soy puffs and many recipe ideas you can make with the chocolate drink that you can eat and share guilt-free. You can also just bring a nice platter of veggies, they always get eaten!
Ask /serve warm drinks like tea or coffee, they satisfy the cravings to eat just for fun.
If you diet, don’t drink alcohol! Not only is alcohol high in sugar, but one or two cocktails can really, really weaken your resolve. Plus you’ll feel hypoglycemic (i.e. like ”crap”) the next day, and isn’t the whole point of the “avoiding sugar” thing to feel better and get healthier?
If you’re still new to the low / no-sugar game, pass up making cookies and candies this year. You will reach a point when you can make sweets without eating them all, but until then, be kind to yourself and don’t put yourself in temptation’s way.
Making changes isn’t easy! I want you to think that with every change you propose, you will get some resistance but you will also inspire someone! No food will ever replace good quality time with family and friends! After all, isn’t it all about coming together to talk, share gifts, sing and reminisce? You really are sweet enough as it is, and your kind of sweetness won’t jeopardize your health!
Have a great Wednesday!
Coach Carolyne xoxox
… and all the coaching staff at Food-Wise!
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