3 Days, No Added Sugar

 

Whenever you’ve had a stretch of time where you feel “sugared out”, a great way to get back on track is to plan 3 days of no added sugar in a row. After a 3 day break from added sugar, your body will not crave it (it’s addictive, but that’s a whole other post) and it will be much easier to stay away from excess amounts of it. “What is she talking about?”, you may ask. And what is the difference between added sugar and natural sugar?

Natural sugar is the kind of sugar that occurs naturally in foods, such as the sugar in fruits and veggies or the ones in dairy products. Added sugar is processed sugar the manufacturer adds to packaged and processed foods.

The obvious added sugars are found in sugary treats like donuts, cakes and cookies. But did you know there are added sugars in almost all processed and packaged foods to up their flavor appeal? Here’s a list of foods that include added sugar that you may not be aware of:

Canned or jarred pasta sauce
Ketchup and other similar condiments
Breads (even whole wheat), rolls and other bread based products
Gluten free packaged snacks
Crackers
Canned soup
Salad dressing
Snack bars
Energy drinks (they are chock full of sugar)
Take-out food
Almost all canned food
Sweetened yogurt (this includes fruit on the bottom)
Refined (white) flour and products made with refined flour
Soda
Juice
Alcohol

(Thank you to ElizabethRider.com for this list)

So…now you know what to stay away from. What should I eat? How should I plan for the three days?

  • First, pick three days in a row where eating 0 added sugar would be the easiest. For me, this is three workdays in a row, i.e. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Weekends are out because an unexpected get-together with friends or family can quickly derail all my best laid plans. I also have much more control of what I will eat for lunch because I pack it ahead of time. Can’t eat what I didn’t bring!
  • Second, throw out or at least make it extra hard to get to any “added sugar” snacks in your home.
  • Third, get online and search for low sugar or no sugar breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas. You’ll need at least three of each meal idea and nine snack ideas. If you’re a Pinterest person, make yourself a board titled “no sugar meals” and pin your favorites.
  • Fourth, make a grocery list that includes ingredients for your nine meals and nine snacks you have planned out. Also stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, raw nuts etc. in case you need a little extra something.
  • Fifth, drink plenty of water during these three days. You should have at least 64 ounces of water each day. My suggestion is to drink ONLY water. Three days is not that long to go without some other type of drink. If you have to have coffee, drink it black and no sweetener in your tea. Okay, Stevia if you have to, but nothing else!
  • Once you are done with your 3 days with no added sugar, keep track of your grams of sugar on food labels. Men should have no more than 37.5 grams and women should have no more than 25 grams daily. Will you stay under every day? Probably not, but the more days you can hit that goal, the better you will feel!

I usually do a 3 days, no added sugar challenge right after New Years Day. If you would like to join me this year go to my Facebook page, Sue Kauffman Fitness and like the page. I’ll be posting links to resources you can use and we will be supporting each other during the three days.

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Online Fitness Coaching: Sugar is the New Fat

There has been a lot of buzz lately about added sugar. It seems to be replacing fat as the bad guy in your food. Why should you be concerned about this? Do you know what happens to your car when you put sugar water in your gas tank? It doesn’t work correctly. The same thing happens when you put too much added sugar into your body.

Your body needs specific nutrients to perform at peak levels. When you eat too much added sugar, it causes a spike in blood sugar levels. This is followed by a crash. When you have a crash your body is telling you, “I’m hungry!” You didn’t feed me the nutrients you need. The sugar is not cutting it!” Your body wants nutrients. If you continue to feed it junk it can’t use, it will signal you to feed it something else. The more junk you eat, the more food your body will want, trying to get the nutrients it craves. See the problem?

How much sugar is too much?

According to the American Heart Association, women should have no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day. That’s 100 calories or about 6 teaspoons. Men should have no more than 36 grams. That’s 150 calories or about 9 teaspoons. The good news is that the sugars found naturally in fruits and vegetables are good for you and part of a healthy diet. No need to limit those.

Since most Americans eat WAY to much added sugar, here are some tips for reducing the amount you consume:

  • Limit sugary drinks such as soda, tea and juice. Water is the best drink choice.
  • Cut back on sugary breakfast foods. Check the nutrition facts label and remember, if your cereal is changing the color of your milk, it’s probably loaded with sugar.
  • Check ingredients. If sugar or or sugar type ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, honey, etc.) are in the first five, avoid it or at least eat sparingly.

I just finished a 7 day “no added sugar” challenge I am doing with Slimkicker It’s almost impossible to limit your added sugar intake to 0. Sugar is added to everything in our society. I have been able to keep it to about 12/15 grams per day. I did not feel deprived and I loved the added benefit of not feeling hungry all the time. I did have to consciously make different food choices and it does take some effort. Happy to report that a nice flat stomach has made the effort worthwhile!

Here’s a sample of what I ate for one day to give you an idea of how YOU can cut back on the amount of added sugar YOU eat. Try it and let me know how it goes.

Breakfast: Shakeology 7 grams added sugar OR Whole grain sandwich thin with one teaspoon peanut butter 3 grams added sugar

Snack: Snack bag of grapes 0 grams added sugar

Lunch: Grilled pork loin, orange, 10 Tostitos corn chips 0 grams added sugar

Snack: 1/2 Pure Protein Bar 2 grams added sugar

Supper: Spinach dinner salad with grilled chicken strips, walnuts, feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. 2 grams of added sugar.

Water to drink for each meal and snack.

Total added sugar for the day: 11 to 15 grams

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad