We all know that too much sugar is bad for our health. But if you’re trying to lose excess weight and body fat, you should pay close attention to your sugar intake. Too much sugar in your diet prevents you from burning fat effectively, and may be sabotaging your workouts. We’re talking about “added” sugars, not the sugar that occurs naturally in milk and fruit. There is a difference.
The fix? Read, read, read the nutrition labels at the supermarket! Even if it says “no high fructose corn syrup,” or “organic,” the food could still be full of added sugars. Be aware of products that list any sweetener–including honey, molasses, sucrose, fructose, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, malt, corn syrup and fruit juice concentrate–as one of the first ingredients. And check out this list I’ve compiled of top unexpected “sugar” culprits:
yogurt (get plain and add fruit)
granola/granola bars/protein bars
bread (including some whole wheat brands)
dried fruit (the natural sugar in this is okay, but many manufacturers add more)
peanut butter (get Smucker’s natural)
iced tea, juice, sports drinks
That’s not to say you can never have any of these things. But like I said, read the labels! There are lower sugar versions of these things on the market. (I’m not a huge fan of artificial sugars either. I recommend that you limit them as well, but that’s for another post.) And get creative. Buy an unsweetened version of oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal, and add your own natural ingredients. Remember, the less processed a food is, ie, the closer to nature it is, the better.
Cutting a huge amount of sugar from your diet can be very difficult in the beginning, I know. I used to be a sugar addict. But after awhile, you get used to it. You may even grow to like food better this way, in its natural form.
When all else fails, take baby steps. And everything in moderation. And don’t give up. 🙂