Why Sugar Might Be Affecting Your Weight Loss More Than You Think
Halloween is just around the corner and the temptation to reach for a candy bar seems harder and harder to resist. If you’re feeling the unavoidable urge to veer off your healthy meal plan for a few sweets, take a moment to consider whether it is a Trick or a Treat.
Many of us rely on sugar to trick ourselves into a better mood or to give a short term boost of energy throughout a busy day, but there are a few things you should keep in mind about it that can drastically affect your weight loss journey and overall health.
It’s in our nature to crave sugar. It’s a natural ingredient, a simple carb, that has been part of our diet for thousands of years. The body uses carbohydrates for energy and sugar is the first fuel burned.
However, when trying to lose weight, moderation is key because you want to reduce sugar and carbs in your system so the body burns fat instead. Even the sugars in fruits, vegetables and milk are processed the same as refined sugars, making no real difference in the way your body breaks down and stores the glucose.
The good news is that you don’t always have to rely on sugar to enjoy a sweetened beverage or occasional dessert treat. There are artificial sweeteners that can help you sustain weight loss without giving up that sweet tooth, such as Stevia, Splenda, Swerve and Erythritol.
There has been controversy about whether artificial sweeteners are good or bad until the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association issued a Scientific Statement that said “Smart use of artificial sweeteners could help you reduce added sugars in your diet, therefore lowering the number of calories you eat. Reducing calories could help you attain and maintain a healthy body weight, and thereby lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes”.
Keeping Blood Sugar Steady Is Vital
Maintaining blood sugar levels within a healthy range is very important for your well-being. Sugars lack essential nutrients and enter the body as empty calories. This leads to temporary energy followed by a crash that makes you crave it even more.
Fatigue, weight gain and mood swings are just a few of the benign side effects of overconsumption. However, high blood sugar levels can lead to more life-threatening complications such as diabetes and coronary heart disease which can severely diminish your overall quality of life.
Sometimes It’s Unavoidable
There will be moments when temptation gets the best of you and that’s just being human. Because we have a natural predilection for fat and sugars, it’s understandable when your self-restraint is tested.
The TRICK is to be prepared before and take charge of TREAT temptations to keep your weight in-check. Here are two tips:
1) Reach for water first. Your mind does not always distinguish between hunger and thirst. A cold glass of water can satisfy your craving and distract from the urge to indulge. If you find your hand reaching for the candy bag, grab water instead and move on.
2) Think inside the box. If you do succumb to a sweet treat, cheat inside the box. Having a Hello Healthy Box protein bar or chocolate protein shake will limit the calories, carbs and sugars and fill you up to avoid eating multiple candies.
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