Whether it’s Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Atkins, Cambridge… all diets start with the very best of intentions, but historically the majority then don’t manage to stick to it. Why is this!? Why are over 25% of adults in England classed as obese? (according to NHS survey 2012). This is 3 times the amount since 1980!
More and more research is now proving that it isn’t fat that is the enemy but it’s sugar. The common trend since 1980 is that as our sugar consumption has increased so to has our obesity problem. The MASSIVE problem that exists is that sugar comes in all sorts of disguises and it’s ridiculously addictive.
If you check out the ingredients of the stuff that you really crave and enjoy and see anything ending in “ose” then it’s a sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
Let’s keep this simple now. Once we have consumed any of these ‘oses’ the body will deal with it in one of two ways. Either we burn it off as energy (just about impossible given the amount that the average person consumes each day), or it’s converted into fat by the liver and stored in fat cells.
The biggest danger of the above is type 2 diabetes of which there are twice as many known (there are also a huge number of people that don’t realise they have it) in the UK since 1980.
As far as healthy guidelines and limits of sugar each day (remember we are talking added and hidden sugars here – anything ending in ‘ose) is 6 teaspoons per day for women and 8 teaspoons per day for men. An easy way to measure this is divide the number of grams by 4 to get the number of teaspoons. Couple of examples then:
- Snickers bar has 27grams (so around 7 teaspoons) of sugar
- 330 ml can of coke has 35grams (around 9 teaspoons) of sugar
- Krispy Kreme doughnut has 26grams (6 1/2 teaspoons) of sugar
Get this then. In America of the 600,000 different food items found in their Supermarkets 80% are spiked with added sugar and the industry uses 56 different names for them! Why do they do this?
Because people are becoming aware of the dangers of over consumption of the stuff and so if we don’t realise we’re actually buying it then they will sell more, especially given that it’s proven that it can be as addictive as many class A drugs!!
If you’re wandering whether you might be addicted to something then just try giving it up for a couple of weeks and see how you feel and if you crave it.
These big companies (usually the culprits are any company that advertises) have us held hostage and herein lies the major problem with sticking to these so called diets and resolutions. We blame ourselves for not having the ‘willpower’ to keep going.
Hidden sugars to look out for on that ingredients list:
- anything with syrup in the name
- anything ending in ‘ose’
- fruit pulps and concentrates
- anything with sugar in it (obviously)
Check out those pasta sauces, salad dressings, breakfast cereals, low-fat yogurts, and breaded fish fingers and chicken bits.
Our bodies treat those white carbs in a similar way to pure sugar unfortunately. So breads, crackers, bagels, pretzels, starches such as rice, cereals, potatoes, corn and fruit juice all come under this category.
So watch your sugar intake. Be wise to these big companies that are very cleverly trying to push their addictive foods on to you. I can absolutely guarantee that if your sugar intake comes down so to will your weight and body fat %. This then becomes more about a long term lifestyle change rather than a short term diet that doesn’t work.