If I were to award a single food item with the title of ‘Fastest Way To Pack On The Pounds', hands down the winner would be refined sugar.
We have been eating more and more sugar over the past 200 years, which has led to rising obesity numbers. Back in 1822 the average person ate only 6.3 lbs of sugar per year, compared to 130 lbs of sugar in 2012. That's more than 20 times as much sugar in our modern diet! No wonder we are bigger than ever…
One of the reasons that your diet is filled with so much sugar is that some form of refined sugar is included in virtually every single processed food. This is yet another reason that it's important to cut those processed and packaged convenience foods out of your diet.
Cutting sugar from your diet is easier said than done. Once it is a part of your daily diet, cravings strike, causing you to eat it even more frequently. But there is hope.
Here are 7 Ways To Crave Less of that Sugar that you're eating that's killing your results and keeping you from attaining your goal weight:
1) Eat More Protein
A diet rich in protein keeps you full, satisfied and less likely to crave sweets. A great way to make sure that you are getting enough is to plan each meal and snack around a protein. Plan breakfast around eggs, lunch and dinner around baked chicken breast, and make snacks hard boiled eggs or baked meatballs. Try the recipe below for a protein-packed, sugar-busting snack.
2) Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
One of the biggest fitness myths out there is the idea that calorie-free, artificially sweetened beverages don't impact your fat loss results. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is that the diet soda you're sipping is making it harder for you to reach your goal weight. While the diet soda itself doesn't contain calories, it has been proven to cause cravings for sugary foods. Put down the diet soda and instead pick up a refreshing bottle of spring water.
3) Steer Clear Of Saboteurs
The sad truth is that people in your life will try to sabotage your low sugar diet. You'll run into that pushy person at the office who insists that you eat a donut, the well-meaning family member who dishes you up a bowl of ice cream, and the friend who comes over with a plate of her home-baked cookies. The best avoidance strategy is to sincerely thank the sugar-pusher for their gift, tell them you wish you could eat it, and then blame me – your trainer – as the bad guy who says that you need to cut back on sugar.
4) Try Dark Chocolate
For those moments when your sweet tooth is relentlessly badgering you for something sweet, ditch the super-sugary candies and stick with a small square of very dark chocolate. Chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa content should be the only candy that you keep on hand. The benefit of the cocoa, in addition to the lowered sugar content, makes dark chocolate an occasionally justifiable treat.
5) Stick With Fruit
What's sweet, colorful and comes in hundreds of flavors? Organic, seasonal, fresh fruit, of course! As you remove refined sugar from your life, feel free to add in some natural sugar by way of fresh, local fruit. It's amazing how satisfyingly sweet fruit is – it's truly nature's candy.
6) Change Your Palate
As you begin to limit your intake of refined sugars, you'll find that your tolerance for sugar decreases. This means that something that didn't taste sweet before – say a green apple – now has uncanny depths of sweetness. What's happening is that your sweet receptors are becoming more finely tuned, now that you're not overwhelming your palate with sickly-sweet refined sugar.
7) Workout Like You Mean It
A regular, challenging exercise routine will not only get you into amazing shape, it also reduces your cravings for sugar. The endorphin rush brought on by vigorous exercise is an even more powerful feel-good-feeling than the pleasure gotten by indulging in sugary foods.
Make challenging, consistent exercise a part of your life by signing up for my fitness program. I'd love to get you to your goals using my results-driven method.
Simply call or email me today to set up your first workout.
Why Is Sugar So Bad? Not only does it promote rapid fat storage, here are sugar's other dirty little secrets:
Working out hard is an essential part of any fat loss plan. It sculpts your muscles, raises your resting metabolism, whittles down your waist and gives you functional strength and endurance.
The only catch is that you can seriously slow, or even reverse, your results by eating poorly. There's nothing quite as frustrating as when you are working out like a champ only to face the same belly rolls each morning.
To keep you from giving up in frustration, I've put together the following 3 Easy Food Tricks to amp up your results.
Why am I calling these tricks? A trick usually implies that someone is getting fooled, and, well, in this scenario you're that someone. These tricks will fool your taste-buds and your mouth into thinking that you're eating your regular favorites, when, in fact, you'll actually be eating a meal with fewer calories, fewer carbs and more fiber.
This means quicker fat loss and smaller belly rolls.
That sounds fantastic, right? So let's dig right in...
Easy Food Trick #1: RICE
Rice is a big part of many a meal. There's white rice, brown rice, stir fried rice, sticky rice, wild rice and the list goes on. All of these kinds of rice (yes, even brown rice) are packed with carb and calories. This is great, if you are a growing child or an athlete, but not so great for someone like you with a fat loss goal.
Rather than give up rice completely, because that would make your veggies and meat look really lonely on a half-empty plate, let's turn to Easy Food Trick #1.
CAULIFLOWER RICE: Now, don't get skeptical on me until you give this food trick a try. To make rice from cauliflower first wash it and trim the leaves and stems. Chop into small pieces and then run those pieces through a food processor with the grating attachment. This will result in a rice-like consistency. Place the cauliflower rice in a large skillet with a Tablespoon of olive oil and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and you are good to go. Serve your normal vegetable and meat dishes over a bed of cauliflower rice just as you would traditional rice.
Easy Food Trick #2: NOODLES
Have you ever noticed that when you crave your favorite pasta dish, you're actually just craving the sauce? Noodles alone are bland and unspectacular. The magic, as well as the protein, is in the sauce.
Noodles, like traditional rice, are packed with calories and carbs that get in the way of your fat loss results. So, rather than just eating a bowl of sauce, try Easy Food Trick #2.
ZUCCHINI NOODLES: Again, try this trick before you knock it, I'm guessing that you'll be pleasantly surprised. Wash a zucchini, and then run a vegetable peeler down its sides, creating long, wide noodles. Stop when you reach the inner, seedy part of the zucchini. These raw, zucchini noodles do not require any cooking, simply throw them onto your plate and top with your favorite pasta sauce. (Of course, I'm assuming that you're not going to use a white, cream-based sauce, but that's another article for another day.)
Easy Food Trick #3: BREAD, BUNS, TORTILLAS
Cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles are all find and dandy for those meals that you prepare at home, but what about your meals eaten out? Many restaurant meals revolve around bread, buns or tortillas. These things are tasty, yet filled with calories and carbs that add to those annoying belly rolls.
That's when you turn to Easy Food Trick #3.
THE LETTUCE WRAP: This trick is more popular than the first two, so you may already be familiar with it. How does it work? When ordering your meal, be it a sandwich, burger or tacos, ask that it be wrapped in lettuce in place of the bread, bun or tortilla. Most places are really cool about it, and you end up getting to eat the good part of the meal – the meat and flavors—without the carb-filled extras. If for some reason the restaurant is unable to wrap it in lettuce for you, then ask for the filling to be placed on a pile of greens and eat it with a fork.
Try these 3 Easy Food Tricks out for the next 30 days, and see how quickly your fat loss results ramp up. The improved results will motivate you to workout harder and more consistently, which will then add to an even greater level of fitness.
If you aren't yet one of my clients, now is the perfect time for you to start. My focus is to get you to your goals using my results-driven method.
Simply call or email me today to set up your first workout.
Tricks Become Tradition The real fat loss benefits from the 3 Easy Food Tricks above come when you make this way of eating a part of your lifestyle. It may sound strange or hard at first, but – like anything—once you grow accustomed to that style of eating it will feel comfortable, and you will be leaner!
Owner and Lead Personal Trainer at Perfect Fit Wellness Center.