Different kinds of sugar exist and can be found in processed foods. This makes sugar hard to avoid. However, the nutritionist JJ Virgin offers some tips on how to avoid this ingredient and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Most people think that the natural sugar that comes from raw cane, natural fruit juices, and agave is fine for consumption, but they can have a negative impact on the health, too. Added sugar is not the issue, but the main problem is that there is a lot of our food we do not recognize as sugar. Having apple juice might be worse than having a soda, or yogurt sweetened with fruit juice concentrate. This nutritionist created a structured program that is helping people break free of the sugar cravings, reduce weight, and then do a food challenge.
Burn fat as a primary fuel in order to end sugar cravings
No matter from which source it comes, sugar is the same thing to the body. Once you break free from the need of sugar, you will feel greater energy and clarity of mind. Your body has to switch to burn fat instead of burning sugar in order to end those carvings.
There should be a transition period and you’ll need to taper down with the Sneaky Sugar Inventory (the starting point), things that you’ll never talk about (things like marinara sauce and sundried tomatoes). These things contain much more sugar that add to our food, and we are not aware of this.
The impact of sugar
You will need to weight yourself and also measure your waist-to-hip ratio. Do a complete list of hidden sugars in your diet, i.e. carefully read the labels on the foods that you consume, as well as those you would never expect to contain it (sauces, marinades, pickles, etc.). Fructose and glycemic load are bad, while nutrient density and fiber are good. The food can be low, medium, or high in sugar impact. This makes things like agave sweetener or milk look great. People think that fructose is low in glycemic index, thus go for it.
Fructose does not trigger the whole insulin response and it does not trigger insulin, leptin, or ghrelin. This does not tell the body that you have consumed anything, but the food goes directly to the liver. If there is no room for it to become glycogen, then it will start becoming fat.
Sugar feeds fungi, yeast, and bacteria in the gut, and the symptoms of having an impact of high-sugar can include gas and bloating. There are also rare symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, inability to lose weight, and sugar cravings.
There are 3 cycles of the sugar impact diet
- First cycle – it lasts for 1-2 weeks and involves swapping high to medium sugar impact foods. If you consume pasta on regular basis, then replace it with quinoa pasta. In order to prevent insulin spikes, eat each two hours.
- Second cycle – when you notice improvements in your symptoms you will be ready to go into cycle two that includes reclaiming your sugar sensitivity. You will need to reset your taste buds and reclaim the ability to taste food. You will have to get rid of all the fructose and get down to 5 gr or less (per day). Take fructose as low as possible because you do not want your body be good at processing it. If you eat it more, your body will become much better in handling it, thus the faster it goes into your liver, the faster your body builds fat. You go down to all low-sugar impact foods, and still consume great things like wild salmon, grass-fed beef, avocado, kale, seeds, nuts, lentils, legumes, and a little quinoa. A lot of people will be able to move from burning sugar to burning fat real quick. Make sure not to skip phase 1, as if you skip it, you are most likely to fail.
- Third cycle – you are going to reintroduce some medium or high sugar impact foods. In this way you will feel overwhelmed by the sweetness, thus the psychological grip of sweet food will lessen. You will be able to notice how eating sour food will help you reduce sweet cravings that produce additional benefits. Eating fermented foods will improve your gut health.
Healthy alternatives for snacks
One of the healthiest snack alternatives are nuts, particularly macadamia and pecans. They are low in protein and high in fat. Consume them in moderation because of their high calorie content. You can also try dehydrated kale chips and roasted Brussels sprouts.
The last maintenance phase
People burn sugar as their main fuel nowadays, and in order to see if yu fall into this category, you will need to observe the frequency of your meals. If you feel hungry and consume foods each two hours, then you are burning sugar. When you switch to burning fat you will feel hungry each 6 hours because burning fat is much slower process.
This phase differs from the weight loss phase. During the maintenance phase, you will have to set new goals and do different fitness activities. Connect the dots between what you eat and how you feel. You will need to lose the sweet tooth and reclaim your sugar sensitivity.
Mix up your exercise and food. Allow the food tell your body to burn fat, and not sugar, keep steady energy, great focus, and reduce inflammation. The same things go with exercise. It can be therapeutic or destructive. Opt for high-intensity interval exercises in order to create metabolic changes which boost fat burning and promote health and muscle growth. Exercise in a fasted state so that you can restore and rejuvenate the muscle tissues. Experiment and see what will work best for you.
You can go ahead and play with both, if you eat a bit prior workout, you will work much harder. If you do resistance training take some food before. If you do burst training, then do it first thing in the morning, it won’t take much long (15 minutes at the most). You can exercise a couple of mornings weekly. Do the resistance training 2 times a week and have some food before it. Afterwards, take something really good.
If you follow up these tips you will be able to switch from burning sugar to burning fat as its main and primary fuel, putting an end to sugar cravings. You will also manage to lose weight.