The challenge that we're presenting to you this week is to avoid all added sugars for 7 days.
This challenge won't be an easy one as most people are hooked on sugar. But, if you can push through it, the rewards will be worth your while.
First let's go over the danger of eating sugar. To start with, you have the rapid blood sugar spike. This will give you a quick boost of energy, but then leave you crashing afterwards. This will leave you feeling anxious, jittery, weak and tired, all at once.
Second, the calories will add up. Sugar is very calorie dense so it can rapidly cause you to gain body fat if you don't watch how much you take in daily.
Third, sugar stresses your pancreas. Your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which removes extra sugar from the blood after you eat it. If you're taking in high amounts of sugar regularly, this is going to place great strain on your pancreas.
The end result? You could wind up suffering from diabetes or other serious health conditions.
Finally, sugar also contains no nutrients. Sugar is essentially 'empty calories', meaning they won't do any good for your body.
The Different Sugar Varieties
Now let's look at a few different type of sugar varieties. First you have straight table sugar. This is the most common variety consumed. In addition to that there is honey, molasses, and maple syrup. While these aren't quite pure table sugar, they still contain glucose and will have the same reaction in your body.
In addition to calorie-containing forms of sugar, you also want to avoid sugar-like products as well. This includes all the calorie free sweeteners that are available today. Examples of these include Splenda, Sugar Twin, or NutraSweet. Also be sure to avoid sugar alcohols, including malitol and xylitol, as these can cause severe stomach upset in many people.
What about fruit? Well, there is a difference between fruit sugar and regular sugar. Fruit sugar is naturally occurring and although it is a type of glucose, it also contains many nutrients along with dietary fiber. Therefore, these do not need to be removed as part of this challenge, but you should still eat fruit in moderation.
How To Satisfy Your Sugar Cravings?
As you go about the process of removing the sugar you eat, you might suffer from food cravings.
If you do, here are a few quick tricks to help:
- snack on fruits - they're sweet but healthy
- drink a tall glass of water with lemon - sometimes food cravings are just thirst.
- eat complex, wholesome carbohydrates - these will increase blood sugar levels, but in a healthier way
- get up and exercise - sometimes increasing the blood flow and getting moving can eliminate food cravings
So stay strong and committed to this week's challenge. You'll notice better energy levels, greater concentration, and may even lose some weight if you do!