People tend to overuse sugar and it is an unhealthy habit. The increased consumption of sugar leads to health problems.
First, you should know that there are different types of sugars – there are artificial ones and there are the natural ones. Not all sugars are created equal, and they’re hidden in most of today’s processed foods.
The famous author, nutritionist and fitness trainer JJ Virgin will help you open your eyes to the way sugars are hidden. JJ Virgin wrote a new book in which she gives practical advices on how to steer clear of this harmful ingredient and protect your overall health.
The name of the book is “In The Sugar Impact Diet: Drop 7 Sugars to Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks”. In this book she explains the confusion surrounding sugar. Many people around the world think that if the sugar is all-natural, it’s fine to eat. But, they’re wrong.
Agave, natural fruit juice, raw cane sugar, and any number of other natural sugars will still wreak havoc on your health. She says that the sugar is really public enemy number one and this is the main reason why she chose to focus on it. She also says that she doesn’t think added sugar is really the problem. She thinks it’s what’s in a lot of our food that we don’t recognize as sugar.
Whether it’s having apple juice, which is probably worse for you than a soda, or having a yogurt sweetened with fruit juice concentrate, or whether you’re just thinking that fruits are free for all, these are all creating problems. She says that she wanted to create a structured program that could help someone break free of those sugar cravings, drop the weight forever, and then let them go back and make a food challenge.
To End Sugar Cravings, Your Body Needs to Burn Fat as Its Primary Fuel
She says that it doesn’t matter if the sugar comes in the form of a muffin, a fruit juice-sweetened yogurt, or a smoothie – it’s all the same thing to your body. Virgin says that all food is information. So, once you break free from your body’s constant need for yet another sugar fix, you’ll experience great levels of newfound energy and clarity of mind. But in order to get there, you need to retrain your body to burn fat as its primary form of fuel instead of sugar.
But, you should know that this can be a real challenge for many. Her book specifically addresses the gradual process of getting from burning sugar to burning fat as your body’s primary fuel, in order to maximize your chances for success. She also says that there’s has to be a transition period, where you go from sugar burner to getting your body to be able to start to burn fat again.
This means that you have to taper down from where your starting point is, which is what I call a Sneaky Sugar Inventory, of things you would never think about that we’re just using like crazy not realizing how much sugar this is actually adding into our food.
The Sugar Impact Scales: A New Way of Looking at Sugar
First, you need to weigh yourself and measure your waist-to-hip ratio, to determine your starting point. After that, you should do an initial inventory of all the hidden sugars in your diet. Now you probably ask yourselves – what this means? Well, this means reading the labels on all the foods you eat, including items you might never expect to contain sugar, such as that jar of pickles, condiments, sauces, and marinades, and so on. She lists all the sneaky places sugars hide in your diet in her book, and by creating what she calls Sugar Impact Scales, she’s created a new way of looking at sugar.
JJ Virgin says:
“It looks at fructose grams, glycemic load, nutrient density, and fiber. Bad are fructose and glycemic load; good are nutrient density and fiber. Depending on where the food falls, it can either be low, medium, or high-sugar impact. The reason this was so important to me is I keep looking at programs out there, and they either focus on fructose… glycemic index, or glycemic load. That can be very confusing because it makes things like agave sweetener look great. It makes milk look great… People usually say – We should have fructose because fructose is low on the glycemic index.”
And the real difference between fructose and glucose is fructose doesn’t trigger the whole insulin response. Because of that, it doesn’t trigger insulin, leptin, or ghrelin, so it doesn’t tell your body you ate anything. Instead, it just goes to the liver. If there’s no room for it to become glycogen… it starts becoming fat.
These are the most common symptoms of having high-sugar impact – gas and bloating are common, as sugar feeds yeast, fungi, and detrimental bacteria in your gut. Other symptoms include joint pain, headaches, fatigue, inability to lose weight or weight loss resistance, and sugar cravings.
The Three Cycles of the Sugar Impact Diet
1st Cycle – is a one to two-week long taper cycle, in which you switch from high sugar impact foods to medium sugar impact foods. (this means that if you typically eat regular pasta, you’d switch over to quinoa pasta.) She also says that scheduling your meals to where you’re not eating every two hours; rather you stretch the time between meals to prevent insulin spikes. This is one form of intermittent fasting. At the end of this taper-down period of one or two weeks, you retest yourself on the sugar impact quiz, to see how you’ve done.
2nd Cycle – in which you’re really resetting your taste buds and reclaiming your sugar sensitivity, meaning your ability to taste how sweet a food really is. You should get rid of all of the fructose. We’re getting down to five grams or less, just as low as possible because you don’t want your body to be good at processing fructose. One thing we know is that the more fructose you eat, the better you get at handling fructose, which means the faster it goes to your liver, the faster you start making fat. Take this for example – if you eat more fruit all the time, then you can handle it. But, if you never eat any fruit, and you ate a bunch of fruit, you’d be bloated, you’d be gassy, and it’d be horrible. Fruits you should eat – lemons, limes, avocado, tomato, and olives. And we go down to all low-sugar impact foods. But you’re still eating great stuff. You’re eating wild salmon, grass-fed beef, kale, avocado, nuts and seeds, a little quinoa, legumes, and lentils.”
3rd Cycle – you start to challenge yourself by reintroducing some of the medium or even high sugar impact foods. Many people will now find that they’re overwhelmed by the sweetness, or they’ll feel bloated or downright ill by the high-sugar food. As a result, the psychological grip of sweet foods lessens, as you simply do not want to go back to feeling horrible once you’re feeling really great. Interestingly, sour taste, such as that from cultured vegetables, helps to reduce sweet cravings, too.
Healthy Snack Alternatives
You should also know that nuts are great for satisfying the occasional hunger pang. Nuts are really good because:
- They’re very high in fat – the good fat, oleic acid, which is similar to olive oil, and
- They’re low in protein, so you won’t run the risk of eating a whole day’s worth of protein in a few handfuls of nuts
She also says that you should be aware of your food triggers, and if you cannot keep a jar of nuts in your house without polishing off the whole thing in one sitting, you just turned a good thing into something bad. While nuts do contain healthy fats, they also tend to be high in calories, so moderation is in order.
“If you know something’s your trigger, don’t bring it into the house. It doesn’t matter if it’s healthy or unhealthy. But I think if you put them into little serving baggies, that’s a perfect way to go with it. I also like that because most people aren’t home all day long, so I say, ‘Put one in your car. Put it in your purse. Put it in your office so that you have them scattered around if you ever get in trouble.’ Another healthy snack that is much harder to overdo is dehydrated kale chips. I’m in the process of planting six dozen kale plants on my property to create a surplus for this very reason. That way I can have kale chips year-round. Roasted Brussels sprouts are another alternative that you can’t really “overdose” on.”
Well, many people tried cutting back on calories, but – they didn’t lose any weight. Here’s what you need to do – you should eliminate gluten, pasteurized dairy and processed fructose from your diet. If you steal eat the wrong foods, even though your calorie count is reduced – you should know that you won’t lose any weight. As we said, you need to cut down on the fructose-filled foods that tell your body to store the sugar as fat and to eat more