Tag Archives: hidden sugar

What to avoid in order to lose weight

Sugar

Sugar, sugar, sugar. Everybody is talking about this sweet stuff. You maybe already know that sugar is one of the main contributors to weight gain. The problem is that sugar is in everything these days. At least half of the sugar we consume comes from soft drinks, fruit drinks, and sports drinks. Do you actually know how much sugar you are consuming everyday? Start paying attention to the “hidden” sugars in food. Look at the labels. The ingredients are ordered by their amount so if some kind of sugar comes in first, second or third place, you can be sure there is a great deal of the white stuff in there. Everything ending with -ose is some kind of sugar. Hey, it may not even be white. It can be in different forms like high fructose corn syrup (beware), brown sugar, invert sugar, glucose syrup or fructose. All of them contributors of weight gain and the grave health problems that implies. Don’t be fooled by the tricks of the food industry. A label saying “No suger added” doesn’t mean a product doesn’t contain sugar. It can contain insane amounts of sugar from concentrated fruit juices. All sugar counts, even fruit sugar (fructose). Do you love to drink sodas, like drinking one can a day? Maybe it’s time to change that bad habit and save yourself the disservice of adding about 15 pounds to your body weight in one year?
An excess of 3500 calories is stored as 1 pound of fat. One soda a day per year makes 365 days x 140 calories = 51100 calories. 51100/3500=15 pounds added per year!

Some foods with “hidden” sugars are:

  • Spice mixes (for instance Thai wok mix)
  • Fruit juices
  • Low fat products
  • Milk (1 cup of skimmed milk = 3 sugar cubes)
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • Dressings
  • Dried fruit
  • Ketchup and BBQ sauces
  • Canned soups
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned vegetables and fruit
  • “Healthy” cereals

Wheat

It is not as commonly known that grains, and especially refined wheat, is even more dangerous than sugar. Two slices of white bread is equal to 6 teaspoons of sugar! Wheat is really high in carbohydrates (carbs) and has a very high GI (glycemic index).

In the 60’s and 70’s scientists were sent out on a mission to solve the world starvation by developing an improved, gene modified version of wheat. They came up with a new type of wheat that increased the yield tenfold and everybody had wheat in abundance. Thumbs up! Hooray!

But it turned out they got more than they bargained for.

You cannot genetically modify something without side effects, and the new version that was supposed to still the third world hunger, was introduced in the west world as well. Little did they know about creating a monster high in gluten (blood sugar raiser and inflammation inducer) and starch (amylopectin A that is super fattening).

Wheat also contains a protein called Gliadin that is a appetite stimulator which is bad when you are trying to eat less and lose weight.

In short; wheat is really something you should look to avoid now that you have a weight loss goal. Try eating a minimum of bread, pasta, pastries, pizza, breaded and battered foods, sauces, ready to eat food and cereals to mention some. Wheat and other grains contains a protein called Gluten that may cause chronic inflammation and digestive problems, even if you’re not gluten intolerant. Unfortunately wheat is “hidden” in a wide range of foods. Foods that you wouldn’t bet on containing wheat in some form does actually have wheat added. Don’t think that bread that contain whole grain is a safe bet. Just because the label on the loaf says “Whole grain” it’s perfectly healthy (even if the food industry wants us to think that). Whole grain doesn’t contain much less calories and raises blood sugar quite as much as refined wheat. However eating 100% whole grain is an upgrade compared to munching toasted white bread every morning.

Carbohydrates

All carbohydrates end up as glucose so you can say that carbohydrates = sugar. In other words carbs gives you lot of energy and that may be good if you are running a Marathon, or participate in Iron Man Triathlon, but for you and me carbs gives an excess of energy that eventually turns into fat and should be avoided as much as much as possible. Carbs is however good for restoration after a intense work out as it’s needed for building of muscles so getting some “good carbohydrates” after training is okay. Hint: A double white toast sandwich with jam is not a good source of carbs (but a fruit and some freshly squeezed juice is).

Carbs prevents fat burning

Carbohydrates raises the blood sugar level in the blood which raises the insulin level as well. Insulin has the function of controlling the blood sugar level by taking sugar from the blood to the cells. It also tells the fat cells to store excess glucose (sugar) as fat. With a diet rich in carbs, the insulin level is constantly elevated which makes the fat cells hold on to the fat. Insulin is preventing fatty acids to enter the blood stream by keeping them “locked up” in the fat cells. In other words carbs prevents the fat to be burned which is really bad as you and I are trying to lose body fat.

Choose good sources of carbs

The carbohydrate intake should mainly come from fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. Cutting out carbs from gluten and starch rich foods like white rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, corn products, gluten containing cereals and such will make the body start to burn that nasty body fat instead of the excessive energy from the carbs. There are more benefits than weight loss with controlled intake of carbohydrates. Proven health improvements are: stable insulin levels, bad cholesterol goes down, good cholesterol goes up, controlled blood sugar, blood pressure and body fat levels. Eating a minimum of carbs can be very difficult if you’re used to eat lots of the foods mentioned above, but you should start to choose your carbs wisely.

Alcohol gives a lot of excess energy

Cutting back on alcohol will be a very smart thing to do as it is very high in calories (double the calories in protein and carbs), has a very high glycemic index and the disadvantage of slowing down your metabolism by over 70%. If you eat and drink alcohol, it’s the alcohol in that drink the body burns first, postponing the burning of the energy in the food.

Ever been craving for a late night meal after a wet night out? Alcohol has appetite increasing attributes, and together with a fattening food like a burger meal or a pizza, you are sure to store some extra unwanted fat. Carbs and alcohol is a very bad combo. Drinks with drink mixers contains lots of sugar. The best choice for drinking is red wine, as it contains a good deal of nutritious anti oxidants.

Abstaining from alcohol is something a lot of people find very hard. You should anyway try to do your best to limit your consumption as much as possible, and choose the occasions when you get to “celebrate” with a drink, or a cold one. It’s up to you if you want to lose weight fast or not. Alcohol is going to make it a lot harder to drop pounds.

If you are going to a party all night, let’s have a low-calorie, no-carbs day and the best is if you can have a good, intense workout before to boost your energy burning mechanism and start your after burn effect (that will burn calories even on your hang over day :)

Avoid the pitfalls that prevents fat loss

Do you feel hungry most of the time and have problems getting full?

You are probably eating food that raises you blood sugar sky high and after that leaves you wanting more. Again, sugar and wheat is responsible for this to a great extent. You have to get food with good nutritional value, protein and healthy fats to keep you feel full and give you energy for the whole day. Otherwise it will be very hard to not give in to unhealthy snacks here and there, and you will easily get cravings. A smart choice can be a handful of nuts or almonds to suppress hunger between meals. Almonds contains protein, fibres, magnesium, vitamin E and powerful antioxidants. Both protein and magnesium help regulating the blood sugar, which dampens the hunger.
You should eat at least five times a day, but in smaller portions, and it should be a balanced diet with lots of veggies, fruits, protein and some selected slow digested carbs. If you eat breakfast at 7 or 8 you are probably starved at lunchtime and eat a way to big portion of some convenient fast food. At six you have dinner at home and you are once again really hungry, eating two big portions of food and finishes off with a nice sweet dessert. After that you’re not fit for anything else than being a couch potato for the rest of the evening.

Oh, sorry I forgot. On your way home from the office you stopped at the supermarket to get some basics like milk and bread, and as you were so hungry everything looked soo delicious and you ended up buying glazed donuts, an over sized  fridge-pack coke, a couple of candy bars and some bags of snacks. Can’t run out of these at home, right? One and a half of the candy bars got eaten when you got stuck in the traffic jam.

Plan when to shop and what to eat

You must begin to plan your meals more carefully. A steady breakfast is a must, and a healthy snack after 3 hours so that you aren’t starved at lunchtime. A breakfast containing lots of protein keeps you full for a long time. Another snack in the afternoon will keep your energy level up and fit for fight. In between meals and snacks – drink lots of water. Start bringing home made food (leftovers) for lunch, and prepare snacks in the morning so you don’t have to go with what the vending machines offers. You will save lots and lots of money if you start eating lunch that you bring with you, and you will have total control of what’s in it.

Plan your food shopping carefully and try to buy more on fewer occasions. Be sure to always have a wide range of healthy food in your fridge and freezer.

Do not go long periods without eating. You may get very hungry eventually and do something irrational like grabbing for a candy bar. You should eat every third hour, but smaller portions than you eat now.

Hide and seek

Another pitfall is food with hidden sugars, carbs (wheat and starches). It’s time to start looking at the nutrition facts. Look for the amount of carbohydrates per 100g (preferably not more than 10g carbs/100g), and look if some kind of sugar is one of the first ingredients. Don’t think that fat in products will make you fat. That is a misconception that has been told to us way too long. What you should avoid is low fat products, where the fat has been replaced with thickeners, chemicals and sweeteners to make them look, feel and taste as good as the original. Nasty.

You’re stressed out and don’t have time

Stress is something that can be good for us. A little positive stress for a short period of time gets us focused and energized, able to do lots of work in a short period of time while feeling that we are in a flow. Everything seems to work like a clock.

However the most of the time is stress something very negative. It gets you in a bad mood, makes you be a person you don’t want to be – short-tempered, introvert, hot-headed and downright unpleasant. The most of us has a lot of pressure on us when it comes to work, family life, financial situation, worries and fears about the future. To be stressed for a long time, to have chronic stress,  is not healthy at all. The levels of the “stress hormone” Cortisol is constantly raised and this has bad impact on the blood sugar balance, blood pressure, immunity, muscle mass and bone density. Stress makes you crave more fatty, salty and sugary food and at the same time it slows down the metabolism which makes you put on weight, preferably abdominal fat (yes, that dangerous fat around your waistline). Excess of nervous energy can cause you to eat more than you normally would.

Yet another TV-dinner

Yes! You would like to exercise more, but you can’t find the time! Your work is so demanding, you spend far too much time in the car back and forth to work and the traffic jams are killing you. When you finally get home, you don’t have the energy to do much more than to heat up another TV-dinner or pick something up from around the corner. You don’t feel you have the time to make nutritious food to bring with you to work and this makes you go for the usual fast food when lunch time comes the following day.

You have to learn to plan more! Manage your time. Every person on the planet has the same amount of time. 24 hours per day, no more, no less. The difference between the most of the people and the people we call successful is that they have learned time management in perfection. They have learned to prioritize and focus.

You say you don’t have the time?

The most of us have more available time than we actually think. Can’t you spare 15-30 minutes a day for exercise at least? How much time do you spend in front of the TV each day? A good pulse-pounding interval exercise session in the house, apartment or the garage every day will give good results and doesn’t have to take that much time. After a while you will have much more energy and will be able to stay up late in the evening without feeling tired. Could that extra time in the evening be a good time for you to prepare a healthy lunch and dinner for the next day and after that write down a priority ordered list of things to do the next day? You will fall asleep faster, have a good nights sleep and wake up refreshed. Maybe you could get up 30 minutes earlier to be well on your way to work before all the other commuters jams the roads and highways.

You will be able to get more out of your day with a little planning and some ingenuity. You will find time to do the most important things, feel more harmonious. Don’t forget to deep-breathe whenever you feel that the stress level is raising.

Know the dangers of overweight

Two thirds of the americans are either overweight or obese. I think that’s  a really scary fact. Obesity in America is a growing problem. I guess it looks about the same in the other western countries. How did this happen? In 2009 heart disease, cancer and diabetes killed over 1.2 million people in the US (according to this report) That’s the same amount of people that is being killed in traffic accidents per year – in the whole world! Lots of these totally unnecessary deaths are caused by overweight and are due to a faulty lifestyle.

The dangerous modern foods

The biggest problem is that people eat way too much sugar, refined grains, trans fats, and highly processed food that is very low in nutrition. We are eating more and more of the bad stuff and at the same time the quality of the good stuff that is helping us preventing diseases in our body, is falling. I think it is a matter of ignorance to a great extent. People don’t really know how bad the food they are eating really is or how dangerous overweight and obesity really is. How are your eating habits? Do you know to which extent your are putting food containing bad things into your mouth? Lots of foods are containing “hidden sugar”,  foods that you think isn’t containing lots of sugar, but does. The modern research and nutrition science is more and more pointing out wheat and other grains as being almost as dangerous as sugar. Lots of food contains wheat in some form too, especially ready made food. These microwave foods and other processed food is filled with a wide range of chemicals and additives to make the food look, feel and taste better as well as last longer. More of that later.

In the last couple of years I have been digging into the subject of health, well being and weight loss. I have had more than one “eye opener” and learned a lot about the dangers of the “wrong stuff” and the benefits of the “right stuff”. We all want to live a long life and be healthy. Being overweight and eating harmful foods brings so much pain into our lives. No one wants to be a fat person, and live the limiting life it implies.

About 70% of the really serious diseases we suffer in life are caused by our diet. That means we have a pretty good chance of avoiding them by changing our lifestyle. By eating the right things and avoiding the things that makes us fat and sick.

Overweight gone wild

Reading just a little bit about the dangers of being overweight on just any website should in my eyes be enough for an overweight person to do something about the weight immediately. Diabetes type 2, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer (certain forms), sleep apnea, insomnia, joint and back pain and digestion problems just to mention some of the alarming things. For us men it’s common do develop a big fat beer belly. The belly fat is more dangerous as the fat in the belly is more active, gets in the bloodstream affecting the blood vessels, inner organs (such the liver), and has bad impact on blood fats and blood pressure. We all should pay close attention to the waist measure as the belly fat is considered to be the most dangerous fat.

We shouldn’t forget about the emotional and psychological pain overweight and obesity brings! These are dangerous because they have a tendency to keep you in the state you’re in. As you are unhappy with yourself you will continue in the vicious circle of comfort eating (which actually is a downward spiral). You must find the power to break yourself free from this. You probably have hundreds of excuses why it’s okay to eat the food you eat, why you can indulge in just one, or two pieces of that chocolate cake, or why you are worth that bowl of ice cream.

A weight loss plan can help

Hey, I know how you feel. I felt the same as you do. I was always the “fat kid” growing up and I have had problems with controlling my weight a big part of my life, but I found a way to change. I hope that you will find the inspiration to change too. Luckily I have been able to change my thinking enough, but I must tell you I got help (my friend Marcus too). A real kick start, a weight management boost in form of a weight loss plan, a program, designed by the foremost experts in this field (it was almost like cheating a little, but in a good way :). I will let you in on this “secret” a little later. First I want you to continue reading and dig a little deeper into the fundamentals of weight loss and weight management.