Lose the Sweet Tooth – Cutting sugar from your diet.
Everyone has a sweet tooth, we’re a nation addicted to sugar. We’re also a nation suffering from increasing obesity and it’s not just fatty food that’s leading to this obesity but sugar. Sugars (including sucrose, glucose, fructose etc…) that most of us don’t even know we’re consuming in our daily diet.
Luckily, there are a few simple changes to your diet that you can make that will reduce your sugar intake and as part of a healthy, sportier lifestyle will help reduce your body fat, give you more energy and hopefully live a longer happier life.
A high carb ceral breakfast in the morning will give you a sugar rush to start with (so you’ll feel full and have energy) but it will give you a crash come mid-morning which will lead to snacking. Choosing a high protein breakfast like eggs & lean meats will level your sugar levels until lunchtime cutting down on the processed sugars (additives & preservatives as well) found in cereals & cereal bars. It’ll also help with muscle development if your hitting those weights or looking to tone up.
Biggest mistake you can make though is to skip breakfast altogether. Doing this causes your metabolism to plummet meaning when you do finally eat, your body will process it more slowly & store the energy as fat reserves in case you ‘fast’ again.
The easiest, fastest and most calorie saving change you can make to your diet is to ensure that you’re well hydrated! Sounds simple but it’s amazing how many people are dehydrated and when they do drink, it’s fizzy drinks with mountains of sugar in it! Just crazy.
Hydrate with water, check our previous article here on the benefits on proper hydration.
Dehydration negatively changes the way your body stores fat, it also makes you feel hungry when in fact you’re not, decreases sports performance & increases mental fatigue. Drink little & often, take a water bottle into the office with you, around the gym, while out exercising or even walking around the shops.
If you find water too boring, try adding slices of lime, lemon or cucumber to it to give it some taste, avoid using squash or high-juices.
Fruit & Veg
Bulk up on the veg! Vegetables are the staple for any healthy diet but not all veg are created equal – try and choose veg that grows above the ground to bulk up on. These types of vegetables are packed with vitamins & fibre and will help you feel fuller for longer. Also, as a general rule of thumb for both fruit & veg, mix ‘n’match the colours of fruit & veg you intake to get the best vitamin & nutrient mix.
Try cutting down on carbs (white potatoes, bread, pasta) by making sure your plates are half-full of veg instead at every meal. Eat plenty of vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, spinach and broccoli as well. Filling the plate with veg also has a psychological effect in that you’re not actually dieting (which your not) just cutting down on the bad sugars.
Eat non-processed natural fruit – avoid fruit juices as they can have up to 25-30g of sugar per glass (not what you want in your five-a-day). Limit the amount of fruit you eat, opt more for veg as even natural fruit is laden with fructose.