More Than Fitness: Healthy Eating For Best Results

More Than Fitness: Healthy Eating For Best ResultsWe have entered into the time of year where we are surrounded by sweet treats and temptations from rich foods. After just coming off Halloween, already we are beginning to think about the upcoming holidays and all of the festivities and events that come along with it. While you may be working out hard with your fitness routine, all the hard work we accomplish in the gym can be quickly undone if we are making the wrong food choices.
 One of the big culprits that we all get too much of is sugar. In fact, you may be eating a lot more sugar than you think. Most of us consume twice the daily recommended amount. A diet high in sugar causes tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes and weight gain. So how can you cut down on sugar intake?

 Read labels – The easiest way to determine sugar content for packaged products is to look for sugar in the nutritional information. It will tell you how many grams of sugar each serving has in it.
 Learn sugar aliases – Sugar is called many things on nutrition labels. High fructose corn syrup, dried cane sugar, invert sugar, molasses and sucrose are just a few of the names you will find. Anything ending in “-ose” is a sugar.
 Buy unsweetened – Look for foods that advertise themselves as unsweetened or “no sugar added”. But you still have to read the label as it might contain an artificial sweetener.
 Gradually cut down on sugar – Sugar is addictive, so if you try to ditch it cold turkey, your craving for it will win out and you will be right back where you started. Instead, slowly wean yourself off with an eventual goal of getting off of it altogether (or at least reduced down to a minimum). For example, if you normally use two packets of sugar in your coffee, use just one instead.
 Eat more protein – Many of the foods containing carbohydrates are also loaded with sugar. So instead think proteins. Protein helps stabilize out blood sugar spikes by slowing down the release of sugar into your bloodstream.
 Avoid artificial sweeteners – While it may seem like a good idea, if you are trying to cut down on the amount of sugar you eat, don’t switch to foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners. What happens when you eat or drink something sweetened artificially, your body thinks it is real sugar and therefore expects the calories and nutrition associated with sugar, but it doesn’t get it. In the short term, it increases your appetite and in the end, you gain weight.  
 Kicking the sugar habit is not easy. But by using these tips, it can help you slay the sugar beast!