1. What exactly is sugar?
Pure white table sugar comes from the naturally grown perennial sugar cane grasses. It is the 9th most valuable crop in the United States. However there are many different forms of sugar with over 60 different names. Some of these are familiar like the sugar (white, brown, yellow) found in deserts such as ice-cream, cakes, cookies, chocolate, and candies. Honey, syrups, and molasses are sugars too. Did you know that wine, liquor, and beer are also sugars? Carbohydrates like pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread are another form of sugar. Artificial sugar substitutes include Stevia, Aspartame (NutraSweet), Saccharin, Sucralose (Splenda), Xylitol, and Sorbitol. Common food additives like Fructose, Dextrose, and Corn Syrup are chemical forms of sugar. If you read the label, you’ll discover that most processed foods, including “natural” products, contain hidden added sugar.
2. What is a sugar free diet?
A sugar free diet eliminates sugar and reduces carbohydrate intake encouraging the body to utilize fat for fuel. To begin, simply stop eating all sugars and most carbohydrates. Fill your plate with primarily green vegetables and healthy proteins. Read the product labels to identify foods with added chemical or natural sugars and try to keep the carbohydrate content around 2% per serving.
3. Who should do a sugar free diet?
People whose BMI (Body Mass Index) number is bigger than 24.9 and those who would like to lose some weight will benefit most from a sugar free diet. An individual who’s BMI is normal can also benefit from sugar freedom since sugar has toxic effects on metabolism, the cardiovascular and immune systems. It is a primary cause of inflammation in the body. Most A sugar free diet enhances overall health and wellness for everyone.
4. How can I control weight loss cravings and hunger when eliminating sugar?
Studies have shown that a good night’s sleep is a vital remedy for constant hunger. During restful sleep, the brain excretes more lectin which controls overeating. Increasing water intake to 8 glasses per day improves hydration, lowers hunger perception, and flushes out toxins. Enjoy fresh fruits like apples, oranges, berries (blue, black, and strawberry) in small portions to relieve sweet cravings. Fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, and bell pepper alleviate hunger with nutrition and fiber. There is a delicate sweetness to broccoli that is especially satisfying. Try it!
5. What kind of exercise is best on a sugar free diet?
Exercise recommendations vary according to age, gender and overall health condition. In most cases, a 30 minute refreshing walk or run per day will be enough to stimulate the metabolism and reduce stress. Tai Chi and non-competitive swimming are also good options. Relaxation exercises, mediation, and mindfulness practices help to reduce stress, promote sleep, and enhance overall health. Of course, check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan.
6. Do I have to stay on a sugar free diet forever?
Once you’ve reached your healthy weight goal, you may ease back into a more flexible regular diet, with smaller portions. An occasional piece of chocolate, a glass of wine, or small slice of birthday cake is fine. However, be careful not to resume a previous pattern of daily sugar intake and keep a close eye on the added sugars and carbohydrate contents of processed foods. You may just find that in choosing to be sugar free you are living your sweetest life!
7. Where can I find more information on a sugar free diet and weight loss?
“36 Tips for Easy and Sustainable Weight Loss” written by Ethan Tong and Melody Tong is available from Amazon. This book is now available in English, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese! Check out the BOSA Calendar for upcoming classes and support.