Sugar…….who doesn’t like ‘em.
It does somehow makes everything heavenly tastier; until trying to fit into your jeans feels like hell.
So, the next time you’re planning to overhaul your lifestyle (which is most likely today), instead of thinking low-fat, you might want to go low-sugar or NO SUGAR for a period of time.
You’ll be shocked at how much sugar we’re consuming CUMULATIVELY and how we had wronged fats all these years.
If you’re still adamant that fats made you fat, think back: chances are you ate fats + sugar at the same time.
Here are 4 not-very-subtle signs that you are eating too much or too frequently of sugar/carbs:
1. Your face feels puffy or bloated: Water retention can happen in any part of the body; however, I’d never hear the remark: “I feel so bloated-look at my ankle!” (Hence, the face as the reference here). Sugar itself doesn't cause water retention, but sugar in the blood will SPIKE the production of INSULIN, which indirectly causes water retention through sodium. High levels of insulin in your blood makes your body retain sodium and the body retains sodium by retaining water. So, if you’re finding yourself with the tendency to cover up part of your face with your hair- it's sugar alert!
2. You’re always needing a sugary “fix”: Sugar is addictive. It is unarguably delicious even in its plain form. The more you had sugar, the more you want it. Chances are you’re not looking to fix your need of a “fix” with a slab of butter or pure green juice. Busted. Hahaha! So, if you’re always wanting a pancake fix, noodle fix, ice cream fix, chocolate fix, pasta fix etc. every other day or weekend – you already are having too much sugar in your body!
3. Your midsection had thickened: This is actually a very reliable red flag. Research had shown that sugar is greatly associated with belly fats. Excess sugar gets stored as fats specifically in the belly (where your liver resides) by the hormone insulin before it goes to the rest of- everywhere else. Insulin does not only help the body store fats for general survival, it also prevents the body from burning fats aka losing weight. So, if you’re finding your midsection to be mushy and you’re starting to favor clothing that covers your tummy region- it’s really time to drop some of those cookies, breads, cakes, bagel, waffle, chocolate and donuts. While yes- stress is also a big contributor towards belly fats (through the same hormone insulin)- it’s easier to deal with the sugar than your boss. At least, sugar is measurable.
4. You are sleepy after lunch: Food that are loaded with carbohydrates or sugar, spikes insulin in the blood. Excessive sugar = excessive insulin. Excessive insulin will in turn means excessive of another type of hormones, let’s call it the sleepy hormones here. Sleepy hormones are in charge of calming the body and regulating sleep. So….excess sugar is like a lullaby flowing in your blood, making you sleeeeeeeepy, especially if your body does not have the best metabolism.
Metabolism & tolerance really varies from person to person and it changes over our lifetime.
These are in my experience the most common yet easily brushed off red flags that are highly manageable before it escalates. Toughest part is you’ll have to be brutally honest with yourself and your lifestyle.
Of course, how much sugar you want to avoid from your diet depends on your health goals.
I personally do not think it is possible to avoid sugar entirely (life would really suck..), but it’s a good reset for the body even if you do not have a 6-packs-goal!
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. This information is based on my own research and personal experiences.