According to CNN, those living in the UK eat about 11 kilograms of chocolate per year. A research group at Mintel also revealed that this average is not tipped by women. The group found that 91% of women admit to eating chocolate but men were right behind them at 87%.
Considering the push of the health industry to encourage you to limit sweets, you would think this statistic would lower year over year but it isn’t. In fact, this is only the statistics on chocolate, not taking into account the hundreds of other types of sweets that are consumed annually.
Why Do We Crave Sugar?…
While you’ve likely been part of the chocolate eating & sweet-eating statistics you’ve probably experienced another pattern when it comes to these delectable treats.
You’ve likely grabbed a coke or chocolate bar as an afternoon pick-me-up. It works for a little while, but a few hours later you’re looking for another boost.
Sugar is not only tasty, but it also triggers our bodies to release serotonin, the brain’s natural ‘feel good’ chemical as well as endorphins which make us feel happy & help us to feel calm & relaxed.
Why WOULDN’T something with all of these good-feeling vibes & sweet taste be addictive?
Also, when you are tired or when you are stressed your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Once this cortisol peaks, your body then sends you the craving for sugar – basically as a way to request a boost to your energy & counteract the cortisol with endorphins & serotonin.
What Sugar Does For Your Body…
When you eat sugary snacks you are actually giving your body a quick boost of simple carbohydrates. These are carbs that are quick & easy for the body to break down, meaning they are only going to give a quick & short-lived energy boost.
When your body doesn’t need this energy it converts & stores excess fuel as fat!
Basically put, the lower the nutritional value of the food – think jelly baby compared to a stem of Broccoli – the sooner you will crave to eat again due to a nutritional need from your cells.
Now if you do not consume the nutrition but do take on board a large amount of calories then you are in excess fuel territory & will likely get fatter in the near future!
So what is the conclusion? There is something about sweets – & their single commonality – sugar – that draws you, makes you crave, desire & lust for them…& they aren’t going away anytime soon.
The Negative Effects of Too Much Sugar…
Reports have indicated that there is a strong link between too much sugar & tooth decay. Also, sugary foods are high in calories & calories lead to obesity.
Studies have indicated a strong link between obesity & the number of highly sweetened beverages. While the drinks are quick & easy to digest, they are devoid of proteins & complex carbs that help us feel full & provide some form of nutrition.
Therefore, we tend to drink these in addition to eating meals, leaving our daily calorie & sugar intake way too high!
How Much Is Too Much…?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued new guidelines suggesting that the amount of sugar eaten should be decreased from the current recommended limit of 10% to 5%. This means, that you should intake approximately 25g (6 teaspoons) of sugar per day.
However, if your wish is to control the shape of your body, decrease fat, gain more muscle tone then you will need to consume less than this!
Sugar Sugar Everywhere…
When you picture the recommended 6 teaspoons, it may seem like plenty for you to be able to sprinkle in your coffee or over the top of some fruit… but this isn’t taking into consideration the sugars that are already present in most of what you already eat & drink.
To help put it in context – a typical can of soda contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar. Meaning, if you have one sugary soda, you are already over your sugar limit for the day!
How to Reduce Your Sugar…
1) Reach for Fruit – The natural sugars in fruits can help curb your craving for something sweet yet the fiber & nutrients will actually help to fill you up & give you additional health benefits. Do this to get you over the craving & look to reduce your fruit to 1-2 pieces per as quickly as possible.
2) Eat Regularly – If you keep your body from getting over-hungry you can reduce the cravings for any, much less sweet foods.
3) Compromise – Just as you continue to think about the topic someone tells you not to think about – telling yourself you cannot have anything sweet at all can tantalise you to the point where sweets are all you can think about.
Instead, come up with some small treats that you do allow yourself on occasion to reduce the ‘taboo’ feeling & instead feel accomplished for sticking to a healthier diet choice.
Keep an eye out for the ShapeTrainer Cook-Book, coming soon, which will contain breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts & snacks. All healthy & when used in line with our Fat-Loss Eating System you can expect outstanding results!
Above all, remember, the more sweets you have the more you will crave them so the more you can use the suggestions 1-3, the less you will feel the need to think about it at all.
As always, keep active, focused & positive & you will reach your goals & care for your body in the best possible way.
To Your Best Health!
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