Part THREE- The Sweet Facts Continued

What we consume yearly

Many people (not just Americans) consume way more calories than their body needs in a single day. This is a major factor in weight retention and gains. The following meal calorie totals are over HALF of the daily 2,000 calorie diet. (Let’s put this in perspective: Men’s average is 2,500 per day and Women’s average is 1,700 per day.)

Fast Food Facts

Now, those french fries you ate, what will it take to work those calories off? A heavy person expends more effort because of their excess weight than a lighter person, that’s why the time frames for the 150 lb person is longer.

Exercise Needed to Burn Off Fries

The bottom line about sugars and “empty” calories in general? Pay attention to your foods each day. Limit excesses. Cut back on sodas if that’s where you find most of your empty calories coming from and switch to more water (flavored water, if you don’t like it plain).

Water is THE most essential nutrient to the human body! (Well… aside from oxygen, that is. Lol.) It cushions our cells from each other and our organs as well; it is inside and outside every cell inside our bodies; it flushes out the toxins and waste products we don’t want/need accumulating in our tissues and organs. So please drink more, you may be surprised if your headaches disappear. Oftentimes, those little headaches we get are just a sign of mild dehydration. Your body will thank you for giving it what it needs when it needs it.

{Oh! And if your argument for not drinking more water is because you’ve tried in the past and it made you pee more… I learned in my nutrition class that happens because your body took advantage of the opportunity to flush out the toxins it had been storing. Once your body has finished with that (depending on how toxic your system is, can take up to a week of drinking the recommended 64 oz. daily), it will level off to a more normal and acceptable amount of bathroom visits.}

For other tips to cut calories and still satisfy thirst, visit HERE.

Remember: It’s better to get your sugars from whole foods than from processed, lifeless foods. BUT always be mindful of how many carbs you are consuming compared to protein and fats. Strive for a balance.

Time to focus a little on what Posner and Hlivka say about sugars:

“On average, Americans consume 156 pounds of sugar a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). For those who are chronically stressed and stress eaters, it can be MUCH more” (emphasis mine, 181).

Only 29 pounds come from naturally occurring sugar, or sucrose [defined as table sugar], according to the Sugar Association, a trade group of sugar manufacturers” (emphasis mine, 181). Neither fresh produce nor High Fructose Corn Syrup fall under this category as they aren’t backed by the Sugar Association. So, if you factor that in, it’s probably between 50-75 pounds. (Though that is a total guesstimation on my part!)

In a ten year span, “consumption of added sugar in the United States grew 20 percent.” A trend now gaining a foothold in the developing world “according to the World Health Organization (WHO)” and WHO guidelines released in 2003 state that “no more than 10 percent of daily calories” should come from sugars. (pg. 182) To put that in perspective, if you consume 2,200 calories a day then 10% is 220 calories. Now look at the nutrition label of your favorite beverage and snack to see how many calories you go over the 10% recommendation.

Here’s the kicker, to rephrase it from my ranting in Tuesday’s part one:

“Obviously, the less sugar you consume, the better your health. Not only will less sugar help you lose weight, but it will also break the cycle of stress eating and craving more sugar” (182).

One thing which the authors advocate on page 183, which I do not agree with, is supplementing real sugar with artificial sweeteners such as Splenda (discovered while developing rat poison) and NutraSweet (if I remember correctly from nutrition class, discovered in a similar way as Splenda). However, they do list Stevia as an alternative too. Stevia is a plant native to western North America down to South America in tropical and subtropical climates. Its sweetness is so concentrated that it takes personal experimentation to find what is just the right amount of sweetness for you. Make sure to read labels though, if it says a bunch of other stuff other than Stevia or the scientific name of the plant… put it back on the shelf because then you may be getting something with an artificial sweetener added. (I’ll try to add a blog about this sometime in the future because there is so much information out there about it. But for now try http://www.stevia.com/, to find out pertinent facts. And here’s another blogger’s discoveries about Stevia as a substitute: http://holisticsquid.com/is-stevia-healthy/) Sugar names ending in -ol are sugar alcohols which are also another topic.

Stevia Extract PureStevia Plant

Please check out the recommended food guidelines HERE.

Chronic diseases have increased exponentially over the past few decades due in part to diet and lifestyle. As our sugar consumption increases and our activity levels decrease, heart disease and diabetes (among other chronic/ lifestyle diseases) have increased. Is it really any wonder why our waistlines are growing and chronic diseases like diabetes are on the rise, too?

Important Note about this blog’s author:

While I will, indeed, have my Associate Degree in Health & Wellness in May 2013, I am not a doctor, nor am I aware of your medical issues. The health, nutrition, and wellness statements made in this blog should be taken in conjunction with advice from your healthcare professional. This is especially important if you are under constant supervision by a physician for a chronic health condition.

So again, if you have any food sensitivities or allergies, please avoid those foods which you already know to cause you issues. There should be plenty of options to select from each category that Posner and Hlivka cited in their book, which I have taken verbatim from the pages of Stress Eater Diet.

Still to Come in This Series:

Part FOUR= Surprising Fat Facts

Part FIVE= Physical Hunger Vs. Emotional Hunger

Part SIX= Tricks to Reducing Hunger and Cravings

Part SEVEN= Conclusion and Encouragement

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