If you’ve been following the trends in weight loss and overall health, you’re probably aware that Sugar has emerged as the #1 Dietary Bad Guy.
You may remember other “trends” – like the low-fat 80s, the no-carb 90s, etcetera. So this sugar thing might just seem like another fad.
You’re not necessarily wrong – nutrition fads do come and go, and most of them turn into exaggerated gimmicks used by food and diet companies for marketing.
But this sugar thing is for real, guys. Here’s a (grossly oversimplified) picture of what sugar does:
1. You ingest carbohydrates of any kind – a croissant. Spaghetti. Oatmeal. Gummy bears. An apple. Honey. White table sugar. Beer.
2. Carbohydrates enter your bloodstream and become glucose (energy for your cells).
3. Pancreas secretes insulin (the traffic director; tells all the glucose where to go).
4. Excess glucose prompts the release of MORE insulin, which directs the glucose into fat cells for storage.
5. But then there’s too much insulin floating around, so you experience a craving for more sugar.
6. You eat more – but the pancreas doesn’t remember the excess insulin, so it makes more.
7. Cue vicious cycle.
Eventually, your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, so more and more is needed to do the job. But the job never gets done, so you have all this extra insulin in the bloodstream, and from there it’s just a hop-skip-and-a-jump to Type 2 Diabetes.
Something most people don’t know is that insulin is also in charge of regulating the release of glucose from your fat cells. When insulin is de-regulated, it turns your body into a greedy, fat-hoarding tyrant. Insulin prevents glucose from leaving the fat cells – AND, it does it damndest to store everything you eat as fat. In other words – insulin makes you gain weight. At the same time, it prevents you from losing it.
Don’t hate insulin. The body is always striving for balance – that’s where this whole ugly process starts. The problem is that it overcompensates. Like when you cut your Barbie’s hair as a kid, but noticed that one side was shorter than the other. So you adjusted. But then THAT side was shorter, so you adjusted again. And before you know it, poor Barbie has a mohawk. (That’s how my childhood went, anyway.)
Have I freaked you out sufficiently? Don’t worry – there is a way out of this cycle, and it’s not even that hard. Join me for a special Wellness Event at Asheville Family Fitness to talk about all things sugar – how it works, why you should consider limiting your intake, and most importantly – exactly how to do that without losing your mind.
Sugar Blues: Tuesday, October 15th at 6pm & Thursday, October 24th at 6:30pm. FREE for members, $5 for non-members.
Space is limited – email Sam to register!