OK let’s start with a few simple questions:
Given the choice would you:
- Eat chocolate, cake, biscuits, ice cream and sweets, and drink sweet drinks or
- Eat savoury food such as crisps, salted nuts, cheese on toast or coleslaw?
If you could choose what to have on your morning toast would it be:
- Jam or honey?
- Peanut butter or marmite?
It’s a lazy weekend breakfast; which would you choose?
- Banana pancakes with golden syrup, or pain au chocolate and a berry smoothie.
- Fry up, bacon sandwich or poached eggs on toast.
- Find it hard to go more than a couple of hours without food? Get hungry pretty soon after eating? Find it really hard not to eat breakfast. Run out of energy pretty quickly if you don’t take on fuel during exercise? Run out of energy and feel lethargic quickly in general?
- Not get hungry til late morning. Go a fair stretch between meals without feeling hungry. Exercise for more than an hour on an empty stomach without feeling any bad effects? Remain pretty constant in terms of energy and mood?
It’s your last ever meal. You have two choices, which one would it be:
- Gooey chocolate cake and a big bowl of ice cream.
- Sausages and creamy mash with gravy, or perfectly fried fish and chips.
Well yes it it does in as much as sugar burners are hungrier more often and have strong yearnings for food whereas fat burners can quite easily stick to three meals a day and not think about it in-between.
So, the body uses two predominant types of fuel, fat and sugar. When we eat or drink sugar it raises our blood sugar, read about that here, and we release insulin to regulate that. The insulin over-regulates so we get low blood sugar. Then we get hungry again. When we eat fat it releases slowly and does very little to blood sugar levels, we feel more satisfied and stay on an even keel.
That’s not to say that eating fatty foods is the way and the light, they pack a huge whack of calories and can contribute junk calories to the diet in the form of crisps, pastry dips etc. But the basic sugar-burning issue is one to take heed of. If you’re a sugar burner it would be wise to start retraining your body to expect less sugar and to become more of a fat burner.
If you keep winding sugar into your body it has very little need to burn fat, it always has an instant supply of energy in the form of sugar. Moreover, it always has excess sugar, which it will turn to fat. So you will get fatter and you will get hungrier, especially for sugar. See the vicious circle here?
Don’t forget that refined carbohydrates are essentially sugar as well, as is fruit. Changing from eating processed sweet foods to eating loads of fruit will raise your nutrition status but will still affect blood sugar.
Artificial sweetener is not the way forward either, that will just fool your body into wanting more sugar!
For the first couple of weeks they can find it a little tough coming down from a sugar-based diet to a moderate diet which has a balanced amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat but invariably they say “I don’t even crave sugar any more! I look at my friends eating chocolate and cake and I don’t even fancy it!”
Sugar is an addictive substance. That’s not a throwaway phrase. SUGAR IS AN ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCE. The addiction needs to be tackled if you want to get control of your body fat, energy levels and mood.