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Sugar. What it actually does to your body.

Sugar. What it actually does to your body.

I have a sweet tooth, and I am not ashamed to admit it. Give me cookies, and I could probably eat a dozen easily if I lacked any will power. However, I do have will power that I have developed over time and part of the reason for that is knowing what sugar actually does to my body when I ingest it. Primarily added sugars, or manufactured sugars.

So what happens exactly when you eat sugar? And what is it?

Sugar when eaten is broken down by your digestive enzymes into glucose and fructose. Glucose is something our body uses for energy, but too much of it can cause harmful side effects. We are going to go over what each is, how it impacts our body, and what we can do to help avoid the bad side of it. (Remember everything in moderation is key).

  • Glucose’s role
    • As it is absorbed (from foods or drinks we consume) initially causes our pancreas to release insulin which in turns takes the glucose to your cells to be used as energy. However too much insulin can cause the blocking of leptin (the hunger hormone) which makes you feel hungry even though you just ate… this can also cause your body to be tricked to storing glucose as belly fat because it thinks it is in starvation mode (when you don’t eat).
    • It can also cause serotonin to be released which causes sugar crashes because false indicators are going off to the brain. The crash comes because serotonin is also one of your sleep regulating hormones.
    • Too much insulin can also cause your body to not release enough dopamine over time (dopamine is the feel good hormone)… this can also lead to cravings and can cause addiction because you get a short jolt after consuming sugar, so you keep going back for more. (btw this is also what happens by the brain when you do cocaine ).
    • Over time your bodies cells can become resistant to insulin which causes an overload of it in your blood stream which leads to different forms of diabetes.

Sugar

  • Fructose
    • Acts and is absorbed in a similar manner to glucose but is metabolized in your liver
    • Your liver can easily be overwhelmed if you eat too much fructose containing foods and cause fat to grow within it…. aka fatty liver disease
    • It also can cause your “good” cholesterol to lower (HDL) which in turn increases triglyceride levels. And that fat can actually be carried to your arteries from your liver which leads to increased heart attack and stroke risk

Inflammation can stem throughout our body as a result of too much sugars being released and not used optimally in our body.

So what can you do to help yourself not get any of these side affects?

 Pay attention to labels –

SOOOO many of processed foods contain both forms of sugar. About 74% of packaged foods contain added sugars.

If you look at a food label (you can read more on how to do that here) you can see just how much sugar something contains. It says straight up sugars and added sugars. The added sugars are really what you want to consume as little of as possible. These are not natural to the product and are what really lead to inflammation and the issues mentioned above.

You can also look at the ingredients – (there are about 61 types of added sugars (most are chemicals btw) that can be listed here. The most common – dextrose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, barley malt, rice syrup, and sucanat. You really want to avoid these. You can read more of the others here.

Eat more NATURAL AND REAL WHOLE FOODS

This doesn’t mean whole foods don’t contain sugar, most fruits and veggies do! BUT they are natural sugars without the chemicals or processed junk that your body cannot process. We do not want that on top of too much sugar.

A good rule of thumb is to stick to more lower glycemic (meaning lower sugar fruits) like berries and cherries and only have the others sparingly.

Aim to load your meals with more veggies (green, red, orange colored ones) and lean proteins. Healthy fats are good too of course but be sure to look at labels of things like nut butters as they can be high in added sugars too! Some of my favorite low sugar brands are – 88 acres (seed butter) and Maranatha .

DRINK YOUR WATER!

It is PROVEN that the more hydrated you are the LESS you will crave sweet things. Read more on that here.

Also try to DECREASE your consumption of higher sugar foods for 3 weeks. When you do this you will notice a difference in your cravings start to decrease.

In a nutshell…..

Every day we each have choices to make. We can choose to opt for healthier stuff eating out, we can opt for not processed junk at the grocery store but YOU>>>> No one else has to choose to do these things. I promise the more we take that step to make smarter choices, the easier it will become and the better we will feel.

 Our bodies are machines and fueled right they will look and perform right, fueled wrong and they will perform like crap and look like crap. Just like you wouldn’t put cheap gasoline in a Ferrari, you shouldn’t put cheap stuff in your body either ;).

Have more questions? Be sure to comment below or shoot me a message.

If you are interested in any of my online programs then be sure to head on over to the virtual training page to see how I can help you 1 on 1 or in a more group setting.

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Sources :

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S0002-8223(10)00644-9/abstract womenshealthmag.com http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/4/850S.full

Seven Functional Movement Patterns – What you need to know

Seven Functional Movement Patterns – What you need to know

Have you ever gotten injured doing something “dumb” or something so simple it doesn’t make sense??

Maybe for example, you threw your back out picking up your purse, hurt your knee walking up some stairs, hurt your hip sitting down, or twisted your lower back bending over??

It shouldn’t surprise us that this happens. Think of how quickly we move throughout life, how go go go our lifestyle is. Maybe you are seeing a trend here with our quick on the move lifestyles….. (that it causes more harm than good, maybe we should probably slow down?….) You can read more about that in both of these posts  Over-training is a real thing and Stress and how it impacts your ENTIRE life . BUT that is for another day.

So how do we help ourselves from hurting ourselves with simple daily tasks?

Focus on intentional movements…. which means slowing down, and by understanding the Seven Functional Movement Patterns.

My video below goes through all of this, and be sure to watch all the way through as I give examples of how to perform each at the end!

It is important we understand these and how they can truly help us live a better life by feeling better, having more energy by not being sidelined and focus on OURSELVES. It is not selfish I promise.

Here is a free guide for you to see and understand them in simple form with examples of each too! Get it <HERE>

 

Interested in learning more?? Want to work 1 on 1 with me OR try one of my online programs??

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The Key To Lowering Inflammation Through Workouts

The Key To Lowering Inflammation Through Workouts

What do you think of when thinking of ways to lower inflammation?  Getting a massage? Eating less processed foods? Taking supplements? What about working out? Does working out help? The answer is yes. Many types of work outs are proven to lower the bodies overall stress response and in turn can lower inflammation levels. However not all workouts are created equal.

When we think workouts that can help us lower inflammation we want to think more moderate exercise. Like a long walk, or something to get you moving for 20- 30 minutes.

In fact one study showed that just 20 minutes a day of exercise can prove to be beneficial in lowering inflammation in the body (again this is moderate exercise not super high intense stuff).  The reason being is it promotes our sympathetic nervous system, doing so can help fight off the overwhelming amount of TNF cells our body has. These guys aren’t necessarily bad, they help with our natural immune response when we are sick or get cut, etc. However due to chronic inflammation and us being exposed to so much they can be in overdrive and causing harm to us.

Moderate workouts can help.

Another study found that after following some mid aged individuals for 10 years who worked out only 2.5 hours a week they were able to decrease their inflammation levels by 12%. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3890998/

Why wouldn’t you want to do something more challenging??

The answer is because if you are already inflamed, if you already have too much stress in your life and in your body whether it is physical or mental, the last thing you want to do is add more stress to that. Intense workouts like crossfit, HIIT classes, really long runs, are just a few that can do more harm than good for some people. This is NOT to say no one should ever do them, but if you are working to lose weight and have not been able to for a while regardless of the work you are putting in, if you are stressed, not sleeping, etc, then you need to take a step back for a few and then you can rebuild yourself to be able to enjoy those more intense workouts again if that is your thing. You don’t want to add more stress to an already stressed out body!

 

So what types of workouts are recommended??

  • Walking – outside if you can – taking a decent pace can not only help those who are getting into working out moving but also those who work out hard can use a long walk as a reset to their taxed muscles. Walking promotes the lymphatic system to move and drain to help get rid of toxins and inflammation as well as blood circulation, and heart rate goes up!
  • Body weight or lighter resistance workouts – once you have a foundation built doing lighter weights or moderate resistance workouts can be great for helping the joints get more mobility and the muscles to get active and working properly. Always start slow and progress your way up. This is why I always start clients with a foundation building phase. It is something I learned over the years from some of the great people I work with at CYB Atlanta but it really does help in the long run to ensure you are moving and doing right for your body.
  • Yoga and/or mediation with deep breathing – deep breathing is my go to for everyone. Be it fitness professionals, every generation, pre and post natal women, I could go on. It promotes relaxation in the body by really turning on the right responses, It therefore decreases stress all over – hence inflammation decreases. Yoga incorporates this so you can do two things at once. If you are not into yoga then just simply practicing deep breathing 5-10 minutes a day can make a big difference, add in mediation if you can to get even more bang for you buck. See more on that here
  • Foam rolling and stretching may not be a “workout” for most but it should definitely be part of your workout program. Your muscles need to be loved and worked on. Foam rolling is great way to do just that and to not have to spend tons of money on massages every week.
    • Not sure what this is? I got you-
Overall working out is a benefit to us. No matter what our fitness level or goals. Moving a little bit each day can really go a long way. Putting ourselves as a priority and taking care of ourselves through working out, rest, and movement will pay off for not only ourselves but others around us too.

You can get a four week workout program and save $10 with code CHANGEUP by going here. – WORKOUT PROGRAM

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