April 2019 starts our NO SUGAR CHALLENGE. The challenge is 30 days long starting Monday April 1st through April 30th.
Many of us are not aware what has added sugar in it and what is just simply natural. Depending on your habits this may be harder for some than others, but we would categorize it as more of an awareness challenge. Remember, you only really taste something for a few minutes if that, so pick and choose whether something is just a craving or if it is really satisfying you nutritionally.
We want to make the rules as black and white as possible. Read the rules and then read the effects of excessive sugar on the body. Let us know if you have any questions.
Sugars – Avoid all added sugars for this challenge. Sugar is also named differently on labels, if you are uncertain about an ingredient, google search it. If “NUTRITION FACTS” have a certain amount of grams of sugar in it, look at what the sugar source is. For example if it is apple sauce, you are fine, but if it is from Fructose, it is now allowed.
Substitute Sugars – Avoid all substitute sugars, (with the exception of Stevia). While it’s not a sugar, the idea of the challenge is not only to get sugar out of your diet, but also to get you away from the need for something sweet. Key word is the NEED, Sugar is like a drug and it will cause you to crave. You can still eat sugar foods without having to have them due to intense cravings.
Spices – be sure you check spices, many times spices have sugar in them
Honey and Maple Syrup: This is allowed only if it is raw honey or raw maple syrup. Some products have added sugar in them, be sure you read your labels. As stated above, if you are on a specific meal plan that has honey and maple syrup eliminated, then you can use Stevia.
Fruits – You are allowed to eat fruit
Alcohol – Alcohol is allowed however it can intensify your cravings and cause you to forget to look at a label.
In-Competition: If you are competing or in the middle of a training workout and you need Gatorade or gels, this is allowed. However, before and after competition or training, only natural sugar is allowed.
Examples of things you can eat for snacks that help fill you up
Almonds, walnuts, pecans, salad (check dressings), oatmeal with honey, maple syrup, apple sauce, eggs, chicken, rice, bread (check label), cheese, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, strawberries, assorted fruits, raw honey, crushed peanut butter natural not processed, crushed almond butter (not processed), bananas.
Brainstorm ways with your friends and team on ideas and post them on the facebook page.
Effects of Excessive Sugar
Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology in the University of California and a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism, says that your body can safely metabolize at least six teaspoons of added sugar per day. But since most Americans are consuming over three times that amount, majority of the excess sugar becomes metabolized into body fat – leading to all the debilitating chronic metabolic diseases many people are struggling with.
Here are some of the effects that consuming too much sugar has on your health:
It overloads and damages your liver. The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.
It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signaling. Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” which then fails to stimulate leptin or “the satiety hormone.” This causes you to eat more and develop insulin resistance
It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.
It increases your uric acid levels. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.