Most of us know now that eating too much sugar (and too many calories) are the main cause of weight gain. But this doesn’t mean that you need to cut out all forms of sugar forever! Here is how to eat sugar and not gain weight.
1. Refined Sugar Must Go
When you eat sugar, your body releases the hormone insulin, resulting in an insulin spike. Your body will metabolize the sugar that it needs to function, and any excess sugar, will be stored as fat thanks to the insulin spike.
All sugar has the same effect on your body, regardless of whether it is labelled as corn syrup, cane sugar, maltodextrin, fructose, honey, rice syrup, etc. Limit these foods as much as you can (i.e. don’t add these to your foods) and also avoid any packaged / processed food that uses any form of sugar.
Admittedly, I do sometimes bake with honey, maple and rice malt syrup. But I do not eat these foods everyday, they are considered a treat. It is not part of my everyday diet.
People often think fruit is bad for you because it contains sugar, which is does. But what is often neglected is that the fact that fruit contains SO many other things that are great for your body including fiber and nutrients. Like all things though, too much of anything is bad. People often say to limit to 2 pieces of fruit, which I agree with. However, if I have eaten low carb all day and need some more food, I will often have 3 pieces of fruit, or 4 on a high carb day.
Other forms of natural sugar that I love to use (especially in my baking) are dates and coconut sugar. Both contains lots of sugar (albeit natural sugar) and are high in fiber and nutrients. But again, I do not eat these things every day.
Eat Sugar Around Your Workout Times
After your workout (and even before) is the best time for you to eat high carb foods, including natural sugar. Sugar (carbs) are turned into glycogen in your body (or fat if you eat too much). After a workout, your body needs to replenish all of the glycogen it has just used, so is more likely to use the sugar to store in your muscles, rather than to be turned into fat. My favourite post workout food is a protein smoothie bowl with frozen fruit. YUM!