New Year Health Challenge Week 3: Cut Out Sugar (I Know It’s Painful)

Welcome to Week 3 of the ten-week New Year Health Challenge, courtesy of Christine Kling of Body Basics LLC in Boise ID. 

Ever wondered how bad sugar is for you?

SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE! – Scientists say that sugar is just as addictive as cocaine. Researchers discovered that cocaine-addictive mice preferred sugar water over cocaine. This intense euphoria from sugar consumption can be a powerful driving factor in us reaching for it often and obsessively.

SUGAR IS MAKING US SICK! – Ever wonder why the cold and flu run rampant around the holiday season? America’s sugar intake at least doubles during this time, and sugar is an immune suppressor. As little as 3.5 ounces can suppress your immune system up to 50 percent. In addition, sugar actually requires nutrients to metabolize, therefore pulling minerals from your body.

SUGAR IS COSTING YOU MONEY – Researchers link sugar to collagen and elastin damage, two very important proteins that support and provide structure to your skin. Refined sugar speeds aging by binding to collagen, leading to premature wrinkles and sagging.

SUGAR MAKES US FAT! –An abundance of sugar puts the liver into overdrive quickly, getting stored as fat so your blood sugar and insulin rates can stabilize. This leads to BELLY FAT!

SUGAR IS ALTERING OUR KID’S FUTURE – The rise in childhood obesity means that for the first time ever, this generation of children may be outlived by their parents. Modern diets aren’t just making kids fat; they’re making our kids sick for life.

SUGAR IS KEEPING YOU HUNGRY – Sugars—especially in forms of liquid like soda—don’t satiate, leaving you discontented, moody and hungry.

SUGAR FEEDS CANCER – A recent study found that sugar actually aids the growth of malignant cells.

SUGAR MAY HAVE YOU REACHING FOR YOUR GLASSES – High blood sugar levels cause the lens of your eyes to swell, which changes your ability to see.

SUGAR IS STRONGER THAN FLOSSING – Sugar creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Even if you brush, floss or rinse, sugar increases acidity in your mouth, wreaking havoc on enamel, causing plaque and gingivitis.

SUGAR PLAGUES YOUR CIRCULATORY SYSTEM – At certain levels, sugar may even double the risk of heart disease — due to its effect on weight, blood pressure, triglycerides and insulin.

Kick the Habit Now!

Studies have shown that the best way to break the cravings is to stop COLD TURKEY! You’ll be surprised at your energy level on Day 7 once our detox is over; then, you can start to add in natural sugars as alternatives.

Challenge Guidelines:

Week 3: No sugar whatsoever except fruit or dried fruit! (Beware of added sugars to dried fruit.)

Weeks 4-10: No added sugars. Natural, low-glycemic sugars are permitted in moderation.

For every day you drink the recommended amount of water, you get a point. Same with sleep. If you do NOT eat sugar at all for a day, you get 1 point.

Your goal is to get 21 points at the end of the week. (1 for Hydration + 1 for Sleep + 1 Sugar each day)

Click here for Challenge Log

Low-glycemic, naturally occurring sugars:

  1. Stevia (0 rating on Glycemic Scale) – 300x sweeter than sugar & aids in digestion. Aftertaste may take some getting used to.
  2. Agave (15) – higher in calories than sugar, but it’s sweeter so you won’t need as much
  3. Brown Rice Syrup – found mostly in bars; good alternative b/c its slow to digest and contains vitamins and minerals
  4. Coconut Sugar (35)– great for baking! Rich in magnesium, potassium, zinc & B vitamins
  5. Raw, Unfiltered Honey (50) – rich in antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, minerals & phytonutrients. Must use raw, unfiltered! Nutrients have been stripped from honey bears!
  6. Xylitol or Maltitol (12 & 35) – Low glycemic, derived from plants; can ferment in intestines causing gas, bloating, etc. If you experience digestive issues, don’t use it!

About Christine:

Christine Kling is co-owner of Body Basics and privileged to share the business with her husband, James. Her passion for health and fitness began as a teen playing sports (basketball and tennis) and dancing, which led her to become a personal trainer and group exercise instructor at the age of 17. Struggling with a thyroid disorder and adrenal fatigue from Hashimoto’s auto-immune disorder also increased her love for helping people in the area of nutrition. She has experienced first-hand how diet and exercise can beat the odds! Youth Fitness, Pre-natal/Post-natal Fitness, Senior Fitness, Mat Sciences, and Indoor Cycling have been her areas of continued study and experience. A favorite quote of hers is “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!”

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post.

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