Who doesn’t love some kind of candy or sweet loaded with sugar? It can be tough because we know how bad it can be for you. Some of it can be really harmful.
Does this mean you need to cut out all the sugar in your diet? Do you need to be sugar-free?
You 100% do not need to be a sugar-free person, but it is a good idea to cut down on it a little bit. Sugar is so good though, right? Honestly, I’m kind of drooling thinking about a chocolate bar right now. It’s one of the most addicting things in life. I’ve even heard that it can be more addicting than cocaine.
Yes, cocaine the drug.
Don’t believe me? Here is some proof. Hard to think of something people have access to on a daily basis as something that is as addicting as a hardcore drug.
“I got a sick obsession, I’m seeing it in my dreams”
By sugar, I am talking about added sugars. There are a lot of foods out there that have natural sugars. There is no way to avoid that unless you stay away from sugar entirely. And to do that, you’re gonna have to stay away from a vast majority of the food you eat regularly. That’s an impossible task.
There are actually multiple kinds of sugars out in the world and most of them are naturally occurring sugars. These sugars are in most of the food we eat on a daily basis.
You have glucose. This is a sugar that is found in any type of carbohydrate. That includes breads and pastas. Any carb that we consume will be converted into glucose when it is processed by our bodies. Our bodies then convert this sugar into energy. There is a lot more detail I can go into about the energy aspect of things but that’ll just be a waste of time.
There is fructose. You’ll get this from fruits. Any and all fruits. It is unavoidable. Sugar is literally in almost everything we consume whether you like it or not. You don’t like the sound of that? Tough shit. Get over it.
Lactose is the last one. I’m sure you’ve heard of the term, lactose intolerant, and the people that have it always struggle when it comes to dairy products. Can you guess why? That’s because you have lactose in all dairy products, except for these new aged lactose-free milks.
Dairy products are essential to the body as well. That big food pyramid we learned about when we were younger wasn’t a complete load of crap. It has some value to it that should not be overlooked.
These naturally occurring sugars are essential for your body when it comes to gaining muscle mass and having energy for all of your workouts. The sugars that we will be mentioning are 100% not necessary for your body to function, but they may be essential in satisfying a craving or a small void.
We LOVE Sugar
“I think about it, all the time”
I’ll be the first to tell you that Elisa, Paul, and I love sugar.
Chocolate bars, gummy candies, soda, you name it and we probably like it. Put a 2 liter bottle of anything in the fridge and it’s gone less than 48 hours later. We even call each other out to see who goes on the daily “cookie run.”
Trust me when I say that two of us get a little perturbed when we don’t get a cookie from the person making the cookie run or if the cookies are not split evenly. A civil war almost breaks out, usually Elisa and I against Paul.
Do the three of us realize that these sugary items aren’t good for us? Yes. Do we care about our bodies and our health? Yes.
Are we going to cut out sugar from our diet? Definitely not.
We understand that we should probably stay away from it a little more, but there is no way we are going to stop our sugar intake altogether. I don’t think you should stop all sugar intake either.
Don’t Stop All At Once
“Won’t listen to any advice”
Sugar isn’t the best for you, but it is not a good idea to stop having sugar and go cold turkey. Things like sodas and candies are things that are overly loaded with sugars so those are things you should be mindful of when it comes to your diet. That doesn’t mean you can’t have the occasional Dr.Pepper, that stuff tastes heavenly.
It is important to be mindful of your sugar intake. Don’t get too excessive or anything. The problems begin when you start eating whole packs of cookies or a tub of ice cream in one sitting.
Going cold turkey on sugar can be a gateway to other health problems. Say you decide to stop with the sugar. You’re doing well for the first couple days then a craving hits you out of nowhere, BOOM!
You start to panic a little bit battling with the little devil on your shoulder. You keep telling yourself that you don’t need it.
Next thing you know, you’re on your way to the nearest store or gas station getting that delicious thing you’ve been craving. You notice yourself getting it, but for some reason you can’t stop yourself.
So you get back to your place, grab whatever it is you bought and begin to chow down. In the moment you are overly happy and excited.
The second you are finished, you realize what you have done and you begin to think. You start to think that you’re a failure. You couldn’t keep away from one thing for longer than a few days. This leads to more depressing thoughts and the next thing you know, you’re punishing yourself whenever you slightly have that craving again.
You begin to lose focus on your bigger goals and solely focus on cutting out one aspect of your entire fitness regime. You may start to actually eat less and workout less. It’s a snowball effect that may seem to never stop.
To combat this, I would say to give yourself some kind of limit on the amount you can have per day. Some scientists say that a glass of red wine every day is good for your health, I’m saying that a piece or couple pieces of your favorite sweet treat every day is good for your health. Limitations on these things are important (I’ll go into a little more detail about this later).
Why You Should Keep Some Sugar Around
“My friends think I’ve gone crazy”
There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t have too much sugar, but there are reasons why you should also consider having sugar every once in a while when you have a craving.
Say you begin to cut sugar from your diet, what’s the natural thing to do? Find something else that will fill the void that is forming in your mouth and stomach. What is this void usually filled with? Snack foods. Foods that are high calorie. Foods that have more fat. That’s just natural.
When you can’t have something, you find something else that is a quick fix. The snack foods, however, are something that can cause you to gain weight. You cut out sugar to help you get healthier, but you end up gaining weight? Sounds weird right? But that’s how things work when you replace one tiny negative with a slightly worse negative.
Nobody Can Resist
“My sleaze is gonna be affected if I keep it up like a love sick crack head”
How many people do you know actually have no type of added sugar to their diet? Like zero, no sodas, no candy, no chocolate? My guess is that a vast majority of you don’t know anybody that is like that.
Not having any kind of added sugar is not realistic. Let’s be real.
Why should you torture yourself and not have sugar when you know that at some point down the road, you will eventually break down and have that vanilla ice cream or that Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar?
Whether it’s your “cheat” meal or not, having it is having it. Many diets come down to one thing, and that is watching the amount you are intaking.
The same goes for these added sugars. Watch how much you are putting in. We understand that it’s not practical to stop having all of this sugar so go ahead and have that chocolate.
Don’t go crazy with it and eat an entire King Sized bar in one sitting though (have more will power than me). Moderation is the key. Like I said earlier, limitations are important. If you remember one thing from this article remember this, moderation helps keep everything in balance.
“I’m all strung out, my heart is fried”
If you are one of those people that can’t have the cookies or sweets in your house because it will get eaten right away, there are alternatives for you to use.
Sometimes you are going to need some kind of alternative to the sweets. It can be tough finding something that you actually enjoy compared to what you would normally have.
If you have a candy bar craving, a good alternative would be to eat some kind of protein bar. There are a lot of protein bars that contain chocolate and caramel so you still get that sweet taste in your mouth.
If you’re like me, ice cream gets you weak in the knees. Alternatives for this would be frozen yogurt or some kind of sherbert. The sugar content in these is still very high, but they are a healthier alternative.
Got a cookie craving? No worries. A quick fix would be having some nutrition bars or a fig bar. These sometimes have a bland taste to me, but there isn’t much that can actually compare to a good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie.
If you have other kinds of cravings or looking for more alternatives, here is something that could help…Little more help
There Are Other Ways
“What you got, boy, is hard to find”
Remember that sugar is not the only way for you to gain fat. There are many other factors that contribute to this. Sugar definitely doesn’t take away from the fat gain but it’s not the sole contributor.
Hypothetically speaking, if you eat only sugary products that have the same amount of calories as the products in your normal daily diet, odds are you will not gain any weight (there will probably be some health problems lurking but that’s not the point).
If you cut sugar out of your diet, but end up taking in more calories in your daily diet, your weight will increase. It’s inevitable. What? If you eat more food, you’ll gain more weight. Shocking, I know. That is why you may always hear people emphasizing how much moderation is key to a lot of aspects of life. Food and diet are no exception. It’s just how the body works.
Don’t Be Scared Of It
“The rush is worth the price I pay”
If it tastes good, its good for you. That is something I always said when somebody told me that I probably shouldn’t be eating something. Obviously, I don’t want this saying to be taken literally, but I believe that you should partake in those comfort foods every once in a while.
They keep you sane in a world where there seems to be nothing but crazy diets flying around. Everyone has that food that they can say is their “go to.” Don’t be afraid to eat that “go to” every once in a while. You may have to do a little extra when it comes to the gym, but when you get to eat the food you are absolutely craving, it has to be worth it.
If you find yourself questioning whether it’s worth it or not, then set it down and leave it for another time. Your body isn’t going to hate you for not eating something you don’t want to eat, especially since it isn’t vital to your health.
Moderation Is Key
“But crash and crave you when you leave”
If you are serious about what you are starting to put in your body, make sure you pay attention to everything that is going inside of you.
If you are seriously wanting that candy bar or soda, make sure that you give yourself some sort of allowance per day or even per week. You do not want to go overboard with it and not see any results from your diet or working out.
Go overboard with it and you are guaranteed to not feel nearly as good in the gym. Everything always comes back to bite you in the ass. It’s funny how life works like that but it’s true.
Don’t look out for yourself now and you will pay for it later. Look out for yourself now, be okay later. The choice is entirely up to you.
Everyone puts in the effort of starting a diet or going to the gym to see results in themselves. Don’t sell yourself short because you are wanting that chocolate you haven’t had in a few days.
To see the results you want, you have to put the work in. Just try not to kill yourself by doing this. Splurge every once in a while and satisfy those taste buds.
P.S. – The quotes used in this article are from “Your love is my drug” by Ke$ha