We know that not all sugars are the same, there are artificial ones and there are the natural ones, but whichever way you go there’s no avoiding them, all our foods are pumped with them. In order to clarify some confusions and explain how things really are in the sugar world nutritionist, fitness trainer and acclaimed author JJ Virgin wrote a new book in which she gives practical advice on how to steer clear of this harmful ingredient and protect your overall health.
The name of her book is “In The Sugar Impact Diet: Drop 7 Sugars to Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks”. In this book, she explains the confusion about sugar. Lots of people around the world think that if the sugar is 100% natural, it’s ok to eat it. But, they’re so wrong. Agave, the natural fruit juice, raw cane sugar, and any other natural sugars are going to still wreak havoc on your health. JJ Virgin says that the sugar is a number one public enemy and this is why she chose to focus on it. The nutritionist also says that she doesn’t think added sugar is really the problem. She thinks it is what is in a lot of our food that we don’t recognize as sugar.
Whether it’s having apple juice, which is probably worse for you than a soda, or having a yogurt sweetened with fruit juice concentrate, or whether you’re just thinking that fruits are free for all, these are all creating problems. She says that she wanted to create a structured program that could help someone break free of those sugar cravings, drop the weight forever, and then let them go back and make a food challenge.
To End The Sugar Cravings, Your Body Should Burn Fat as Its Primary Fuel
JJ continues by saying that it doesn’t matter in what form the sugar you ingest is, it’s all the same to your body. “Food is information”, she says, and eating a muffin, a fruit-sweetened yogurt or a smoothie sends the same information – SUGAR!
It will be difficult at the beginning but once you eliminate the constant urge for a sugar fix you’ll find yourself feeling extra energetic and focused. But first, you need to teach your body to burn fat as its primary form of fuel instead of sugar.
It can be really challenging for many but that’s why JJ’s book is so helpful in this process. It specifically addresses the gradual process of getting from burning sugar to burning fat as your body’s primary fuel, in order to maximize your chances for success.
“There’s got to be a transition period, where you go from sugar burner to getting your body to be able to start to burn fat again,” she explains.
“You have to taper down from where your starting point is, which is what I call a Sneaky Sugar Inventory, of things you would never think about (like sundried tomatoes and marinara sauce) that we’re just using like crazy not realizing how much sugar this is actually adding into our food.”
The Sugar Impact Scales: A New Way of Looking at Sugar
First, you should weigh yourself and measure the waist-to-hip ratio, so as to determine your starting point. Then, you need to do an initial inventory of all the hidden sugars in the diet. So, now you probably ask yourselves – what does this mean? This means that reading the labels on all of the foods you eat, including items that you may never expect to contain sugar, like that jar of pickles, sauces, condiments, and marinades, and so on. She lists all the sneaky places sugars that hide in your diet in her book, and by creating as she calls Sugar Impact Scales, she has created a new way of looking at the sugar.
JJ Virgin said:
“It looks at fructose grams, nutrient density, glycemic load, and fiber. Bad are fructose and glycemic load; good are nutrient density and fiber. Depending on where the food falls, it can either be a low, medium, or high-sugar impact. The reason this was so important to me is I keep looking at programs out there, and they either focus on fructose… glycemic index, or glycemic load. That can be very confusing because it makes things like agave sweetener look great. It makes milk look great… People usually say – We should have fructose because fructose is low on the glycemic index.”
The real difference between glucose and fructose is fructose doesn’t trigger the whole insulin response. Because of that, it doesn’t trigger leptin, insulin, or ghrelin, so it doesn’t tell your body that you ate anything. As a substitute, it just goes to the liver. If there is no room for it to become glycogen, it will become fat.
These are the most common symptoms of having high-sugar impact – gas and bloating are common, as sugar feeds yeast, fungi, and detrimental bacteria in your gut. Other symptoms include joint pain, headaches, fatigue, inability to lose weight or weight loss resistance, and sugar cravings.
The Three Cycles of the Sugar Impact Diet
First Cycle – In the first cycles you’re starting to adapt your body to the new changes by gradually switching from high sugar impact foods to medium sugar impact foods and this cycle lasts for one to two weeks. For example, if you normally eat plain pasta you’ll start eating quinoa pasta. JJ advises that you measure the time between meals and not eat every two hours but live a longer gap in-between meals so that you don’t feel insulin spikes. Once this period is finished you’ll measure your sugar impact again to see how far you’ve gotten. If you’ve done everything right your symptoms should get less severe and you move on to cycle two. In this cycle, you’ll really start resetting your taste buds and reclaiming your sugar sensitivity. And you’ll be able to start feeling how sweet food is.
The second Cycle – In which you are really resetting your taste buds and reclaiming the sugar sensitivity, meaning your ability to taste how sweet a food really is. You should get rid of all the fructose. We are getting down up to 5 grams or less, just as low as it’s possible since you don’t want your body to be good at a processing fructose. A thing we surely know is that the more fructose you eat, the much better you get at handling fructose, and that means that the faster it goes to your liver, the faster you will start making fat. Take this for instance – if you eat much more fruit all the time, then you could handle it. However, if you ever eat any fruit, and you ate a bunch of fruit, you would be bloated, gassy, and it would be horrible. Fruits that you should eat – limes, lemons, tomato, avocado, and olives. And we go down to all foods with low-sugar impact. But you are still eating great stuff. You are eating wild grass-fed beef, salmon, kale, avocado, seeds and nuts, a little quinoa, lentils, and legumes.
The third Cycle – In the last, third cycle you’ll have the real challenge – reintroducing some medium and even high sugar impact foods. You think you’ll succumb to the challenge? Don’t worry, by the third cycle you’ll notice how you’ll be overwhelmed by the sweetness and feel bloated and even ill from the high sugar impact foods. Consequently, you won’t want to feel sick and bloated meaning that the psychological grip of sweet foods will lessen and won’t tempt you anymore. It’s funny but sour taste (cultured veggies and the likes) has the power to reduce sweet cravings significantly.
Healthy snack alternatives
If you ever feel hungry you can’t go wrong by snacking on nuts, they’re the perfect snack to satisfy your itch. The ideal daily combination would be a large salad with lunch and nuts, specifically macadamia nuts and occasionally pecans whenever you feel hungry. These nuts are perfect because they’re high in good fat but low in protein, eliminating the possibility of eating a whole day’s worth of protein in a handful of nuts (which can happen if you eat almonds).
JJ warns about food triggers and to keep in mind that everything should be in moderation. Snacking on an occasional nut doesn’t mean that you are allowed to eat a whole jar of them.
She, moreover says:
“If you know something’s your trigger, don’t bring it into the house. It doesn’t matter if it is healthy or unhealthy. But I think if you put them into little serving baggies, that’s a perfect way to go with it. I also like that because most people aren’t home all day long, so I say, ‘Put one in your car. Put it in your purse. Put it in your office so that you have them scattered around if you ever get in trouble.’ Another healthy snack that is much harder to overdo is dehydrated kale chips. I’m in the process of planting six dozen kale plants on my property to create a surplus for this very reason. That way I can have kale chips year-round. Roasted Brussels sprouts are another alternative that you can’t really “overdose” on.”
Well, lots of people tried cutting back on calories, but – they didn’t lose any weight. Here is what you should do –eliminate pasteurized dairy, gluten and processed fructose from your diet. In case you still eat the wrong foods, despite the fact your calorie count is reduced – you need to know that you won’t lose any weight. As we said before, you should cut down on the fructose-filled foods which tell your body to store the sugar as fat and to eat more.