Halloween might tempt you to turn to sugar and sweets, but before you reach for the candy bar think about the ramifications. If you have a sweet tooth, you’re certainly not alone. The increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes is a direct reflection on America’s sugar addition. In fact, neuroscience research finds sugar addiction to affect the brain in the same as drug addiction:
“ ‘Food addiction’ seems plausible because brain pathways that evolved to respond to natural rewards are also activated by addictive drugs. Sugar is noteworthy as a substance that releases opioids and dopamine and thus might be expected to have addictive potential.”
It’s Not The Fat, But The Sugar!
Sugar isn’t completely evil, because natural sucrose plays a role in our body’s ability to produce energy. However, don’t blame those extra pounds completely on your fat intake, either. Because there is more than one type of fat, while saturated fat is the worst. Fat found in salmon, fish oil, and nuts is the good kind that our brains need.
Also, sugar plays more of a role in how our body stores fat than fat itself. While many foods on the shelves are fat-free, they contain sugar to add flavor. Next time you’re at the supermarket, read the back label on your favorite ketchup, salad dressings, gluten-free snacks, yogurts, and most canned foods. More often than not you’ll find the word sucrose. It’s not enough that a food is labeled “low-fat” or “fat-free.” Sugar is even added to some fat-free crackers!
Sugar & Our Taste Buds
The food industry when marketing a fat-free food to consumers has to make the flavor appealing. Meanwhile, sugar has been known to be addictive. Essentially, a decent amount of foods now contain added sugar. So, our taste buds send messages to our brain, and we’re hooked. Our taste buds perceive four types of tastes: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.
Approximately 10,000 taste buds exist on our tongue, the roof of our mouth and even in our throat. Evidence suggests that our taste buds begin developing as early as in the womb, where flavor is transferred via amniotic fluid to the fetus. And if you think that little fact might not be a big deal, think again. Because what you taste in the womb influences your likes and dislikes. Anytime we’re exposed to new flavors and foods, the chemistry in our brain also changes.
Body Fat: Women vs. Men
So, we might already be tainted by what our mothers ate while pregnant, making us more prone to eating certain types of foods. Sweets might just be in our blood. Not to mention, women have more of an uphill battle in staving off fat than men. According to Human Kinetics, women have a big disadvantage being born with more fat:
“Fat in normal women represents between 18% and 20% of body weight, whereas in men it represents only 10% to 15%.”
Because the male and female body composition is different by nature, it’s imperative that women understand how to eat and how to train. While most women might be prone to hitting the cardio machines, muscle burns more fat over time.
Mini-Circuit Training: Burn That Lingering Fat
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Don’t be haunted by lingering fat. Burn it by employing a mini-circuit training routine. There are various ways can do a mini-circuit training routine. One way is to alternate between leg and upper body exercises. You can even choose two machines to alternate from, one that focuses on upper body and one on the lower body. This way, your mini-circuit training routine is simple and not complicated.
Anytime you want to lose weight whether it’s changing the way you eat or how you exercise, make it easy on yourself. It’s hard enough trying to lose weight, let alone, adding complicated strength-training exercises you have to memorize or hire an expensive trainer to assist you. You’ll be surprised at how much fat you can lose just by doing mini-circuit training. The idea is to rotate exercises from your legs to your chest without rest.
Infusing higher reps, at a lower weight allows you to tone and burn the fat right off.
Don’t Diet, Just Eat Healthier & Read Food Labels!
Don’t think about weight loss in terms of dieting, because there are tons of yo-yo diets out there. Instead, think of food as not only fuel but also vitamins and nutrients. Again, keep it simple. Eat clean, and keep your foods fresh versus consuming processed, packaged, and canned foods.
A rule of thumb is to always read nutritional labels. Yes, even if it says gluten-free and fat-free. Try checking out how much sugar is in any and all foods you purchase at the grocery store. Obviously, if you buy a pack of Oreo cookies, it has sugar. More subtle foods out there contain sugar that you don’t even realize. Always, always read nutrition labels and, if you can, make your own food at home as much as possible. Finally, replace oversized portions with smaller ones and pair a lean protein of your choice with plenty of healthy veggies.
Exercise, Eat Right, & Enjoy The Holidays…But Watch Your Sugar Intake!