By Sherry Strong, from CanFit Pro Magazine
If you’re working hard in the gym but aren’t seeing the changes you were hoping for, it could be that sugar is undoing your good work.
So you’re motivated, doing the work in the gym, showing up to personal training sessions or classes, but your form is not changing, body fat is not shifting, and you wonder – what is up?!
So many people are consuming high levels of hidden or masked sugars in products marketed as healthy that you literally are undoing the hard work and in some cases making things worse.
How much sugar are you actually consuming? I bet it’ll startle you, and even more so, what that long-term impact can have on your body.
Sugar in unnatural forms and amounts will create havoc in the body. It will create a cycle of addiction, erode and/ore degenerate vital organs, and can strip nutrients from the body. The result is disease and there are over 144 diseases that can be directly linked to sugar consumption.
There is a current misconception in the health and fitness world that people who work out a lot are the ultimate picture of health. The full picture of health, however, has many different parts. Yes, one of those parts is exercise, but constantly working out doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and however much you want with no negative impact. Eating highly processed foods that contain high amounts of sugars and toxic chemicals will be a detriment to your health regardless of how much you work out. The theory that most people fall back on in this argument is that since those people are working out so much they are burning all of that energy as fuel. This argument fails to recognize the other substances present in processed foods. Toxic ingredients and preservatives are in most sports drinks, sports bars, and recovery snacks marketed to athletes.
Fit “Unhealthy” People
No human is going to burn these toxins as fuel, these substances get stored in fat cells (a physiological protection mechanism to keep the toxins contained so that they cannot damage our vital organs). For thin people who are working out in high amounts but are constantly treating themselves with highly processed foods post workout, these toxins don’t’ have as many places to go considering they have a lower fat mass. This means their vital organs are at risk of damage directly from what they are ingesting.
The disconnect of thinking that if you’re working out a lot that you can eat whatever you want is pervasive in mass media, as many famous athletes share their high calorie, low nutrient dense meal regimes. For example, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was highlighted on numerous news outlets for sharing that he ate fried egg sandwiches, pounds of pasta, and entire pizzas while sipping on sports drinks on a daily basis while he was training. This does a disservice to athletes everywhere because they look up to professional athletes as the gold standard of performance. Working out a great deal puts a large amount of stress on your body and in order for your body to heal from this stress it needs highly nutrient dense and antioxidant dense foods in order to repair and recover for ultimate performance. No powder or supplement can trump nutrient rich foods.
It’s not just enough to stop eating sugar. It is highly addictive, in everything, found everywhere, and hard to avoid. It is made in the same way we take natural things like coca leaves and opium sap, that are not highly addictive in their natural state, but when processed to the white form it becomes addictive and toxic to the body. Getting off of it most people requires a strategy, not a diet.
We’ve come up with a couple way to avoid the added sugar and keep you nourished and balanced when it comes to your fitness:
Remember: Packing in the calories will definitely provide a fuel source, but choosing more nutrient dense foods to add to our training regime gets you’re a lot farther, no matter the sport or activity.
Sherry is the author of “Return to Food” – the life-changing anti-diet and the Founder of the Sweet Freedom Project, helping people end sugar addiction for good. She is the Food Coach’s COACH and runs the Return to Food Academy, an online school that trains food coaches to make healthy living through holistic food, wellness courses, and retreats.