Food was always an issue for me. When I was in my teens, I would refuse to take my shirt off around the swimming pool, for fear of someone laughing at how fat I was. It got so bad, that I would only wear my father’s T-Shirts because they didn’t cling to me.
I can attribute my somewhat porky state of those days from having been a kid in Germany, where we didn’t get out much due to poor weather, and when we did, it was usually en route to get something to eat. Compared to South Africa, Germany was like Candyland. Brands such as Haribo, Kinder eggs, and the like, made Germany a very cool place for a kid whose into sugar.
While relative inactivity had a part to play in my youthful rotundness, it was my love for sugar that gave me not my slow puncture, but my slow inflator.
When the family returned to South Africa, I was struck by how hard and leathery the local kids all seemed to be. They were active, spent time outdoors, and yes, just like me at the time, they loved their sweets, or sugar intake. – but unlike me, they did not seem to get fat from it.
So what was the difference here? Sometimes the answer lies out there in plain sight, but as adults with our eyebrows raised, we tend to have our own opinion.
So what’s the difference? It clearly is an activity…
I moved when I lived in Germany… Sometimes.
In South Africa, with the better weather and the swimming pool calling me in summer even if I was wearing a shirt to cover my boy boobs, there was an activity level… We were in an out of the pool, on our bikes.
In Germany, we ate sugar, to keep ourselves busy. The extra sugar would linger in our systems, cause insulin spikes and then the love handles would flourish. In South Africa, we would have the same amount of sugars, and yes, there would be the same energy spikes, but we did not allow all that extra glucose to stick around, poisoning our systems. Your cells are unable to operate optimally when they have to operate in a thick sugary Treakle-like environment, that is your body when it’s rocking the sugar doses. No wonder things go awry.
Fast forward to your age today and let’s relate this story of my way and distant youth into a take-away – (no, not the MacDonalds drive-thru kind)
I urge you to use up the sugar that you put into your system. Leaving glucose to loll around in your body is like asking for the rust to set in. Things will just start falling apart when your body is left in sugar. I don’t care if you eat oats, brown rice, or a tub of ice cream. If you’re big enough to have the (carbs, which become sugar) then you’d better be big enough to get your energy levels going, so that you burn everything up. What’s not burnt up, will stick around and Insulin will make sure that all that good stuff is planted onto your waist, belly, hips, face, – you name it.
Earn your carbs and your sugar.
When I advocate and insulin re-set, and remove the sugars from your diet for a period of 3 weeks, I get many complaints about low energy levels and this makes sense. We are used to getting cheap energy from sugars and carbs. A gram of carbs has 4 calories and as such is easier for the body to access than fat, which has 9 calories to a gram. The body works harder to access the fat for energy, but ask yourself why the body stores food in the form of fat. From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s the optimum source of energy. It’s more concentrated. Cavemen did not run around on an energy high after chugging down a RedBull when they felt tired after nabbing the Woolly Mammoth.
Sugar is a recent addition to the menu. Yes, they ate roots and other forms of Glycogen sugary things like fruit. (God’s sweets)
It was only in recent years (evolutionary speak) that we began to have access to vast reserves of carbs and sugars. Our bodies have not kept pace and as a result, we have become a little too dependent on our shortcut to sugar mountain.
How do you access the sugar highway, and still ensure that your body will not rot? – Make sure that what you put into the tank is burnt up.
Let’s say you are going to play a tennis match and know that you’re going to burn up around 500 calories. You want that energy to be accessible because it’s an explosive sport. To access your fat reserves is entirely possible, but you’re not after abs here, you want to win the match. You know that 4 calories constitute a gram of Carbs. There are slow release and fast release (simple and complex carbs) sugars available to you. The match will run for an hour, so you need both types. 250 calories divided by 4 = 62 grams of Oats, which will ensure that your energy levels don’t want later in the game. Then, a sugary energy bar, which makes up the other 250 calories should do the trick so you look good right from the start of the game. All the bases covered… Game, set and match!
In conclusion, let’s not demonize sugar here, but let’s also realize that it serves a purely energetic purpose and as such, it should be ingested and used up. What’s not used up is just going to cause problems in your system. As adults, we need to get this right in our own bodies and also transfer this to our children, whose addiction to sugar is even worse than ours was, because the assortments have gone up and their activity levels have dropped.