January 2020 is our GRIP Sugar Detox and being prepared is very important. The closer we are to no added sugar in our diet, the easier the month will be. So with that in mind, backtracking to November and December will set ourselves up for success.
There are 600,000 food items in the average grocery store with over 80% of those containing added sugar. That leaves just 20% for us in January. We will need to be excellent sugar detectives and begin searching now for foods that will work for us during our detox. Start with real whole foods and then check labels of foods consumed on a regular basis to see how much added sugar they contain. The recommendations for added sugar per day are 9 teaspoons or 45g of sugar for men and 6 teaspoons or 30g of sugar for women and children. The January sugar detox will be NO added sugar with a couple of exceptions.
High levels of sugar in our blood stream raise insulin levels which lead to fat storage, inflammation and most chronic diseases. The latest research shows that 1 in 3 people are prediabetic and over half of those do not know it. Our ultimate goal at GRIP is increased health for all of our clients.
The holiday season is upon us, and that means parties, more time spent indoors, travel, and plenty of eating and drinking. Even for the most health focused among us, it’s tempting to throw our healthy lifestyle practices out the window for the last six weeks of the year and plan to pick them up in the new year. Unfortunately, this can leave us feeling less than optimal and not ready for our sugar detox. The lack of exercise compounded with sugary foods and alcohol can put us on a blood sugar roller coaster; one that makes us feel amped and energized one minute and then sleepy, cranky, and in a brain fog the next.
Below is a short list of tips to incorporate into your end of year routine to help avoid the blood sugar ups and downs of the holiday season. The good news is that making healthy lifestyle choices can make a huge difference in blood sugar levels and you can still enjoy the next few weeks and be ready for January 2020!
Try intermittent fasting
This may be something you are already doing. Start with 12 hours of no eating
between dinner and breakfast the next day. Move to 14-16 hours when you
have accomplished the 12 hour fast.
2. Move your body
Be active for just a few minutes every day. It can be as simple as tennis, pickle ball
or in home yoga. Maybe some sprint intervals or scheduled training sessions, both
of which have been shown to improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity. If you
miss your activity during the day, be sure to take a 10-minute walk after dinner, which
which has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
3. Make water your new best friend
Of all the blood sugar offenders, sweetened beverages are probably the worst. If you
can avoid sweet cocktails, sodas, and high sugar holiday drinks you can drastically cut
down your sugar intake without missing out on any of your favorite foods. Instead keep
your water bottle with you at all times. If you get bored with plain water, add some fresh
lemon or pick up some sparkling water. Another great idea when cutting out added sugar
is to add electrolytes to your water. Being properly hydrated will also help you
avoid snacking mindlessly, as many people mistake thirst for hunger.
4. Fill up on nutrient dense foods first
If you are headed to a dinner party, ask ahead of time what is on the menu and offer to
bring a dish like a veggie or salad. Determine ahead of time what is not worth it. Knowing
what is NOT going to be on your plate can help you figure out what to bring to make your
meal complete. Finally, when you sit down to the dinner table, fill your plate with proteins,
veggies, healthy fats, and healthy carbs like sweet potato and squash first. These food will
provide fiber, leave you satiated, and help you avoid simple carbs and empty calorie foods.
Try eating a green salad last, almost as a palate cleanser. Ending with something heavy and
sweet can leave you feeling sluggish, but a salad can leave you feeling fresh and light. Be
mindful of your food choices, eat slowly and enjoy each bite.
5. Remember the spirit
While the food and drinks are an awesome part of any get-together, you’re really there
to connect with and be grateful for family and friends. It doesn’t matter what’s on (or not on)
your plate. The time you spend, traditions you create, and good feelings you leave with are
the most important part of any celebration.
Your GRIP Team