The house is in upheaval and the kitchen fitters are at last here! Whenever I have workman in I always bake a carrot cake and make sure I have the kettle on, after all it makes sense to keep them happy! However, my kitchen fitter has told me not to offer him any cakes or biscuits as he is trying to lose weight. Once he found out what I do for a living he was keen to impress me with his “diet”. Not only is he not eating cakes which is of course a good thing, he went onto proudly tell me he no longer eats carrots as they are full of sugar. Talk about throw the baby out with the bathwater! It is absolutely true that we need to reduce the amount of excess sugar in our diet and most medical professionals agree that a diet high in refined sugar increases the risk of obesity related diseases.
I have been delivering weight loss seminars and writing books for over 20 years and people are always surprised to hear that if you consume more glucose than you can store (which is around 2000 calories) then it is converted (by insulin) into fat, which you can store in unlimited amounts. This means you don’t actually have to eat fat to get fat. It explains why so many people on a low fat diet, continue to gain weight. Fat is flavoursome, that’s why we like it! Many low fat varieties of everyday foods from cereals to mayonnaise, contain extra refined sugar to compensate for the lack of taste. This means although you think you are making healthy choices, you are actually over consuming sugar and putting your body in maximum fat storing mode.
In 1981 The Glycemic Index (GI) was invented by Dr Thomas Wolever and Dr David Jenkins at the University of Toronto. It is simply a list or table of foods based on how quickly they raise blood-glucose levels. Foods high on the GI can cause a dramatic raise in blood sugar, and you release more fat storing insulin, whilst foods lower down the list have much less impact. It’s the processed foods such as white bread and easy cook rice and pasta that we don’t think of as sweet that are some of the worst offenders.
Glucose is by no means the enemy, in fact every single cell in your body requires glucose, without it you simply cannot function. The magic word is BALANCE. You need glucose, it is essential for life and you should never attempt to remove it from your diet completely. The problem arises when you have too much.
Very low carb diets such as the high protein diet and it’s latest incarnation the Paleo Diet, are worryingly popular. They exclude not just refined sugars, but also many foods that contain the glucose vital for life. Equally important, vegetables and fruit eaten in moderation, are also a very good source of antioxidants and fibre, both of which are essential for health. So, as I told my kitchen fitter, no one ever got fat on carrots. So please – do not throw the baby out with the bathwater, YES – reduce your sugar intake, but please DO NOT stop eating vegetables just because they contain Glucose. You could be doing your body serious long term harm.
In my own weight loss programme Think More Eat Less, I have created a super simple Colour Code System that is easy to follow and will enable you to choose the right amount of foods from each food group, where no food is a sin, and you create your own “diet” based on your own preferences; oh – and no calorie counting!
If you would like to learn which foods elevate blood glucose and cause cravings and also learn how to use your mind to change your body so that you can genuinely want to stop eating them, you can contact me directly janet@ or come along to Champneys for one of my 2 night or 4 night weight loss retreats or you can take yourself through the programme with my unique Think More Eat Less programme which is a book with audio hypnotic downloads.