Sugar, Calories and Perspective

How many calories are in your dinner and dessert?

caloriesindinner

I love sweets.

Sweets are my biggest challenge when it comes to being fit and healthy. Just as with anything else, of course there is a balance. Can I eat sweets, yes. Can I only eat sweets, no. Did I try to only eat sweets, yes. Naturally occurring sugars in the foods they naturally come in are not the enemy. The sugar is milk and fruits are not enemies because there are other nutrients that accompany them. Fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals accompany those sugars, so we are nourishing our bodies when we eat them. Trying to eliminate all sugars from our diet would be ridiculous and maybe impossible.

Added sugars are the enemy. In addition to the fact that man-made sugars are digested differently that naturally occurring sugars, most foods that contain added sugars did not need them to begin with! In addition they often are found in foods very low in necessary nutrients. When you consume a food that is very high in calories and does not contain nutrients you are either adding a lot of unnecessary calories to your diet that are designed to add fat deposits on your waist, or you are displacing healthy foods that would have provided your body with nutrients. If you do this regularly you could become nutrient deficient, which could lead to a number of health problems. Your glucose and insulin levels may be so out of whack you become pre-diabetic. Added and refined sugars really are the enemy, no matter how delicious they are. Yes, I do still eat them. I wanted to give you a little perspective on sugar here. Currently, I am writing a book about chronic obesity and illness in America, and you probably guessed it, there is a section on sugar.

Here are two pictures of food that contains approximately 400 calories. An entire healthy dinner, and a slice of dessert.

PASTA RECIPE

    1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if small, quartered if large

    1 plump garlic clove, minced or put through a press (more to taste)

    Salt to taste (I like to use a very good coarse sea salt or fleur de sel for this)

    1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

    1 cup arugula leaves, coarsely chopped

    1 tablespoon slivered or chopped fresh basil

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    ¾ pound fusille, farfalle, or orecchiette

¼ cup freshly grated ricotta salata or Parmesan (more to taste)

PREPARATION

 Combine the cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, arugula, basil, and olive oil in a wide bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt and the pasta. Cook al dente, until the pasta is firm to the bite. Drain, toss with the tomatoes, sprinkle on the cheese, and serve.

The pasta recipe is a very simple, affordable and delicious recipe found on www.cooking.nytimes.com

I am not discouraging people from ever eating cheesecake again, just know you are consuming a food that could have as many calories as your dinner but without the nutrients. Also, fine, eat your cake, but do HIIT that day. Ensure your metabolism is firing at max before you bog it down with cake!

HIIT

1.     Burpees 45

a.     Rest 15

2.     Sprints

a.     Rest

3.     Jump squats

a.     Rest

4.     Mountain climbers

a.     Rest

You already know (from reading my other blogs) that you can do the exercise for 45 seconds and take 15 seconds off. Repeat this cycle five times. I hate it too, but here are some tips to get through HIIT

Workout motivation

1.     Workout with a partner

2.     Listen to an awesome podcast

3.     Keep your progress pictures within view

4.     Constantly remind yourself throughout the workout about the yummy dessert that makes this worth it

a.     Either you will decide it is worth it and you finish your workout

b.     Or you decide it is not worth it and you skip dessert

c.     Skipping HIIT is not an option. If you want to improve your fitness than do it.

 

AS ALWAYS I LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS! LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!