Healthy Beginnings – Ditch the Sugar Habit

Have you ever watched the series ‘Everest: Beyond the Limit’ which chronicles several teams’ journeys to scale Mt. Everest?   People from all over the globe have planned for months, even years, to make an arduous  journey that will last weeks, and if successful, will allow only a few minutes at the top of the world to enjoy the vista of their accomplishment.  A FEW MINUTES.

Surely you can take some time to embark on a journey that will provide more than a few minutes of satisfaction, actually a lifetime if you let it.  Committing to an exercise or walking plan and following a nutritional roadmap will lead to better health and will make you feel as if you ARE sitting on top of the world.

Today’s world is not an easy place to maintain good health.  We are being bombarded by fast food, ‘fake’ food, ads promising quick fixes to ill health issues, environmental obstacles, and information that is at best incomplete and slanted, and at worst – inaccurate and misleading.    The goal here is to give you the most complete and unbiased information about health, fitness, and nutrition you may not find elsewhere.

Adopting better habits is never easy and can be overwhelming but if you attack it one step at a time, along with your walking and exercise commitment, you’ll be feeling better within a couple of months.   You may find that becoming a new and better you is easier than you think.

Today’s CHANGE:  ONE STEP AT A TIME: Cut down on sugar.  Sugar comes in many forms and hides in products you would never suspect, like mayonnaise, pickles, crackers and even your beloved Halfway House hot dog.  Ketchup is loaded with it:  you may as well eat a dish of ice cream and get some calcium instead of zero nutritional value.  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is even worse, which is in almost every processed food you can think of, especially breads and baked goods.  Research indicates that your body processes HFCS differently than it does sugar or regular corn syrup and decreases human metabolism by messing with our metabolic hormones. Your brain also doesn’t get the message that you are full and in essence is tricked into thinking you need to eat more food and store more fat, which is exactly what we do not need.  WHAT TO DO: Read labels.  Any word ending in ‘__ose’ is probably sugar.  Avoid dishes with glazes or sweet sauces.  Buy bakery bread.  Cook.  Artificial sweeteners are not the answer either…..more on that later. Obviously,  John Daly did not lose weight drinking his storied and highly visible Diet Cokes.

DID YOU KNOW: A 12-oz. can of regular pop or soda has anywhere from 10 – 16 teaspoons of sugar.  When you get the urge for a pop, choose 100% juice instead and water it down.  Juice contains fructose, a natural sugar – but it is still sugar, so beware.  Add an orange or lemon slice, strawberry or raspberry to your juice/water and splurge.

When you’re faced with a hot and sticky day on the golf course, it is much too easy to reach for an icy cold pop or beer and yes, it does taste great going down.  But actually, you are adding to the dehydration which has already begun and you’d need to drink twice as much water to make up the difference. 

Better still, bypass the chemicals, the calories, and the sugar and drink water instead.

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