When we think of losing weight, we immediately think calories. Yes, we need to consume fewer calories to lose weight; however eliminating the right calories can make a big difference too. Nowhere is this more important than with sugars. An amazing, if not alarming, statistic is that most Americans consume far more sugar than they should. Not surprisingly, as Americans eat more and more sugar, obesity statistics increase as well, leading to chronic obesity related diseases. The American Heart Association recommends that the average woman consume about 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day – 9 for men. The unfortunate truth is that the average woman consumes more than 3 times that amount and men consume over twice their AHA recommended allowance.
Remember, these figures represent added sugar. Naturally occurring sugar is present in many of the most nutritious foods that we need to stay healthy – what we don’t need is that extra teaspoon of sugar in our coffee, those rich desserts, soda and sugary cereals amongst others. Indeed, these refined and added sugars offer very little, if any, nutrition, but can add hundreds of calories to our diets each and every day.
Of course, we understand that eliminating added sugar is easier said than done. After all, drinks and foods that do not contain sugar are often not as tasty. Certainly, dessert wouldn’t be the same. That’s why we suggest that you treat added sugar as an indulgence rather than a staple. Try flavoring sparkling water with some natural flavor enhancer, rather than a soda. If you really want soda, try to drink the diet version, but only once in a long while. However, sodas are a big no-no for bariatric surgery patients – the success of their procedure largely relies on eliminating most if not all of these culinary offenders.
If you have any questions or concerns about your sugar intake, please speak to us at your next support group. Getting concrete guidance on your sugar intake can be the difference between losing a little versus losing a lot.