Monday, February 18, 2013

25 million Hershey Kisses Made Today ...

One of the things that many of us struggle with when it comes to nutrition is ... eating sugar. 

It's everywhere.   Every single thing we celebrate involves consuming it.  Birthdays, holidays, heck, last Thursday chocolate sales went through the roof!

It's in the schools (drives me insane!), at work ... it's EVERYWHERE.

Here's some interesting statistics:

  • Americans consume 23.2 quarts of ice cream per year (per person)
  • The amount of candy corn produced each year is enough to encircle to moon 4 ½ times
  • Americans consume 15 billion gallons of soda annually, or approximate 50 gallons per person
  • The U.S. consumes 3 ½ billion pounds of chocolate annually
  • There are billion malted milk balls made each year
  • 90% of Americans eat chocolate daily; 20 lbs. per person per year
  • ½ billion Twinkies manufactured annually
  • Soda is the single largest source of energy (CHO) in the U.S.and contributes ~25% of daily energy intake
  • Children ages 6-12 in the U.S. average 25 minutes per week outdoors (That's Depressing!!)
  • There are 25 million Hershey Kisses made EACH DAY
  • If you placed all of the M&Ms manufactured in one year next to one another, they would encircle the earth 48 times (the circumference of the earth is ~24,900 miles)

BTW, if we aspire to put our kids in the optimal learning environment, then keep the sugar out of school, and give them AT LEAST 2 invigorating recess /PE breaks every day.  Activity makes them smarter, and sugar dulls the brain.

The production of sugar in the U.S. per person for consumption is somewhere between 150 - 168 pounds per year.

YIKES!

That's approximately a half of a pound of sugar being consumed per American per day!

Crazy scary.

And if you look at the rates of increased sugar consumption AND the statistics on overweight and sick Americans, they parallel each other.

Since the early 70's both have been skyrocketing. There is a direct correlation, no question.

So, let's take some steps to keep sugar in its proper place - MODERATION!

Sugar is not only going to affect your potential to release fat, it is, in a sense, chemically addictive.  If you have more fat on your body than you'd like, and you experience frequent sugar cravings, it's highly likely that you're consuming a fair amount of sugar.

Some people are aware of their sugar intake ... and others are not.

If you place 2 teaspoons of sugar into coffee or tea, or eat a Snicker's Bar, you realize you're eating sugar.

But did you know that a 10 oz Dannon Frusion contains 20 MORE grams of sugar than a regular size Snicker's Bar (48 -vs- 28).

Yet Dannon tells us a Frusion is a great way to start your day.  Not really.

Whether you're aware of the quantity of your sugar consumption or not, the good news is, you can change it.

The first step is to focus on WHAT YOU CAN eat, as opposed to what you "have to" eliminate.   Remember, we're not taking anything away.  90/10 principle.  Enjoy your favorite foods 10% of the time.

The key to reducing refined sugar consumption is to start each meal with fresh whole fruits and veggies, add to that a balance of lean protein and some slow release whole grain carbohydrates.

Doing so provides your body an ongoing, slow release of complex sugar/glucose, and prevents sudden blood sugar spikes ... keeping your insulin/glucagon balance stable (which is the balance required for body fat release and utilization as fuel).

Heavy sugar consumers sometimes experience a few days of cravings when they eliminate/reduce their sugar intake. The first day you might experience a headache. The second day the headache may become worse and may be accompanied by insomnia.

Get through three days and those sugar cravings WILL become a thing of the past.  

Blood sugar stabilizes, energy becomes consistent, and . . . and fat release becomes WAY easier.  And you will be totally AMAZED at how much NATURAL energy you have!

Here's a quick video recap: http://youtu.be/1ap8Pj5L8Nk

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins
NSCA-CPT, ACE

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