One of the best pieces of advice, apart from never give any advice; would certainly be Nutrition. Get your head around it, better still spend some time talking to a Nutrition coach about it.
We spend hours smashing the tarmac, pool, gym or bike and merely minutes perusing the odd email about Carbs, protein etc….
I was lucky enough to spend some time with Non Evans. (Not a relation !!) In fact there are few people who have excelled at sport at international level in more than one sporting discipline – but Non Evans has competed with honours at international level for over 20 years at 5 different sports – Rugby Union, Judo, Olympic Freestyle Wrestling, Weightlifting& Powerlifting.
Non has gained a degree in Sports Science and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, and is constantly in demand as a TV and radio presenter, commentator and analyst.
So in terms of knowing her stuff – she is right up there, but more importantly she tells it as it is!! Non Kindly writes for Activity Wales Events as one of their nutritional partners, and they have kindly let me pass on this great article on Sugar…. enjoy !
Did you know the average Briton consumes 238 teaspoons of sugar each week – often without knowing it? But just how hard is it to go sugar free? When people come to me for. Healthy eating plans I would say I’ve 90% of them say they have a sweet tooth!
Like it or lump it, few of us get through the day without adding sugar to our daily diet. We are a Pavlovian population made up of sugar, treacle and toffee addicts, drawn to the taste of sweetness like bees to honey…!
But that’s not a problem, is it? We could stop and eat a piece of cheese instead – any time we wanted. Or could we?
Maybe not. It seems that our desire to load up with sugar regularly may not be the cheeky reward-cum-energy boost we think it is. Increasingly, experts believe we can be truly addicted. So if you feel like you are craving a chocolate treat, that craving is more than just a figure of speech. You may be one of the world’s most common dependents: a sugar addict.
But take heart. Around the world, a growing body of expert opinion – the ‘No Sugar’ movement – is leading a global fight back and warning that our sweet habit is completely out of control, leaving a nasty taste in the mouth of the body public. Sugar, whether added to food by you or the manufacturer, is the greatest threat to human health, bar none, they say. And unless we wise up and quit on mass we risk personal obesity.
At a basic level, sucrose, or table sugar (which is made up of equal molecules of the monosaccharide’s fructose and glucose) is not metabolised in the same way that a carbohydrate such as flour is. If people eat 150 calories more every day, the rate of diabetes goes up 0.1 per cent. But if those 150 calories came from a can of fizzy drink, for example, the rate goes up 1.1 per cent. Added sugar is 11 times more potent at causing diabetes than general calories.
Some scientists believe that fructose fools our brains into thinking we are not full, so we overeat. Also excess fructose cannot be converted into energy by the mitochondria inside our cells. Instead they turn excess fructose into liver fat. That starts a cascade of insulin resistance (insulin promotes sugar uptake from blood) which leads to chronic metabolic disease, including diabetes and heart disease.
Look online and you’ll see fructose described as “fruit sugar” – it’s the nutrient that nature put into apples and pears to entice humans to eat them. So do we stop eating fruit in order to go sugar-free? It’s not that easy. Fruit is sweetened by fructose but it doesn’t contain very much, although you still shouldn’t eat very sweet fruit like grapes and melon to excess.
The problem lies in sources of sweetness like corn syrup, maple syrup and honey, which contain a higher percentage of fructose than fruit, especially if they have been processed, meaning additional fructose is added in.
The food industry loves these sweeteners, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), as they make every type of food more palatable – from soup to bagels, ketchup to bread.
So before you can think about giving these sweeteners up, you have to turn label detective – and find them. Your palate adjusts significantly and quickly when you delete sugar. You can suddenly experience a whole range of flavors that either you didn’t know existed before or were muted by the presence of sugar. One thing people often remark on after they’ve been off sugar for a month or so is that suddenly they can smell it. They can tell you where the confectionery aisle or the breakfast cereal aisle is in a strange supermarket by smell alone.
We’re buying fewer bags of granulated sugar. And statistics show that we’re consuming fewer calories from “free sugars” such as table sugar and honey.
Even the actual number of calories we consume has fallen. Statistics again show that there has been a long-term downward trend in energy intake since 1964, with average energy intake per person 28 per cent lower in 2015 than in 1974.
Yet, obesity rates continue to rise: currently 26 per cent of Britons are obese, half of us are overweight. This is a mighty problem: direct costs caused by obesity are now estimated to be £5.1billion per year. Obesity is associated with cardiovascular risk and with cancer, disability during old age, decreased life expectancy and serious chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and hypertension.
- So my top tips for this week are
- Give up sugar! A small amount of fat is better
- Check the label on the food you buy for sugar content
- Carbohydrates are full of sugar, but not all of them. Buy brown not white. For example rice.
- Give up bread! The pounds will fly off!
For more information on Non’s Healthy eating and Exercise plans contact her at nonevans.com .
I can certainly recommend it !