Common Sense Weight Loss Tip # 4 - Reduce Your Intake of Sugar

You probably had an inkling about this, but sugar in all of its myriad forms is not doing you any favors when it comes to controlling your body weight and ultimately your health. It is in fact the single largest source of calories that we humans consume. Consider this, in 2009 more than 50 percent of Americans consumed a half pound of sugar per day. If you do the simple math that's a whopping 180 pounds per year! Compare that to the year 1700 when the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year. My how far we've come! Only, I'm afraid, not for the better.

Today the number one source of sugar consumption in America is from soda, or maybe you just call it "pop". So if you want to reduce your sugar intake the most obvious place to start would be to check how much soda pop you are drinking. When I was a young adult there was a guy from the "neighborhood" who worked on an Italian bread delivery truck, and during the course of a day on that truck he would knock-back a whole case of 16oz. Pepsi bottles. This was a daily occurrence!  Needless to say, he had a huge weight problem which has caused him many health problems even to this day. He was pounding that stuff down with a vengeance; probably the result of an addiction to the caffeine as well as the sugar. It was his way of getting through the day. Now maybe you don't guzzle a case of 16oz. Pepsi a day, but you are probably drinking a lot more soft drinks than you think. If you were to start paying attention to your daily consumption of them, you might be startled to see how much you are actually consuming. Today that same bottle of Pepsi is much more harmful than back in the day, as they say, when the guy from the neighborhood was putting it away to beat the band on the bread truck. At that time soda pop was made with good ole refined sugar, granted not the most healthy substance in the world but nowhere near as deleterious as the stuff on the market today. The soft drinks of today are now made with a cheap alternative to sugar, something called High Fructose Corn Syrup, or HFCS for short. Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (sugar) to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only far cheaper to make, it’s about 20 percent sweeter than conventional table sugar that has sucrose. HFCS was invented by the Japanese in the late sixties and then US food and beverage manufacturers picked up on it and switched over to it to save money. It is more harmful because of its chemical make-up. Put simply, your body does not have to break it down like regular sugar, and the fructose is absorbed immediately, going straight to the liver. Regular sugar is burned up by all the body's cells whereas this new stuff is not, and is turned into fat by the liver and deposited directly on your posterior, thighs and belly and other regions from there. In other words, more fat deposits throughout your body! Fructose fools your body into gaining weight by tricking your metabolism and turning off your body's appetite control system. It does this by not appropriately stimulating insulin and therefore blunts the correct response from your body. It rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity and a host of other problems associated with this type of metabolic syndrome.

So the best and easiest place for you to start taking control of your sugar intake is cutting back or better yet eliminating the consumption of soda pop. When you are at your favorite fast food place remember that all those "Big Gulp" beverages they ply you with are loaded with the insidious HCFS, and you're better off opting for water or iced tea with lemon and no sugar. You also need to back off on all things sweet, not just soda pop. As you discipline yourself, this craving you have for sweets will dissipate too, and it will become easier as you wean yourself off of this delicious but harmful dependency. It will also become easier once you start seeing the pounds disappear!

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