The core tenants for nutrition of CrossFit include the phrase “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.” Our nutrition challenge this fall aims to focus on eliminating sugar for the duration of the challenge, but ultimately lowering the amount of sugar consumed overall in your daily life.
Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, has been working diligently in a war against sugar and its effects on health through his campaign Sugar Kills against soda industries for their exorbitant amount of sugar content. As health rates continue to decline all over the world, sugar is the number one cause for diseases like diabetes and obesity in both adults and children.
You’ve probably heard how addictive sugar can be. You might even know first hand how hard it can be to crave sugar or how it can effect your mood. The truth is sugar has similar effects on the brain as drugs through behavioral and neuro-chemical effects. A study on rats showed that between cocaine and sugar, sugar was more addicting and stated that “the stimulation of sweet receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate an enhanced reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus lead to addiction.”
Whether you currently experience a sugar addiction or not, here are a few ways sugar might be effecting your health without you realizing it:
• Sugar changes how your hormones work. In a negative way!
• Sugar can cause headaches and even seizures.
• Sugar speeds up the aging process.
• Sugar weakens your immune system.
• Sugar can lead to circulatory dysfunction.
• Sugar is a leading faction for weight gain.
Who is the Challenge for?
There’s a good chance you already know if sugar is an issue in your daily routine. So who is this challenge for?
This is for you if:
You experience regular headaches.
You have an energy crash in the afternoons or early evenings.
You crave sugary sweets after a meal.
You would like to lose a few pounds.
You get sick regularly.
You feel run down and fatigued often.
You have a history of diabetes or high blood pressure personally or in your family.
You would like a reset from the summer.
It’s simple – no sugar for three weeks. Here are the rules:
1. No added sugar in food products.
Many processed foods are filled with hidden sugars. You’ll be responsible for checking the label of your food to ensure that no added sugars are included. This will include things that are processed in any way (aka anything that is not fresh produce). Sugar goes by many names, so you’ll need to look for any of them in the ingredients section of the nutrition label.
Some common alternative names for sugar include: Corn syrup (including high fructose) Evaporate cane sugar Corn sweeteners Malt Malt syrup Fructose Sucrose Dextrose Maltodextrin Maltose Barley malt syrup Maple syrup Brown rice syrup Beet juice Sucanat Turbinado sugar Invert sugar
Here’s an example of traditional Barilla pasta sauce. The ingredients include sugar, listed as the fourth primary ingredient.
2. Limited fruit intake.
Fruit is great for you. It contains vitamins, fiber, and can be beneficial to a well-rounded diet. However, fruit also naturally contains fructose, which gives it its sweetness. To ensure that you are not getting too much sugar, we’ll be limited fruit into to 3 servings per day maximum. This means that you are getting 2/3 cup (such as berries) or 1 medium sized fruit (such as an apple) for one serving.
Starting Monday, September 3rd, we’ll all be removing sugar from our food sources and being aware of the food we eat and the sugar it contains. The challenge will last 21 days, ending on Sunday, September 23rd.
How do you join us?
Join our MBS CrossFit Nutrition group HERE to not only get started, but get your tracking calendar to mark off the days of the calendar as a success. In the group, you’ll not only receive recipes, helpful tips from Coach Deidre, but support from everyone else participating.