If you’re like most people, chances are that you do not look at the label of the foods you’re eating. Here’s the alarming fact: a lot of the processed foods you’re eating – even the seemingly “healthy” varieties – actually contain hidden sugars that can wreak havoc on your health. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine and can lead to obesity, weight gain, and a host of diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.
But what if there was a way to kick the sugar addiction? According to nutritionist, fitness trainer, and author JJ Virgin, there is. Her new book, The Sugar Impact Diet: Drop 7 Hidden Sugars, Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks, tackles reveals important facts about sugar and how it is hidden in many of the foods you eat.
The unique program that Virgin discusses in this eye-opening book provides helpful tips on how to wean yourself off this addictive substance. It will allow you to gain mental clarity and gain newfound energy, which will aid you on your path towards optimal health.
Are You Eating a High-Sugar Impact Diet?
Virgin says that The Sugar Impact Diet is not about eliminating sugar completely – rather, it focuses more on eating the right types of sugar, and in favorable amounts. Her program is composed of three cycles that help people taper slowly from high- to medium- to low-sugar impact foods.
The book also addresses the gradual process of transitioning from burning sugar to burning fat as your body’s primary fuel, allowing you to maximize your chances for success. Virgin says: “There’s got to be a transition period, where you go from sugar burner to getting your body to be able to start to burn fat again.”
The first step, which will allow you to determine your starting point, is to weigh yourself and measure your waist-to-hip ratio. Afterwards, you should conduct an inventory of all the hidden sugars in your diet – this means learning how to read the labels of all the foods you eat, even those that do not appear to contain sugar, like sauces, condiments, and marinades.
Virgin has also created the Sugar Impact Scales, which looks at fructose grams, nutrient density, glycemic load, and fiber. “Bad are fructose and glycemic load; good are nutrient density and fiber. Depending on where the food falls, it can either be low, medium, or high-sugar impact,” she explains.
The Sugar Impact Diet also requires evaluating your symptoms, so you can get a clear picture of how sugar impacts your body and your progress on retraining your body to burn fat instead of sugar. Some symptoms that you may experience if you’re eating a high-sugar impact diet include:
- Gas and bloating
- Joint pain
- Headaches and fatigue
- Inability to lose weight
- Sugar cravings
The Three Cycles of the Sugar Impact Diet
The three cycles of Virgin’s unique program consist of:
- Cycle One: During this one- to two-week taper cycle you switch from high-sugar impact foods to medium-sugar impact foods. For example, if you eat regular pasta, you’ll need to switch to quinoa pasta. It also requires scheduling your meals so that you’re not eating every two hours, which helps prevent insulin spikes, a principle that is very similar to Dr. Mercola’s intermittent fasting approach. At the end of the cycle, you’ll need to retest yourself on the sugar impact quiz to find out how you’ve improved.
- Cycle Two: If the first cycle has gone well, then a reduction in your symptoms should be apparent, and you can move on to this phase. This is where you need to reset your tastebuds and reclaim your sensitivity – so that you can taste how sweet a food really is.
- Cycle Three: This is where you start reintroducing some of the medium- or high-sugar impact foods. You will feel overwhelmed by the sweetness or even feel ill. This will help you resist these high-sugar foods and help reduce your sugar cravings, as you don’t want to feel horrible after you’re feeling really great.
Once you’ve successfully gone through these three cycles, you can move on to the maintenance phase. This is where you set new goals and do different fitness activities.
Just like Dr. Mercola, Virgin advises doing high-intensity interval exercises instead of endurance training, which is actually one of the least effective forms of exercise for weight loss. She also recommends exercising in a fasted state, which allows you to restore, repair, and rejuvenate your muscle tissues.
You CAN Reset Your Body to Burn Fat Instead of Sugar
Dr. Mercola says that Virgin’s program is solid proof that you can train your body to switch to burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel. All you need to do is to cut down on the fructose-laden foods that are effectively ruining your cells.
“Once you start viewing food as information, you can begin to appreciate how certain foods, fructose in particular, instructs your body to store fat and not let any of it go,” he adds.