FOUR STEPS TO FITNESS With Tracey Vowel of The Fitness Company, Spalding

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Make exercise new sugar fix

You have to have been asleep for the last two weeks not to have heard or read somewhere that too much sugar is bad for you!

Tracey Vowells

Tracey Vowells

Some researchers have gone so far as to label sugar as the “new tobacco” crisis.

I and many other instructors have been preaching for years the effects of too much sugar in the daily diet, including the increase of type 2 diabetes, obesity and tooth decay!

Unfortunately, although many of us try to limit the amount of sugar we eat, manufacturers are adding it to foods that we are not even aware of – bread, processed meat, sandwich fillings, pasta sauces, ketchup, soup, cereal, ready meals and hundreds more.

For a healthy diet, everything should be taken in moderation, so how can you cut back on sugar?

* Sugar in tea or coffee? Using artificial sweeteners can substitute the taste of sugar, however they do vary in taste and although they have no calorific value by drinking lots of drinks containing artificial sweeteners you are in fact still encouraging your “sweet tooth” and enhancing the need to continue eating sweet foods.

* Reduce your intake of processed food (almost always sugar is added to processed food). Cook from fresh – this way you know exactly what you are eating.

* Include more protein and healthy fats in your diet – this will help to keep your blood sugar levels steady and reduce sugar cravings.

* Plan ahead and eat regularly, we often crave sugary snacks when we have missed a meal or are under stress.

* Learn to read the food label. Sugar can also be called many other things, sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose and corn syrup, so no wonder we are struggling!

* And finally exercise – the truth is that an excess of anything albeit sugar, fat or protein will turn to fat if it’s not used to provide energy for the body.

So instead of turning to a sugary snack for a quick “high” or “pick me up” why not add a little more exercise into your day and start to feel good about your body.

The exercises this week can all be done at home and take just a few minutes. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

Tricep Extension: Sit holding front edge of chair then lower body about four inches, lift so knees are 90 degrees and repeat.

Buttocks Lifts: Raise one leg up and bend the knee to 90 degrees. Lower the knee to the floor and back up to starting position.

Waist Curl Ups: Slowly curl up over your knee, turning and looking to your right, slowly curl back down to starting position. SG280114-338NG