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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Erm, did I mention I open a new meeting today?

5th September 2015
There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs

Oh ma'an I'm glad that was a dream, and I'd rather be up at silly o'clock than tossing and turning anymore!  I think I'm a little nervous about my meeting open this morning and my dream didn't help, it all went wrong, I won't go into detail because there's actually nothing more boring than being told the contents of someone else's dream but I woke up relieved it wasn't real!

I know it's going to be fine, I've had so much support and help spreading the word, I need to take a deep breathe and enjoy it really, we've gonna have plenty of TLC this morning (Tea, Laughter and Chat), it's going to set us up for a positive weekend too.

Well I was super proud of myself yesterday, I've been fancying a KFC for weeks now and it needed to be got out of my system, the issue is I have fast food tourette's, I plan to only have a happy meal and I walk in and shout "big mac meal", and I've never been about to drive through a KFC without ordering the biggest 'fk It' Bucket on the menu (pardon the language), however yesterday I cured myself of my affliction, I walk inside and asked for JUST chicken (no chips) and a corn on the cob!  Check me out, in the zone and under a fiver spent.  It was finger lickin good, it's now out of my system and I'm on course to start the F&H plan once I've done my big shop!

I forgot to mention yesterday Jamie Oliver's Sugar Rush programme on Channel 4,
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/jamies-sugar-rush if you haven't already, please give it a watch, it's quite disturbing how much damage is being done especially by soft drinks in kids diets, adults too I'm guessing, says me sat here smugly with my pint of water!  Don't get me wrong I do have the occasional can of diet coke but it's not something I drink daily.  Even more concerning than the actual pop issue was the amount of added sugar in foods, from bran flakes to stir fry sauces, it's ridiculous.

So in a nutshell, sugar is classed in two ways, 1) free sugars (or added sugars) which are the sugars added to food and drink, as well as sugar found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates and 2) natural occurring sugars found in fruit and milk.

The government reckon we need a maximum of 90g a day for the average adult, that covers all sugars, then there the Government's Scientific Advisory Committee they have recommendations to help you understand your free sugar consumption, their guidance on the consumption of free sugars. They recommend that our daily intake should be less than 5% of our total energy intake. So what does that really mean?   

· Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g
or 5 teaspoons of free sugars per day
· Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g
or 6 teaspoons of free sugars per day  
· Children aged 11 years and upwards, as well as adults,
should have no more than 30g or 7 teaspoons of free sugar per day

To put this into perspective, a typical 330ml can of fizzy drink can contain up to 35g or 9 teaspoons of free sugar – that's damn scary!

He showed us a stir fry jar of sauce for 2 people that had 20 teaspoons of added sugar - why! I like to cook from scratch and I've made a sauce or two in my time but I've never needed that amount of sugar for anything other than a cake which we know and expect to be full of sugar.

So let's start being a little bit more aware and savvy, make sure we check the ingredients list on the label so we know how much sugar a product contains. 

Things to look out for:
· Added sugar or free sugars – the ones we want to cut down on – aren’t always labelled as sugar, so can be tricky to spot. The following are all sugars: agave nectar, corn sweetener, dextrose, honey, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, glucose and molasses. Make sure you read the labels
·Food labels list the ingredients in descending order, so in general the higher sugar appears in the list, the more that product contains
·For extra clarity, use the nutritional information panel on the back of the pack. Sugar is listed as ‘of which sugars’ and is the total sugar content per serving and/or per 100g. But, this figure doesn’t distinguish between naturally occurring sugars and free sugars, so read the ingredients list too to give yourself an idea of whether there are likely to be any naturally occurring sugars in that product
· In the UK, many food and drink manufacturers now use traffic light labelling on front of pack as well, signposting key nutrient values – including sugar, saturated fat and salt – as green, amber or red (low, medium or high). Use this information to educate yourself. As a general rule, most of the time you should aim to choose food and drinks that are mainly green and amber across all values, not just sugar!

Why bother? The reality is that consuming too much sugar will have a detrimental effect on your health:

  • Sugar provides the body with empty calories that give us energy without any nutrients. As a result, we eat more without feeling full or satisfied. This leads to an increased risk of weight gain, certain diseases, and a cycle of highs and lows in  energy levels, which will leave you feeling tired and craving even more sugar
  • Frequent consumption can lead to tooth decay. A report by the Royal College of Surgeons published earlier this year showed tooth decay to be the most common reason five- to nine-year-olds were admitted to hospital
  • It can also lead to type-2 diabetes, the levels of which have risen dramatically in recent years. Being overweight or obese also increases your risk of developing the disease. Diabetes UK reports that there are currently 3.3 million people in the UK living with diabetes, and many of these cases are type-2

Now I've scared the life out of ya, my work here is done.  Joking aside, being aware is a great start, what you do with the information is now down to you, I know I'm going to be more aware, especially when buying jars of sauces, I already knew it was in cereals and other foods but I've never really thought about a jar of curry sauces, I'll be checking from now on though.

So I'm off to get washed and dressed ready for my NEW meeting this morning, I'm excited and nervous, as long as my members leave happy and confident they can lose weight, the rest is just fluff isn't it really, that's what I'm focusing on!

Happy Saturday everyone, make it a super one - I plan too!  I might even nip in Lidl's on my way home for some veggies, I pass it on the way back from my new meeting, I also pass MacDonalds but I shall be dodging that!

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