Join us for Sugar Free September! A nation wide challenge, where we’ll be saying no to refined sugars for an entire 30 days. This is Molly’s 3rd year doing Sugar Free September with her Gap 7am class, and this time we thought we’d ask you all to join.
According to data from the U.S. in 2008, people are consuming over 60 pounds of added sugar per year (and this does not include fruit juices) (1). A more recent study, estimated over 130 pounds per year, per individual (2).
This comes out to about 22 tsp per day. This is far above the American Heart Association’s maximum of 9 tsp per day. Here are our top 5 reasons to cut back:
- Weight loss: The average person consumes 300 calories from added sugar every day (3). That’s 2,100 added calories per week!
- Heart health: Eating too much sugar can raise the level of triglycerides, or fats, in your blood, according to the Mayo Clinic. Higher triglyceride levels may boost your risk of heart disease (4).
- Brain function: Research shows that eating too much sugar can cause impaired cognitive function and reduce proteins that are necessary for memory and responsiveness (5).
- Break habits: Eating sugar releases dopamine in the brain, which can be addicting (5). The more you eat, the more you crave. This challenge will help you break this cycle.
- Better energy: Dietary sugars can decrease the activity of orexin cells, the cells that “induce wakefulness, stoke the metabolism, and keep our system movin’ and groovin’”. This explains why we can feel like a nap after an afternoon sugar binge (5).
Regardless of if you consume more than 22 tsp per day or less than 9 tsp, we challenge you to take the month of September to cut back on the sweet stuff. Over the course of the month you’ll be surprised to discover just how often sugar shows up in our daily foods.
If you need a little extra inspiration, cozy up with That Sugar Film (streaming on Netflix) this weekend.
- Refined sugar at home (sweets, baking, in coffee, in recipes)
- Added sugar in food products. There are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels. Look for words ending in -ose like sucrose and fructose. Other names include barley malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup.
- Added sugar when eating out. Put some intention into ordering. Be aware of dressings and sauces. It can be hard to avoid sugar when eating out, even when you’re not ordering dessert. Just do the best you can and think of it as a lesson in how often we consume added sugars. We’re aiming for progress, not perfection here.
- Honey, maple syrup, stevia and other alternative sweeteners
Go for it:
- Fresh fruits
- Dried fruits with no added sugar (i.e. Trader Joes’ Just Dried Mango)
- Whole grains
- Bread and pasta (Check labels! 90% of sandwich breads have added sugar. We like Ezekiel bread for a sugar free option)
- Dairy (Natural dairy sugars are a-ok, just check ingredient lists for added sugar)
- All vegetables, meats, nuts, seeds, beans and whole foods.
To join us, all you need to do is:
- Follow BootcampSF on Instagram and Facebook, where we’ll be posting weekly tips, recipes and inspiration to help guide you through this challenge.
- Post a picture of your 1st sugar free meal or snack with the hashtag #bscfsugarfree to join the group and follow along
Get ready, we’re kicking off on September 1st and hope you join us!