Lose weight like Love Island host Caroline Flack with easy tips to cut sugar
FORGET the bikini-clad young 20-somethings in the villa – it's Love Island presenter Caroline Flack that proving the inspiration.
The 39-year-old is in the shape of her life and she puts her weight loss down to having ditched sugar.
Back in 2016, she went on a 12-week detox which involved avoiding all sweet treats and booze.
She told Express.co.uk at the time that, "cutting sugar made the most difference" to her body.
"It's the devil. It's addictive and it's in so many things you wouldn't even think of.
"Sugar is put in sauces, breads and yoghurts. It’s not always obvious but so many things are packed in sugar.”
Apart from ditching anything with added sugars, she didn't really change much else.
She said that breakfast is a big deal for her, usually eating eggs, avo and bacon.
But she does try to avoid bread, fruits and veg that has a high fructose content like tomatoes.
“But I don’t calorie count. I like to eat a lot to fuel me for a big day or a good workout.”
Still, she lost a stone and has managed to maintain that loss ever since.
So how can you ditch sugar?
Zana Morris, author of The High Fat Diet: How to lose 10lb in 14 days, and founder of The Clock and Library Gyms, says that belly fat is linked to sugar consumption.
"Sugar causes the release of insulin, which in turn encourages the body to store fat particularly around the middle," she told The Sun.
Does that mean that if you cut out sugar, you'll lose that stubborn spare tire? Zana says yes.
"Cutting sugar and foods that break down quickly into sugars (e.g. fruit/bread/pasta/wine), will reduce and stabilise levels of insulin as well as help your body to look to fat for fuel."
1. Start by getting rid of carbs
If you've ever tried to cut out sugar, you'll know that it can be incredibly hard. So, what's the best way to go about it?
Zana told us: "Start with reducing and ultimately eliminating all obvious carbs, i.e. bread, rice, pasta and processed foods".
She says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, followed by lunch.
"Don't eat any sugars or carbs at these meals – if you do, you'll spike your levels of insulin, which in turn, will cause a ghrelin release (your hunger hormone) and you'll spend the day hunting for sugar!"
2. Eat as much as you like at meal times
Instead of sugars, look at fat as your friend.
Caroline, for example, has a very fatty breakfast – feasting on avocado and bacon.
By eating lots of fats early on, you can balance your sugar-levels and keep hunger at bay.
"The fat will stabilise insulin, and it's insulin that causes you to crave sugars," Zana explains.
"Don’t let yourself get hungry, eating plenty of protein will keep you fuller and satisfied for longer."
3. Avoid snacking
As for snacking, you're best off trying to fill up at meals and avoiding grazing.
"Relax in terms of quantity of food.
"If you are hungry eat, but keep to set meals (you can have 4-5 meals a day if you really need it – just don’t graze). "
At those meals, fill up on fat (avocados, oil, coconut cream, nuts), vegetables and protein (fish/meat/cheese/pulses) and eat as much you need – at that meal.
But "mind the gap".
"The space between meals helps stabilise hormones, (especially growth hormone and insulin) which in turn help ensure so you don’t crave or feel hungry.
"Once your cravings stop, then simply get into a rhythm of eating only when hungry (for most this will be two or three times a day)."
And that's it.
4. Choose fruit wisely
It is worth saying that although fruit does contain sugar, fruits are so good for you.
We revealed last week how millions of people were at risk of dying from heart attack or stroke as a result of not eating enough fruit.
On the whole, sugar-free advocates recommend opting for lower-fructose fruits like blueberries which are still very high in cancer-busting antioxidants, than cutting fruit from your diet completely.
Low fructose fruits include:
Dried fruits, banana, grapes, orange juice and pears are all higher in sugar.
Try filling up with as much green veg as you can at meals – endless amounts of broccoli, spinach and kale – and then adding your fruits and colourful veg in as your sweet treats.
Health is all about "eating the rainbow" and the more refined sugar you try to ditch, the more beautifully sweet and tasty things like peppers and berries will taste.
5. Exercise is key for altering body shape
But Caroline doesn't just rely on food for her figure.
She's spoken in the past about her love of fitness and how she'll work out even if she's away from home.
Although experts tend to say that diet does outweigh exercise, you can't get away from the fact that exercise is vital for both health and body re-composition.
I love training with @bradleysimmonds but he’s going heavy on me for the next few weeks and I HATE IT … he’s got a great smile tho so he gets away with 😉
A post shared byCaroline (@carolineflack) on
While you can't choose where you burn fat from, you can grow muscle in certain areas – which will help to change your figure.
Want to have strong legs like Caroline? Time to jump on the leg press or squat rack.
Wish you had rippling abs? Try some heavy kettlebell exercises which engage both your shoulder and arm muscles, and tighten up your core.
To get your muscles to show, you've got to get a bit of cardio in the mix.
So your best bet is to follow a healthy diet free from processed foods and free sugars, and try to do a mix of cardio and weight training.
PT Laura Hoggins previously told us that "there is literally no disadvantages to being strong".
"If you want a strong, lean, healthy and defined physique that will support your functional needs, do both cardio and weights.
"That means that you can run to catch the bus and be strong enough to pull it too!"
By cutting out excess sugar, you'll be automatically choosing nutritious, lower-calorie whole foods that your body can use effectively.
And your best bet is to put all that goodness into moving your body to shape up your muscles.
Dorota Maslewska, personal trainer at Virgin Active, told The Sun that the best things for body re-composition are:
- lifting weights three-to-five times per week to facilitate muscle building
- HIIT training two-to-three times per week to help burn extra fat and keep the heart healthy
- small calorie deficit to facilitate fat loss
"All these things over a long period will get someone in great shape."
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