Yesterday, Everyday Health uploaded tons of new content including my exclusive “No Gym, No Problem.” playlist! Here it is:
So it has been almost a full week that I’ve been writing down what I’ve been eating. At first, I was just writing everything down with a pen and paper. A reader on Facebook suggested I give MyFitnessPal another. It is, after all, my choice of app trackers. They added a new bar code scanner feature that did not exist previously. Since I pride myself on eating “real foods” I thought my foods did not have bar codes and it wouldn’t be helpful. Oh boy, did I think wrong.
Seriously, this bar code has everything in its database! From grape tomatoes and bags of lettuce at Trader Joe’s to frozen salmon filets from Target, AND Vega Sport Protein Powder, keeping track of calories and nutrients has never been easier! I may never go back and be borderline obsessed. Thank you to reader, Hayden C!
One thing that I have noticed is that while I’m good on my carb to protein to fat ratio – I’m aiming for 1400 calories (120 g of protein, 150 carb, 35 fat) – I keep consuming more than what MyFitnessPal thinks should be my sugar limit, however I have not been eating any added sugar mind you. For the past week, the sugar in my diet has come from fruits and veggies. The app suggests having between 24 and 33 g of sugar per day, it changes depending on the day which is weird. The suggestion falls within the AHA guideline of 150 calories of added sugar per day or 37.5 g. I’m averaging about 46 g per day. The app does not differ between added and naturally occurring sugar. I would probably be having more if I didn’t feel like I was cheating but it does make me wonder if all the sugar, regardless of source, is what gives me my “sweet tooth.” Regardless, I’ve NEVER tracked my sugar intake that came from natural sources. It’s interesting.
How many people do you know say they have no sweet tooth? My friends who do not have a sweet tooth are naturally skinny. They eat bagels, pasta and burgers without gaining a pound. They do however often have a little belly fat they ask me how to get rid of. I think having a sweet tooth is a reflection of your current diet and it’s possible to reverse your preference however, I LOVE my desserts. Moderation is key, and it’s a good thing banana soft serve is just as satisfying to me with walnuts, coconut and raisins as a bowl of ice cream.
Have you developed a sweet tooth recently or lost one?
Sarah @ Smart-Mouthed.com says
Sugar is so controversial right now! I have a huge sweet tooth that developed within the past year. It’s very weird. Eating clean has helped, but if I sneak even a little added sugar in I get cravings like nobody’s business. Even a little too much fruit is a problem for me. Which kinda sucks, b/c who doesn’t love a little dessert every now and then?? I’ve been wanting to try MyFitnessPal again after hearing abt the scanner. I’ve been using Livestrong’s, but I love the ease of the scanner. Glad to hear a positive review!
I am a bit in flux right now with sugar and carb intake. I did the South Beach phase 1 (no fruit, sugar, breads, oats, etc) for 2 weeks and only lost 2 pounds but it did seem like I was less bloated in the abs area. BUT ( and a big one) my energy level was completely in the dirt for work outs -- which I do not like at all. I have slowly added back a fruit a day and a low GI carb/starch but I can see the bloat coming back however, my workout energy is back. Anyway, this carb thing isn’t as simple as it sounds. I am about 15 pounds from where I want to be, so it is tricky. Oh well, I’ll just keep reading the Sarahfit blog…:)
Tamara @ Fit Thesis says
My Fitness Pal has been a great tool in helping to dissect my meals. I tried a similar tool a few years ago and found it was more of a hassle than a convenience, but MFP database is pretty impressive so far.
I definitely have a sweet tooth, but seeing just how many calories are contributed are really driving home the point that they need to be the exception, rather than the rule.
Danielle @ D.Sells Seashells says
I have a terrible (or wonderful, depending how you look at it) sweet tooh. I love nothing more than to sit down with a big bag of bulk sour candy and just go to town. I have been really trying to rein it in lately, though, because I know how bad it can be for you. I find the controversy over fruit sugar vs. processed sugar to be really interesting, though.
A 60 minutes segment on sugar, if anyone’s interested http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403942n&tag=contentMain;contentAux
I should go back to myfitness pal too! Since using the TIU plan I have not been counting calories too much but I should…
I don’t have a sweet tooth but on the other hand I crave savory stuff and love my pizza/pasta/cheese, you name it! When I was using one of those apps, my sugar limit was 40g a day…which is a little low I think, because a grapefruit basically puts you almost at half of that! I think the trick is sticking to natural occurring sugar, although I also think too much fruit a day might add a little too much sugar. I stick to 2 servings, and portion control it. I drink my coffee black as a habit and rarely have desserts so honestly I consume very little added sugar. If only I could say that for starchy foods…but I am really trying to get back on track with the TIU because I know it works!
Colleen @ Culinary Colleen says
This is really interesting. I used to have a major sweet tooth growing up, but after college I really cleaned up my eating and it seemed to go away. However, if I have a meal without any carbs, then I start craving sugar. Weird, right? I find that as long as I eat a pretty balanced ratio of fat, protein, and carbs, I don’t crave sweet things. Not even fruit -- which I should be eating!
My Fitness Pal is awesome, the database is endless & has pretty much every food! I do find the sugar debate to be really interesting though. I’ve noticed that my sugar intake is almost always above the daily recommendations on MFP. But, like you, 99% of these sugars come from fruit (except for the occasional dessert!). I eat a very clean diet and try to stay away from processed foods as much as I can. I like MFP pal, but I’m not going to feel guilty about fruits because of the sugar and our bodies process that sugar differently anyways since they’re higher in fiber. The 60 Minute piece from last Sunday on this topic was interesting & definitely got me thinking!
I saw the 60 minutes segment too! The funny thing is that fructose is found in fruit too and that is the “evil” sugar that speeds up the growth of cancer and actually a big reason why many organic people are again agave nectar -- agave is mostly fructose. I’ve know about this for a while but now I feel like I should write/research more on it since 60 mintues made me realize how foreign this idea really is to most people.
In Dr. Lustig’s lecture “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” he explains that although fruit contains fructose, it also contains fiber which is the “antidote” for evil fructose. The fiber changes the way your body metabolises and utilizes the fructose. That is why it is so important to eat the whole fruit and not just drink the juice. I do think you can eat too much fruit. From what I have researched, agave nectar is a high fructose syrup and should be avoided along with all added sugar. Here is the link for lecture. I found it very helpful.
Jenna @ Spinach In My Teeth says
Always, without a doubt, if I go a few days eating sweets, I will INTENSELY crave them for another few days. It’s a vicious cycle! But then if I go cold turkey for a week, the cravings disappear. Pretty crazy how quickly our bodies adapt to what we eat!
Stacy Pillera says
The last time the AHA updated their guidelines was in 2010. Those recommendations are changing from what I learned in my college nutrition class this passed year. We should only be eating 10g of sugar a day. Can you imagine how difficult that would be for most people? A soda alone has over 60g of sugar. I eat clean, and I do stay away from sugar including natural sugar found in fruits. I treat fruits like sweets I eat them sparingly. Fruit does have benefits of vitamins and minerals, but most the calories come from sugar, and I can get those same nutrient benefits from other sources such as eating specific vegetables without the added calories and sugar. If I do eat fruit it’s a small piece, and it would be in the morning or a afternoon post workout snack for energy.
Tiffany Duong says
Hey Sarah! I’ve been following your YouTube videos for years now and I’ve just recently checked out your blog! It’s very helpful and organized btw 🙂 But I have a question, I’ve been on this quest to lose fat for two years now and i’ve been so up and down with it and in the end never reach any change. I’m 18 years old, 5’3 and about 115 pounds on a good day. Now you may think that sounds pretty normal but my body actually has a lot of extra unwanted flab, fat and cellulite! I’m really looking to get lean and toned for real this time! I’ve been going to the gym for for about 7 weeks now and i do see a slight change but I feel like the intensity in which i work out (which i would say is pretty intense most days) doesn’t reflect the change I see in my body. I try to focus on building muscle thru weight training and try to focus on cardio to burn fat. I’m not sure if I’m being impatient or not doing the right thing. I do have little unhealthy snacks throughout some days and I’m not sure if that may be the problem. Sorry if this is kind of a broad explanation I’m giving but If you could give me any advice to help me really get rid of the extra fat i have and get toned it would really help me out and mean a lot to me!! Thanks so much!
I’ve been using that ap for 2 weeks and love it! At first I was really concerned about going over my sugar limit which was happening by lunch if I had a banana with breakfast and 1/2 grapefruit with lunch. I finally decided not to worry about it because it was almost inhibiting me from eating fruit which is silly. Over all the ap is great though!
Sorry but you HAVE to watch this video from Alan Aragon “Is Sugar Toxic?” He actually debated with Dr. Lustig and actually proved his point.
We can’t just assume things or read something online or read in a magazine what we are supposed to do in our diet. Nutrionists are the way to go, and everyone agrees Alan Aragon is one of the best. Sugar from fruit isn’t bad for you, thats one of the biggest health myths ever. As a influential person in the health community, I hope you start encouraging your followers to do better research.
I reversed my sweet tooth ten years ago when I stopped buying any sweets. I realized that I really don’t feel well after eating them. Soon I found it much easier to turn down desserts at restaurants, and even though it pisses people off, refuse birthday cake at parties. Now I can eat the occasional single dark chocolate square without binging. But if I do it every day, I can feel the old cravings start to creep back in.