sisters in shape

Sugar: 5 Surprising Places It's Hiding

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The average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is nearly half a cup.

Not only are diets high in sugar a concern for type 2 diabetes, but can also raise blood pressure, cholesterol levels, increase the risk of heart disease… and also cause weight gain.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “I don't eat a lot of sugar. I don't eat candy, ice cream, cookies.” You may even be thinking, “This doesn’t pertain to me. I don't even like sweets!” While either of these situations may very well be true and your sugar consumption may be lower than the average adult... stick with us for a moment. ;)

According to the American Heart Association, adult women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugars per day (9 teaspoons for men). But since nutrition labels are measured in grams, remember this: 4 grams of sugar is equal to about 1 teaspoon.

For example: If the nutrition label of a chocolate bar lists 20 grams of sugar, that single chocolate bar contains 4 teaspoons of added sugar.

Believe it or not, added sugars can be found foods outside of candy.

Here are 5 surprising places where sugar hides:

  1. CONDIMENTS - often referred to as “empty calories” condiments are one of the most common places to find added sugars. Furthermore, it’s a place where we aren’t as stringing with measuring, so consuming more than 1 serving is fairly common. A single tablespoon of ketchup contains 1 teaspoon of sugar. Many salad dressings contain 4-7 grams of sugar per serving. And don't let the “fat-free” labels fool you; those contain sugar too! Pasta sauces are another culprits in the sugar scene as well.

  2. YOGURT - While yogurts promote the benefits of calcium, vitamins, and nutrients, a quick glance at most yogurt labels reveal a surprising amount of added sugars. One yogurt can contain up to 4.5 teaspoons of sugar.

  3. SNACK BARS - these grab and go’s are convenient snacks for busy families trying to stay fueled between errands, after-school activities and such. But some have the sugar equivalent of a candy bar.

  4. CEREAL - we all realize now that most cereals we loved as a kid are high in sugar (that’s what made them taste so good when we were younger, right?). But it’s not just the “kid-friendly” cereals that are offenders. Many labeled “high fiber” or “bran” contain just as much sugar as our favorite kid cereals.

  5. COFFEE CREAMER - There’s no denying those creamers make our coffee even more indulgent. Almost like a dessert. Well, considering one serving (1 tbsp) is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar, I guess it’s not entirely surprising. Our beloved creamers are another place where overindulgence can easily happen. (‘Cause let’s be honest… who really measures out just 1 tbsp of creamer?!)


If this list has you throwing your hands up saying, “Great. Everything has sugar. Everything is bad for me. So, what CAN I eat?”... Remain calm.

This isn’t a rule book telling you what to give up, but rather to arm you with some awareness to ensure you are equipped with the information to achieve your goals. Our goal is to not only to provide you with the knowledge and tools to be successful LONG TERM in your wellness journey but to also help you find balance in your everyday lifestyle.

If you’ve found even one thing that you can easily swap for lower-sugar options, you’re already better off than you were 5 minutes ago.

Now, aren’t you glad you kept reading? ;)

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Do you wish you had someone to REALLY support you FULLY to reach your goals through:

  • EXERCISE (specific to your unique life!), 

  • NUTRITION (specific for your unique body and goals!)

  • Accountability and mindset coaching

  • An approach that takes your long term health and lifestyle into account

  • Peer support from other like-minded women?

Through the unique sisterhood of our Sisters in Shape online client/coach community, women are changing. We know that our affordable, balanced and fully CUSTOMIZED approach to helping you crush your goals is what you've been looking for.

get started today >

What’s All the Fat About?

Although fat got a bad rap in the carb-crazy ‘90s, fat is actually very important to a healthy diet, especially for women! Fat comes in two main forms: unsaturated and saturated fat. Unsaturated fats are oils — the kind that are fluid at room temperature (such as olive and avocado oils). Saturated fats are solid at room temperature (think butter or coconut oil).

Summer BBQ Favs Made Healthier

Written by Stephanie Dane


Coming off a long winter, the much anticipated summertime is just around the corner! Memorial Day get-togethers, BBQ’s, pool parties are all awaiting our attendance. So, while they are a great opportunity to celebrate with friends, these get-togethers can cause (not-so-wonderful) results on the waistline.  

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Which begs the question…

Is it possible to find a compromise between enjoying your favorite foods… and also consider it healthy?

OF COURSE!

Here are a few popular summer BBQ foods/dishes, as well as popular ingredients, that can be modified to fall on the “healthy side.” We promise to offer solutions that provide all the deliciousness, but save you on the guilt.

Summer BBQ Favs Made Healthier

APPETIZERS:

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  • Dips: Commonly found at parties or holiday gatherings, dips are a surefire way to consume way more calories and fat than you typically eat in a whole meal. Here’s an easy way to enjoy this appetizer without wrecking your diet:
    Substitute low-fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt or nonfat sour cream for regular sour cream in any recipe is one of the easiest ways to cut unwanted calories/fat without sacrificing taste. An ounce of sour cream contains about 60 calories, while an ounce of nonfat sour cream has about 25. An even better replacement would be Greek yogurt: ounce of nonfat plain Greek yogurt has only 15-20 calories… not to mention the added protein. Enjoy a serving of dip, load your plate with dipping veggies (instead of tortilla chips), and enjoy!

SIDE DISHES:

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  • Low fat, high protein Potato Salad: this traditional side dish is found at just about every BBQ or summer get-together. A few modifications can take this familiar favorite up on the healthy scale. Do you add eggs to your potato salad? Use only the egg whites, or remove half of the yolks to cut down on the fat. Rather than mayonnaise, use non-fat plain Greek yogurt to make this recipe lower in fat and higher in protein! Add celery? Don’t stop there! Add in more veggies: Red, orange, yellow bell peppers, green onions, and/or carrots. Not only will this add a flavorful crunch to your potato salad, you just ramped up it’s nutritional value. If you enjoy bacon, swap for lean turkey bacon.
  • Lower-sodium Green Bean Casserole: this classic dish is a popular choice at many holiday gatherings thanks to its easy preparation and delicious taste. A few simple substitutions can clean up this recipe, cut down the sodium and pack it with some protein. Swap the cream of mushroom for low fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt. It provides all the creaminess, without the fat... and adds a good serving of protein. Choosing no salt added green beans; a quick peak at the nutrition label of green beans can be a shock factor with one serving yielding 400mg of sodium. If your recipe calls for butter or chicken broth, select a no salt added chicken stock. Some versions of this recipe use soy sauce; consider a low sodium soy sauce, or a natural soy alternative such as Braggs Liquid Aminos.  Natural soy alternatives all the flavor, without any of the artificial or MSGs of soy sauce. Of course, you can take this recipe one step healthier by making your own crunchy onion toppings … or use the store-bought ones, and be super proud that you already gave this recipe a makeover ten-fold with the above ingredient swaps.

DESSERTS:

One of the largest areas where overindulgence can happen is through dessert. The amount of sugar, butter, and oils in most recipes not only are counterintuitive to your fitness goals… but the more it’s consumed, the more the body craves. So, let’s highlight a few ingredient swaps for just about any dessert that will convert the recipe to a healthier alternative.

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  • Flour: Replace traditional all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour, sprouted almond flour, or coconut flour. Coconut flour is gluten-free, high in fiber, low carb, and a good source of protein. Recipes will likely need more liquid when using coconut flour but will require less sugar (or other sweetener) since coconut has a natural sweetness.
  • Brownie Lovers: Substitute flour for black beans. Replace 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of black beans rinsed, cooked, drained and pureed. This switch will cut some of the calories and add protein.
  • Sugar: Refined sugars can be replaced with a variety of healthier sugar substitutes. Stevia leaf extract (0 calorie natural sweetener), coconut sugar (loaded with potassium), real maple syrup or honey (rich in antioxidants), or unsweetened apple sauce are all great sugar substitutes.
  • Oils: Substituting oils for an unsweetened applesauce will add moisture and flavor while cutting a substantial amount of fat and calories.
  • Butter: Swapping 1 cup of butter with ½ cup of butter and ¼ cup of nonfat Greek yogurt will cut the fat in half and quadruple the amount of protein in the recipe.

So, there you have it. Recipes to try, ingredients to keep on hand, and the peace of mind that you CAN enjoy those summer get-togethers, indulge in some favorite dishes, and stay the course toward your goals. Enjoy!

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Do you wish you had someone to REALLY support you FULLY to reach your goals through:

  • EXERCISE (specific to your unique life!), 
  • NUTRITION (specific for your unique body and goals!)
  • Accountability and mindset coaching
  • An approach that takes your long term health and lifestyle into account
  • Peer support from other like-minded women?

Through the unique sisterhood of our Sisters in Shape online client/coach community, women are changing. We know that our affordable, balanced and fully CUSTOMIZED approach to helping you crush your goals is what you've been looking for.

get started today >

 

WHY CRUNCHES WONT FIX THE MOM TUMMY POOCH… EVER

WHY CRUNCHES WONT FIX THE MOM TUMMY POOCH… EVER

It seems that no matter what exercises you do, regardless of what diet you try…. that belly just doesn’t seem to tighten or flatten. To make matters worse, you might even (insert face cringe) - leak a bit when you run, jump, sneeze, or even laugh. You start to feel defeated and begin accepting that this is all just part of normal “mom life” and (gulp)… the “mom bod.”

STRUGGLING TO DRINK ENOUGH WATER? TIPS TO HELP!

By Nathalie Bourgoin

Did you know that 55-78% your body is made up of water?

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So, it’s not much of a surprise that your body NEEDS water to function properly. We find that one of the biggest struggles for our SiS Online clients when starting a new healthy lifestyle is getting into the routine of drinking enough water to support their goals.

Having to pee too often, boring taste, or just plain forgetting can deter us from the hydration we need.

Are one of these road blocks stopping you?

  1. Maybe you have started drinking lots of water … but found yourself in the bathroom way too often. Sometimes, this can lead to discouragement and cause us to revert back to minimal water drinking. Rest assured, you’re not alone.
    Think of the soil around a potted plant.  If it’s watered as it should, the earth absorbs the water and the water can then do its job. If you are forgetful about watering your plant, the soil dries up and hardens and when you water it, the water doesn’t get absorbed. It literally trickles off the sides of the plant, not benefiting the plant at all as it runs right through and down.  Think of your bladder as that soil. You can’t start chugging 2 liters of water if your body isn’t used to getting that much.  Start with 1 liter and gradually increase the amount. Every few days, add an extra cup or 2 to your amount until you reach your targeted amount. Sipping water will be more effective in this case for your body to absorb.

  2. Maybe you find it bland in taste. Instead of using store-bought refined sugar or fructose flavoring agents, try using something natural to flavor your water. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Cucumber/mint
  • Watermelon/mint
  • Citrus slices
  • Strawberries/rosemary
  • Adding chia seeds to water changes the texture, almost like a bubble tea and chia seeds are a great fat
  • Hot water with lemon
  • Using frozen fruit infuses the water even more as it thaws

3. Maybe you are forgetful about drinking water. 

Create some WATER RULES to keep yourself accountable:

  1. First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water.

  2. Every time you walk by a water fountain, stop for a drink. If you’re feeling hungry have some water first. Maybe you’re just dehydrated and not really hungry.
  3. Get a water jug you LOVE: It doesn’t have to be costly; make it a fun DIY project! Decorate the jug yourself with a decal that has inspires or motivates you.
  4. Use a straw: you will drink more when using a straw
  5. Visualize your healthy glowing skin from drinking more water!
  6. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!  Water Your Body or Water Logged are great to give you reminders and helping you keep on track. You could also set an alarm on your phone reminding you to drink more water.

By just recognizing that one of these three things is keeping you from your water and wellness goals, you’ve taken the first step towards doing better. Drink up!


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Post by Nathalie

Nathalie is a mother of two young daughters and a full time Quality Control Coordinator. She knows life can be quite demanding and it can be difficult to find time to take care of yourself.    

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Do you wish you had someone to REALLY support you FULLY to reach your goals through:

  • EXERCISE (specific to your unique life!), 
  • NUTRITION (specific for your unique body and goals!)
  • Accountability and mindset coaching
  • An approach that takes your long term health and lifestyle into account
  • Peer support from other like-minded women?

Through the unique sisterhood of our Sisters in Shape online client/coach community, women are changing. We know that our affordable, balanced and fully CUSTOMIZED approach to helping you crush your goals is what you've been looking for.

get started today >

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