Seriously, Eat Sugar

At work we have a wall of food. It is literally an entire side of a kitchen, shelves stocked with all kinds of unhealthy snacks. I often find lost souls standing before this wall, as if after a long journey across parched sands have finally discovered the resting place of the Holy Grail, facing uncertainty over which snack grants eternal satiety and which will shrivel them like the crypt keeper. 

The more weight I lose and the more muscle I gain, the more sugar I crave (I'm talking about glucose, fructose, and sucrose not cakes and cookies). I now consume around 4 lbs of organic cane sugar a week (mostly in my protein shakes), in addition to my regular food and in-between meal snacking. I had to learn to stay ahead of my hunger. By the time I felt the urge to eat it was too late, and I found myself losing muscle too easily. In order to fuel the metabolic changes (toward health and wellness) my body needs a constant supply of carbs and protein. Short of hooking myself to an ice cream IV drip, I keep a supply of dried and fresh fruits, orange juice, healthy candies like Trader Joe's Saltwater Taffy (it's healthy because there are no bad additives or bad oils), a generously sweetened protein shake, and other good foods (grains are NOT on this list). This in addition to my other large and frequent meals averages about 3,000 and 4,000 calories a day, to which I do not pay attention. 

All mammals spend most of their waking hours foraging for food. Though our social customs have long oriented us toward large, separate meal eating our physiology hasn't kept pace. I feel like I can only go at most 2 hours without feeling a drop in my blood sugar. After 3 I start to get hungry and at 4, well lets just say you better goddamn get me something to eat. For myself this is in large part due to my thyroid medication which makes my body function like it is supposed to, like it did in my youth, burning sugar as a primary fuel source. Being able to go for long periods of time without eating is not really a sign of good health. It's a sign of slow metabolism, because a fast one needs more fuel than a slow one.

As people age their ability to burn sugar decreases. Instead of burning sugar for a huge amount of fuel and energy, it is converted into fat and then burned later. If you've ever felt fatigued then your body is already doing this, even if you're in your twenties. It originates in part because of our tendency to starve between meals. Over decades this behavior causes so much repeated exposure to stress hormones the body loses it's youthful metabolism for the slower, aging metabolism. Getting enough carbs (and protein) in a generous stream that mimics foraging behavior keeps blood sugar elevated, stress hormones at a minimum, and preserves your tissues—including the ones that make up your appearance!

I can set my clock by the decline of people I see avoiding sugar. Their bodies and faces look tired and aged beyond their years (as mine once did). They're cranky and often developing more serious diseases without even knowing it, and forget having muscles if you avoid carbs. They're the first thing to go if you don't eat enough. Muscles are a metabolic luxury, and if you don't eat enough or often you don't get them. If you gain weight from eating sugar, you need to repair your body's ability to burn it, not starve yourself. For this and more info on the health benefits of sugar read my earlier article: For God's Sake, Please Eat Sugar.