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By on November 15, 2012

By Charlotte Hamilton –

There is a certain nip in the air, a chill underfoot, autumn is here and we naturally start to seek comfort food. Gone are the summer salads and out comes the porridge and crumbles with thick custard; so is it any wonder we pile on the pounds? Well no, but we must watch our sugar intake for more than just the reasons of weight gain. There is the dreaded Diabetes epidemic. Type 2 has risen 50% in the last 10 years i.e. when cells become unable to process insulin altogether. “Whether its honey, table sugar, artificial sweetener or a diet drink when your body gets something sweet it produces insulin and that triggers a response that encourages your body to store fat,” says Dr Mark Hyman in The Blood Sugar Solution.

“A diet high in sugar and high-gylcaemic carbohydrates such as breads, rice and potatoes can make your skin more stiff and inflexible making you look older” says Dr Nicholas Perricome dermatologist and leading authority on diet and ageing. “Sugar molecules attach to collagen fibres and cause them to lose their strength, so skin becomes more vulnerable to sun damage, lines and sagging.

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The USA has turned into a nation of sugar junkies and is almost matched by the U.K. soon to be followed by the rest of the world! We must learn to stop our sugar intake before it’s too late. I know only too well how difficult it is, I’ve put on 10 lbs in about 5 years – the normal 2 lbs a year and like all us women slowly ageing gracefully I tell myself that it’s “Okay, I look better than skinny and wizened.” But that is not really the truth when it comes to my trying to fit into a size 10 in the dressing room.

I am now size 12 and not proud of it. Is it any wonder when last night I had two huge portions of porridge AFTER having been a good girl with a spinach salad and enormous fruit salad! I deserve no sympathy – guilt – also meant that I was at liberty to throw in 3 pieces of clotted cream fudge to feel better – what an idiot am I? I only have myself to blame or do I?

Nature has made everything safe to eat sweet; hence our DNA makes us say “Go for it!” But that was a VERY long time ago. Today we have supermarkets telling us to buy, buy buy, but it’s no good blaming them, they are in it for profit – to satisfy our demand for sugar. Only you can stop yourself from buying or consuming too much sugar. The good news is that it is relatively easy to do something about your sugar intake. Note that even if you have “skinny” arms and legs but carry belly fat you may have visceral fat that surrounds your internal organs, so do not be too complacent. Experts agree that sugar withdrawals take just 4 to 7 days. Try it for 21 days – you do not need me to tell you what to eat (I MUST TAKE MY OWN ADVICE) we know it’s the lean proteins, vegetables, whole grains and certain fruits with moderate exercise.

Oh before I close. A tip to help the cravings – do a short burst of some aerobic exercise. I do sit ups or jump up and touch the ceiling a few times, others may prefer to run up and down stairs or walk briskly. This will raise the blood sugar naturally by encouraging the liver to release its glycogen (glucose) stores into the bloodstream.

Hey I know this is easily said after a day at the office – if only we thought more and ate less!

All the best and remember don’t hit the sweets watching TV; hit the floor for exercise to release natural sugar instead!

Charlotte Hamilton is author of the Fitface books on facial exercise that take a holistic approach to the skin’s condition, Fitface – “Hands-free” facial toning, Fitface Facial Exercises: The book of face and neck exercises and Fitface Foundations. She resides in England but was a U.S. resident for many years and visits frequently. Email: [email protected], Website:

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