A high-sugar diet for a long time may well lead to degrees of insulin resistance and eventually diabetes. Picture: KATSIARYNA BELAYA/123RF
A high-sugar diet for a long time may well lead to degrees of insulin resistance and eventually diabetes. Picture: KATSIARYNA BELAYA/123RF

Q: I am approaching 45 and would like to get rid of my muffin top for the beach. I have a sweet tooth and enjoy life too much to give up cakes and chocolates. I go to the gym a few times a week and do park runs regularly. I don’t have more time to train, so what advice can you give?

A: You cannot outrun a jam doughnut. The end.

If you took the five minutes a day for seven days that it takes to eat the cake, that would give you an additional 35 minutes a week to exercise. In truth, it comes down to priorities.

There are various calculators all over the internet that estimate the amount of time it would take on a treadmill to “work off” a treat, such as a chocolate bar or doughnut. Now, these are estimates, but if you consider that it could well take more than an hour to “burn off” the amount of calories it takes one minute to consume in the form of a chocolate, you may want to reprioritise your time management.

Let’s work from the assumption that you know that the refined sugar you are eating daily is poison. Without going into the scientific detail, Dr Tim Noakes has by now surely taught you about the insulin spike you get from a sugary meal.

Insulin is like Discovery Channel preppers. The glucose you don’t use in energy is hoarded in your love handles “for future use”, like trying to outrun a doughnut.

A high-sugar diet for a long time may well lead to degrees of insulin resistance and eventually diabetes. Take control of your health while you still can.

Our advice would be simple. Switch to eating real food. Do most of your shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store to avoid all the processed food and high-sugar aisles. Banish sweets from the house so that dark, midnight trips to the kitchen result in a stubbed toe and not a stuffed mouth. Take the steps, walk the dog and exercise with a purpose.

When a fit, healthy habit becomes a lifestyle, you will earn the right to treat yourself now and then. Even we enjoy a nice slice of cake.

Remember, eat to live, don’t live to eat.