Zumba vs. Zucker

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My two favorite sweets in the world: Serbian “Honey hearts” and Swedish “Punschrullar”. Unfortunately, supermarket close to my Stockholm apartment has regular supplies of both.

“Hi. My name is Mili and I am a sugar addict.”

This is how I would introduce myself at a Sugar addiction support group if there was one.

Maybe there is? Whatever – I don’t think I’ve reached the point of no return and sought professional help. I simply have what is called a “sweet tooth” and probably eat sugar-rich food more than the other ki(n)ds 🙂 In addition, I cut down the meat products a long time ago, which didn’t help my sugary habits either 😦

Sugar addiction is not really recognized as an overwhelming or even a real health issue… until it reaches the levels of diabetes or obesity. Essentially, the addiction itself is fought by these three strategies and them alone: diet adjustments, exercise and basically, self-control.

glucose
To make it really really simple: who’ll win, triglycerides or ATP?? Glucose is converted to pyruvate (glycolysis), then to acetyl CoA which, when energy (ATP) is required, is oxidized by the citric acid cycle. If the glucose intake exceeds the body’s energy needs (and after saturation of glycogen storage), like when you have that damned sweet tooth, AcCoA can be used for fatty acid synthesis and stored as triglycerides in the adipose tissue: i.e. the fat accumulates!

To fight it, I joined the gym last October, and joined it for real: I actually even paid for it! At my previous work, we had an in-house free gym, which I eventually took for granted and forgot about. Plus, it had classes in rather inconvenient time slots. The gym I joined now, however, had zumba and yoga classes at 6pm, which was perfect.

I did a lot of yoga in the past, and I like it, but I haven’t tried zumba until then – though I attended similar classes, such as basic aerobics and something called street dance (!). Zumba has those elements too, but it is essentially based on Latin dances: soca, samba, axé, salsa, meringue, bachata and mambo. My favorite elements of zumba are samba and axé, both originating from Brazil, and yes – the most fun and energy I have at zumba is when we dance to Brazilian songs! For example, Gata Brasileira (“Brazilian Chick”) or Danza da maozinha (“Helping Hand”), a song whose speed, together with the accompanying dance, progresses in a very challenging way.

In the end, zumba became the silver lining of my gym experience: if I’m being brutally honest, I haven’t lost a gram. OK, some may say: “But maybe you gained muscle?” I have no idea, I’d have to measure my BMI, but I doubt it. I blame those damn sugary habits.

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Did you know… that KI Solna campus is a home to a small beach volley field? It’s ready and set for summer 2014, but forlorn at the moment, due to a sad and rainy 18°C.

It’s summer time, and all everyone’s talking about is looking good in a swim suit. My strategy has always been: use the beach to get the beach body!! Which is why I can’t imagine a summer without the sea and swimming, and if lucky, beach volley! But I’d have to wait a bit more for a proper summer vacation, because let’s face it: Sweden cannot offer that! Plus, my zumba class is off for the summer. So meanwhile, I’ll use the Football World Cup in Brazil as an inspiration: I’ll hit the treadmill, replace sweets with seasonal fruit and aim for at least a light variant of 30 day ab challenge. And dance to some cool Brazilian music on YouTube!

The best example of all of the above, are these cool girls dancing zumba to the 2014 World Cup’s official anthem “We Are One”, on a football field! ¡Ole!

(meanwhile, let’s see if the title of this post will be prophetic and result in the semifinals  clash Brazil vs. Germany)

To be continued…

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