Whether you work out with the intensity of a professional or an amateur athlete, your sugar intake is important to maintaining good health. “Blast the Sugar Out,” by Dr. Ian K. Smith, addresses this very subject. He spoke about it in-depth Tuesday morning to a large Harlem Hospital crowd in the Herbert Cave Auditorium.

“Sugar is hidden in everything, so I wanted people to realize where sugar is, what sugar can do to you, how to reduce your sugar intake and lose weight at the same time,” said Smith. “Sugar in excess amounts can lead to diseases that can absolutely kill you, but sugar by itself in proper amounts is completely normal, completely fine, completely healthy, but the problem is, we overconsume sugar, and this is where we can run into trouble.”

Smith decided to tackle the effects of sugar because, as he said, “Sugar is everywhere, and it’s killing us. There are 29.1 million type 2 diabetics, and there are 86 million Americans who are pre-diabetic, which means, being on the verge of having diabetes.”

Smith also addressed the issue of proper exercise and weight. “Exercise is important for everyone at every level, and whether you’re a professional, an amateur athlete or just a weekend warrior, physical movement is what the key is. What I suggest to people is getting into a regular habit of some type of physical exertion starting with three days a week, about 20 minutes per day, and trying to increase it to five days per week, with about 30 minutes of modern intensified exercise. One way to do it is by going to the gym, but everyone doesn’t have to go. If you participate in fun sports, or in things that you enjoy, in things that you do that you don’t realize that is exercise or working out. Choose a physical activity that is fun, but still helps you get through the pace of getting a workout in.” He also noted that men tend to lose weight faster than women because they have a greater amount of muscle mass, which is more metabolically active, and helps them burn calories faster.

An important question was asked: “How do you know that all of the exercising and dieting is initially working?” Smith replied, “There all kinds of metrics that you can look at to see whether or not the workout or the plan is having an effect, an impact. Weight loss, how you fit in your clothes, your energy level, your thinking, and also your endurance. The key to actually increasing your weight loss is in how well you exercise, and in how much you exercise. Even if you’re confined to your office or work space, and you have just a little bit of floor space, there are all kinds of things that you can do. You can do chair squats, which gives to get some muscle strength in your legs, you can do toe raises which works on your calf muscles, you can even march in place, knee bends. The book takes you through exercises that you can do at a desk or outside, anywhere. It helps you to lose weight.”

Smith concluded, “The way you fuel your body, is the way you fuel your life. And people who eat well, and move well, live better, and live longer, and live happier.”