Learn how to reduce your sugar intake with these tips.
Let’s talk about tips to reduce sugar intake. Whenever I’m trying a diet, whatever it is, things start working out great. I eat extremely healthy for a week or two. Then, I start to realize that I have a lot of wiggle room within the limits I set. In short, I figure out how to cheat while still following the basic rules of the diet. I think this is why diets don’t work very well. It’s more practical to find a reasonable way to eat clean and healthy, and stick to that.
For years, nutrition experts told us that we needed to avoid fat if we didn’t want to get fat. As it turns out, they were wrong. In fact, too many simple carbohydrates can make us fat, sugars in particular. Healthy fats fill us up and satisfy us. Foods that have had the fat stripped from them through processing often have added sugar to it to enhance the taste. And then the food still tastes fake. Nothing like the real thing. Too much sugar in the diet can lead to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, anxiety and other mood disorders.Of course, there’s sugar, and then there’s sugar. I can look at a tablespoon of white table sugar and sugar in a large apple.While they both contain about the same amount of sugar, one is very different from the other. Apples contain water, fiber and nutrients along with the natural sugar, fructose.Refined, granulated sugar contains nothing but energy. And it is also heavily processed. Whenever I eat anything processed, I want to know what the process is. Usually, it involves all manner of chemicals, traces of which often end up in my food. Yummy! Or, not so yummy.
A lot of people know what it’s like to try to cut back on sugar, though. Too many people take it too severely, going straight from a high-carb diet to a low-or-no-carb diet. That is a recipe for failure, however. There are a lot of ways to eat healthier without having to sacrifice daily habits. For example, when I quit drinking soda, I switched to tea or coffee. And instead of making mine a monstrous 500-calorie latte, I just add a bit of cream and perhaps some pure maple syrup or honey for sweetener. When I am really craving the carbonation, though, I keep it simple. I buy sparkling water and just add a splash of juice for flavor. In time, I have come to appreciate foods that are not as sweet. I now find the super-sweet drinks and desserts overwhelming.
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More than anything, I have to be reasonable with my diet. I have found that the best lifestyle to lead with food is to eat stuff that I can recognize. A largely plant-based diet works very well for me in that regard. Then, I just make sure that I keep my portions under control. While I am pretty much never going to eat too much kale, I may eat too much cheese or meat.But since I do like to work out, protein is important for my body, so finding the balance is key.
Intake and Output
When you are active, energy is vital, which means carbohydrates in the form of sugar is vital. The healthiest source of this would be natural sugars. But how much and when do you need them? I’ve been researching programs that incorporate these 2 factors: healthy eating & exercise. I found a program that’s out from Beachbody called 21 Day Fix. They have some impressive before and after pictures on their website. The program also focuses on meal planning and prepping which I seem to be hearing more and more about lately. Seems many new health plans are also moving to an integrated plan of eating and exercise instead of just focusing on one or the other.Deciding to cut sugar out of my diet was one of the best things I did. For one, any excess holiday weight just flies off me. And for another, I feel better. My blood sugar isn’t constantly in flux. And since I replaced the refined sugar with natural foods high in good fats, and also fresh fruit for a snack, I am a more-satisfied person overall.
14-Day Without Sugar Challenge
Want to take an initial step to reducing your daily sugar intake? Try this 14-day No Sugar challenge.
By guest author: Emily Stone
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