Sugar may taste delicious, but as you’re probably aware, consuming too much of it is terrible for our health. Not only does it lead to weight gain, but it has been linked to acne, increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, and can cause many other significant health issues.
If you have a sweet tooth, trying to remove it from your diet can almost seem impossible. However, you will be able to get through it – it just requires perseverance and a bit of hard work.
Below we are going to talk about ten tips that can help you reduce your sugar intake.
Sound interesting? Then let’s get started!
Start reducing intake slowly.
One of the biggest mistakes many individuals make when cutting out sugar is removing it completely. Unfortunately, in this case, going “cold turkey” can make you turn back to old habits quickly, especially if you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Instead, aim to start reducing your intake slowly. First, cut out chocolates, and known sugary sweets, then start looking at ones that are hidden within foods. Trust us when we say it will make the process much easier.
Use sugar alternatives when cooking.
While you’re reducing your intake, it’s also a good idea to consider using sugar alternatives in your cooking. This can include things such as honey, fruit concentrates, stevia, and agave nectar.
Another great option to use in baking is monk fruit products. It melts, browns, and caramelizes just like real sugar, making it a great option when you’re craving something sweet.
Read food labels carefully.
Once you’ve cut down on the obvious sugary foods, you can then look further into what you are buying. Some products can be labelled as healthy but are full of a lot of hidden things.
Some natural sugars are ok, especially in things such as yoghurt, but make sure nothing extra is added. Less than 5% is an excellent place to start.
A few different other names for sugar that may appear on your food labels include:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Rice syrup
- Cane juice
Eat a healthy balanced diet to curb cravings.
If you are experiencing cravings and withdrawal symptoms, one of the best ways to get rid of them is by eating a properly balanced diet. This includes foods that contain a lot of protein, full-fat, carbohydrates, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Just remember, this doesn’t mean you have to eat plain and bland foods suddenly. In fact, despite what you may believe, healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring.
Instead of sweet, opt for unique flavour pairings and experiment with different recipes. There is so much out there, and a lot of it tastes better than processed sugar.
Choose whole foods.
If you’re unsure what products are good and what ones aren’t, starting with whole foods is a good choice. This is because they usually undergo minimal processing and hardly contain any added sugar.
Another benefit of whole foods is that they are usually rich in fibre. This keeps your digestive system functioning smoothly, and you’ll feel fuller for more extended periods of time.
Shop on a full stomach.
It’s easy to get tricked into adding all those delicious treats into your cart when you’re shopping. However, you want to avoid this as much as possible.
Instead of falling victim to advertisements and marketing plans, try your best to shop on a full stomach. This will stop you from straying from your list and even save you money in the long run.
Enjoy other taste sensations.
Another option to curb the cravings is to substitute them for another taste sensation. This tricks your mouth into thinking it’s getting something unique and encourages you to branch outside of your comfort zone.
Try something spicy, sour, minty, or even choose tea with unique herbs and spices. There are so many delicious combinations out there; you just need to be open and experiment with what is around you.
Switch out sugary drinks.
Sometimes the one area where many struggle is actually not food but drinks. Soda, iced coffee, and even some juices are full of sugar that is bad for your health (and your teeth).
Instead, switch them out for water as much as possible. If you’re getting bored, cut up some lemon or other fresh fruit to add some flavour. Your body will thank you for it.
Choose fruit instead of dessert.
Speaking of fruit, while it does contain sugar, it is a natural form, and the benefits certainly outweigh the risks. Therefore, it can be used as an excellent substitute for dessert.
Just make sure that you try and switch up the fruit you are eating every day. This will allow you to get a range of different vitamins and minerals.
Have you heard of eating the rainbow? Well, that applies here! The more colours you eat, the more nutrients that you can absorb.
Avoid late-night snacking.
Finally, if you’re a late-night snacker, it’s best to keep this to a minimum. Eating at night can lead to many health problems, and the extra calories add up when it’s something sweet.
It’s best to stick to a strict sleep schedule to avoid this and to eat regularly throughout the day so that you are not hungry. If you do need a quick snack, munch on a few nuts or berries that won’t cause any harm.
You can find more tips to help get a better night’s sleep here.
And that’s it! These were ten tips to reduce your sugar intake. So, while it may be challenging at first, try and see things from a positive point of view. After you get through the initial cravings, you’ll begin to feel healthier and happier.
Are you still struggling? Ask some friends or family members to go through the process with you. This way, you can support and help each other stay motivated.