Easy ways to quit sugar is lessen the amount of sugar that you incorporate in your daily diet by replacing unhealthy junk food with healthier sugar free options.
The hardest kind of addiction that one can identify is sugar addiction. Not many people even know that there is even such a thing. However when you feel like munching, do you grab a packet of chips and a glass of juice to wash it down? Well, you just incorporated around 5-6 tablespoons of sugar in just one sitting.
Almost all processed foods that you find these days in the market includes sugar in some form. Hence, healthier options bought directly from the market are becoming fewer. However, fret not there are always ways to cut down on sugar and eventually live a lifestyle with minimal sugar.
While there will always be some form of sugar in your diet, here are few ways you can reduce your sugar intake to the recommended dose:
Refined sugar is your enemy
Refined white or brown sugar is often added to foods, cakes, and even your morning cup of Joe. This sugar is simply absorbed in your bloodstream and causes the body to increase glucose levels and insulin so more sugar is stored as fat for energy. This sugar is also found in processed foods from ketchup to bread and even salad dressing. Pick up any food and check the ingredient list and you shall find some form of sugar on it, which leads to the second point.
Always check ingredients
Whenever purchasing processed food or rather any kind of food, always check the ingredients on the back. By law, manufacturers have to list all the ingredients on the product. However, they try to trick the customers by using fancy names of saying sugar such as cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or such names. There are also molasses, honey, and maple syrup which can be added.
There are many websites that will tell you that artificial sweetener is a better option to sugar and while it works for losing weight, in terms of health it provides more risk.
Rely on natural sugars
Now you don’t have to be completely sugar free, rather rely on natural sugars that can be found in fruits and milk based products. They are healthier options when consumed in their original form.
Do not go Cold Turkey
Do not completely stop consuming sugar from day one, it can result in some nasty effects such as dizziness, lethargy, even headaches and fainting spells. Instead, cut out sugar slowly by slowly reducing the amount of processed sugar you consume. Start with various food groups such as initially cutting out sugar drinks and carbonated drinks; then stop with chips and other such junk foods and then slowly lead up to other foods such as muffins and other baked goods. \
Ditch simple carb treats
Things you often picked up from the bakery on your way to work such as pastries, cookies, muffins, white bread, and white bagel are full of refined sugar. These treats include high amount of sugar which are hard to identify. A good option is to replace these treats with whole grains so instead of grabbing a plain white bagel, opt for the whole grain bagel or whole wheat bread with egg on top. These will keep you feeling full for longer and are not as easily converted by the body into fat.
Limit take outs
That favorite Chinese place which knows your regular order of sweet and sour pork or sweet corn chicken soup are smothered in sugar or sugar replacements. Even the pizza includes hidden sugar in the sauce as well as the base. Try and limit your take out to maybe once or twice a month and even when you do order try to go for healthier options such as grilled chicken and so on. Home cooked meals are often a healthier option compared to ordering food from outside.
Even when cooking look at the labels for items such as brown sugar, corn syrup, maltose, fructose, dextrose, molasses, agave, brown rice syrup, cane sugar, cane syrup, and evaporated cane juice, etc.
Curb your beverage
A lot of sugar enters the bloodstream from the amount of coffee and tea a person has in a day. 2 teaspoons of sugar in one cup of coffee and three cups of coffee in a day comes out to 6 teaspoons of sugar and that doesn’t even include the food that you will consume in the rest of the day. This significantly increases the amount of sugar from the recommended intake.
Don’t cut out the sugar from the get go, but rather half it during the first week and then half again during the second week, before completely refraining from adding it to your coffee or tea. Reducing the amount slowly will also make it less noticeable and if you need some form of sweetness, you can add a slice of orange or milk (the lactose in the milk makes the beverage slightly sweeter).
Proteins and Healthy Fats
Incorporate more proteins and healthier fats into your diet, including nuts, olive oil. Avocado, eggs, turkey, chicken, legumes, etc. These keep you feel sated for longer periods of time and also provide you with energy that you would otherwise get from sugar. They also keep the blood sugar from rising and falling quickly (like a sugar rush), which keeps your body from crashing a faster rate.
Add naturally sweet flavors
To sweeten your food, instead of looking for sugar look at your spice rack. There are far healthier options there such as cinnamon, vanilla extract, chicory, ginger, nutmeg and even cardamom. These can give your beverages or baked foods a sweet taste without the added calories and side effects. You can also include fresh fruits to your baking or beverages to give it a zest and refreshing flavor.
Don’t give up
You won’t always be able to remain sugar and may sometimes have a relapse, but don’t worry and do not fall into that pit of sugar again, instead get back on that horse and keep going. It is like learning a bicycle, just because you fall once doesn’t mean you should not try to learn how to ride at all.
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