If cutting sugar out of your daily diet was easy, I’m sure we would all have done it by now.
Decreasing sugar intake takes some effort. There are obvious changes you can make like not buying bags of processed sugar, however, even when you do that you are likely to seek out a replacement. For example, I use honey instead of sugar but… it is still sugar even if it’s better quality! And what about the endless hidden sugars to consider; what is the answer?
The first thing to acknowledge is that sugar is addictive and comes in many forms. Consider when you eat sugary foods the most; is it when coping with stress/low moods, when looking to increase energy or just because you like the taste? If you can whittle down to your why you can identify ways to help. Better stress relievers are exercise, listening to music or doing an activity that fully engages you in a positive way (maybe a hobby, helping out a local group, reading, etc). If your energy is low, consider low sugar fruit (apples, berries), nuts or plain Greek yoghurt.
Here are a few other suggestions collated from other people’s experiences of cutting down on or giving up sugar:
- Target the removal of processed sugar first and foremost. If you eat a lot of them aim to wean yourself off one meal/snack at a time, replacing with a healthier alternative.
- Reduce your sugar intake (in tea, coffee, on cereal etc) allowing your taste buds to get used to less sweet tastes. This really worked for me. I use to take 2 sugars in tea or coffee. I cut down on the number of drinks first and then went down to one sugar and eventually no sugar. Now if I go a day without a tea or coffee it’s not a big deal.
- Stop with the sugary drinks! By far one of the, if not the, worst offenders of sugar highs. Drink more water or create your own fruit shakes/smoothies. They have sugar in them but not processed.
- Choose fruit when you want something sweet but do not exceed your 5 a day; everything in moderation.
- Start learning how to read food labels in order to be clear on what you are eating. Sugar is hidden everywhere!
- Get into a regular eating routine. This is probably one of the biggest downfalls for people. When you are always on the go, having random meals here and there, grabbing morning coffees, it’s easy to see how bad habits set in. Be mindful with your meals and meal times – no excuses.
- Get your mind in the game. With the right mindset, all things are possible and all habits can be changed.
In summary, find ways to cut down on the sugar, sugar; it might make a good record but it really isn’t good for your health!
One life, live it well,