How To Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet
If you're reading this and you're anything like me, you have a sweet tooth! You love those sweet, delicious deserts, chocolate, cookies or anything that gives you that sweet decadent taste in your mouth. While that taste is AMAZING, we all know it's not good for you. If you've been trying to lose weight or just get healthy in general, this is one habit you should definitely consider dropping...ASAP!
Eliminating sugar from your diet will not be an easy feat. Sugar is hidden in so many places, that most of don't even realize we are consuming too much of it. You will find sugar in your cereals, even granola-based ones, condiments like ketchup, yogurts, sauces, like BBQ sauce, alcohol, juices, carbs etc. The list is huge! So even when you think you're not eating the ice cream, chocolate and cookies, you are still getting large amounts of sugar if you eat any of the things listed above, everyday, in large quantities. Lets change that! If you're ready to start eliminating sugar from your diet, keep reading for some tips on how to accomplish that goal.
1. Eliminate Sugary Beverages
This is super important and one way that sugar can sneak its way into your diet without you realizing it. Things like soft drinks, sweetened waters, sweetened iced teas, fruit juices, energy drinks, fancy coffee-based drinks etc. all contain large amounts of sugar. Sometimes, the size of the packaging can be deceiving as well. The smaller the item is, does not necessarily mean it has less sugar. Your main drink of choice should be water but if you need a little more flavour than just plain old water, try adding some of your favourite fresh fruits, lemon, cucumber or mint, to give it a little boast in the flavour department. Also make sure to read the nutrition label and ingredients of the drink you are choosing. If you see an ingredient with the ending "ose", as in, fructose, sucrose, glucose etc., it means there is some form of added sugar.
2. Eliminate Junk Food
This may seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many people do not fully do this step. When we say junk food, we mean fast-food, candies, chips, popcorn or anything that you know you have lining your pantry, ready to snack on while watching TV late at night. These are the type of foods that are high in sugar, fat and provide no sustainability throughout the day. They burn off as energy pretty quickly and leave you hungry, looking for more. One way to start eliminating these foods is to start slowly. Start by emptying these food from your pantry and replace them with healthy options in the fridge. If you don't see them there, you won't want to eat them, in that moment, where you know you will be watching TV and mindlessly filling your mouth with snacks. The principle here is, out of sight, out of mind. If you are someone who visits your local fast food restaurants on a regular basis, try to cut back and eventually eliminate that visit all together. You can do this by meal prepping ahead of time, both main meals and snacks. This will hopefully deter you from buying food because you've already spent money and time on groceries and preparing your meals.
3. Reduce Your Carb Intake
Carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, and rice, affect your blood sugar level. When being digested, they are converted into sugar, which spikes your sugar levels drastically. As it starts to work through your system, you then begin to crash, as it exits your system. It keeps your blood sugar level on an up and down cycle and when you crash, your hungry again and looking for more food. One sure way of reducing this cycle is by reducing the amount of carbs you eat. The less carbs you eat, the less likely your blood sugar level will spike and crash. Replace some of the carbs with vegetables and protein that will sustain you throughout the day and not cause your blood sugar to spike. It will keep it at an even pace and keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day.
4. Eliminate the Hidden Sugars You're Consuming
Like we mentioned above, there are so many hidden sugars in the foods we eat. Pay attention to what you're eating and check the labels and ingredients. There are various names for sugar, you just need to be aware of what they're called, so you can spot them in your food. Watch out for the hidden sugars in flavoured drinks and many foods that are labelled "Diet" or "Low Fat." Foods that have these labels are generally filled with other things to make them still taste good. If you can, you want to avoid these foods as well. If you're going to eat something that isn't the greatest for you, why not eat something that is good quality and worth the calories?
Trying to remove sugar from your diet will not be easy. You will definitely feel like you are going through withdrawal and the cravings might be in tense at first. If this is something you really want to do, stick with it. It takes a few days for sugar to work through your system, but once your body starts to get used to not having sugar, you will notice a change. You will start to feel more energized, feel lighter and your palette will begin to change. Your taste for food will be different and you will begin to enjoy food in a whole different way. Excess sugar can lead to a lot of different issues, so making this change can only be positive. Take your time, go at your own pace and stick with it. It will be worth it in the long run. Good Luck and let us know how your journey goes!