6 Ways to Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet
Have you been trying to lose weight and, despite regular exercise, failing? Or, maybe you've heard all the stories of those who have managed to cut sugar out of their diet completely and wish to join them. Whatever your reason, the removal of sugar from your diet is not only healthy, but beneficial to your lifestyle. People report feeling happier, healthier, and cleaner after reducing their sugar intake. Your cognitive functioning improves, as well as your feelings of well-being.
Below is a list of the six ways that I have found most effective for cutting down or completely stopping your sugar intake. They are easy to practice and are very effective. In the end, they will make your life a whole lot easier.
Ways to Cut Out Sugar From Your Diet
- Avoid processed foods
- Change your sweeteners
- Read the labels on food
- Cut out fizzy drinks
- Switch to dark chocolate
- Free your house of treats
1. Avoid Processed Foods
While they may be quick and convenient to use, processed foods are terrible for your body. They are often packed full of unhealthy preservatives and other chemicals, in addition to staggeringly high levels of sugar. Anyone who wants to reduce sugar intake should cut down drastically on processed foods.
Instead, buy whole foods and prepare them yourself at home. Not only will you experience a difference in flavor (for the better), but you will also have significantly reduced your sugar intake at the same time.
2. Change Your Sweeteners
A lot of people shy away from the prospect of cutting out sugar from their diets. How will they enjoy their morning tea or coffee? What a lot of people don't realize is that there are many other sugar substitutes. Nature has a whole cupboard full of natural sweeteners which can be used in place of sugar.
Raw honey, xylitol, stevia, coconut sugar, or even dates are all effective sugar alternatives. They all taste sweet, it is just a matter of finding the one that works for you.
3. Read the Labels on Food
This is a big one. A lot of people are completely unaware of what is lurking in their food, simply because they have never thought to properly scan the list of ingredients. All companies are required by law to state exactly what goes into the products they have made. If you are doing food shopping, simply take a few minutes extra to read the label of the product that you are buying. If it contains sugar, avoid it and search for something else.
It also pays to know all the different names under which sugar may be classified. Due to the recent backlash against sugar and sugar use in the food industry, a lot of companies have been sneaky with their labeling, using names such as "corn syrup," "molasses," "fructose," and "maple syrup," all of which are just different guises for sugary sweetness.
4. Cut Out Fizzy Drinks
Cutting carbonated drinks or soda from your diet will probably have the most effect on your sugar reduction. Fizzy drinks contain ridiculous amounts of sugar. One can of coke can contain as much as 11 grams of sugar! Even the "healthy" options, like diet drinks or Coke Zero, are not much better for you. They contain similar amounts of artificial sweeteners that are not much better for your health than sugar is.
It's better by far to just cut out fizzy drinks completely, or if this is too much for you to bear, reduce their intake to special functions and occasions. Instead, turn to the wide variety of juices and infusions available to the public. These can be just as sweet as carbonated drinks, but the upside is they are full of natural sugars that are beneficial to the body. They also include essential nutrients and vitamins necessary for proper development and growth.
5. Switch to Dark Chocolate
For many people, dark chocolate is anathema. They will not touch it, wrinkling their noses up in disgust when it is presented. I was the same way, until I forced myself to eat one bar of 100% cocoa. At the time, it was incredibly bitter to my over-sugared tastes. However, by the time I was halfway through the bar, I was beginning to get used to, and even enjoy, the rich, chocolaty bitterness.
Not only does the bittersweet dark chocolate prevent hunger, it is also a high source of cocoa solids, containing compounds known as flavonoids, which have been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, thus, lower the risk of diabetes and improving cognition.
That said, remember to eat dark chocolate in moderation. One shouldn't eat too much dark chocolate. Instead, limit their consumption to about an ounce a week.
6. Free Your House of Treats
Be strong with yourself and remove all temptation from your living space. Humans are usually weak when it comes to things like treats, always ready to give ourselves an excuse to eat them. It's better to just not let yourself give in to temptation.
By completely removing all sugary sweets, treats, and drinks from your home, you will find that you will consume them a lot less. If you are having a bad day, and you have a store of chocolate in your fridge or cupboard, it is so easy to just say, "Oh, I'll only have one bite to cheer myself up." But, if you have no treats in the house, you will have to debate with yourself as to the benefits of leaving your home to buy some. I think you will find that, when faced with the latter option, you will usually opt to stay home.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.