By now, most of you know that I am a big proponent of reducing your sugar intake (if not completely eliminating it) for long-lasting health. I have written many blog posts about the negative health effects of sugar on your body. I even released a whole ebook meant to help you quit sugar in 10 days. However, I still receive tons of questions about how it is even possible to reduce or eliminating sugar from one’s diet when sugar is literally present everywhere. Well, don’t worry, I got you covered. Today, I would like to share with you: 7 Ways To Effectively Reduce Your Sugar Intake. You’ll see that it is not that difficult and that you can easily reach that goal when you follow these 7 tips.
I have used most of these tips myself and I regularly share them with my clients whenever they express an interest in changing their diet for the better, losing weight or even improving the look and feel of their skin.
Reducing your sugar intake can have a drastically positive impact on many aspects of your health. Whether you suffer from diabetes, insomnia, irritability, stubborn weight gain or even attention deficit, removing sugar from your diet will definitely help. Personally, whenever I remove processed sugars from my diet, I always feel more focused, more balanced and well rested. I share more of my personal story with the white “crack”: HERE.
Now, let’s take a closer look at these tips, shall we?
7 Ways To Effectively Reduce Your Sugar Intake
1. Eliminate the temptations around you
This goes without saying… Once you remove all sources of temptation from your daily environment, it will be a lot easier to not get tempted by sugary treats.
TIP: Bring your own satisfying and healthy sweet treats with you. Here are a few: ideas.
2. Eat more fat
Many people are afraid of consuming fats because they still believe that fats are the devil and that they cause weight gain. The truth is that not all fats are created equal. There exist some healthy fats that are actually essential for your well-being, brain and even skin health. These fats are the ones found naturally in nuts, seeds, certain vegetable oils (olive oil, avocado oil or even coconut oil), eggs and wild-caught fishes. Eating more fat will also help you stay full for longer. Your body uses fat as fuel as well, except that it burns through fat a lot slower. This is why it is important to add some fats at every meal!
TIP: Make sure you include at least 2 Tbsp of healthy fat at every meal. Think of adding nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut, eggs, olive oil, etc.
3. Change your habits
Typically most people consume certain foods out of pure habit. Eating sugary treats is no different. Pay attention to when you are typically most likely to eat something sugary. Does it happen out of boredom? Stress? When you need some distraction? Or is it when you feel moody? Lonely? … Identify your triggers for eating sugar. Once you have identified them, take a different step of action when they happen again. This could be: getting up to stretch, taking some deep breaths, going for a walk, dancing, calling a friend, drinking water, etc. Choose a new habit and the more you practise it, the faster your old habit of sugar craving will disappear.
TIP: Moving your body is an excellent way to distract your mind from eating sugars. Focusing on someone that might need help is another great way. Try them out and let me know how it goes.
4. Drink some tea
I know. I know, most of you are rolling your eyes right now. But hear me out. Most often than not, hunger cues are confused with thirst. Hence, when you crave sugar, you may not be hungry at all. Instead, you are probably thirsty. Because drinking plain water is boring to most. I always recommend drinking tea or rather herbal infusions instead. There exist many herbal infusions that are naturally sweet, which can help you reduce your sugar craving as well.
TIP: Try any herbal infusions with dried berries, cinnamon or liquorice in them. These are naturally sweet ;).
5. Always check the back ingredients
If you think sugar is only added to sweet foods, such as ice creams, cookies, candies, or cake, think again. Unfortunately, many food products contain unnecessary added and often hidden sources of sugar. The only way to avoid it is by always checking the back ingredients and looking at the nutrition labels of the foods you buy at the supermarket.
TIP: Focus your attention on the actual ingredients’ list (even more so than the nutrition label). There the ingredients are listed by order of volume. The first ingredients are in the highest amount. Watch out for the different names that sugar can have. Find out more in my 10-day sugar detox ebook.
6. Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugar doesn’t only hide in the foods we eat, it’s also present in a lot of the beverages we drink. To significantly reduce your sugar intake, make sure you avoid sugary drinks such as: fruit juices, sodas, alcoholic cocktails, sports drinks, fancy coffee drinks, pre-made smoothies, yogurts, etc.
TIP: Always check the ingredients of any drink you buy at the supermarket. Even “vitamin” water can contain hidden sugars.
7. Get used to different tastes
I once read in an article about Ayurveda that we should aim at eating all 6 tastes every single day. Why is that? Because each taste is attached to different foods that have various health benefits for our body. Most people only consume sweet or salty foods every day. But what about the other 4 tastes? Try to include foods that are also: sour, bitter, pungent or astringent.
TIP: try to include all 6 tastes at every meal, if not eat something from every taste every day. Here are some examples of bitter, pungent and astringent foods: leafy greens, broccoli, hot peppers, ginger, mustard seeds, tart apples, cranberries and pomegranate seeds.
And there you have it, guys: 7 ways to effectively reduce your sugar intake.
Please remember that changing your diet is not an overnight fix. It takes time, so please stay patient and consistent.
If you need any further help with effectively changing your eating habits, feel free to contact me or check out my 10-day sugar detox ebook. It’s a great way to kickstart your new healthy eating habits and to positively impact your health :).
Photo Credit: Brooke Lark