Sugar. We all know it can be harmful, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to shake off. Hurts so good, and all that jazz. The thing is though, if you want to break a sugar addiction, you need to have a plan. Your cravings are NOT going to simply disappear overnight, unfortunately.
Thankfully, sugar-free September is just around the corner, and we have seven simple ways that you can ease into a low-sugar lifestyle.
This is a weird tip, but trust me, it works, and it’s helpful if you love sugar like I do. I’m a big chocolate fan, huge, and sadly, there’s way more sugar than I need in regular milk chocolate bars. Switching to dark chocolate, I have to admit, does not appeal to me, because it just lacks the sweetness of milk chocolate. Until, enter: black coffee. I’m very much into black coffee, and I’ve found that having a sip of nice, hot, completely non-sweet black coffee is the perfect way to bring out the hidden sweetness in dark chocolate, because its sugarless taste makes the dark chocolate feel very sweet.
Do you know how much sugar there is in your average ranch or ketchup? Sometimes up to 4 g a serving! And do you know how much sugar you’re supposed to have every day? 25 g for women, 37.5 g for men. That’s just the sauce, in one meal, if you stick to the recommended serving! If you can find low sugar options, or you’re able to make your own dipping sauces using olive oil, lemon, milk, etc., then do so – you’ll be surprised by the difference it makes.
Fun fact: Low-fat foods typically contain more sugar than full-fat ones. We all know butter and milk help add flavor to things (hello, Paula Deen), but few of us have given thought to what happens when we take them away. Removing fat from where it usually appears means that food manufacturers have to account for the loss of flavor, which they typically do through the addition of sugar. Stick to the full-fat foods, and if you’re worried about how much fat is in them, just eat less of them.
Ever noticed how when you’re exhausted you’re more drawn to soda, cake, chips, and candy? Sleep and sugar consumption are intricately connected. When you’re low on energy, your body naturally craves more sugar in order to account for the energy you’re lacking. Getting a good night’s rest is honestly the most powerful weapon against a high sugar intake. Sleep tight!
For those of you who have, up until now, remained in the dark, your soda has sugar in it. And so do your cocktails. Those mai tais and that root beer are chock full of sugar, and that’s part of what keeps you coming back! The good news is that most of us (hopefully!) don’t drink a ton of mai tais often, so cutting back, or switching those for something with less sugar, like champagne, or good red wine can help. If you’re addicted to soda, resist the urge to jump ship to the sugar free or diet varieties; while they’re lower on sugar, they still contain a lot of stuff that isn’t good for you, and take up calories without really energizing you. Try a homemade fruit smoothie instead, which contains fiber and other useful nutrients, or start flavoring your water with a little bit of fruit.
Do you feel ready for a sugar-free September? See if you can cut back on the amount of sugar in your diet!
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