Undoubtedly, sugar addiction can be the most difficult aspect of the weight loss journey. Sugar is habit forming and unfortunately, excessive sugar is the primary culprit of weight gain as sugar turns to fat if not burned. An added concern, sugar consumption is directly linked to pre-diabetes and type II diabetes so it is critical to cut down on sugar for, not only, weight loss but also, blood sugar levels.
Kicking a sugar habit can be just as difficult as quitting smoking, but there are different tactics to use that will assist with cutting down to acceptable levels. Keep in mind that the daily recommended maximum for added sugar intake for women is 25 grams (6 teaspoons) and 38 grams for men (9 teaspoons) but the average American consumes 71 grams (17 teaspoons) of sugar everday! To put that into perspective, the average person consumes 57 pounds of added sugar per year. Below you will find my top five ways of cutting back on the sweet stuff.
1. Don’t Go “Cold Turkey”
Kicking a sugar habit is a process and that process entails weaning slowly. For example, if you drink three sodas per day, start by cutting back to two sodas per day and stick to that for a few weeks until you’re used to the adjustment. Then try cutting back to one per day for a duration of time, before you attempt to switch over to other unsweetened beverages.
2. Track Your Sugar Intake
I’m not a fan of counting calories and macros in general but sometimes, in order to find a solution, we need to know exactly what we are dealing with. For three days, eat exactly how you do on a normal basis and write down all grams of sugar consumed for those days. You may be shocked to find that you are eating more sugar than you thought. If you’re like the average American and taking in 71 grams per day, you can then employ tip number one but cutting back to 60 grams per day and then to 50 and so on, until you reach the recommended daily maximums.
3. Start Your Day with Protein
Protein will keep you full and satiated for longer--it will also help to prevent drops and spikes in blood sugar, which lead to sugar cravings. Starting your day with a high-protein meal will assist with keeping those blood sugar levels even, and those pesky mid-morning cravings at bay. For a selection of our delicious and convenient high-protein bars, click here!
4. Eat More Healthy Fats
Like protein, fat will help to keep you feeling fuller and satiated for longer. It, too, helps to prevent drops and spikes in blood sugar, but please choose your fats wisely since they are not all created equally. The best fats come from items such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, eggs, nuts, seeds, and salmon. For our quick and easy salmon entrée, click here.
5. Find Delicious Substitutions
The sweet tooth is a hard one to manage, making desserts almost impossible to give up, but if you find tasty substitutions, you can still fill that craving while achieving your weight loss and wellness goals. To see our large variety of low-carbohydrate, low-sugar sweet treats (we have savory too!) that taste just like your favorites, see here.
Giving up a sugar habit is probably the hardest aspect of weight loss but it is also the most rewarding, yielding the highest of results. Try employing at least three of these top five sugar-kicking tips, and start seeing success in no time!