Cutting back on your daily sugar intake may be a little easier than you think. It’s the place to start. Don’t worry about giving up the occasional sweet treat –just make it mindful and occasional. Look at reducing your daily intake to reduce your overall sugar consumption and your cravings for sugar. Here are 5 sugar-cutting tips.
1. Go Natural. When you eat less sugar and avoid those very sugary foods, turn to natural sugar sources. You’ll be surprised with the results. Your body will crave sugar less and you find that the apple – or even the carrot – you just ate tastes really sweet. You can also turn to “sweet” nuts like cashews or pecans.
2. Get Your Calories From Whole Foods. Counting calories may lead you in the wrong direction. You want to get enough calories to fuel your body – otherwise it’s going to start craving the quick energy that sweets bring. That’s fast fuel, but it’s not quality energy. Plan a healthy diet filled with whole foods and satisfy yourself and your body.
3. Protein Is Your Friend. Forget the starch. That bowl of pasta is more like a bowl of sugar. You want more fiber and more protein. Those calories in the carbs are absorbed fast and leave your body wanting more. Protein is going to stick with you without turning into instant sugar. If you lover carbs, reverse the order. Start with a nice meaty sauce and put a small amount of pasta on the top instead of the other way around. Plan on eating a protein at every meal.
4. Avoid Processed Food – and those with added sugar. Read labels and you’re going to be surprised – even things like salad dressing that have a “light” label may be loaded with sugar. A great salad dressing replacement is a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Healthy! Watch out for sugar under different names like dextrose, fructose and maltose. An easy fix – avoid packaged foods and go for whole foods.
5. Run, Run Away. It works. When that craving for chocolate or another sweet, work it out. Jump on the treadmill or take a brisk walk. A British study showed that women who jumped on the treadmill reported a it helped them lessen their craving. You get the benefit of patting yourself on the back for trading something unhealthy for something healthy. Way to go!
Improving your diet and lessening your use of sugar are both good for your overall health and good for your waistline. But, it you don’t even want to make the effort because you’re so overweight that you know you need more than a simple fix, don’t give up. Take up healthy habits and go a step further. Join a diet group or visit a medical weight loss clinic. Get the help and support you need to take off those extra pounds. Many ex-heavyweights (both men and women) report that the quick weight loss medical programs at a weight loss clinic inspired them to keep going and the help they got sustained their weight loss. Extra pounds aren’t just unattractive; they’re unhealthy. Is it time for you to get the help you need to lose them?