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Wednesday 25 March 2015

Four Steps To Successfully Cut Down Sugar In Your Diet


With all the talk, both in the press, and on our TV Screens .. in fact all over the place .. we are hearing more and more how sugar is having a detrimental affect on our health. The article I've linked to below talks about the average American adult, but I really think you could add the UK, Australia, France .. in fact almost any country plus include children too. We are eating too much sugar.

If you are trying to cut down on your sugar intake you may find the tips in the article helpful.

"The average American adult consumes the equivalent of about 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. Sugar is really the number one food additive: it is added to drinks, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, to bread, sauces, dressings, and to all kinds of processed foods including many low-fat products.

Cutting down sugar in your diet may be one of the best actions you can take to improve your health and your weight. And you don't need to have tremendous amounts of willpower or to go cold turkey (unless you want to do this, of course).

Here are four steps to help you cut down sugar in your diet. You'll want to follow the steps in order, except for step four which can be taken whenever you want.

1. Give yourself 30 days (or more)

There is mounting evidence that sugar can be addictive. But if you have strong cravings and you feel you're addicted to sugar, don't get discouraged.

Many people will try to convince you that breaking an addiction is very hard because of hormones and neurotransmitters in your brain, but this attitude can actually be quite disempowering. In fact, breaking an addiction is perfectly doable with the right approach. I have personally helped quite a few women do it with great success.

Your best bet is to use a gentle, step-by-step process that gives your body and your taste buds time to adapt. The mistake many people make when they decide to get off sugar is they want to be perfect from day one, so they go cold turkey and cut out sugar completely from the beginning.

While this may work for people with a very strong addiction, in my real-world practice with women who have a rather mild sugar addiction, I've seen that a compassionate, gentle approach works far better.

Start by believing that you can do it and make a commitment to give it all you've got over a period of time that feels realistic to you.

2. Identify your #1 source of sugar and start there

Think about everything you eat and drink and identify your main source of sugar. Usual suspects are sodas or other sweetened beverages, sugar you add yourself, and processed baked foods.

It may be you're drinking a lot of commercial fruit juices, carbonated sodas, or hot sweetened beverages. Or it may be you're adding four teaspoons of sugar to your tea or coffee and you eat sugary snacks, sweetened yogurt or dessert at every meal. Or it may be you're eating processed bread, cakes and cookies several times a day.

Once you know what to cut down, make a plan. If you've been adding three teaspoons of sugar to your tea or coffee, gradually reduce to two within a week, then one within the next two weeks.

If you are currently drinking at least two large bottles of soda a week, start by cutting down to one and a half bottle, then one bottle the next week, then half a bottle, and see if you are comfortable with cutting out soda entirely.

The key is to be excited about cutting down your consumption and not experiencing it as frustration and deprivation or making a point of reaching an imaginary level of perfection.

Once you've cut down your main source of sugar, you may already enjoy some improvement in your weight and your energy levels.

3. Eat more real food

Sure, the list of processed foods is a never-ending one. And sugar often hides in cakes, cookies, candy bars, ice cream, popcorn, pretzels, granola or fruit bars, energy bars, dressings, sauces, and condiments.

"Low-fat" or "no-fat" foods are often marketed as healthy but most of the time they have also been processed and fat has been replaced by hidden sugars or artificial sweeteners.

If you eat a lot of junk food and processed foods, start by replacing them with real food, one step at a time. If you cook and prepare your food yourself, you'll dramatically cut your sugar intake over time. Do this over thirty days or more, following the same gentle approach as mentioned earlier.

Once you've cut down processed foods, you may realize that your sugar cravings are gone and that you've even managed to kiss your sugar addiction goodbye.

4. Sleep your cravings away

Whenever someone tells me she needs to eat six times a day and she has strong sugar cravings, the first question I ask her is how many hours she sleeps at night. Many times, the answer is less than five or six hours.

So what would sleep have to do with cutting down sugar? Well, it will help by reducing your cravings for sugar as well as processed foods that contain sugar.

Different studies have found that sleep deprivation of two hours or more of the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep leads to overeating and junk food cravings.

Sleep deprivation also leads to sweet foods being more appealing to adolescents, with a consumption of sweet/dessert servings up to 52% higher, and to an increased intake of food in men as well as cravings for calorie-dense foods in adults.

This is why a proper amount of sleep can be a great way to curb cravings, which will also help you cut down sugar in your diet over time."

Article taken from here. For me the key point is number three 'eat more real food' what do you think?

All the best Jan 


FogDog said...

Great post!

I've never been a real sugar addict, my problem has always beenf fried and greasy foods, but I know plenty of people who I would say were addicted tot he white stuff.

Anonymous said...

Sugar does taste so good and that is the problem, we have to re-educate our palate, our taste to different things. It can be done with determination. One thing that helped me was to have a little water if ever I felt such a strong urge to eat sweet things. It didn't work all the time but I gradually took control of my sweet tooth and lost weight in the process.
I do eat more of key point three now and that is good too.


Anonymous said...

I watched the show on TV last week and was horrified to see the many teaspoons of sugar that is in some foods and drink. I uesd to have two teaspoons of sugar in my tea or coffee. when you count the number of cups I enjoyed a day the amount of sugar I had was not good. I found it best to cut down and then cut out. Guess we have to do what we can best manage to cut out.


Anonymous said...

Very helpful Post, thanks.


Anonymous said...

I think 3 and 4 are both good, but 2 should be changed to "go cold turkey". Rip the bandage off rather than drag the pain over weeks and weeks, which will make it seem much worse.
Living without sugar changes your sense of taste and sensitivity to sweet, in a major way. The sooner you open that up, the sooner you get to experience it.
Great suggestions, though! And I do like the practical suggestion of zeroing in on your "biggest offender" food.
All best.

Unknown said...

very best tips, i like this

PlumPetals said...

Great advice Jan! I definitely have a sweet tooth. Even when I'm most disciplined and don't have any sugar at all for weeks on end, it's the one thing I still crave. Really liked the tips you gave for cutting sugar down (and out) of a daily diet.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi FogDog - many thanks for stopping by, hope you found the post a helpful read.

Hi Nona - thanks for your comment. Yes 'sugar does taste so good', thanks for sharing your tip about drinking a little water to reduce the urge or need to eat sweet things.

Hi Sherie - and thanks for stopping by. Good to hear you cut out the sugar in your drinks .. it all helps.

Hi Catrin - glad you found the post helpful, thanks for your comment.

Hi Wendy (fitteratfortyish) - many thanks for taking time to comment. I do agree living without sugar does change your sense of taste and sensitivity to sweet 'stuff'.

Hi Cak Mojib - many thanks for your comment, glad you liked the tips.

Hi Plum Petals - thanks for your comment, glad you liked the tips.

All the best Jan