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Wednesday 28 February 2024

Four Easy Steps To Cut Down Sugar In Your Diet


It seems that 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! Many of us are still 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

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I for the most part stay away from sugary treats. I like eating foods in their natural state.

Linda said...

I think this is true. I need to find chocolate in its natural state.

roentare said...

You are so spot on. Whenever I sleep deprived, I get sugar craving

Tom said...

...I'm doing better lately.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hi -- I copied and left your comment on Mary's "Moontides" blog as requested. Let's hope she is able to solve the issue by checking her spam filter on the blog! Good luck!

Angie's Recipes - Taste of Home said...

Sugar can be really addictive and harmful. Stay away from it for good.

Lorrie said...

I don't eat a lot of sugar and when I do it's as dessert, a small treat after a meal. One's palate can be trained to not enjoy sugar - the opposite of becoming addicted to it, which is easy to do.

Margaret D said...

Good article. There was talk here in Australia of having a sugar tax mind you a fair while ago but nothing ever came of it.

Christine said...

Good tips

jabblog said...

I agree with you - number 3 is the key point.

NatureFootstep said...

colorful and tasty :)

Donna said...

Thank you for the tips! Very helpful!
hugs
Donna

eileeninmd said...

Great advice, I need to sleep more.
Take care, have a great day!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Thank you for this advice and for taking such time and effort to keep this Blog going. Sadly, sugar, (or substitutes), are everywhere these days. Difficult to avoid.

God bless.

Shrimpton and Perfect said...

I'm just now starting a life time journey away from sugar and high carbs. Thank you very much for all your tips and advice they are very welcome. Strangely I found your site weeks ago before my journey began. Somebody must be looking out for me.

mxtodis123 said...

Great information. I've been working on this for awhile now. I still can do a number on ice cream or cake, but I don't even like candy anymore. The sweetness is too much for me.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I'm pretty good about avoiding junk food, but I do make myself a fruit smoothie 2 times a week. My other culprit is red wine on the weekends! These are helpful tips. Thanks.

CJ Kennedy said...

Good info

DVArtist said...

Very good article. I have been craving sugar and can only think it is the prednisone I am taking. Have a great day today.

Linda said...

I think being tired tempts me to go for sugar because it has fast energy. Of course, it also has a letdown as soon as it wears off. I only eat sugar when it contains chocolate because otherwise it’s not worth it.

Valerie-Jael said...

It's not easy, but it's doable! Hugs, Valerie

happyone said...

Good advice.

Shari Burke said...

The link between sleep and cravings is interesting!

The Furry Gnome said...

Pretty thoughtful posts!

Chatty Crone said...

I agree with you!

Mary Kirkland said...

I eat sugar free treats now and use sugar substitute.

Lowcarb team member said...

REPLY TO Debra She Who Seeks ...

Many thanks for your help with the comments on Mary's Moontide's blog.
All seems to be okay at the moment :)

Enjoy the rest of your week.

All the best Jan

Cherie said...

If I have anything sweet during the evening I find I sleep terribly. It's really motivated me to cut out carbs or sweet treats

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I agree...eat more real food, not so many processed foods. There are hidden sugar in so many things. I can't eat sugar so I really have to pay attention to packaging...if I want snacks. I didn't know about the sleep and that is interesting too. I eat nuts when I have a craving for a snack but I shouldn't eat so many. lol

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

These are excellent tips Jan! Start slow, work your way up the ladder to as low carb as you can get. Sugar is in everything, and once you start reading labels, you realize this! Eating whole food, cooking it yourself is really the best bet. Limiting eating out is a huge step. So many things that have been put into our foods starting with sugar, but also other additives, and chemically created oils. I tell people, eat God's diet plan for us - food that is grown naturally, without additives - and you will soon lose the cravings! Blessings to you!

J.P. Alexander said...

Gracias por los consejos. Te mando un beso.

Jeanie said...

This is always a big battle for me, and I've done pretty well with it (Or had, till Christmas). So I thank you for this one, especially. All excellent hints and reminders.

Debbie said...

this is a great read with really good information. my mom is 89 and never shied away from sugar or bacon or grease and smoked for one half of her life. some people are lucky!!

Fun60 said...

It seems low fat yoghurt has a lot more sugar than I expected.

Conniecrafter said...

I don't have a problem with sugary drinks I only drink water and unsweetened black tea but I have no idea how much sugar is in the yogurt I eat I will have to check that out.

Teresa said...

No suelo comer dulces, me paso muy bien sin azĂșcar. Gracias y besos.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful article about sugar ~ thanks,

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)