When you’re wanting to cut back on sugar, you’ll scroll through the internet and find so many different they are supposedly effective. There are experts and other people out there who will state that going cold turkey is the best way; which is counteracted by others who say cutting back on sugar requires doing so a little at a time.
So, which is better? Well, it’s completely dependent on the individual, you’ll know if you’re someone who can jump right into something or instead someone that can only cope with smaller steps. Either way, both approaches can be applied to getting that extra sugar out of your diet.
We refer to it as “extra sugar” because although sugar is seen as the devil at times, we can’t cut it out entirely. It is recommended that men limit their added sugars to around nine teaspoons each day, this is about 36 grams or 150 calories.
Consuming too much sugar can lead to a whole host of health and wellness issues and sadly, most people eat more than the daily recommended limit. If we work with your style, let’s take a look into the smart ways of cutting back on sugar.
For those going cold turkey
Clean out your cabinets
To ensure you can fully eliminate these foods from your diet, empty your cabinets of all the sugary, processed snacks. If they aren’t in your home, you can’t be tempted, making it much easier for you.
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Schedule in any “cheats”
We’re only human, at some point, you’re going to have more sweet things than planned or intended. If you decide that you are going to have a few treats a week, then there are some things you’ll need to plan in advance.
Firstly, you’ll want to plan when you’re going to have them and then what it is you’re going to have. Right, this next step is probably the most important… have the sweets out of the house. Go to a restaurant or cafe and order what it is you’d like, then there is no danger of seconds.
Replace your sugar rush
How do you plan to replace the things sugar has been giving you? If you’re someone that enjoys a bowl of ice cream whilst watching a movie in the evenings, then you’ll need to think of what else you can do to unwind.
Many people enjoy sugar as an afternoon rush, so perhaps something like tea or coffee would be a suitable replacement. To make this work, take a look over your day and think about where you reach for sugar most, and put some strategies in place to do things instead.
If you want to cut out sugar in stages
Go for low-sugar
Think about your diet as a whole and look at where the sugar is coming from. Doing this will make it easier to see where you can cut back. For example, if you notice that you’re eating a fair amount of sweetened yogurt, then perhaps switch to an unsweetened one and top it with fruit, etc.
There are still plenty of sweet things you can eat that aren’t full of sugar and there are more opportunities to trim than you’d think. Even what you think is a little thing can add up to a lot.
Try to get to a minimum
So, an example of this would be syrup on your pancakes; start by measuring out the portion you would usually have. Many people are shocked to find that they could be pouring around a ¼ cup of syrup on their breakfast, but it doesn’t seem like much when you’re free pouring it.
Instead of this, measure a tablespoon and pour this over your pancakes instead. If this seems too little, then maybe add another spoonful, it would still be only half of what you’d have before.
Beware of cutting corners
It wouldn’t be ideal to just cut out sugar completely, as we’ve already mentioned, you need to add something good in its place. When you think back to that syrup, perhaps substitute some of the syrup for a banana or some strawberries. You’ll get the sweetness without the sugar overload.
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It works the same way for all your meals, desserts, and snacks. You may be someone that enjoys a bar of chocolate, instead, try having dark chocolate and pairing it with some fruit or nuts. Cookies are another one too, have two cookies and a glass of milk instead of 6 cookies. Don’t eat less or starve yourself, swap for better.
However you decide to handle it
Whether you’re going the whole hog and emptying your kitchen cabinets or taking it slow by making some smart food swaps, you’ll all need to be doing this.
Watch what you drink
We all ignore calories and nutrition when it comes to drinks. It may come as a shock but there are loads of drinks that are packed with sugar. It’s not just the sodas and fruit juices either, the iced teas and frappe coffees are up there too.
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If you prefer your tea of coffee sweeter, buy it unsweetened and add your own sugar to it; you could also sprinkle a little cinnamon over your coffee to give it a little something. Another idea is to add a ton of ice to your coffee or iced tea, this will dilute the drink and slow you down.
Of course, your aim is to get the sugar intake down, but don’t let it consume your life and stress about it. We’re all different and cope with change in different ways, so what works for you, may not be the case for someone else. But, that doesn’t matter, do what works for you.
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