You might be wondering just why it makes sense to cut sugar out of your diet, so in this blog post I'm going to tell you exactly why you should, along with some easy and effective quick tips that will help you slash your sugar intake.
Too much sugar can have such a detrimental effect on your everyday life as well as your overall longterm health, so cutting down on can not only make you look and feel better, but it may help reduce the likelyhood of serious diseases further down the line.
With sugar lurking in just about everything we eat these days, it 's good to understand just how much you might be eating - often without even knowing it.
Sugar is added to nearly 75% of processed foods because food manufacturers know only too well sugar can make food taste better.
And the real shame is that it actually doesn’t need to be in there - foods can taste just as good without it, but unfortunately we have just become so accustomed to these sweet flavours.
Quitting sugar can have a really positive impact on your life including weight loss, increased energy and better skin.
There are literally so many benefits to kicking the sugar habit it’s one of the simplest yet most effective changes you can make to your diet.
You can read in detail about all of the health benefits of a sugar free diet in my blog 17 Amazing Things That Happen When You Stop eating Sugar.
The recommended daily amount of sugar is 25g (7 tsp) for a woman and 35g (9tsp) for a man, yet the average person is eating and drinking way more than this. Sugar hides everywhere, and you’d be surprised how quickly you can reach your daily limit without even knowing it - and that’s before we start tucking into the obvious things like chocolate bars!
Unfortunately, sugar is highly addictive and isn’t easy to give up. With tests proving that sugar can be addictive as cocaine, cutting down or quitting can be tricky if you are really hooked.
If you’d like to quit sugar completely you should sign up for my 21 Day Sugar Detox Program where I will give you all the tools you need to quit sugar for good, including guided meditation session, daily video tutorials, meal plans and a whole lot more.
And even if you aren’t ready to give up sugar for good, you can cut slash your sugar intake today by following these great tips.
1. CHANGE WHAT YOU DRINK
This is such an easy way to cut sugar from your life. You’d be amazed just how much sugar is consumed in liquid form, be it a can of coke, a cup of tea or a takeout coffee.
The average can of coke contains around 35g of sugar, which is the full daily recommended limit for an adult male, and 10g OVER the same limit for a woman. Fruit juices can be just as bad. An apple juice can contain the same amount of sugar as a can of coke.
So swap these sugary junk drinks for carbonated or still water, it may feel plain to begin with, but you'll soon get used to the ‘clean’ taste.
Cut down on your sugar in tea and coffee bit by bit, you may have a full sugar in your tea ‘out of habit’. Change that ‘habit’ to half a teaspoon. Just shake a little bit more off the spoon every day and make your new habit to be that little bit more healthy!
2. DON’T GET HUNGRY
This is the most dangerous time for a sugar addict! Make sure that you eat three healthy meals per day, plus healthy snacks mid morning and mid afternoon to make sure you don’t get hungry.
As soon as we get hungry, that’s the danger zone for making poor eating decisions, where we might just grab a quick fix that’s really not so good.
I have a list of handy, healthy snacks on my website. Try things like crunchy baked chickpeas, savoury popcorn, or even the overnight porridge. Having something like this to hand when ever you feel like a snack will keep you away from the sugar.
And be on the lookout for out for things like granola or oat bars - always check the labels for the ingredient list and 'carbohydrate of which sugars'. While their packaging might scream ‘I’m healthy’, many of them contain as much sugar as a Mars bar! See tip number 5 below - Always Read The Labels!
3. GO FULL FAT
Most low fat products are loaded with sugar, because once you remove the fat from a food, it can taste like cardboard. This is why so many big food companies often replace the fat with sugar.
The ‘low fat’ diet industry has been peddling these products for years, even though a low fat product loaded with sugar is going to make you fat! Fat is an essential and healthy part of your diet, so eat full fat dairy, like milk and yoghurt, because fat does not make you fat. Extensive research has shown that the fructose found in all sugars is far more likely to make you fat.
Believe it or not fat actually makes you feel full and you’ll eat less!
4. IT ALL STARTS AT THE SUPERMARKET
Cutting out sugar can be hard, it really is addictive stuff. So if you are planning on going sugar free make sure you get rid of anything that might tempt you from your cupboards. And this all starts with the shopping so don’t put anything naughty into your basket - if you don’t buy it you can’t eat it!
If you can exercise will power at the till you’re half way there - by making one tough decision in the supermarket, you save yourself a lot more tougher decisions back at home trying to resist those sugary snacks.
And remember, you need your brain to be making the decisions at the supermarket, not your stomach, so it goes without saying, never EVER go food shopping when you’re hungry!
5. ALWAYS READ THE LABELS
Ingredients are listed in order of quantity in the product - the higher up the list, the more there is, so anything with sugar in the first five ingredients is high in sugar.
Also, under the nutrition label, look for 'carbohydrate of which sugars'. This is what tells you how much sugar there is in any product. Anything over 5g per 100g is high in added sugar.
Astonishingly, 52% of Americans don’t know how to read a food label - so make sure you do! And don’t be fooled by ‘healthy’ looking packaging. Things like ‘all natural’, ‘no added sugar’, gluten free’ and ‘vegan’ are all sneaky ways of making foods sound better than they are. The label on the back never lies!!
6. BEWARE THE HONEY TRAP
Sugar can go under many sneaky names. Don’t be fooled into thinking honey, brown sugar or agave syrup are ‘healthy options’. They all break down to the same thing, glucose and fructose. If it’s sweet, then too much is a bad thing, whatever it’s called! Would you believe there are over 60 different names for the different forms that sugar comes in!
Almost all types of sugar are made up of roughly 50% glucose and 50% fructose. The glucose is less of a problem because it is actually the energy source of all living cells and it keeps us going! What is more of an issue is the fructose because it can only be processed by the liver and if the liver gets hit with too much at once, it just turns it into fat.
So if you really want to start to control your sweet tooth and get back in control of your eating choices you need to start cutting down on any type of sweetener, artificial ones included.
In my 21 Day Sugar Detox Program I walk you through the entire process of detoxing from sugar and breaking the sugar addiction cycle. Once you have recalibrated your system (and your tastebuds!) you will be able to make sensible food choices that aren’t driven by cravings or an addiction. And surprisingly, you will still be able to eat sugar once you complete the detox - you just might not want to!
7. DON’T BUY PROCESSED FOOD - JUST COOK!
The best tip I can give anyone trying to cut sugar out of their lives is to cook your own food. It’s amazing how little time people spend on nourishing their bodies, even though our health is the most important thing we have. Without our health we literally have nothing, so nothing else should be more important, yet we are all to often too busy to pay attention to our bodies needs.
Modern lives are so filled with distractions, yet most people claim they 'don’t have the time to cook'. If you cook your own food, you know exactly what’s in it, which means you can ‘eat real every meal!’
Cooking can be great fun, so make sure you put time aside in your day to give yourself and your family food that will nourish, energise and make you feel great!
Even if you just start once or twice a week, getting into the habit of cooking for yourself is really important, not only for adults but for kids too.
I really hope this blog will give you some help in cutting down on your sugar, but if you feel any of this feels like it might be difficult to do, it could be that you are addicted to sugar.
Don’t worry, millions of people are addicted, often without knowing, (I was myself!) - so maybe YOU SHOULD consider my 21 Day Sugar Detox Program. The program takes you through the whole detox process step by step, with daily email and video tutorials, guided meditation sessions, specially designed meal plans and a whole lot more.
Maybe it’s time you quit sugar took back control of your eating habits?