You probably already know that too much sugar is bad for you. It causes a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, inflammation and more. When it comes to weight loss, many people focus on cutting calories or cutting fat but often neglect to cut sugar.
Another problem is that sugar content in foods is sneaky. You may not realize just how much sugar you are really consuming.
How Can I Cut Back On Sugar?
Cutting sugar may feel like an overwhelming task, especially once you realize just how much sugar is in the foods you eat every day. Not only that, but sugar is addictive, and stopping it is sometimes easier said than done. Here are some tips to make it easier.
1. Avoid obvious sources of sugar. Cutting soda and candies is a good first step. These are full of sugar and don't contain any useful ingredients. Replace soda with mineral water with lemon and snack on fruit like strawberries or raspberries instead of candy.
Fruit also contains sugar (some more than others). Berries are delicious, filled with nutrients and lower in sugar than fruits like pineapples and mangoes, for example.
2. Read labels. Most packaged and prepared foods contain a lot of sugar. This may come in forms such as high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, etc. Anything that ends in "ose" is a sugar. This includes lactose, which is found in dairy products. Condiments are a major culprit. Ketchup is high in sugar, as is mayo.
Many "health" foods contain a ton of sugar. Don't be fooled by "low calorie" or "low fat" labels. Those statements don't mean that a food is healthy. In fact, many foods that cut fat just make up for the loss of flavor by increasing the sugar content.
3. Replace the sugar. If sugar is a big part of your diet, you can't just cut it and leave it at that. You might struggle and find yourself falling off the wagon. Increase your intake of other healthy foods to help you stay off sugar. Consume more protein. Find low or no sugar alternatives to some of your favorite foods. For example, if you are having a chocolate craving, try dark chocolate.
Drink lots of water, don't let yourself get hungry and get plenty of exercise. Over a surprisingly short period of time, your sugar cravings will subside. In fact, you may lose your sweet tooth altogether. Even after just a few days you will find that your tolerance for sweets goes down considerably.
For more tips on nutrition, fitness and health, consider a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo can create a custom fitness plan for you.
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