Learning how to eat less sugar is one of the best things that you can do for your health.
Over the past few years more and more evidence keeps coming out about how damaging excess sugar really is.
It’s one of the biggest culprits behind obesity, increasing numbers of people with type 2 diabetes, and of course tooth decay.
Some people even suggest that there are more and more direct links between too much sugar and diseases like Alzheimer’s.
That’s why cutting back on how much sugar you eat is one of the simplest ways to improve your diet and health.
Even if you can’t afford or don’t have access to organic food you can still decrease the amount of sugar in your diet and drastically improve your health.
Read on to learn how to eat less sugar and have more energy every day!
The 5 Best Ways To Cut Back On Sugar:
1) Don’t Drink Your Calories
One can of soda contains roughly 40 grams of sugar.
That’s about 150 calories.
If you drink three cans of soda a day you’re consuming nearly a quarter of your daily calories in the form of pure sugar.
And that’s all empty calories which will be absorbed so quickly into your bloodstream that your body will never be able to use it before it gets shuttled off directly to your fat cells.
Hence the term “sugar rush.”
A burst of energy that makes you feel giddy but that you can’t possibly utilize so it has to be stored for later; meaning it becomes fat.
Then you feel kind of slow and sluggish afterwards.
For years I used to drink a sweetened iced tea after lunch.
But as a teacher I realized I was setting a bad example for my students so I decided to switch to a brewed tea that I brought from home that had no sugar.
Within a week I began to notice that I had way more energy in the afternoon than I had before.
By removing just one sweet drink from my mid-day routine I had significantly improved my day.
It blew my mind!
A couple of times a month I’ll still cheat and have a soda but I can really feel the difference in my energy levels and because of that I avoid sugary drinks more and more.
If you still want a little flavor you can try adding some cinnamon to your coffee or some honey if you drink green tea.
Honey, of course, still has some sugar, but it also has some amazing health benefits that make it a better alternative.
One more thing before we move on though; don’t be fooled by fruit juices.
Their often no better than sodas with the amount of sugar that they contain and most commercial fruit juices have been so processed that they only contain a fraction of the nutrients from what they were made out of.
Stick to eating real fruits instead and you’ll be much better off.
Which leads perfectly into my next bit of advice:
2) Get Your Sugar From Natural Foods, Such As Fruit
The next time you’re craving something sweet try to grab an apple or an orange instead of a Kitkat.
Fruit can help to satisfy your sweet tooth but also provide a host of other health benefits.
Not only is fruit packed with essential vitamins which your body needs it also contains a high quantity of dietary fiber.
This high fiber content will not only help your digestive system but also slow the absorption of the sugar into your blood stream.
The reason for this is that the water soluble fiber contained in fruit forms a type of gel lining along your small intestine as it passes through.
This gel actually slows the absorption of food into your bloodstream which means you can still enjoy the taste of sugar from the fruit but can avoid the “sugar rush” that occurs when you drink a sweet drink or soda.
Your blood sugar levels stay lower after eating a slice of apple than when you drink a lemonade because the sugar enters your bloodstream at a slower pace and you have less of a whiplash effect on your metabolism.
Try to keep some fruit around your home and the next time you’re craving something sweet reach for a banana instead.
Over time this will become a habit and you’ll enjoy it more.
3) Avoid Low-Fat Products
Low-fat products at the grocery store are usually chock full of sugar to make up for the lack of taste caused by the removal of the fat.
Not to mention they’re usually highly processed and full of artificial ingredients.
For a long time the health industry blamed the eating of fat for the rise of obesity in America and this caused a wave of low-fat products to be promoted as healthy everywhere.
However, recent studies have shown that healthy fats are essential for good health and all we really need to avoid are the more processed versions such as canola oil, margarine, and all forms of trans-fats.
By removing all of the fat from foods which naturally contained them the food industry was left with bland and tasteless foods which no one would eat.
In order to remedy this they started to put large amounts of sugar into these foods in order to give them some flavor again.
If you don’t believe me just try tasting a low-fat yoghurt vs. regular yoghurt.
You can immediately tell the difference.
Avoid processed foods which would naturally contain fat but have had them replaced which huge quantities of sugar instead.
Don’t be afraid of eating healthy fats that humans have historically eaten for millennia and are a natural part of our diet.
4) Eat More Protein, Healthy Fats, And Vegetables
One of the best ways to get rid of a bad habit is to not try at all.
Instead you can smother it by adding more good habits which simply push the old habit away.
When you eat less sugar you’re naturally going to have to replace those calories with a different source.
Even if you’re trying to lose weight you don’t want to create a sudden caloric deficit of 500 calories in your diet; it’s just not healthy.
Therefore, when you remove a lot of sugar from your diet you’re going to have to adapt by eating more protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates (vegetables).
Why not just do that in reverse?
By eating more of these healthier foods you’ll naturally be fuller and feel more contented after eating than you were before.
You see, protein and fat send some of the strongest signals of satiety to your brain of any food group.
The high fiber quantity of vegetables also means that they simply take up more room in your stomach and make you feel full while containing less calories.
By eating in this way you’ll also feel full for much longer.
By eating meals that contain plenty of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables you’ll feel full for hours afterwards and your body will be getting many more of the nutrients that it needs.
Compare that with eating a bunch of donuts.
You get a quick burst of energy for an hour or two but then you feel ravenously hungry again.
The reason for this is that your body was flooded with a burst of energy that it couldn’t fully utilize and quickly faded as it was turned into fat.
On top of that your body received barely any of the micronutrients it needs to function well or the protein building blocks that you are made out of.
Try to steadily increase the amount of protein, healthy fat, and vegetables in your diet and you’ll naturally find yourself eating less junk food.
5) Don’t Go Cold Turkey
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they’re trying to change their diets is to go “cold turkey.”
Just completely remove all sugar from their diet.
Now, maybe you’re one of those special people who have such iron-clad willpower that they can actually do that but I have a feeling that if you’re reading this article you don’t.
And neither do I.
That’s why when you try to change a habit, such as eating too much sugar, you have to start very small.
Start with a small change. Something so small that it’s easy to achieve.
For example, if you drink three sodas a day try to have just one less soda a week.
Pick any day you want, let’s say Thursday, and only drink two sodas that day.
This is the, “one tooth at a time,” method.
Basically, you’re setting such an insignificant goal that there’s no way you won’t achieve it.
After a couple of weeks you’ll find yourself no longer feeling the urge to drink that third soda on other days too.
Then, once you’re down to only two sodas a day, you can aim to have one day a week where you only have one soda.
Again, this will now be an incredibly easy goal for you and in no time you’ll be feeling the itch to do more.
By slowly tackling the problem in small batches you’ve made it incredibly easy and achievable and steadily created healthier and healthier habits.
You can use this same method for any habits that you want to change or create, including exercise.
Cutting back on how much sugar you eat is one of the best possible goals you can make to improve your health and nutrition.
It’s also very easy once you make it into a habit.
Just remember these five principles:
- Don’t drink your calories
- Get your sugar from natural foods; such as fruit
- Avoid low-fat processed foods
- Eat more protein, healthy fats, and vegetables
- Start slowly, with small goals at first, to build sustainable habits
If you follow these five ideas I guarantee you can achieve your goal.
Until next time; stay healthy, strong, and happy.