Are you still trying to give up on sugar? Why? Sugar is a natural part of whole food, like fruit. It’s when it’s processed is when you have to watch out.
I have shared these 10 steps more times than I’ll admit. It’s always a little tricky for me when explaining to people how to tame their sugar habit. I mean, yes, sugar can be bad, but it can also be good.
Let’s take natural sugars, for example.
Natural sugars, like fruit and honey, have many health benefits – they contain naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients (also referred to as phytochemicals) are compounds found in plants that help protect the plant, but offer health benefits to us when we consume them.
If you recall, when sugar is artificial or processed, like in candy and soda, much needed vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are stripped out of the finished product making it more difficult for our bodies to break down the processed food and that’s when all of the health issues start. Having little to no nutrients is also the reason why artificially sweetened and processed foods are consumed in larger quantities. The body is looking for nutrient satisfaction and, therefore, your desire increases for these products.
So, if you’re looking to tame your sugar habit, perhaps having a list of 10 steps to cut-down-on-processed-and-added-sugar-and-incorporate-healthier-sugars-without-going-overboard-and-adopt-healthy-habits is a better plan to aim for.
How’s that? Better?
Here are 10 steps you can follow in order to do just that.
1. Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Do this by cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there.
2. Buy fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup. Fruit contains fructose, however, the fiber and water the fruit contains makes the fructose safe.
3. Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, add fresh fruit (like bananas, cherries or strawberries).
4. When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar in the recipe by one-third to one-half. Often you won’t even notice the difference. You can also substitute sugar with equal amounts of unsweetened applesauce. Other sugar substitutes include extracts of almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
5. Substitute white and refined carbs for ones made with whole wheat or ancient grains, like amaranth, millet, and quinoa. These types of carbs won’t give you the quick highs and lows. They will allow your blood glucose levels to stay at a level that will give you the energy you need and help you feel fuller longer.
6. Exercise. Get up and get moving. Become involved in some type of activity or sport. The more your mind is off sweets, the better off you’ll be. Plus, if you do overindulge the impact won’t be so bad because you’ll constantly be burning more calories.
7. Turn off the TV. How many items have you gone out and bought as a result of seeing the television commercial? Especially when you’re hungry. Turn off the TV to avoid temptation.
8. Get enough sleep. The less sleep you have the hungrier you get. And late at night you may have the tendency to reach for anything. So make sure you get enough sleep to balance your cravings.
9. Eat every two hours and don’t skip meals. Eating every two hours with sensible snacks and meals keeps your metabolism going and reduces the chances of grabbing just anything to eat. Also, skipping meals will drive your body into survival mode and will make cravings worse.
10. Drink more water. Remember, many times that you think you’re hungry you may actually be thirsty. Next time you want to reach for a candy bar get a glass of water and wait 30 minutes. Also, since water is a component of many food items like watermelon, soups, or teas, consuming more shouldn’t be too hard.
What can you think of to have healthier sugar habits?