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How To Stop Eating Sugar, 9 Amazing Tips
If you have spent the last year struggling with your weight loss plan, then you might want to consider one of the most important factors that can be a major roadblock in our weight loss journey.
If you are looking to shed those unwanted pounds from last year, it’s not counting calories or shrinking your meal portions that will do the trick. The most efficient way to lose weight without ever feeling hungry is – Ditch added sugars.
Yes, consuming a diet high in added sugars, such as those found in sweetened beverages, candy, baked goods, and sugary cereals, is a contributing factor in weight gain and chronic health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
The ways in which added sugar intake leads to weight gain and increased body fat are complex and involve many factors.
Aside from the calories it contains, sugar is a highly addictive substance. Some argue it is as addictive as drugs like heroin. When we eat sugar, it causes a neurotransmitter response that makes us feel good, and we experience a mild “high”. Once this feeling subsides, we end up craving it again. Studies are even showing that, like drugs such as heroin, we build up a tolerance to the sugar and end up needing more and more to produce that same high. Therefore, the calories add up and we end up gaining weight.
Although, research has found that sugar tricks your brain into wanting more and more of it. But there’s good news. A little sweetness is OK—emphasis on little. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day for women. Also okay: the sugar found in whole foods like fruits and veggies.
How To Stop Eating Sugar?
#1. Know Where It Comes From In Your Diet, Read the Labels.
One of the first tips that individuals can use to cut sweets for good is to do some quick research on the foods that are going into the body. If the food you purchase in your local grocer comes in a package that is produced from a company, then you will see a nutrition label. Nutrition labels are required by the Food and Drug Administration, and they must state the total calories, fat, carbs, and protein, in addition to four vitamins and minerals.
The best thing to start with anything you eat that has a label is to look at how much sugar is in each serving. They are usually found under the carbohydrates section, and it will state “sugar” on the label.
Sugar is often a hidden ingredient in processed foods, but a good rule is to look for words that end in “ose” like sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, high-fructose corn syrup, glucose solids.
#2. Avoid Sugar-Filled Drinks And Sodas.
One can of regular soda can contain 10 teaspoons of added sugar. That’s a lot of sugar! When you feed your body that amount of sugar in liquid form, it can make your blood sugar rise and cause your body to produce more insulin to process it. Drinking soda or other sweetened beverages regularly is associated with a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and other health problems.
Your body does not recognize calories from drinks in the same way it does from food. Drinks don’t make you feel full, so people who consume lots of calories from drinks do not eat less to compensate.
#3. Begin Your Day With Breakfast, Not Dessert.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and for a majority of adults, this is usually one of the quickest ways to get off to a bad start. The first meal of the day is touted as being one of the most important for your health, energy levels, and for feeding your brain.
Many people think breakfast cereals are a nutritious choice for children and adults.
In reality, these cereals are highly processed and contain only a small amount of whole grains. Also, nutrients are artificially added in a process called fortification.
Breakfast cereals contain mostly refined (not whole) grains and sugar.
In fact, sugar is usually the first or second item in the ingredients list. The higher on the list, the greater the quantity.
Even pancakes and waffles are made from refined flour and topped with high-sugar syrups. They may promote insulin resistance and increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other diseases.
Breakfast gives you a chance to get in some vitamins and nutrients from healthy foods like dairy, grains, and fruits. If you don’t eat it, you aren’t likely to get all of the nutrients your body needs.
Many people skip the a.m. meal because they’re rushing to get out the door. That’s a mistake. You need food in your system long before lunchtime. If you don’t eat first thing, you may get so hungry later on that you snack on high-fat, high-sugar foods.
#4. Reduce The Consumption Of Simple Carbohydrates.
Carbs are an essential part of your diet, and while excess sugar can be a health issue, cutting sugar out of your diet is not the same as cutting all carbs. However, most forms of simple carbs include nothing but refined sugars.
Typically, these simple carbs and refined sugar products can be found in the candy, cookie, and crackers aisle and this should be something you should avoid. Simple carbs and refined sugars can spike your blood sugar levels as well as insulin in your body, which can cause lethargy and weight gain.
For anyone looking to be healthy with optimal weight loss, this should be a no brainer, and the sooner you cut the simple carbs and refined sugars from your diet the better. If you love carbs, add more whole grains to your diet like brown rice, farro, and oats, as well as fresh veggies.
#5. Avoid Sugar Laden Sauces.
Sauces such as ketchup, barbecue sauce and sweet chili sauce are commonplace in most kitchens. However, most people aren’t aware of their shocking sugar content.
A single tablespoon (15-gram) serving of ketchup may contain 1 teaspoon (4 grams) (15).
Two of the four biggest ingredients in Heinz Ketchup are sweeteners. The biggest ingredient in many barbecue sauces is high fructose corn syrup. Many pickles — especially those labelled “bread and butter” — are heavily sweetened.
Although, some varieties have no added sugar. Always read the label to be sure you are choosing the lowest-sugar option.
#6. Eat Mostly Whole Foods.
Whole foods are generally those that remain close to their state in nature. They do not have additives such as sugars, starches, flavorings, or other manufactured ingredients.
They are not primarily produced in a factory; in this way, they are the opposite of processed foods. Because they are not manufactured, they are not manipulated to be addictive. Choosing mostly whole foods will provide a nutritious diet and one that is probably higher in fiber.
#7. Check for Sugar in Canned Foods.
Fruits and vegetables used for canning are picked at peak freshness, ensuring the best flavor and nutrient quality. Canned foods can be just as nutritious as fresh and frozen foods because canning preserves many nutrients.
The amount of minerals, fat-soluble vitamins, protein, fat and carbohydrate remain relatively unchanged by the process of canning.
While canned foods can be easy and convenient, there are factors to consider when choosing nutritious options. When purchasing canned fruit, pick varieties that are canned in water, 100 percent juice or in its own juices.
Many varieties of fruit come packed in light or heavy syrup, which equates to added sugars. Choose canned vegetables without added salts, labeled “no salt added” or “low sodium.”
Be mindful that cans marked “reduced sodium” are not necessarily sodium-free. Draining and rinsing canned beans and vegetables can reduce the sodium content as well.
#8. Eat More Fats And Proteins.
To curb sugar cravings, stock up on protein and fat-rich whole foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, full-fat dairy products, avocados and nuts.
Added sugar in the diet, particularly fructose, increases appetite. The signals that usually let your brain know that you are full do not work properly, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.
On the other hand, protein has been proven to reduce appetite and hunger. If you feel full, then you are less likely to crave the quick hunger fix that sugar provides..
Protein has also been shown to directly reduce food cravings.
A high fat intake is also associated with reduced appetite. According to the fat content of a food, fat receptors in the mouth and gut alter the way it’s digested. This causes a reduction in appetite and subsequently, calorie intake.
#9. Don't Keep Sugar in the House.
This is probably the most effective way to altogether cut down sugar from your diet.
If you keep high-sugar foods in the house, you are more likely to eat them.
It takes a lot of willpower to stop yourself if you only have to go as far as the pantry or fridge to get a sugar hit.
Although cravings for snacks and sweet foods can occur at any time of the day or night, they may be worse in the evenings.
It is important to consider how you’re going to distract yourself when you feel the need to eat something sweet.
To avoid the temptation to eat something loaded with sugar and unhealthy – try to keep some healthy, low-sugar snacks in the house to munch on instead.
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