If you are thinking about cutting back on sugar, we would say that it’s the best decision you can take to improve your health and also to lose some weight in the bargain. Once you leave “added/refined” sugar out, you will notice positive changes in your body. Sugar is a major reason for inflammation in the body which puts your body at risk to develop life-threatening diseases, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Excessive sugar in the body also damages skin and leads to premature ageing. Do you know the daily recommended intake of sugar is just 6 teaspoons per day or (50 gm as per FDA), but we consume a whopping 22 teaspoons per day, and that’s almost triple the normal intake. So, in this post, we tell you how important it is to consume less sugar and ways to cut down sugar for weight loss and health.
What is Sugar Addiction?
According to experts, emotional and psychological dependence on sugary delights can lead to sugar addiction and that’s because sugar can cause a spike in energy levels temporarily and can get as addictive as cocaine. Sugar releases dopamine which gives the body a temporary “feel good” factor. Often people with anxiety and stress resort to sugary delights to give them a high. However, sugar addiction can bring along long-term health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Why to Cut Back on Sugar?
Sugar is highly addictive and it’s not easy to get off sugar, but it’s important to cut back on refined sugar because it raises inflammation in the body and pre-disposes one to heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. But we are here to tell you the benefits of cutting back on sugar. Once you cut back on refined sugar, you will notice these changes:
- You can shed weight at a much rapid rate and that’s because refined sugar adds a lot of empty calories without any nutrient value and once you cut back on sugar, your weight will start to drop.
- It can reset your taste buds.
- Reduce free radicals and toxins in the body.
- To fight depression.
- To say bye to acne/pimples
- To get rid of headaches.
16 Ways to Cut Down Sugar For Weight Loss and Health:
1. Calculate how much sugar you are consuming on a daily basis? If it goes beyond 50 gm, then it’s time to cut down on sugar. Calculate how much refined sugar and added sugar you are consuming in the form of biscuits, cakes, junk food, etc.
2. Find healthy alternatives to sugar – for example, (stevia leaves), palm sugar, coconut sugar, jaggery to include in your desserts and sweets. Here’s a list of 8 Best Healthy Replacement for Refined Sugar.
3. Completely eliminate sugar with empty calories from your diet. They add no nutritive value to your body. For example, packaged fruit juices, aerated beverages, junk food, breakfast cereals. Also, white sugar, brown sugar, and artificial sweeteners do no good.
4. Start reading ingredients list of packaged food. If sugar is listed as one of the top five ingredients, place it back on the shelf. Brands often disguise sugars with names such as as sucrose, dextrose, and fructose, so if you read them in the ingredients list, let go of the product.
5. Do not cut out all sugar from your diet, keep fruits in your diet because they are rich in vitamins and nutrients, and your body needs those nutrients.
6. Don’t cut down sugar all at once, that would only make you cranky and crave for more sugar. Cut down sugar intake gradually. For example, if you drink three cups of coffee with sugar, come down to two cups a day, and then finally only one.
7. Deficiency in chromium, phosphorus, sulphur, tryptophan can also cause sugar cravings. Check with your doctor to rule out these deficiencies and take adequate supplements.
8. The biggest culprit are added sugars that’s present everywhere from biscuits, candies, to even breakfast cereals, peanut butter. Get rid of added sugars completely from your diet.
9. Go easy on readymade meals, breakfast cereals. Start your day with a high-protein diet such as eggs, mashed sweet potato, a bowl full of oats. Indian breakfasts such as idli, dosa, poha, etc., are extremely healthy breakfast dishes. Sort your breakfast – it is easy to make packaged cereal than to make a healthy breakfast, but make that effort.
10. Use raw honey when you have intense cravings. Honey has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
11. Pick healthy snacks such as dry fruits instead of sugar-filled ones (cakes, cupcakes, biscuits, pastries, etc).
12. Pick “unsweetened” food items. Don’t confuse it with “sugar-free” products.
13. Set a cheat day to indulge in your favorite treat. This way you would be able to control cravings.
14. If you crave for a dessert, pick a fruit or a spoonful of homemade peanut butter.
What to have when you have Sugar Cravings?
1. Sweet potatoes.
2. Raw honey.
3. Raw fruits.
4. Maple syrup.
5. Stevia leaves.
6. Dates or date sugar.
7. Dry fruits.