Of all the addictive substances, there is one that we all enjoy – sugar. Sugar has been used since the 1100s, but it didn’t become a popular addition to our diets until the Elizabethan age in the 1600s. We don’t need sugar and yet, we all crave it.
Giving up sugar doesn’t have any detrimental effect on your health at all. And yet, it can be one of the most difficult aspects of your daily diet to change. So, how do you do it – without the pain of sweet cravings?
The important thing to realise is that quitting sugar is a lifestyle change and here’s how;
Step 1: Wave Goodbye to Processed Food
Sugar, like salt, is used to flavour and preserve food. It’s just that manufacturers of your favourite foods and sauces add so much to their products and, for a long time, without really telling you.
You will be amazed at how much sugar is in prepared and processed foods. Start by reducing processed foods in your diet gradually.
Step 2: Fruit is Your Friend But…
Fruit is full of naturally occurring sugar known as fructose, the only sweetness that you really need. BUT, not all fruit is equal and that means ditching dried or juiced fruits. As well as ditching dried and pulped fruits, don’t go overboard with fruit in your diet either. All that fructose and acid is no good for your teeth so stick to two or three portions of fresh fruit a day.
Step 3: Watch What You Drink
Hopefully, we are more aware of the high level of sugar found in soft and fizzy drinks. In a one litre bottle of a well-known fizzy drink, there is 108g of sugar. The temptation is to replace with drinks that we think are better for us.
We turn to flavoured, fizzy water as well as fruit juices, all the stuff that the packaging suggests is healthy for us. But the bad news is that even artificial sweeteners are not so great for us, and neither are some of the supposed ‘healthier’ options.
The answer: learn to love water.
Step 4: Re-Think Breakfast
Arguably the most important meal of the day could be the most sugar-laden snack you have without you knowing. A bowlful of your favourite cereal can have as much sugar as a slice of cake.
With this in mind, ditch your morning bowl of muesli and yoghurt – again, a breakfast we see as ‘healthy’ – and replace with a savoury meal instead. Enjoyed grilled tomatoes with a mushroom omelette, for example.
Is Quitting Sugar Easy?
It takes commitment, but it doesn’t take long for the effects to show. You will have more energy throughout the day because you are eating proper food and no post-lunch slump due to your artificially high sugar levels slumping.
People also report fantastic weight loss without really trying too and no one can argue with that. But, if it was easy we would all be doing because everywhere you go there is temptation. But stick with it!