Let’s talk sugar! Mainly how to cut down on your sugar intake with simple, practical tips! I’m all about keeping it simple so these are some things that have really helped me cut out a lot of processed sugar without feeling restricted or going on a binge. This is a pretty big feat when I look back and consider that sugar used to be a major food group for me! (Video a the bottom if you’d rather watch/listen!)
Before we get started, everything in moderation is ok. I’m a big believer in indulging on Christmas, birthdays. other special occasions, and even having smaller ‘treats’ or ‘cheats’ weekly if it keeps you on the nourishing food train most of the time! Cause it’s important to remember that what we do most of the time is what creates our progress! It’s also important to still be able to feel like we’re living life during our health and fitness lifestyle so a lot of this is going to be finding your own balance.
I also want to say that if some of these suggestions feel like a huge switch for you, just pick one and try it out for a few week and build up from there! I promise I didn’t just one day wake up and start eating better. It was a lot of small steps that gradually got me to a healthier, more balanced and nourishing style of eating! So don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight for you! It doesn’t happen overnight for any of us! You’ve got this!
Here we go guys!
Start making your own treats. It’s really easy to eat a crazy amount of processed sugar when we are buying pre made sweet regularly. The companies that make these aren’t thinking about your healthy, they want the candy, baked or good or whatever it is to be as delicious as possible and will use whatever amount of processed, benefit-less sugar they need to for you to keep buying it! This isn’t too hard for them when sugar is an addicting substance to begin with! Making your own treats at home can come with massive benefits! You know what goes in to it, and you can choose to use a sweetener with some actual benefits like date paste, raw honey or even coconut sugar. That way you can get your sweet tooth on without all the empty calories and crazy sugar load!
Make sure you’re eating enough and choosing nourishing foods. One thing that we often don’t think about is why we’re craving so much sugar. Sometimes we just allow ourselves to get too hungry, I’ve been there. It’s been too long since my last snack or meal and my body just wants a quick sugar rush so it doesn’t feel so dang horrible! Luckily most of the time this is an easy fix! Make sure you’re eating enough at meals and keeping healthy snacks with you on the go! Keeping stable blood sugar levels by eating enough can be really helpful with most cravings in general.
Choosing foods that nourish you, and have benefits most of the time is also going to help keep those sugar cravings at bay. We really don’t have to go deep here but when we’re lacking certain nutrients it can sometimes come across as a weird craving. A lot of times that can be a sugar craving even though eating a sugary processed treat is not going to help us get that vitamin or mineral in our system! Just knowing this can help us to stop and think, ‘have I had enough veggies? Protein? etc’.
Start checking the ingredients list. When we do opt for food that comes pre packaged for us, it’s important to know what we’re getting. We wanna look at that food label but not for the nutrition facts. We wanna know what’s in the food, so look at the ingredients. It’s amazing all the things that we wouldn’t consider a sugary treat, actually have added sugar in them! I’m talking things like peanut butter, dressings, crackers, whole grain breads, granola, protein bars and more! The list is endless. So before you just grab something off the shelf, do a little ingredient list reading and make sure to go with your best option. For example, you can either make your own granola, or choose the one with the least amount of added sugar. Some have so much! There are also peanut butter brands that have no added sugar or oils! I’m not saying you have to go nuts here! But every couple of grams of added sugar you can avoid adds up! 🙂
So now let’s talk about the fruit controversy. How can fruit be good for you if it’s full of sugar!?
Fruit is hydrating. Most fruits are made up of a significant amount of water. Some 80% or more of us don’t get enough water daily, fruit (and veggies) can help with this!
Fruit is full of vitamins and minerals. A lot of the vitamins and minerals are key for lots of normal body functions! A lot of these nutrients we can only get from certain fruits or veggies!
Fruit has fiber. So, that sugar spike that you get from eating baked goods and candy? You’re not going to get that from eating whole fruit. It has fiber that slows down the sugar spike and doesn’t create the cycle of sugar high and crash like processed sweets do.
So guys, let’s get our servings of fruit in, and a few less servings of processed sugar 🙂
Sweat, Smile, Repeat! And Eat!