Are you on a mission to lose some weight but not yet successful? Have you been hitting the gym with the hope of losing those flabs but no luck? Regular exercise alone is not sufficient to lose weight and to get that fabulous body you desire. It is very important to watch what you eat. The first step is to cut down consumption of sugar.
Sugar accounts for about 16 percent of the calories in an average person’s diet. This means that if you consume 2000 calories in a day, about 320 calories comes from sugar. So by cutting down sugar from your diet, you can easily lose some weight.
Excess sugar consumption can cause a lot of problems like binge eating, gaining weight, depression, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart related problems. Therefore, it is very important that you control the intake of sugar.
For most people, this is easier said than done. So how do people who have a sweet tooth or intense sugar cravings cut back on sugar? Here are some steps to cut back on sugar without feeling out of control.
Identification of sugar and sugar products
The first step in controlling your sugar addiction is to find out where the sugar is coming from. Chocolates, sweets, cookies, ice creams, and pastries are obvious foods rich in sugar that you will stay away from. But hidden sugar will be present in some food that you consider healthy and nutritious.
Study the ingredients in the food label. If any of the following ingredients show up, it means that sugar has been added and you better stay away from that product.
- White/brown/raw sugar
- Corn/malt/maple/pancake syrup
- Confectioner’s Sugar
- Crystal/anhydrous dextrose
- Liquid Fructose
Out of sight, out of mind!
Once you have identified the food products rich in sugar, the next step is to get rid of those food items. Clear out your kitchen and fridge by disposing food like candy, sweets, aerated drinks and chocolate bars. If you don’t have them, you won’t be tempted to eat them. However, remember it is completely ok to consume food with naturally occurring sugar. These include milk, whole fruits and other dairy products.
Restock your kitchen
Now that your kitchen is free of all the unhealthy processed food, it is time to go shopping to replace the items you have thrown off. Now that you know what to look for, take time in buying healthy and nutritious food. Buy fruits and nuts to snack in between meals. Have skimmed yoghurt or a frozen fruit as dessert. When thirsty, drink ice cold water with a dash of fresh lemon or orange. Or opt for iced green tea.
Now that you don’t have any access to sugar rich food, it is time to put your plan to action. Now you need to make a conscious effort to stay away from sugary food. Distract yourself with a long walk, bath or a good book when the craving strikes. Initially it will definitely be a Herculean task to say no to sugary food. But as the weeks progress, it will be easier. Soon it will be a habit for you to reach out for frozen yoghurt as dessert.
The Final Plan
Now since you have a control over your sugar cravings, it is important for you not to slip back. It is not possible for most people to avoid sugar for the rest of their lives. So, you can let a bit of sugar and sweetness back into your life, but in moderation. Save it up for special occasions but do not let it become a habit again. If you do slip up, do not lose hope. Get your plan back into action and start all over again.
There are lots of healthy ways of making desserts and cakes by using less sugar. For example, when making a fruit pie, you can reduce sugar and add ingredients like cinnamons and cloves. These savory spices can make the dessert rich and is also healthier for you. You can also substitute sugar with fruit purees in desserts and sauces. Fruits like peaches are rich in fiber and are a much healthier option than adding processed sugar. For those whose coffees need to be sweetened can opt for natural sweeteners.
Too much sugar adds to your bulging waistline as well as puts your life at risk. So follow these tips to get a control over your sweet tooth and enjoy a healthy disease free life.