Having a sweet tooth is most people’s downfall. It can make giving up treats so difficult, especially when you’re trying to lose the calories and stay healthy. However, it’s not impossible to give up sugar and live a sugar-treat-free life.
Avoid cold turkey
It’s possible to quit cold turkey for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but sooner or later you’ll go back and you’ll go back hard! The best way of going forward is to eliminate one source of sugar treat at a time until your taste buds adjust to the lack of sweetness in the foods you normally eat – it sounds impossible, but it can be done! Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
The highs and the lows
Most sugars, including the kind in sweets and table sugar, have what are known as simple carbohydrates. This means the sugar breaks down quickly and can give you a nice energy spurt. The problem is that it doesn’t last and you’ll feel the need to have another snack soon after to get the energy back. Complex carbohydrates or foods which are low GI are your heroes. Instead of having that delicious bowl of chocolate rice crispies, try moving to sweetened muesli and work your way towards sugar- free oats or muesli, or bran-based cereals and plain yoghurt.
Diet sodas and sugar- free cool drinks may seem like the better alternative, but they’re just loaded with chemicals to make them sweeter without having to add sugar. This won’t help you if you’re trying to get rid of your deep desire to consume sugary beverages. In order to move away from sugar drinks and soda’s, which are one of the biggest contributors to obesity, you’ll need to reconsider what you put in your shopping basket. The best liquid for your body is normal water, but let’s face it, water is bland. Your best bet is fruit juice. Try buying 100% fruit juice, not the fruit juice blend – which has added sugar in it. Unlike soda’s, 100% fruit juice contains many nutrients and vitamins which help the body, some of them are naturally sweet, so it’s a win/win situation.
Ending off dessert with fruit
Desserts are great after a good meal and it’s a welcome treat for people who generally life a healthy lifestyle, but dessert every night is an accident waiting to happen. If you have dessert every night, consider reducing the portion sizes first, then slowly reducing the amount of days you serve dessert. When dessert is lowered to at least 2 servings a week, consider replacing the “lost days” with fruit. Sliced apples, watermelon or a bowl of grapes are naturally sweet and good for the body. Don’t serve canned fruit as it is loaded with sugar.
It’s normal to want to have a snack between meals, in fact, they are encouraged as they help prevent over-indulging when you have your meal. What to have as a snack is very important! If snacking on a chocolate bar is your thing, consider replacing it with a chocolate flavoured health bar and later move on to seed bars and eventually just snacking on nuts and seeds. Any kind of bar, be it a health bar, protein bar or chocolate bar, contains copious amounts of sugar, so it really should be avoided. Dried fruit, seeds and nuts are the best snacks as they are more nutritious, filling and have a lower GI, keeping you fuller for longer.
Follow these tips if you’re trying to cut down on sugar. However, do remember, it is OK to have a sugar treat every now and again, it’s all about moderation.