Use Applesauce When Baking
If homemade baked goods are your dietary kryptonite, we get it. Warm, gooey cookies are hard to say no to and even harder to stop eating once you’ve started. The goods news is, simply swapping out sugar for unsweetened applesauce can save you hundreds of calories! While one cup of the white stuff has more than 770 calories, the same amount of applesauce has about 100. Depending on how big your cookies are that could easily save you between 20 and 80 calories a pop! While we don’t endorse eating cookies in excess, if your sweets have been healthified, eating one or two extra likely won’t do too much damage to your waistline.
Note: If you’re swapping out sugar for applesauce, a 1:1 ratio works fine but for every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup.
Make Alterations When Ordering Out At Restaurants
Don’t be afraid to make special requests at restaurantsask for your smoothie without agave or get your chicken’s marinara on the side. This simple asks can slash hundreds of calories from your meal and keep excess sugar out of your mouth. When possible, scan sugar counts of restaurant dishes online before you dine and if the sugar count seems on the higher side, see how your server can alter your order.
Get Started Cutting Down On Sugar With These Tips:
- Toss the table sugar , syrup, honey and molasses. Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there.
- Swap out the soda. Water is best, but if you want something sweet to drink or are trying to lose weight, diet drinks can be a better choice than sugary drinks.
- Eat fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits. Choose fruit canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup. Drain and rinse in a colander to remove excess syrup or juice.
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How Did We Get Here
Its not an accident. The sugar industry has conducted an aggressive, decades-long campaign to blame the obesity epidemic on fats, not sugars. Fats, after all, seem as if they should cause obesity. Thanks partly to that campaign, sugar consumption soared in the United States even as people were trying to lose weight. But research increasingly indicates that an overabundance of simple carbohydrates, and sugar in particular, is the No. 1 problem in modern diets. Sugar is the driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemics. Fortunately, more people are realizing the harms of sugar and cutting back.
What They Call Themselves
Found naturally in plain milk, lactose loses its natural form when its added and undergoes the manufacturing process for beverages and packaged food. Other examples of names that may convince you that youre eating the natural form are brown rice sugar and cane sugar.
These are sugars that have gone through the refinement process and are often added to food to boost their flavours. Here are some other alternative names used for refined sugar thats hidden in the list of ingredients on food packaging:
- Blackstrap molasses
Once again, this list isnt exhaustive and it pays to do your research before buying a product containing ingredients youve never heard of before. Expect to find some form of refined sugar in foods such as protein shakes, alcohol, vinegar and fresh juice.
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Tips On How To Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet
Be wary of any diet which says its completely sugar free. Sugar naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables. And its really not terrible for you as a matter of fact some sugar is a necessity in your diet.
What you need to eliminate is the added sugars youll find in many processed foods today. This includes the sugar you find in soft drinks, cookies, cakes, pies, chocolates, fruit drinks, and desserts.
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Consume Electrolytes In Your Daily Diet
When you first lower carbohydrate intake, your body is likely to drop water weight quickly. Dropping 8 pounds of water will flush electrolytes and youll want to replenish what has been lost. Get a natural hydration powder and sea salt to add to your water and drink large amounts of it it might prevent neck cramping, charley horses, and keep the corners of your mouth from cracking.
I encourage you to remember, also, that among the most common mistakes people make when lessening carb intake, is to forget to simultaneously increase their uptake of healthy fats. Make sure to have enough fat!
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Can You Quit Sugar Cold Turkey
Knowing how to quit sugar is one thing but should you go cold turkey or take it slowly? Cutting down can be tough and going cold turkey rarely gets long-lasting results, warns Rob. Psychology plays a huge role as mood, boredom and habit can drive your desire for the sweet stuff. A lack of sleep, skipping meals, hormones and visual temptation can also contribute to sugar cravings, he says.
But there are ways to manage this challenging period. Some people suffer blood sugar imbalances making them feel rather jittery. But this can be avoided by eating sufficient protein, advises Suzie.
If you find the thought of going cold turkey too extreme weaning yourself off slowly may suit you better. A useful approach is to make small changes to your diet. Reduce the sugar you add to coffee or tea, choose lower-sugar food products and switch sweet treats for healthy alternatives such as fresh fruit, suggests Rob.
Breaking The Sugar Cycle
My challenge started on a Friday. By Wednesday, I was hitting proverbial brick walls left and right, with so little energy and no resources to give myself a quick “jolt” to get through the afternoon. I was also irritable, which made work difficult and daunting. Naps were my friend in this period. They provided energy, and they let me escape a bit of the sugar-free meltdown.
That period lasted about 24 hoursI liken it to the keto flu during the first few days of the keto dietand then it was over. After that, it was smooth sailing, as long as I avoided the sugar pitfalls of office birthday parties and free cookies at the farmers’ market.
But that’s just the challengesugar is everywhere. Avoiding it is a bit like avoiding sunlight. No matter what you do, it will get in, so you have to be smarter than the sugar.
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Day : Make Over Your Grains
Consider refined grains basically just sugar in the form of simple carbohydrates. In fact, you might not think you have a sweet tooth, but if youre eating bagels and pasta on a regular basis, youre probably fooling yourself, according to Brooke Albert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., founder of B Nutritious. Foods like pizza can have a lot of hidden added sugars from the sauce and crust, she says
The fix: Eat carbs, but make them whole-grain. Brown rice, sprouted-grain bread, and quinoa are all your friends. Try eating up to three servings a day of 100% whole grains. People who do so are 76 times more likely to get the most fiberwhich has been linked with weight loss.
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Ditch The Diet Drinks
‘Dont be fooled into thinking that a diet drink is a healthier choice,’ says nutritionist Sarah ONeill.
‘Various research has confirmed that diet drinks may in fact increase sugar cravings, meaning youre more likely to eat more of the white stuff in the long run.
‘Lifehack: have a glass of sparkling water with fresh mint or lime, served in a wine glass, instead.’
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Lower Heart Disease Risk
High triglycerides raise your risk of heart disease. Less added sugar can lower those levels and may help stop weight gain and fat buildup linked to heart disease. If you get more than 20% of your calories from added sugar — even if youâre at a healthy weight — you may be able to lower your heart disease risk when you cut back.
Learn How To Stop Eating Sugar For Good
Try giving up sugar for 2 weeks to see just how much better you feel, and how much better you look. When you see positive results from short-term changes, youll be motivated to make the long-term changes necessary for real transformation.
Know that breaking the sugar habit is far from simple. When you decide to stop eating sugar, it wont be easy. But it will be worth it.
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Lifelong Takeaways From My 30 Days Without Sugar
Complete sugar abstinence won’t be my goal in the future, but I am quite certain I’ll incorporate elements of a no-sugar lifestyle moving forward. For example, I have tried, since the challenge ended, to eat mostly no-sugar by sticking with more natural sources and balancing my added sugar intake more evenly. I don’t believe in “cheat days” per se, but I have established a bit of a sugar-free zone during the week so that my sugar splurges are limited to just one or two days on the weekend.
I firmly believe everyone could benefit from a hard break from sugar, as long as their health allows it. It’s an eye-opening way to grasp how much sugar you actually eat in a day and recognize the habits you’ve formed around sugar, from popping a mint after your cup of coffee to grabbing a handful of chocolate-covered pretzels when you swing by the office snacks. If you’re feeling up for the challenge, 30 days without added sugar can help you reset your sugar cravings. Good luck going for a month that’s a little less sweet.
Quash Sugar Cravings With Tea
Next time you’re having a hard to ignore the sweet-tooth attack, fix yourself a cuppa tea. Mint, ginger, cinnamon, and Chai teas will all help you fend off those longings by hitting that “sweet spot” without sugar overload, explains Brown. And with so many varieties, it’s hard to get bored. If you need to sweeten it up, add just a teaspoon of honey , which is a bit healthier for you than straight sugar or sweeteners.
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Are Sugar Substitutes Better For You
There are sweeteners that can replace sugar and some are kilojoule-free. Theyre often used to sweeten drinks such as tea or coffee, or as an alternative to sugar when baking or cooking.
There are 3 types of sugar substitutes:
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose have no kilojoules. They are used widely by the food industry in products labelled diet or no sugar.
- Nutritive sweeteners such as fructose, isomalt, mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol and polydextrose are not kilojoule-free. They either have the same energy than sugar.
- Natural intense sweeteners such as stevia and monk-fruit extract are kilojoule-free and generally made from plants. Because they are much sweeter than sugar, only small amounts may be needed.
Remember, sugar substitutes may still cause tooth decay, and evidence is mixed regarding whether they help with weight loss.
Tips To Smash Sugar Cravings
Note that you dont have to and may not need to completely avoid sweet foods. Sweet is one of the 5 basic tastes, and some people find that completely avoiding sweet foods intensifies the cravings.Others, however, find sweet foods triggering.
Treat yourself to sugar free treats made with monk fruit or stevia, like this cashew cake batter pudding. Or even a piece of fruit with nut butter. Some people avoid binge behavior by just satisfying cravings for sweets with some dark chocolate or something sweet. This is not true for everyone, however: Some people may experience serious binge reactions if they eat sweet foods.
Here are some tips to keep blood sugar stable and cravings in check:
If you overdid it: The day after a sugar binge, start off with 8 ounces hot water and the juice of 1/2 a lemon to detoxify, and drink green vegetable juices if you have access to alkalize the body sugar is very acidic. Then stick to protein & veggies & plenty of good fats, like avocado, throughout the day to reset yourself.
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Painless Ways To Cut Sugar Out Of Your Diet
Its no surprise that refined white sugar is pretty bad for your health. But how do you cut sugar out of your diet for good?
Those who have been Paleo for a while know how great they feel when they limit sugar, and everyone knows that its a big no-no for diabetics. But what about for everyone else? Should they try to cut sugar out completely, or just limit their intake? Is sugar really that bad?
Sugar comes in numerous forms, and its almost impossible to avoid if you eat any type of processed or already-prepared foods. So whats one to do? Are some sugars worse than others? And how do you avoid it?
In need of a sugar detox?
What Are The Benefits Of Removing Refined Sugars From Your Diet
Removing refined sugars from your diet has many benefits including the following:
- Improved digestion and better gut health
- More clarity and focus and less brain fog
- Improved sleep and waking up feeling refreshed
- Better moods with reduced levels of anxiety and depression
- Healthy skin with fewer acne breakouts
- Improved weight management and less diet seesawing
- The overall sense of wellness
Eliminating foods that contain refined sugar from your diet gives you more energy and zest for life while reducing the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes.
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Cut Back On Sugary Drinks
Most added sugars in the American diet come from sugary drinks sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and others .
Additionally, drinks that many people perceive as healthy, such as smoothies and fruit juices, can still contain astounding amounts of added sugar.
For example, 1 cup of cranberry juice cocktail contains more than 7 teaspoons of sugar .
Additionally, your body doesnt recognize calories from drinks in the same way as those from food. Calories from drinks are absorbed quickly, resulting in a rapid increase in your blood sugar level.
Drinks also dont make you feel as full as solid food, so people who consume lots of calories from drinks dont eat less to compensate (
If Youve Got It Really Bad Here Is Supplemental Support
- 500 mg 1000mg of glutamine really helps some people. Break open the capsules and empty under your tongue, then swallow with water. This does not work for everyone.
- certain minerals like chromium help arrest sugar cravingsyou can often find them in blood sugar balance blends with other herbs or nutrients to help stop sugar cravings. Examples are gymnema, alpha lipoic acid, and even cinnamon. Body Ecology Ancient Minerals is awesome.
- Try this crave arrest to help balance brain chemicals that can cause cravings.
- Have a cup of green tea. It may sound preposterous, but we sometimes mistake hunger or craving cues for thirst, and the minerals in green tea give you a boost. Minerals in general also help stop sugar cravings. Drink lots of green juicesvery high in minerals!
- Have a protein snack using suggestions above. As I mentioned, when blood sugar is low, you actually need protein, not sugar.
Stick to dark chocolate it has health benefitsor truffles over hard candy, and bring treats that dont contain refined sugars to parties. Its ok to treat yourself every once in a while, and I often recommend sugar busting snacks in the afternoon, like coconut butter or coconut oil melted with almond butter and a bit of honey that can satisfy a craving. Remember that indulging in too much sugar every day will only make sugar cravings worse, so save the treats for parties and special occasions.
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The Many Names Of Added Sugar
Itâs in about three-quarters of all prepackaged foods at the grocery store and has more than 50 names, so it can be hard to keep up. Some of the more common ones are corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, raw sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, agave, brown rice syrup, coconut palm sugar, barley malt syrup, and more. Look for a list of names from a reputable source if you want to be sure of what youâre buying.
Monitor Your Sleep Patterns
Whether you sleep well or not, your blood sugar increases every night as a part of the natural human circadian rhythm cycle. Many studies have confirmed that short sleepers alter your appetite-regulating hormones. These people crave added sugar, have irregular eating habits, and snack on unhealthy food items.
Getting a good nights sleep helps you lower stress levels, improve your memory, and help you make healthier food and lifestyle choices. It will also be beneficial for your health to avoid daytime napping.
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Treatment For Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
Sugar withdrawal doesnt really require long-term treatment, because it will pass relatively quickly. The main problem is sustaining a low-sugar diet. These restrictive diets are too much for most people, so dont feel guilty if this eating pattern doesnt work for you.
The key to changing your eating pattern is to find something you can live with long-term. If going sugar-free for three weeks is going to make you binge next month, try a less drastic plan.
A diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will help you sustain a healthy weight while giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive. Try to avoid processed foods, as they tend to be packed with added sugars. Instead, get your sweet fix from something that contains fiber, like berries, oranges, or apples.