Many people go on a diet but find that the benefits are short-lived. To successfully remain lean and healthy, you need sustainable long-term changes to your lifestyle. You can cut down your sugar intake by adopting some or all of the following habits.
How to cut down your sugar intake
1. Drink when you’re hungry
Your body often mistakes thirst for hunger. Next time you feel hungry, drink a full glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Chances are you won’t feel as hungry because the thirst has been satisfied. If you are still hungry, go ahead and snack.
2. Avoid sodas and syrups
One of the main causes of obesity is having sweetened drinks instead of water. Large amounts of sugar are needed to overcome the bitter taste of carbonated drinks. Drink plain water instead.
3. Have healthy snacks
Throw away the chips, chocolates, cakes, and biscuits. These are highly processed and sweetened products. Reach for an apple, a plain bagel, or a handful of unprocessed nuts instead.
4. Reduce portions
Eating half portions would reduce your sugar intake by half. Order that cheesecake if you must, but share it with a friend of leave half of it on the plate.
5. Eat frequently
When you become too hungry, your brain thinks you are starving. It then sends your body instructions to stock up on carbohydrates. That’s why you’re more likely to crave sugar-filled meals and eat too much. Eat before you’re hungry and this is less likely to happen.
6. Request dressing on the side
Ask for dressing to be served separately when ordering salad. You then have control about how much to use. Try dipping your fork into the dressing bowl before picking up the salad with it. A fork will pick up less dressing yet provide enough taste to satisfy you.
7. Buy unsweetened alternatives
Many cereals, juices, and yoghurts come with low sugar alternatives. The lack of taste may take getting used to at first. But once you’re accustomed to the unsweetened versions you will feel quite sick when you taste artificially sweetened foods again.
8. Reject fat-free alternatives
Trying to cut down on high-fat food may have the unintended effect of increasing your sugar intake. This is because the easiest way to make up for the lack of taste in fat-free food is to add sugar instead.
9. Avoid processed food
Avoid food in cans or packets just because they keep longer and are more convenient. Learn to deep freeze fresh meat or shop more frequently instead.
10. Understand food labels
Check food labels to see how much sugar has been added. Any ingredient that ends in ‘-ose’ is most likely a type of sugar. Compare the amount of sugar in a few different brands of the food item you want, and select the one with the lowest amount of sugar.
Other ways to cut down sugar intake
You can probably think of other ways to cut down your sugar intake. Or get more ideas from The New Sugar Busters! Cut Sugar to Trim Fat.