One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions I hear about from clients is to stop eating sugar. Sugar is ubiquitous in a standard American diet and hides in many places you wouldn’t expect. Our body is wired to crave sugar because our first food, breast milk, is filled with gut health nurturing lactose. Throughout life, our body needs carbohydrates to function but simple sugars should be avoided. Focusing on complex carbs like whole grains, beans, peas, fruit and vegetables is important in a healthy diet. But what if you find simple sugars like baked goods, candy and pop have a regular place in your life? Following these steps below can help you decrease the sugar in your diet.
- Eat plenty of protein. Protein helps you stay full longer, providing sustained energy for your day. It also helps anchor any sugar you might consume, keeping your blood sugar level even.
- Eliminate sugary drinks: Drinks like soda, juice and alcohol can be high in sugar. Eliminating them from your daily routine provides an instant reduction in sugar consumption. Focus on water, tea or coffee.
- Eat Fruit: If a sugar craving hits try eating a piece of fruit. It’s natural sugars might wipe out your craving while giving you a healthy does of vitamins and fiber.
- Get plenty of sleep: Often sugar craving are our body’s attempt to get quick energy. If you are well rested you will be less likely to need that quick fix.
- Don’t starve yourself: If you allow yourself to get ravenous, you are more likely to reach for the quickest food you can find. Unfortunately, sugary foods are often at the top of the list.
- Check the ingredient list: Be a careful consumer. Read the labels of the foods you buy to insure you are not getting added sugars you didn’t expect.
Photo from flickr.