First, I'd like to reiterate something I said yesterday on Facebook. If you're not yet a fan, go ahead and "like" me because there's lots of additional conversations, photos, and questions that never make it on to the actual blog! I started a devotional plan yesterday - 35 days of a bit of Bible plus a story / message that goes along with it. I've "wanted" to be a consistent reader (of the Bible) in the past, but haven't made it a habit. Then I started questionning myself on whether I should even sign up because it'd probably be too much and in a week I'd be behind, and then I'd just feel bad. But then I read the first day's message which was all about not worrying about tomorrow and living for today. Which made me think about weightloss and the healthy happy life I'm trying to achieve.
Which brings me to what I wrote on FB:
Do you ever get overwhelmed (like I do) thinking about all you have to do over the next few days/weeks/months to accomplish your weightloss goal (or savings goal, or reading plan, or ...). STOP. Just focus on today. Make good choices TODAY that will help you get there! Stop worrying about tomorrow and the week after that and the month after that. Which brings me to today's post, with some practical tips you can adopt that will help you reduce your daily sugar intake TODAY.
7 tips on how to reduce your Sugar Intake:
1. Read Labels. I went to my local market recently and was shocked appalled to see the following ingredients when I flipped around a can of Sweet Kernel Corn: Corn, Sugar. Seriously?!? "They" need to make sweet corn SWEETER by adding sugar? That's just wrong. Luckily I found a similar can without the added sugar. But if I hadn't checked, I easily would have bought the can with extra sugar. The hard part is that EVERYTHING has sugar in it these days! Bread, ketchup, CORN, peanut butter. You name it, it probably has sugar. So be diligent to check the labels. Find lower sugar versions (not that just have an alternate sugar like sucralose or asparthame, but that actually have LESS of ANY sweetener). Another example... bbq sauce. I looked at probably 12 different brands/flavors comparing sugar content and finally decided on one with half the sugar grams: Stubb's Hickory Bourbon (7g of sugar per 2 Tbsp, compared with 15g+ in most other brands). It was a bit more tangy than the sweet honey bbq sauce Dear Hubby was used to, but overall we liked it.
2. Rethink Dessert. I don't know what it is about Americans, but we feel we DESERVE dessert. I'm not really sure why. We feel we are not really "living life" or are depriving ourselves unjustly if we go without dessert, even for one day. Oh I'll diet, but I still need Cheesecake. Oh I'm overweight, but let me have more ice cream before bed. Newsflash people, you don't NEED dessert. Go ahead and hate me now, but it's true. Your life would be just as good without it. How do I know? Because mine has been! I went almost 6 months without having a real "dessert", even subbing fruit and a yogurt cream sauce out for traditional cake at my birthday festivities. I'm not saying never have dessert, or that you need to do it exactly like I did. But do we really need dessert every day? Do we really need to celebrate every birthday and holiday with candy, sweets, pies, cookies, cakes, and ice cream? Another example... these cupcakes at the Blend Retreat (shown below thanks to Lauren). Everyone raved about them; I passed. I can honestly say, my life is just as good now (2 months later) having NOT eaten them than had I eaten the extra sugar. No difference. Did I deserve them? Maybe. I was going to be doing some major hiking the next day. Did I need them? No.
3. Substitute. This is my favorite way to cut added sugar. Substitute greek yogurt and bananas in breads to reduce the amount of sugar needed to sweeten them. Substitute sliced tomatoes and drizzled mustard on a burger instead of sugar-filled ketchup. Substitute sliced fresh strawberries on a pb&j instead of sugar-filled jelly. You get the idea :)
4. Watch what you drink. Whew. So many drinks these days are LOADED with sugar! Some "juices" only contain 5% actual juice! Say what?! Beware my friends. Beware. Sugar-y drink habit #1 to kick: sodas - both regular AND diet. I would say aim for once a month or less, but at that point you probably won't even want it anymore b/c it will taste so syrup-y and unhealthy. Wean yourself... 2 a day, down to 1 a day, down to 1/2 a day, down to none. Aim for drinking mostly water, some unsweet teas - green and black, some fresh veggies juices, some milk or almond milk, and maybe coffee (though that dang creamer needs to go!). Supposedly there's a "good" recipe for making your own flavored creamers sweetened with dates..but I haven't mustered up the courage to try it yet. It seems sooooooo tedious!
5. Prepare by bringing healthy snacks. Don't let your office make you fat! Plan ahead. Bring hummus or nuts/seeds or greek yogurt or toast with peanut butter or kale chips... anything for that afternoon pick-me-up that is NOT candy!
6. Reboot - train your body to need less sugar. The more sugar you consume, the more your body wants it. Similarly, the less sugar you consume, the less your body wants it. Reboot your body into craving fruits, veggies, and healthy foods. That's what was so beneficial for me to do a juice reboot. I retrained myself not to want/need sweets.
7. Reward yourself differently. Don't reward yourself (or others) with food/sweets. Reward yourself with other things: a manicure, a new book, a trip to the movies, a new workout shirt, or even a photoshoot (like I did after losing over 50 lbs)!
- Do you agree with these tips?
- Which tip is the hardest for you to adopt?