Sugar is an addictive substance in many common foods, which makes it no surprise that it’s one of the biggest causes of obesity, leading to lifelong diseases such as diabetes. Even if you’re not snacking on biscuits and cakes, hidden sugars in sauces and drinks all add up. Check out these top tips for reducing your intake.
Read your food labels
Ingredients listed at the back of packaged food are in order from largest to smallest in weight, so if sugar appears in the top three, you should put it down! As a general rule, any foods that have ingredients that scream high fat or sodium in the top three are also a no-go!
These days, most of our favourite foods and drinks are available in an unsweetened version. Note- we mean unsweetened NOT artificially sweetened. Try to avoid artificial sweeteners as they can leave us with gurgling, upset stomachs. When grocery shopping, choose unsweetened almond or soy milk, unsweetened canned fruit and unsweetened yogurt to reduce your sugar intake. You’ll be saving on calories too!
Eat more protein and fat
If you want to keep your sugar cravings at bay, try upping your protein and fat intake (yes we said fat!), both can help balance your blood sugar levels, keeping you full and satisfied, reducing your chances of an incoming chocolate bar craving! Make sure you make healthy choices though, opt for lean proteins such as white fish and turkey, while fats should come from foods such as avocadoes and nuts.
Sleep to reduce your cravings
Notice that when you’re tired, you often want a quick pick me up? A sugary one? Studies have found a strong link between sugar cravings and sleep deprivation, meaning we’re more likely to reach for that cookie when we haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Make sure you’re getting at least 7-8 hours each night, you’ll notice those sweet cravings will reduce.
Don’t go cold turkey
Swearing that you’ll never touch sugar again is easier said than done and not a good tactic when trying to reduce your sugar intake. Instead of cutting it all at once, which often leads to binges, try limiting it slowly. Start with small changes like only having one piece of chocolate instead of two, or switching orange juice for sparkling water.