Three simple steps to kick sugar to the curb.
#1 Start small.
Start by making simple changes and swaps, like adding less sugar to your coffee; choosing fresh fruit over dried; opting for oatmeal instead of granola; drinking less soda and juice; and replacing desserts and candy with frozen fruit. Take it slow. Remember that this is a lifestyle change (not a diet) and give yourself time, so your changes actually stick.
#2 Balance your meals & snacks
Ever get that 3 pm sugar craving? Instead of opting for office candy, chips, or a soda, choose a balanced snack with a source of protein and fiber (example: a small handful of almonds or a plain, unsweetened yogurt, topped with berries).
Same goes for meals – get in a source of protein (think turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, lentils/beans) and fiber (fruit, veggies, whole grains) to keep you from crashing and burning. Healthy fats, like avocado and seeds also help stabilize your blood sugar when added to the mix.
#3 Read nutrition labels and choose real food
Start looking at your food’s ingredients. Sugar easily sneaks in and may appear as: brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave, corn syrup, or high-fructose corn syrup. But, no matter the form – all sugar is sugar and metabolized the same way.
When you’ve cut back on adding sugar to foods and have started reading food labels, focus on adding more whole foods into your everyday meal plan (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, beans and lentils). Basically, things that aren’t in packaging and have less than 5 ingredients. And remember to drink lots of water or for those who aren’t fans of water (or simply want some healthy flavor without sugar or diet sweeteners), try Hint Water to help the process.
Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coach with a Masters in Nutrition. Specializing in coaching, weight loss, and behavior change, Corinne has helped hundreds of women develop a healthy positive relationship with food, their body, and themselves. She believes lasting change starts from the inside out.