5 Expert Tips for Cutting Back on Sugar
Let’s be candid: quitting sugar isn’t easy. Our brains are wired to crave more sugar each and every time we have a bite of something sweet. But with the right tactics, it’s possible to cut back on sugar. If you’re ready to kickstart your low-sugar lifestyle, make sure to incorporate these five tips.
Practice Mindful Eating
Sometimes we eat too much sugar because we’re simply not paying close enough attention. Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar, suggests that being more mindful of what you eat is a big step in the right direction.
Specifically, she says that she practices chewing slowly, thinking more about what she eats and where she buys it, and avoiding eating out of habit in an interview for BBC’s Good Food.
Eat Healthy Fats
Cutting sugar doesn’t mean going hungry! Another tip Wilson shares is to make sure you have enough healthy fat in your diet when you give up sugar. Including avocados, olive oil, and even cheese in meals are a good way to avoid reaching for sweets after a meal.
Watch Out for Hidden Sugars
Most people know to avoid sodas, ice cream, and cookies when they’re trying to kick a sugar habit, but sugar hides in unlikely places. On his blog, Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural living, warns against foods marketed as healthy that might have a high sugar content.
Specifically, he suggest steering clear of cereal, granola and protein bars, flavored yogurts, and dried fruit. You’ll never kick that sugar habit if you’re still munching on these high sugar foods!
Avoid Fake Sugar
Artificial sweeteners were created to give food a sweet taste, supposedly without the harmful effects of sugar. Unfortunately, we now know that eating “fake” sugars can still trigger the sugar cravings cycle. Nutritionist Lyndi Cohen writes on her blog The Nude Nutritionist, that people who want to quit sugar need to retrain their taste buds by avoiding anything with a sweet flavor. This means giving up sugar substitutes like Truvia, too.
Be Prepared With Healthy Snacks
Lastly, don’t quit sugar without a plan for dealing with hunger emergencies. Letting yourself get too hungry can cause you to reach for your favorite vending machine sweets. On his blog, Dr. Mark Hyman, the medical director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, suggests packing healthy snacks anytime you’ll be on the go. His favorites include nuts, nut butters, pumpkins seeds, and salmon jerky.