So you’ve made the decision to reduce or cut out refined sugar from your diet. The decision itself is easy but sometimes the next steps to put in this positive change into motion can be a little harder, luckily it doesn’t have to be.
That’s where I come in.
I used to eat a huge amount of refined sugar every day so if I can do it, so can you. Here are the tips I wish I had been given when I cut out sugar.
Pin point exactly why you are cutting out sugar.
What is your aim? Is it to try to lose weight, to become healthier, to provide more wholesome meals for your family?
Visualise yourself in that final scenario and it will really help you through the times when you are hardcore craving a chocolate bar.
Suddenly realising that its 7am, you’re about to leave for work and you don’t have anything prepared for your lunch that day is not a particularly fun experience.
Gone are the days when you can easily order something in or get a pre-cooked meal so you find yourself scrambling around the kitchen trying to make a nutritious lunch in 5 mins before you have to run out the door.
The best way to avoid this situation is to plan out your meals in advance so, like the boy scouts you are always prepared.
Plus, not only does planning your meals help with being organised, it helps to keep costs down.
Sugar is in a huge amount of prepared foods, so you will need to start reading the labels on absolutely everything before you buy it.
I know it sounds like a lot and truthfully it makes your first few shops a bit longwinded but like anything, once you know it, you know it and you won’t have to read the label on that box of cracker you were going to buy last time you went shopping.
Which leads me into my next point:
Increase your Knowledge
Familiarise yourself with commercial food labels and learn what those ingredients really are. My article Surprising Food with Added Sugar and Alternatives has a list of sugar laden food and alternatives.
This is a naturally occurring sugar. Some guides out there advise cutting out even natural sugars to begin with, I personally did not do this so…go eat a strawberry.
Now, onto the truly bad guys. Sugar sometimes wears a secret disguise which can be hard to detect if you don’t know what you’re looking for, sorry Sherlock. Here are the main culprits you should be avoiding:
This is your everyday, white, sparkly table sugar.
Don’t let the word ‘corn’ fool you into thinking this is the same as a natural sugar. Corn Syrup is a type of syrup which is made from corn starch with added chemicals.
Dextrose is glucoses’ cousin which is taken from starches, I know, appetizing. Often used as a preservative, it can be found in some pretzels and frozen fries.
Another chemical syrup made from corn – Oh corn, you used to be so cool man, you’ve changed – which is used as a sweetener.
As much as possible, the best thing you can do is to cook from scratch.
That way you know 100% what is in your food, no preservatives, no sneaky added sugar hiding under another name, just pure, natural ingredients.
For those of you who don’t find the idea of cooking particularly thrilling, all the recipes on my website aim to be easy, not too fussy and many can be cooked in batches.
Keep at It
Lastly, my advice is to stick at it!
If even me, the girl who basically used to eat the way an 8-year-old with control of the shopping list on her birthday can do it, you can do it too.
So long as you don’t cheat, the side effects of cutting out refined sugar will all pass at that point all your cravings will be gone and you will well and truly be in the swing of your new lifestyle.
If you do slip up, you will be resetting the clock back to that first day but keep going, don’t be discouraged, nobody is perfect and I promise, the results are totally worth it.
Cutting out Refined Sugar? Here’s Where to Start
Article by Michaella Mazzoni