Sugar is my addiction. I’ve had a sweet tooth since the day I was born, and given a choice between candy or food for survival without the repercussions, I would have chosen the candy. Unfortunately, I inherited a sweet tooth from my grandmother and it runs in our family. Sugar is indeed addictive and it’s incredibly difficult to quit. I know I’m not the only one who is struggling with a sugar addiction and if you are reading this article, chances are that you’re also struggling with a sugar addiction.
Easy Ways to Cut Sugar Out Of Your Diet
- Stop Buying Processed Foods If you stop buying processed foods, over time you will accumulate much less of it in your house. If you really want to quit cold turkey, dump your sodas down the drain and toss the rest of your empty calorie snacks in the trash. We poured the sugar-laden sodas and drinks down the drain which was very therapeutic for me. Some people might say that it is a waste of money to throw food in the trash and I agree with them. However, we should not have purchased these products in the first place and even if I decided to give this food away, it wouldn’t benefit anyone’s well-being in a healthy way.
- Make Your Own Spaghetti Sauce I have not actually made my own spaghetti sauce. We try to buy brands that are low in sodium and contain the least amount of questionable ingredients. Look for spaghetti sauce when they go on sale and stock up on the good brands.
- Swap Fruit Juice with Whole Fruit I quit this bad habit years ago and I don’t feel deprived from not drinking fruit juice. Whenever I drink fruit juice such as 100% orange juice or 100% cranberry juice, I water the juice down with 3/4 water. To this day, I cannot drink non-diluted fruit juice. It’s way too sweet!
- Avoid Flavored Yogurt There is a lot of hidden sugar in flavored yogurts and that is scary! In a single serving of flavored yogurt, I have seen as much as 20 grams of sugar. Yikes! This doesn’t even include the hidden sugars and sneaky sweeteners that are usually added to flavored yogurts. Opt for plain yogurt and flavor it yourself. It is pretty tasty with a little maple syrup and sliced banana.
Make Your Own Salad Dressing I have not tried this yet but both my mom and husband started making their own salad dressings. I can see the appeal in homemade salad dressings and I plan on making my own one day. Please tell me that I am not the only one with 20+ bottles of salad dressings? I cannot bring myself to throw away store bought salad dressings.
- Give Yourself a Quota Going cold turkey is hard, and let’s face it, we’re going to slip up from time to time. If you’re used to eating fast food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, then you may want to slowly cut back on sugar and gradually introduce healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables. If you must have dessert, save your cheat treat for a time when you’ll really enjoy it, such as date night. I did not grow up in a household where I ate dessert every night and I seldom ate fast food, so fortunately, I haven’t developed a habit of gluttony and instant gratification.
Set Dessert Rules Do you ever implement new rules, end up failing and feel worse than when you started? This method does work with strict discipline but even my family and friends haven’t had much success yet. You will likely end up relapsing if you feel too deprived, undergo an uncontrollable binge, or experience withdrawal as you wean yourself off of sugar. What is the best way to overcome potential drawbacks? Decide to make a change and commit to it for a month. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit.
- Don’t Keep Treats in the House Preach. I stopped buying treats and we rarely have treats in our house. If we really want treats, we have to go out of our way for ice cream, or we make homemade french fries and chips (baked, not fried). It also forces me to get creative. I have made recipes I would have otherwise never made, such as paleo mint chocolate truffles and chia seed pudding. If you’re going to make treats, then at least make them paleo! Paleo desserts are naturally healthier and more less processed compared to store-bought food.
Try Xylitol and Stevia I have a hard time loving stevia. Personally, I find the taste of stevia awful but a lot of people have jumped on the stevia bandwagon and they embrace it with open arms. I don’t mind xylitol. I still however, prefer cane sugar, but I try to consume it in moderation. I also use maple syrup and coconut sugar in some recipes to replace cane sugar. For days when my sugar cravings are intense, I have xylitol candies and Trident gum which won’t cause cavities.
- Eat Dark Chocolate Ideally, you want to eat dark chocolate that is at least 70% solids. I do consume dark chocolate on a weekly basis, and I prefer to bake with dark chocolate which is naturally lower in sugar compared to conventional milk chocolate varieties.
- Avoid Mixed Alcoholic Drinks Just avoid alcohol like the plague. Alcohol won’t help you lose weight, is chalked full of empty calories and wrecks havoc on your kidneys and liver. There are other ways to have fun, like writing blog posts *laughs*. In a more serious tone, alcohol is a toxin and I have been around too many alcoholics in my lifetime to know how batshit crazy alcoholics and drunk people can be. Didn’t know alcohol is a drug? Alcohol is a depressant. Look it up!
- Cut Out Soda If you’re going to drink soda, you might as well drink liquefied candy washed down with a glass of lemon juice. I don’t need to explain why soda is bad which is pretty much self-explanatory. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that diet soda is any better. Diet soda contains similar ingredients as regular soda plus several questionable artificial sweeteners. It’s not even the sugar that is the most cringe worthy ingredient, or the high fructose corn syrup for that matter. It’s the caramel color which is notorious for staining and corroding your teeth, and the highly acidic nature of both diet and regular varieties. Love the carbonated bubbles but don’t want to quit soda cold turkey? Try flavored sparkly water like Perrier or Spindrift. Although acidic, these unadulterated sparkling waters are still a healthier option for you.