Many people struggle with their weight and a common reason for weight gain in people of all ages is an addiction to sugar. Nowadays, more foods and drinks than even have high amounts of both sugar and fat. This can make losing weight or improving your diet even more challenging than it already is. The vast majority of prepackaged meals and cereals have added sugar and over the course of a day, the average person consumes much more sugar than they realize. For some people, sugar has become an addiction. The sweet desserts after dinner or snacks during late night tv shows can be enough to pack on the pounds, especially as we age and our metabolisms naturally slow down. However, sugar is not an essential part of any diet. For the sake of your health, eliminating sugars wherever possible is an excellent idea. Here are a few tips to get you started.
WATCH FOR HIDDEN SUGARS
There are many sneaky ways that food companies use to hide sugar in the foods you eat every day. It is important to always read the nutrition label of any prepackaged item that you buy to verify just how many grams of sugar are in one serving. Even healthier options tend to add a significant amount of sugar to each portion. For reference, one teaspoon of sugar is about four grams. Many granola bars and yogurt cups have nearly twenty grams of sugar in one serving. That’s nearly five teaspoons! Most people would never add five teaspoons of sugar to their coffee, so why should that much sugar be added to a snack? Another food to watch out for is prepackaged salads. Most salads add sugar to the dressing, but some salad kits also coat the added nuts, berries or other toppings in sugar. Consider comparing the size of the bag and the portion size on the nutrition label to the amount of sugar that you will be consuming. It can be shocking to realize that half a bag of salad has thirty grams of sugar. It is always a better idea to purchase food items separately so that you can follow a recipe and add your own sugar in a reasonable quantity.
Everyone needs a snack every now and then. However, sweet snack foods are very addictive and hard to resist when they are in your home. If you are struggling with having just one cookie or bowl of ice cream, then it is best to remove these products from your home altogether. The next time you are at the grocery store, avoid the aisles with sweets and purchase fruits or vegetables as healthy snacks to both soothe your appetite and to keep your hands busy. It can take a week or two, but once your body adjusts to having an apple instead of a piece of cake your cravings for high-sugar treats will fade away. By not having sweet foods and junk food in your house, it is much easier to avoid temptation when the cravings hit. When sugar is within arms reach, it is far too easy to continue consuming excessive amounts of sugar instead of choosing healthier options.
One of the reasons why people become addicted to sugar in the first place is that sugar is often used as a reward. For example, if you eat all of your vegetables you can have a tasty dessert. Although this might be an incentive to eat healthy throughout the day, good eating habits should not be a reason to binge on junk food before you go to sleep. It is important to create new reward systems in your daily routine so that sugar is never a reward for accomplishing a task. Using sugar as a reward can cause people to associate sugar with a sense of accomplishment, which is a dangerous mix when a person is attempting to lose weight. Try replacing a sugary reward with something healthier that also makes you happy. For example, you can replace a hot chocolate with a flavourful, sugar-free tea. Like many other types of addictions, quitting sugar is not an easy task. It is highly addictive due to the fact that it is in almost all packaged foods in large quantities and people have become accustomed to the taste as well as how their body responds to this regular intake of sugar. The psychological aspect of sugar being used as a reward adds another level of difficulty to quit. However, by removing sugary treats from your home, by reading nutrition labels and by creating new reward systems in your day to day life it is possible to eliminate added sugars from your life within a few weeks. It is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and to lose weight much faster!