Sugar remains the biggest deterrent to achieving the bodily dimensions you have always craved for and your fitness goals.
The major reason lies in the camouflaged manner where sugar is included in so many packaged formats. Further, people who get addicted to the sugar-rush, find it very hard to decrease their sugar intake. Similarly, people who are habitual snackers and emotional eaters tend to feed upon sugar-rich foods that add to their waistlines, pushing them further away from their fitness goals.
However, there are smarter ways to reduce your sugar intake. This refers to the following tips that will help you control your sugar consumption in an effective and sustainable manner:
1. Begin Slow & Steady: Treat Yourself as a Sugar Addict!
Please understand that suddenly eliminating sugar from your daily schedule will make it harder to sustain a low-sugar dietary regime. Sugar raises our energy levels for a few minutes and our body and mind develop a habitual dependence on it. Stopping abruptly can lead to serious sugar cravings, making your task even harder. Ensure that you wean yourself away from sugar. This refers to a more patient approach wherein you gradually decrease the daily consumption of sugar until you have cut down the intake to the targeted quantity. This includes:
• Reduce your intake of sweetened beverages by a bit. This can begin with few sips less from that hot cup of simmering coffee—progress towards filling your cup lesser, i.e. less than full.
• Among foods where the unsweetened versions are easily available, use the rule of half. Start by mixing half of the sweetened version with the plain (no-sugar) choice. For instance, if you are having curd with sugar, mix half a cup of sweetened curd with half cup of plain yogurt. This can be done with regular and sugar-free sodas too.
2. Establish Your “Sugar Rules”
You need to create some ground rules regarding your daily sugar intake. For instance, ensure you never take more than one tablespoon of sugar in your tea or coffee. If you tea time includes sweet stuff like cakes or cookies, avoid sugar all together, since the sweetness of these goodies can compensate well. Take care of not eating heavy desserts or highly-sweetened foods post dinner since this is akin to directly adding inches to your waistline. Be very careful about temptations like ice creams or chocolates where one big binge can neutralize an entire week of having sugar-behaved yourself.
3. Alter Your Sugar (Perception: Sugar as a Reward & Incentive
To ensure that you can sustain your sugar-cutting ways in the long run, you need to overhaul your perception about sweet foods. Treat them an incentive for having controlled your sugar cravings throughout the week. Reward this effort with a few, big bites of your favorite ice-cream or mithais. This might make your progress slower but it ensures that you have a sugar-defying strategy for a lifetime. Every time you choose sugar-free or less-sweetened foods for 5 – 6 days, reward yourself with a big bite of that sinful, dark chocolate on the seventh day. Lose the perception of sugar being your enemy. Don’t try to conquer yours sugar cravings—just mold them to your advantage.
4. Outsmart Sugar with Foods that are Sweet but Not Sugary
This refers to eating naturally-sweet foods. Ensure that the body’s sugar pump is kept active and the sweet pangs don’t hit you hard by regularly biting into heavy-carbohydrate foods like bananas and naturally-sweet fruits like peaches and apples. These are fruits and contain natural sugars that are healthier than refined or artificial sugar. Try to seek refuge in the taste of unsweetened juices and smart replacements like gur that don’t harm the body in ways artificial sugar does.
5. Foods that Hide Their Sugar: Avoid Tricky Sugars
Don’t get tricked into eating packaged foods that don’t clearly reveal the amount of sugar within them. For instance, cornflakes are a smart breakfast choice but they don’t make so much sense if you choose the heavily-coated variety where layers of refined sugar are imposed on the surface. Similarly, try to avoid foods that contain glucose syrups. Ensure that you read the label well and make smarter, food choices.