Many people add sugar to their diet because they want their porridge, tea or coffee to taste sweet. But eating refined or processed sugar adds to the sugar you consume when you enjoy your rice, wheat, noodles, pasta, potatoes etc. This has a number of health implications for you:
- It can increase the chances that your teeth will decay, with its attendant embarrassment.
- Taking too much sugar can increase your risk of developing diabetes.
- It can make you die of heart disease.
What are some of the steps you can take then to cut sugar in your diet?
1. Remind Yourself Every Morning
When you have made the decision to cut back on sugar in your diet, remind yourself of your decision when you wake up every morning. Immediately you open your eyes, say to yourself, “I will not eat a lot of sugar today.”
As you keep doing this every day, it will settle in your subconscious and energize you to go through with your decision. It will also help strengthen your resolve to cut sugar in your diet.
Moreover, remind yourself of the dangers of taking too much sugar, and the benefits of cutting sugar in your diet, every morning. Read about them. Remind yourself about them. Creating this kind of awareness every morning will help you to control the desire to take sugar.
2. Discipline Yourself
Plan before you step out of the house. Make up your mind how you are going to react when you are faced with the temptation to take sugar. Recreate possible scenes that may occur, in your mind, and decide what you are going to say when they happen, and what you are going to do.
When you prepare your to-do list, omit sugar and include only a few foods which contain sugar. Go to the shopping mall, or store, with a clear sense of purpose. When you get there, avoid going near the sugary foods’ stands.
When you are invited for parties, let your host know you will not take any food containing sugar so that he or she can make alternate diet arrangements for you.
If you happen to be in the company of friends who love eating sugary foods, find a convenient excuse to leave the scene, if you can. If you can’t excuse yourself, then use your willpower and say “No” when they offer you the food. Pick your phone and watch an interesting movie or chat with friends on Facebook. Try to occupy your mind and take your focus off what they are eating.
3. Do It Little by Little
It will be very difficult to cut down on sugar in your diet all at once. Therefore, cut sugar from your diet gradually—tackle the challenge one day at a time.
There is an African proverb which says, “When you do something continuously for 21 days, it becomes a habit.” You can take inspiration from this proverb to help you cut sugar in your diet. So, if normally you put five spoonsful of sugar in your porridge in the morning, put four spoonsful of sugar in your diet for 21 days. You will realize you become used to taking this amount of sugar after this time period.
Then for the next 21 days, put three spoonsful of sugar in your diet. Keep reducing the amount of sugar you take till you can take your porridge or tea without sugar. This is how to cut sugar out of your diet gradually.
4. Check Food Labels
Sugar is added to many processed foods to make them taste sweet. Taking just a few seconds to scrutinize the label on a can or tin will make you know whether it contains sugar so that you can avoid buying that food.
In addition, you need to be wary of words such as glucose, fructose, sweeteners, molasses, and honey, on food labels. They are all sugar in other forms and therefore if you eat a product which contains fructose, glucose, or sucrose, in effect you are still eating sugar.
To cut processed sugar from your diet, avoid buying foods with these labels.
5. Change Your Lifestyle
Eat a lot more fruits if you want to cut refined sugar from your diet. The natural sugar in fruits has less health risks for your body, and can also serve as natural sweeteners to give you the taste you want.
Certain foods and drinks are difficult to take without sugar. An example of such a food is porridge. Such foods taste good when sugar is added to them. Therefore, if you want to cut sugar in your diet, adjust your eating habits and stop eating such foods. Eat foods which do not require processed or refined sugar to taste pleasant.
So, instead of taking porridge with sugar, bread, and marmalade for breakfast, drink cocoa or eat oats with bananas. You may choose to slice the bananas into pieces and mix them with the boiled oats, or drink the cocoa with bread and slices of bananas. The bananas will give you the sweet taste you want.
Instead of going in for a soda, buy a fruit drink with no added sugar.
Make daily exercise a part of your life so that you can build up the stamina and endurance you need to work throughout the day. This will save you having to buy energy drinks which contain a lot of sugar.
6. Prepare Your Food and Drinks at Home
To help you resist the temptation to buy foods or drinks that contain sugar when you go out, cook your meals at home, or make drinks at home and take them to work. This is the best way to stop eating sugar in your diet. It will make it easier to control the ingredients you use to prepare your food, and what you drink.
You must aim to cook the food without ingredients that contain sugar, such as ketchup or vanilla, but with natural ingredients such as curry, garlic, and herbs.
To prepare your drink, just buy a variety of fruits, blend them together during the weekend, and store the juice in your fridge. Drink it at the office or throughout the day at home.
In conclusion, you must not forget that it will require a lot of discipline on your part if you want to cut sugar in your diet. But stick to the fight and you will most definitely emerge victorious.
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