Hey guys! Today I’m going to be sharing some tips on practical ways to cut back on your sugar consumption. As someone who has been on numerous sugar-free/low sugar diets throughout my life, I have some experience in this field. 😉
Choose Drinks Carefully
Soda and juice have crazy amounts of sugar in them. Choose water instead. If plain water seems boring, get sparkling water or tea (without anything else in it).
Use Natural Sweeteners
You have to be careful with this one. There are lots of things that are advertised as “sugar free” that are made from stuff like saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, etc. which are terrible for your health. They can cause horrible side effects in the body. (Do just a bit of research and you’ll see what I mean.) Stevia is a wonderful substitute. Don’t get Splenda as it is mainly sucralose. You can easily get liquid stevia or stevia leaf off of Amazon.
Another sweetener that we use is called monk fruit. I like it better than stevia because it is made from a fruit instead of a leaf, which means that you can use more without it getting bitter. We get our monk fruit from Amazon. It comes powdered and it takes just a bit to make something very sweet.
We have used xylitol or eurythritol on occasion, and they work well when replacing sugar in something that needs the volume that it offers. I prefer not to use them much anymore because they are sugar alcohols and thus have a “cold” feeling (like gum or mints) if you use too much. I would choose stevia or monk fruit over them 90% of the time.
Say Goodbye to Sauces
Ketchup has 3.7 grams of sugar in ONE tablespoon. *jaw drops* Other sauces like BBQ have a ton of sugar in them as well. If you can’t give up the sauces, try cutting your portions in half.
Make Your Own Meals
Fast food is notorious for being filled with sugars and unhealthy fats. When you make your own food, whether it be dinners or desserts, you can monitor how much sugar you are putting into your food. I find that I enjoy homemade food so much better than fast food anyway.
Don’t Fall For “Health Bars”
You guys know what I’m talking about, right? Those bars in the health food stores that promise that they’re healthier than anything else you’ll find. Well, more than half the time, those bars have just as much sugar as a candy bar and they don’t taste nearly as good.
Make your own larabars from dates, dried fruit and nuts. They’re (refined) sugar free and will give you protein and energy.
When you shop, stop and read the labels of the foods you’re buying. See how much sugar is actually in a product before you to buy it. Decide if you actually want to put all of those sugars and preservatives into your body.
(I mean, who does? But man, when those cookies call or those chips scream your name…it’s hard to resist.)
Moderation Is Key
Sugar is highly addicting. Seriously. Look up the statistics, it’s crazy. Some studies say that it can be as addicting as drugs like cocaine. *jaw drops once again*
Going cold turkey on sugar can be really hard. If you’re not up for a drastic, sugar-free life, that’s okay. But when you do eat sugar, do so in moderation. Instead of eating that whole container of ice cream, have a small bowl and save the rest. It’ll still be there tomorrow. Promise. (Unless you have brothers who raid the kitchen…What you need to do then is to lick the entire container of ice cream in front of them and they’ll be so grossed out that they won’t want it. XD XD XD)
Use Half The Sugar In Baking
I have become an expert at making sugar-free cookies that taste pretty similar to normal ones. XD Lots and lots of practice, people. (And man, there have been some disgusting batches in there…) What I’ve found through the years of low-sugar/sugar free baking is that most recipes have double the sugar content that you actually need. I make cookies that have less than half the sugar and they taste just the same, if not better, than full-sugar cookies. I just add a dash of monk fruit and it makes up for everything.
Of course there are places where this won’t work – such as when sugar is needed for the volume of an item, like frosting. (But there are plenty of sugar-free frosting recipes that taste really good).
Cut Back On Dessert
I love dessert. I have a huge sweet tooth and will sniff out a treat anywhere. XD But dessert usually has a lot of sugar in it. If you’re looking to cut back on sugar, cut back on dessert. That may be as simple as having half as much as you usually do. Or choosing fruit with some cream and honey instead of that caramel covered brownie. (Seriously, my mouth is watering at the mention of both…XD)
Make Your Own….
I’ve already kind of gone over this but bear with me. Things like instant oatmeal, flavored yogurts and chocolate milk that you get from the store have insanely high amounts of sugar as well as other nasty additives. Get plain oatmeal and flavor it yourself. Same goes for yogurt. You can add fresh fruit, honey, stevia, etc. It’ll be so much healthier, I promise.
I rarely got chocolate milk as a kid, so when I did, it was a huge treat. What seemed unfair at the time (EVERY OTHER KID, it seemed, GOT CHOCOLATE MILK AND COOKIES EVERY SINGLE DAY) I now see as genius. (THANK YOU, PARENTS!😂) If you like chocolate milk, make your own. Melt some chocolate and swirl it into a glass of plain milk. Or mix coco powder and stevia into your milk. It tastes great, guys.
Granola is another thing that is supposed to be “healthy” but is packed full of sugar. (Don’t believe me? Read the ingredients.) You can easily make your own at home. (I would do that regularly when I was ten or eleven – it was so easy). It will be much healthier.
Water is so essential to having a healthy body. When you drink enough water, you’ll find that your sugar cravings diminish, you feel stronger, you’ll have more energy…win win, guys.
If you drink coffee or tea that’s filled with tons of sugar….well. You can use natural sweeteners like stevia instead. It’ll take a bit of getting used to, but it is worth it. You’ll feel so much better and after a little while, stevia sweetened coffee/tea will taste just as good, if not better, than the sugar-filled stuff.
Find A Buddy
Self-explanatory. It’s so much easier to stick to something when someone else is doing it with you or holding you accountable. If you’re serious about cutting down on sugar in your life, find someone to do it with. It won’t be easy, but you’ll have someone to hold you up when you fall (or want to dive headfirst into previously mentioned caramel coated brownies).
Are these tips helpful? Do you eat sugar free? What ways do you have to reduce your sugar consumption?