1. Learn where sugar lies
OK, you know that chocolate, cake and cola are off limits, but sugar will still get you!
It can lurk in the least obvious of places. Foods such as breakfast cereal, flavoured yoghurt, granola bars, fruit, ketchup, salad dressings, pasta sauces and alcohol can all have high sugar content, so make sure you read the labels.
2. Make some small changes first
Rather than cutting out sugar completely, perhaps start with your drinks.
Lose the sugar in your tea, switch from squeezed orange juice to flavoured water and start checking the sugar content in different brands of the same foods.
3. Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast keeps your blood sugar levels stable, meaning you’re less likely to reach for that chocolate bar.
An ideal breakfast is something such as oats and a couple of eggs.
Last month Cancer Research UK revealed that Brits really do love their breakfast, so much so that 80% of people have eaten breakfast foods for dinner at least once.
4. Limit alcohol
Booze contains more calories than sugar per gram. Not only that but it leads to a vicious cycle for sugary cravings.
That is why the morning after a night of drinking our bodies crave sugary, unhealthy food.
This helps to reduce stress levels, which is a major contributor to sweet cravings.
Exercise also supports blood sugar level control, leaves you feeling energised, helps you sleep and, of course, improves fitness and health.
6. Don’t give up on snacks
You can’t have that Mars bar, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat regularly.
Snacks such as two oatcakes with a slice of avocado and some cottage cheese, or a fat-free Greek yoghurt, berries and nuts, are perfect.
7. Get your vitamins
Especially vitamins B and C, which help to produce energy from the food that we eat.
8. Learn the other names for sugar
Fructose, corn syrup, sucrose, etc. Sugar has many guises – apparently there are at least 61 different names for it on food labels.
Familiarise yourself with them.
9. Save up your sugar for the good stuff
The idea of cutting down on sugar is not to say that you never eat it again, but rather that you save it for treats like a slice of cake.
Foods such as soup, dressings, yoghurt and cereal don’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, sugary.
10. Buy products that are unsweetened
Add more natural flavours such as vanilla, cinnamon, lemon, lime and nutmeg. This is great for your waistline and just as tasty.
11. Stick with it!
Giving up sugar can initially feel impossible. But if you learn to make your own dressings and get used to the food swaps, you can be sugar savvy.
The health benefits outweigh any initial discomfort or frustration.
You’ll notice that fresh foods taste better than ever as your food habits change and you will find that your cravings naturally drop.
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