Have you ever felt tired, puffy and bloated from eating too much sugar the day before? This is a common side effect of the body holding onto extra carbohydrates, therefore extra water weight.
When we eat sugar, it spikes our insulin levels and stops the fat burning processes in the body. This is why sugar is often avoided on a weight loss diet.
It is to be noted, we are discussing added sugars and table sugar, not natural sugars from fruits and veggies, which have little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels.
We crave what we eat the most so if you are trying to bring down sugar cravings, eat less sugar. There is not really a shortcut. Too much sugar can make you feel jittery, followed by a crash, can contribute to headaches and stubborn belly fat.
Here are 5 ways to cut sugar:
1. Go with diet soda or crystal like instead of soda pop or juice
These add unnecessary calories for very little nutritional value or fullness. Opt for low calorie drinks as a rule. Allow for 1-2 sodas a week when you are first starting. The artificial sweeteners can cause some bloating and digestive stress, so be weary of that. Diet soda is okay in moderation, although studies do show it can be linked to some cancers in heavy amounts.
2. Eat more berries
Not only are berries low in calories, they are loaded with antioxidants that can help you remove toxins from the body, such as fermented sugars (aka gas). Berries are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without eating too much blood sugar spiking sugars. Berries also contain fiber.
3. Swap desserts. If you really feel the need for something sweet, try these alternatives:
Fresh fruit: Naturally sweet and full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Greek yogurt with cinnamon or fruit: Rich in calcium, protein and vitamin B12.
Baked fruit with cream: Try pears, apple or plums.
Dark chocolate: In general, the higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar.
A handful of dates: They're naturally sweet and extremely nutritious.
4. Avoid Sauces With Lots of Sugar
Sauces such as ketchup, barbecue sauce and sweet chili sauce are commonplace in most kitchens. However, most people aren't aware of their shocking sugar content. A single tablespoon (15-gram) serving of ketchup may contain 1 teaspoon (4 grams). Better options are mustard, liquid amino acids, nutritional yeast, bolthouse farms dressing, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, dried herbs and seasoning, soy sauce, low sugar ketchup...
5. Check for Sugar in Canned Foods
Canned foods can be a useful and cheap addition to your diet, but they can also contain a lot of added sugar. Avoid canned foods that are packed in syrup or have sugar in the ingredients list. Rinse canned foods before eating. Watch out for added sugar in canned veggies, fruits, soups, etc.
I hope that helps you kick those sugar cravings. Stay tuned for 5 more tips!