by, Scottie Williams

Here at CrossFit SFS we are on an awesome Challenge with the guys from The Chief Life, and after two weeks I am noticing a difference..

Because sugar is a DRUG and most of it is hidden in the foods and drinks we enjoy everyday, reducing sugar in our diets is as easy as it seems!

Having said that, there are some things that we can all do to gradually reduce the amount of sugar we consume each day to a more healthy level and in doing so help us lose weight and improve our waistline.

If you want to reduce the sugar in your diet, here are some things you might try:

⇒ Learn to enjoy foods that are naturally sweet, without added sugar
⇒ Use spices and herbs such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger to enhance the flavor of foods naturally
⇒ Make homemade sauces and toppings
⇒ Use fresh fruit or frozen fruit to sweeten cereals and baked goods instead of table sugar
⇒ Take your time shopping (remember around the outside) and read labels to reveal hidden sugar and gain information on the overall nutritional value of foods
⇒ Buy fresh fruits or fruit packed in water instead of syrup
⇒ Buy fewer foods high in sugar such as biscuits, chocolate, soft drinks, and baked goods
⇒ Be careful not to replace foods high in sugar with foods high in fat and sodium
⇒ Drink water or unsweetened sparkling and mineral waters, instead of cordial and soft-drinks
⇒ When reading “Nutrition Facts” labels remember that 7 grams of sugar is equal to around 1 tablespoon of sugar
⇒ Avoid heavily sweetened breakfast cereals – go for ones that have 10 grams of sugar or less per serving
⇒ Energy bars and drinks are a common source of hidden sugar – try to avoid these where possible
⇒ Be wary of reduced fat and fat-free products, sugars are often added to mask the loss of flavor when fat is removed cutting out fat, but not necessarily calories
⇒ Limit sweetened beverages like milkshakes and coffee drinks, which are deceptively full of sugar and calories
⇒ Mix fresh fruit into plain natural yogurt, many fruity yogurts are loaded with added sugar
⇒ Learn to appreciate the natural tartness of fruits like grapefruit, strawberries and other berries
⇒ Choose fruit when it’s in season and it shouldn’t need any added sweetness
⇒ If you must drink soft-drinks chose the smallest sized can or bottle you can find – soft drinks are now commonly sold in 600ml bottles, which provide at least 12-15 teaspoons of sugar
⇒ Be mindful that fats and sugars are often found together in foods like chocolate, biscuits and cakes making them particularly bad for those of us with weight loss goals
⇒ If we control the amount of sugar that is added to products like Weet Bix and Vita Brits, we may be able to consume less sugar than if we eat pre-prepared cereals like Coco Pops and Fruit Loops
⇒ Be cautious with products labeled “no sugar added” – this doesn’t mean that the product doesn’t naturally contain a lot of sugar
⇒ Remember that while all sugars contribute four calories per gram, some foods contain more concentrated sources of calories than others – for example, a teaspoon of table sugar contains 16 calories, a teaspoon of Honey contains 22 calories, while a teaspoon of orange juice or applesauce has just four calories, and also contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber
⇒ Make a habit of eating at least three good meals per day – one of the best ways to overcome cravings for sweets is to eat balanced meals at regular intervals throughout the day
⇒ Try to avoid having dessert with a meal that is high in carbohydrates like pasta, bread, or rice
⇒ Try limiting dessert to once or twice a week (if you are like me you can’t give them up, but we can limit them to a special occasion)

Conclusion

While most of us on a weight loss mission concentrate on lowering fats, many of us fail to consider the role that refined sugar plays in our diets and in contributing to our growing waistlines.

Focus on a good mix of calories across each meal, varies for everyone but 40/30/30% protein, carbs, fats works for many people.

If you want to get to the science of it and have a meal plan done especially for you hit these guys up, you can can’t go wrong : The Chief Life

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