We all know sugar is bad for us (okay, maybe there are some out there still living in denial), but getting rid of it can seem like a majorly daunting task. It’s in everything from yogurts to candy bars to peanut butter (yes, really – take a look at those ingredients labels!), so how do you even begin to cut down on it? While doing a major lifestyle overhaul can be overwhelming, here are a few simple changes you can start making today.
1. Get back to the basics with nut butters.
Like I mentioned above, even healthy-fat-filled, seemingly “health foods” like peanut or almond butter can be major sources of sugar. Take a look at your ingredients label: there’s probably sugar in there somewhere! Go for a brand that lists only nuts and salt as the ingredients.
2. Drink more water.
Especially if you’re obsessed with pop (or soda as some of you weirdos call it), sugar from beverages can be a major problem. Don’t worry, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) go cold turkey; start crowding out your daily Coke habit with water. Sub out one can for a glass of good ol’ H20 per day and work your way down until you’ve quit. P.S. You’re not off the hook if you drink diet. Here’s why you’re actually doing more harm by drinking the fake stuff!
3. Pack a snack.
You’re hungry. It’s late. You’re starting to get hangry. There’s a vending machine … and that Snickers is calling your name. Just say no. If you pack a healthy snack like carrots and peanut butter (trust me: yum), you won’t fall victim to this classic blunder (the most famous being to never get involved in a land war in Asia …).
4. Go a little lighter with your daily caffeine fix.
We all love our fluffy frappuccinos and sickeningly sweet mochas, so the thought of sacrificing them can be scary. Don’t cut them out right away, but you can cut way down on the sugar by asking for half the syrup and toppings. Trust me, you won’t even miss it.
5. Go Greek.
Ah, Greek yogurt … it’s a gift. Plain Greek yogurt is an amazing alternative to all those fancy flavored yogurts. Yes, even the “light” ones can pack quite a punch in terms of sugar content. Don’t believe me? Check the label (keep in mind, though, the first 4.7 g of sugar per 100 g of dairy product is lactose, which doesn’t count as actual sugar). Not a fan of the taste of plain Greek yogurt? I wasn’t at first either. Ease yourself in by mixing some jam, berries, granola, or other yummy bits in at first, gradually decreasing them until you’re fine with just yogurt.
How do you cut down on sugar?