A beginner's guide to cutting out sugar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 19, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 19, 2017

A beginner's guide to cutting out sugar

Sugar cravings may just feel like a small spree when you consume a handful of sugary goodness. But those sprees can last quite a while and become the calorie equivalent of full course meals before you know it. The more you consume, the more you crave, and the cycle continues. But the pleasure only lasts so long before all that sugar starts building up. Over consuming sugar can lead to a sluggish behaviour and laziness, tooth decay, and not to mention, weight gain, which may develop into heart diseases and diabetes over time.

Cutting sugar off from the diet completely at first is a bad idea. The trick is to cut it down little by little, which lets our body automatically adjust to the changes.

SHIFT TO HOMEMADE DESSERTS

Instead of rushing to the bakery every time you want a bite of something sweet, try making it at home with sugar alternatives, or by using less and less sugar with every batch. Homemade desserts like Greek yoghurt and honey, or sugar free pudding and fruits will satisfy sweet cravings whilst being healthy and sugar free at the same time. 

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS HELP, A LITTLE

Artificial sweeteners can help reduce calorie intake, however, as they are many times sweeter than sugar, they do not cut your cravings. Instead, it increases cravings that can again lead to overconsumption. For starters, artificial sweeteners are a good option in small amounts, but it will only help reduce the consumption and will not provide a permanent fix to the cravings. 

INCREASE THE NUMBER OF MEALS

The more often you eat, the less sugar you will crave. If your mealtimes are far apart, you will more likely divert towards sugary foods to curb those cravings. Taking an average of five meals per day with enough protein will help keep you full for longer.

SNACK SMARTLY

Sometimes, it is impossible not to snack, even with five meals a day. If you can snack smartly, with foods such as fruits, nuts, or peanut butter and crackers, it will help lower your sugar intake.

READ LABELS

A lot of healthy foods contain sugar, such as flavoured yoghurt, and energy bars. Carefully reading the labels can help us avoid these foods and opt for the ones without any added sugar or preservatives in them. 

GIVING IN IS NOT THAT BAD

For those who do not only like, but love sugar, completely ridding them of is a bad idea, as it can lead to binging later. Go ahead and take that pastry at the dinner party, but only take one. If you completely deprive yourself of it, you will be consuming tonnes more later, which will be much worse for your body. 

Last of all, it is the lack of other nutrients, such as water, green vegetables and protein, which makes us load up on carbohydrates. If we consume enough of these, we would not need to keep loading up on sugar to keep us energised. Adapting to these few methods can help a person slowly reduce their sugar intake.

By Anisha Hassan 

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