So many new years resolutions begin with cutting back on sugar.
And while I don’t agree with new years resolutions that are super restrictive, I do think that most of us could really use cutting back on sugar.
Unfortunately there is SO much more sugar in our food than we realize, and overconsumption of processed sugar over time can increase inflammation, risk for mood disorders (hello anxiety), increase weight, and so much more. So, yes- cutting back on sugar is a pretty good idea.
Now let me clarify though…all sugar isn’t created equal.
There is natural sugar and there is processed added sugar. I’m talking about the processed sugar- that’s the stuff I want you to be mindful of, and that’s what I’m addressing in this post.
So to help you more easily cut back on your sugar, I have some tips for you that I’ve found helpful in my own efforts to cut back on sugar (I’m right there with you!).
10 Tips for Cutting Back on Sugar
1. Don’t go cold turkey
This is the worst mistake I see people make. It makes it nearly impossible. Have a plan!
2. Find great replacements for sugary items, that you like
Choose items that are made with natural sugar- or that are grown from the earth (the best type)
- Fruit (of all types)
- Desserts like dark chocolate, low sugar chocolate mousse, and some ISN classics like oatmeal raisin cookies, or Vegan cookie dough or Macaroons!
3. Understand that when you’re hungry, you’ll almost always crave sugar
There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s human nature.
4. Don’t turn to artificial sweeteners
In fact I’d rather you eat the real stuff instead. But if you must, stevia is your best bet.
5. Plan to maintain something sweet at your “time” of day
…if you have a time of day that you usually eat something sweet (I.e. after dinner). But make it an item with less added sugar.
6. Cut sugar out of easy places (that you may not notice)
- Random candies you snack on
- In your coffee
- … look for the places you may have extra sugar and look to cut back
7. Factor in alcohol as part of your sugar intake
Eek, I’m sorry for this one, but it does count towards sugar. So if in a meal you’re having dessert and something carby and alcohol- make a choice
8. Find good-for-you alternatives to sugary items
My favorite? 100% dark chocolate… took me a while to get here but you’ll get used to it and it feels like the real stuff. But my favorite stuff in the store (LINK)
9. Start with making a change later on in the day.
What we eat later in the day and before bed can make the biggest influence on how we feel. If nothing else, work on the dinnertime sugar-eating; we all fall into the trap of sugary desserts- but trailing some lower-sugar items may help with sleep and restfulness.
10. Make easy swaps in your baking recipes
An easy place to swap out extra sugar and boost the longevity (ahem, satiety!) of your dessert recipes is by swapping out white flour with almond, tiger nut or a whole wheat flour.