Do you know how much sugar you are consuming each day? I didn't until I started reading labels. Talk about a sugar shock!
Why Weight Watchers Should Consider Slashing the Sugar?
Sugar's sweetness is easy to love. But its nutritional value is zero - no vitamins, no minerals no fiber - just empty calories that can leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied.
Avoiding added sugar is an easy way to jump start your weight loss.
I believe in the power of little changes to your diet adding up BIG over time. I know it's not sexy, but it's realistic.
In the past few months, I committed to cutting back on added sugar, eating more fruits and vegetables, and getting my 8 glasses of water.
Nothing earth shattering!
And guess what?
I'm down about 8 pounds without any pain or suffering or feelings of deprivation!
How cool is that?
Are you ready to lose some weight and feel better without extreme measures? Why not make a conscious effort to curb the sugar?
Here are some practical easy steps you can take:
10 Easy Ways to Slash Your Sugar Intake
1. Limit yourself to 1 sweet treat of <200 calories each day.
Dessert and sweet treats should be a small percentage (10%) or less of your daily calorie intake. If you are in the habit of eating dessert several times a day, this one change will make a big difference.
During a conversation with my husband, who was reflecting back on his years at summer camp, he explained that he was allotted 1 treat a day and spent most of it trying to figure out what to select.
I've noticed that limiting my sweet treats causes me to be more selective while providing a greater level of enjoyment.
2. Decrease the amount of sugar you use in baking.
You can usually cut the amount of sugar by at least 25% in most recipes without noticing much of a difference. Here are some guidelines to help:
- For cookies and cakes: Use ½ cup sugar for each cup of flour in the recipe.
- For muffins and quick breads: Use 1 tablespoon to ¼ cup sugar for each cup of flour in the recipe.
- For yeast breads: Use 1 teaspoon of sugar for each cup of flour in the recipe.
It might take a little while for your taste buds to adjust to these lower levels of sugar, but in time your old treats will end up tasting too sweet!
3. Switch ketchup for salsa wherever you can.
Ketchup has about 4 grams of sugar in each teaspoon where salsa usually has none. It's a zero points condiment on Weight Watchers too.
4. Switch to plain yogurt instead of the fruit flavored kind.
Plain yogurt can taste sour until you adjust to it. But most fruit flavored yogurts are sugar bombs with 12 - 25 added grams of sugar (3 - 6 teaspoons). I switched to plain yogurt and drizzle it with just a tiny bit of honey or maple syrup or stir in some jam for a big reduction in my daily sugar consumption.
5. Substitute sparking water with a squeeze of lemon for at least one of your daily sodas.
Okay, if you are dependent on soda, I'm not suggesting you give it up cold turkey. That would be cruel. But I am suggesting you slowly wean yourself of it. Replacing one 12 ounce soda per day with sparkling water or club soda will save you 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories.
6. Trade peanut butter for your jam.
Having 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on your toast in place of the same amount of jam will reduce your sugar by about 7 grams.
7. Skip the commercial granola bar.
Have a few whole grain crackers with hummus, or make your own granola bars instead. Most commercial granola bars have 11 - 16 grams of sugar (3 to 4 teaspoons).
8. Don't add sugar to your food and beverages.
Okay, this may go without saying, but, I'll say it anyway, to cut down on added sugar, put away the sugar bowl. Learn to drink your coffee without sugar and stop sprinkling the stuff on your cereal. Have sliced bananas or berries on your cereal and try a natural sweetener like, stevia, in your coffee.
9. Switch to a low sugar cereal if you eat it for breakfast.
Many cereals contain 8 - 15 grams of added sugar. (That's equal to 2 -4 teaspoons per serving.) Switch to one that has 3 grams or less. Fiber One, Shredded Wheat, Oatmeal, Kashi go Lean and Cheerios all would qualify.
10. Swap a fancy coffee beverage for something a little more restrained.
Did you know that a 16 ounce Vanilla Frappuccino has 64 grams of added sugar (16 teaspoons) and a 16 ounce flavored latte, 34 grams? Go for the plain iced latte and save 30 - 50 extra grams of sugar!
Learn to enjoy the bitterness (it is one of our 5 tastes, after all), add a little stevia or sweeten it yourself with just 1 - 2 teaspoons of sugar.
There you have it, 10 easy ideas for cutting back your sugar intake. By avoiding the added sugar that comes from soda, baked goods, sweetened breakfast cereals and fruit drinks you can reduce more than 80% of the added sugar from your diet.
Finding ways to cut back without depriving yourself can be a healthy form of fun too.
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
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I have most of my problems with sugar. I stopped adding sugar to my coffee and tea drinks, never have soft drinks, no soda - but I love dessert and hot fudge sundaes - when eating out at a restaurant I share my dessert. I get mini sundaes - limit cakes and cookies but I am always craving them. I am a sugarholic!!
I bought a bag of stevia and I am on the lookout for good homemade low sugar/low calorie desserts. Thank you for your emails and recipes - I have tried the crockpot apple crisp - very good - want to eat all of it.
Hi Barbara, I think many of us struggle with sugar. It's sweet and delicious, so what's not to love??? Have you ever explored your cravings? Are they associated with specific emotions, times of day, memories, feelings? Years ago I attended a 6 month Psychology of Eating Course in which it was suggested that sugar cravings can mean we need more kindness and sweetness in our lives - love, self-care, joy, etc. An interesting concept/consideration 🙂