Diabetes Canada recommends that we limit our sugar intake to less than 10% of our total daily calories; which is roughly about 50 grams (12 teaspoons) of sugar consumption.
Living a life of balance is what I preach and you should treat yourself every now and then. We do however, need to remember that sugar does have a negative effect on our bodies and it can cause you to gain unnecessary weight. Sugars in fruits and veggies are better to consume because you’re also getting vitamins and healthy nutrients.
Finding ways to make better life choices is something we should always be trying to search for. Try starting here with my blog article “21 Smart Food Swaps‘.
Here is an effective guide that will help you try to cut out sugar to the best of your ability. Use these tips and tricks and you’ll feel so much better. Your body, gut health, face, etc. And, knowing you’re making healthier changes will make you a happier human!
Get Familiar With The Different “Sugar Terms”
Did you know that sugar has like 100 different names? Ya, I didn’t know how much until I did my research and tried to understand more about food labels. You should really read my article on food labels to get more of an insight on all of the way sugar sneaks its way into our everyday products “How To Properly Understand Food Labels.”
Food labels can trick us and just because it says stuff like “sugar free” doesn’t necessarily mean there’s 0 sugar! It could be hiding in there with something oddly named, or processed that you don’t pay attention to because you don’t fully read or understand the labels of the food you eat.
Some sugar terms are: dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, cane juice crystals, castor, and plenty more!
Know Exactly How Much You’re Consuming
We go about our life thinking if it says it’s “healthy” it must be! Little do we know that we’re packing on extra weight with all the extra calories, fat and sugar we’re consuming and we don’t even realize it.
I did an experiment and grabbed some “healthy” snacks and drinks to weigh out the exact amount sugar in these products, and you would be very shocked on how much sugar is in some of the things we are told are healthy for you. Check out my article “How Much Sugar Are You Actually Consuming?“
It’s great to track your daily macro intake, that way you know exactly how much protein ,carbs, and fats you’re consuming, but it’s also helpful to see the sugar amount as well. Here’s a full guide on using MyFitnessPal to track your food intake. “The Ultimate Guide On How To Use MyFitnessPal“
Use Other “Sweeteners” For Snacks & Breakfast
When you buy packaged oatmeal and top it with more sugar or maple syrup that’s just a lot of unnecessary sugar you don’t need to consume. There are so many other healthier ways to sweeten stuff without going overboard.
For example, I love making overnight oats and to make it a bit sweeter I enjoy using honey, Splenda, or even sugar free maple syrup from Walden’s Farm. By adding other flavourful things like cinnamon, pumpkin spice, real fruit, and real PB you can change up the taste of things often, so you don’t get bored.
Savoury Breakfast Isn’t A Bad Thing
We need to evolve and try new things when it comes to our snacks and breakfast recipes. We don’t always need sweet and sugary things. If you’re a cereal, pancake and waffle lover you should treat them as your “treat meals,” not an everyday breakfast. I still do enjoy cereal every once in awhile, but I usually have it as a snack after I killed my legs at the gym. Try swapping out some of the sugary foods for overnight oats, toast with PB and honey, eggs with avocado toast or delicious sautéed veggie omelettes.
Breakfast to me is the most important meal of the day, so it’s best if you give your body the nutrients it needs. Trying new things for breakfast might be the best thing for you, because cereal and pancakes aren’t filling and I’m hungry 30 mins later. The breakfast ideas I have provided below are protein heavy, filling, budget friendly and really tasty!
If you need some breakfast inspo try reading this post “Tasteful Healthy Breakfast Ideas“.
Don’t Fall For The Advertising
As I mentioned above with learning how to read food labels it’s so important that you don’t fall for the ads on the food packages. We see so many things like “fat free, low sugar, low carb, high in protein,” ETC, ETC, ETC and we tend to grab these packages without even confirming whether or not it’s actually true. Most of the time it’s worse than the normal thing it is replacing. We may grab something that’s “low fat” and “low in carbs” but did you even check the sugar content? Most likely not. We need to get into the habit of always checking the nutritional facts, BUT also the ingredients! The ingredient list is in order on what the product is mainly made of. If the first ingredient is fructose you may want to skip buying that unless it’s a treat.
Be Your Own Bartender
With diving into this myself, I have written a full blog post on my go-to easy, but delicious boozy drinks that are much healthier. Recipe and macros are attached! 🙂 (12 Healthy Alternatives To Boozy Drinks)
Who doesn’t love a good drink? Do you find yourself ordering more drinks at the bar than at home? Because it’s stuff you can’t make? The bar is where you may consume a lot of calories and sugar. Unless you’re at a fancy bar, the bartender will most likely use simple things in your drink such as simple syrups and not to mention “fruit juices” that are basically candy with amount of sugar that’s already in there.
Learning how to make your own fruity and bubbly drinks are the best ways to keep your calories and most importantly your sugar intake lower! That’s why I’m obsessed with my blog post about healthier boozy drinks because I’m able to show you how to make the drinks you want when you go out by using real fruits and a healthier sugar component.
How Do You Make Your Coffee?
Coffee is coffee! You don’t need to have a frappinchino or crazy lattes every single day. You want those drinks because you’re addicted to them and this is the perfect opportunity to switch it up and see that there is no difference.
Instead of cream, use some milk or almond milk. Instead of white sugar use honey or Splenda. I buy the small packages of Splenda and let me tell you, I don’t even use half of the package because I use more milk to make it not as strong. You honestly don’t always need sugar!
Cut Your Sugar Lower When Baking
I have experimented and it works! I have made banana bread with less sugar and it tasted great. Usually banana bread asks for 3/4 cups of sugar, and I have tried just adding a tad less than half a cup and added some extra honey instead and it works just fine. You could probably make your whole loaf with just using honey.
I find that a lot of recipes call for a ton of sugar when you can most likely cut it by 1/3 or even 1/2. It’s honestly why I’m an ice cream & chocolate bar lover because I know what I’m getting. This is part of the reason why I tend to avoid your standard desserts because t hey are usually way too sweet for me.
Try experimenting yourself and try substituting sugar for other things or just cut the sugar lower and see how it turns out. You’ll never know if you don’t try!
Eat Real Fruit Instead Of Dried
I feel like a lot of office workers love the simple trail mix and dried fruit for their mid day munch. However stick with packing real fruit! They have more nutrients, they’re more refreshing and the juice is just delicious, instead of getting the dried fruit stuck in your teeth like candy.
Dried fruit contains way more sugar than the real deal. I do enjoy dried mangos but I’m aware of the portion size I consume.
Never Go Grocery Shopping On An Empty Stomach
This is the worst, not only because you want to rip something open and eat it while you’re shopping, but you end up adding stuff in your cart that wasn’t even on your list, which will most likely be more than you wanted to spend.
Make a list and try your very best to stick to your plan! I never have junk food in the house, so sometimes I do grab something for a treat that evening, but having loads of unhealthy stuff is not a good idea. I don’t like eating junk every day; it’s not as enjoyable when a once in a while treat becomes an everyday habit.
Try grocery shopping in the morning after breakfast, or even after a workout when you had your post workout snack and protein shake. Anything after your workout feels better and you will 100% want to make healthier choices after you smashed your workout. 😉
I hope you enjoyed this post and remember that everything has sugar in them these days… Which is pretty disgusting. Condiments, pasta, bread etc. That’s why you need to try your best and make better choices when buying your food. Don’t give into packaging advertisements and take the extra couple of minutes to read and get to know what’s exactly in your food.
Eating less sugar will make you feel 1000 times better and you will notice how good it feels and will want to continue to do your best.
Baby steps, it all counts! 🙂
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