7 Tips to Cut Back on Sugar

7 Tips to Cut Back on SugarAs part of a healthy diet and weight loss program, you may be looking to cut back on calories.  As part of this, you may immediately stop eating fatty foods or may even start a new diet.  While you may be losing weight and the diet may be progressing how you like, you need that little more weight loss in order to achieve your goals.  This is when you should look to cut out all excess sugar from your diet.

Cutting back on carbohydrates for many refers to avoiding breads, pasta, or rice at any meal.  While this does help, part of cutting back on carbohydrates includes avoiding added sugar.  Maybe you have black coffee now, you stopped grazing candy at work, or you may even cut soda out of your lifestyle, but there are many “sugar traps” you ought to be aware of if you want to cut back on sugar to reach your ultimate goals.  Listed below are five sugar traps you ought to eliminate from your diet.

Top 7 Tips to Cut Back on Sugar

  1. Avoid Baking Treats. Cookies, pies, cakes, and any treats are hard to avoid over some holidays, but the best thing you can do for you goals is to limit or avoid these treats.  If you can, avoid baking them at home and purchase the treats at a store if you are required to bring a treat to a social gathering.  In addition, fancy fruit assortments make healthy treats.
  2. Food Labels. Reading food labels is not for entertainment; they are there to describe all ingredients in the food you purchase from your store.  If sugar is an ingredient in your ingredient list, then you should try your best to avoid this product.  Sugar can be in any food and surprisingly can be found in tomato sauce, crackers, condiments, dressings, and fruit juices, to name a few [1].  The rule of thumb here is that no matter what you purchase, you should read the label unless it is raw fruits or vegetables.  Fruit juice, which the name may imply is healthy, is notorious for adding extra sugar so be very cautious with your products.
  3. Understand Sugar Names. When you read a food label and do not see sugar as an ingredient, do not be fooled.  Some names can be placed in the ingredients list and unless you are aware of what the different names for sugar are, you could easily be tricked.  Some names to be warned of include high fructose corn syrup, cane syrup, molasses, sucrose, fructose, honey, dextrose, and corn syrup [2].  If any of these ingredients are included in the food list, avoid them and try another product.
  4. Substitute Sugary Snacks for Fruit. If you are having issues with cutting back on sugar from your everyday routine, consider substituting a treat or candy for a raw piece of fruit.  While fruit consists of fructose, a sugar, it is a much better choice.  If you have issues with eating something sweet at dinner, consider more servings of raw vegetables to fill your stomach.
  5. Cook at Home. Cooking at home may take extra time than from stopping somewhere, but when you cook using your own recipe, you know what you are adding.  When you select a recipe and it calls for sugar, consider leaving it out of the meal to help avoid added sugar.  By cooking your own meals, you avoid eating out, have better control on what may or may not be in your meal, and you can cut back on calories and save the bank all at the same time.
  6. Sports Drinks. You exercise often and feel like you should replenish your fluids with a sports drink.  These drinks offer sodium, potassium, and water to a body starving for these nutrients, but they often are flavored with sugar.  While drinking sports drinks may seem like something you need following a workout, the truth is they are another source of sugar you do not need after a workout.  Most sports drinks are needed for athletes or individuals who work out for at least three hours daily.  Save yourself the empty calories after your hard workout and consider a banana and water instead [3].
  7. Beer, wine, and spirits are great in social gatherings.  In addition, health experts recommend one glass of beer or wine daily for women and two for men.  While this is great for lowering blood pressure, one needs to be cautious with drinking alcohol.  Not only do alcoholic beverages slow the breakdown of fat, the sugar contained in the alcoholic beverages typically have a high amount of sugar.  Many alcoholic drinks do not list how much sugar is in its drink, but it will add up when you have two every night.

For the next month, cut all forms of sugar from your diet as best as you can.  Challenge yourself to read as many food labels as you possibly can in order to help your body stay lean.  If you find that some of the foods you purchase contain added sugars, challenge yourself to cut that product out of your life.



[1] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20809521_2,00.html

[2] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20809521_3,00.html

[3] http://www.rd.com/slideshows/sugar-addiction/#slideshow=slide9

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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