In my last blog post I gave the lowdown on how sugar can cause hormonal imbalance but I didn’t give much in the way of how exactly to quit sugar. So today I am breaking down 3 simple steps you can incrementally wean yourself off of sugar and Join SA, Sugar Addicts Anonymous. JK, but really you can come off sugar and here is how.
Cut the processed foods
This might seem obvious but that doesn’t make it any less difficult. Processed food is not only high sugar but it also has a whole host of preservatives and chemicals that you probably don’t want in your body. Make simple swaps to make this process easier. Start by simply swapping sodas for flavored sparkling water, you can add a few drops of monk fruit extract for a sweeter taste. Cut the chips, cookies, crackers and store bought sauces and dips. Sauces typically are loaded with hidden sugar. Instead eat some low GI fruit in place of cookies and homemade kale chips instead of crackers. You can also make your own healthier versions of sauces,that are made from fresh ingredients. Do this for a couple of weeks or until it begins to feel more normal for you.
Limit fruit temporarily
The next simple step to take is to limit your fruit intake. Especially fruits high in sugar like tropical fruits (mangos, pineapples, oranges). Limit your fruit intake to 1-2 cups per day. Aim to eat fruit lower on the glycemic index like berries. It’s important to cut anything that tastes very sweet in order to give your tastes buds a chance to recalibrate and become sensitive again. Do this for a month, as that is how long it can take to recalibrate your taste buds. Eventually those tart blueberries start to taste so delicious and satisfying.
Watch your carb intake
Although you may not be eating processed foods or too much fruit you can still get a lot of sugar in your diet by eating too many carbs. Carbs that seem unassuming (potatoes, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, legumes) still break down into simple sugars, albeit much slower than refined sugar, but sugar all the same. Depending on your body type and activity level limit your carbs anywhere from 3/4 cup to ¼ cup per day. You will begin to see a big change in energy levels when you start watching your carbs. Additionally pump up the healthy fats like: olive oil, grass fed butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, sprouted nuts and seeds to help your body use fat instead of sugar for fuel. You don’t need to overkill with fats just the size of your two thumbs. So over all your macros on carbs should be lowered and your healthy fats should be raised slightly.
Eventually when your blood sugar stabilizes more after coming off of sugar you can start to occasionally add in more fruit for a more variety of nutrients. Just remember once those cravings are gone and you feel free, don’t fall off the wagon for some good looking cake. I admittedly have made this mistake and it is easy to fall down a rabbit hole of “healthier” sweet treats. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have cake just stay strong and really limit your sweets to special occasions.