Limit Sugar Intake?! Do I have to?
I look at sugar as a recreational drug… It’s fun (in the moment) & tastes delicious, but is it worth it?
According to the USDA, the average American eats between 150-170 pounds of sugar per year. Added sugar alone contributes to roughly 500 calories per day per person. That’s 182,500 calories of sugar per year! Decreasing your sugar intake is a huge step in getting your diet under control.
Sugar can deplete the body of nutrients, causing an imbalance of calcium, phosphorus, and hormones.
If you’re looking to kick more ass in the new year, excess sugar in your diet must be addressed.
Challenging? Maybe, but think about the benefits you’ll reap if you succeed:
- More stable energy throughout the day
- Fat loss/Weight loss
- Better skin
7 Tips to Limit Sugar Intake
Tip 1: Look for “sugar” slang words in ingredient labels.
Knowledge is power! Sugar can be disguised in nutrition labels. If you see any of these words listed below in an ingredient label, know that there is sugar in the product.
- Agave Nectar
- Barley Malt Syrup
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup or corn syrup solids
- Dehydrated Cane Juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Raw sugar
- Rice Syrup
- Sorghum or sorghum syrup
- Turbinado Sugar
One easy way to avoid these ingredients is to eat more whole foods that do not come in a package (protein, healthy fats, vegetables, berries, etc.).
Tip 2: Replace sugary food with healthier options.
Sugar hides in almost everything. Here are a few swaps to start with if you want to limit sugar intake…
- Mustard instead of ketchup
- Plain Sheep Yogurt (lowest in natural sugars compared to all yogurts) or plain almond yogurt instead of flavored greek/milk yogurts… You can sweeten plain yogurt using berries & cinnamon.
- Olive oil or butter instead of sauces/pasta sauce
- MediClear Plus instead of sugary shakes & sports drinks
- Fat Water (yes, I said Fat Water… read about how awesome it is here.) instead of soft drinks, gatorade, and flavored water
- Avocado oil, Primal Kitchen Mayo or dressing, or Brain Octane Oil with lemon instead of typical salad dressings
- Bulletproof Collagen Bars instead of high sugar bars
- Bulletproof Chocolate Bars instead of regular chocolate bars
- Low sugar fruit instead of high glycemic fruit
- Green juice using all greens & lemon or lime instead of most fruit & veggie juices
- “Bulletproof Get Some Ice Cream” or Halo Top instead of regular ice cream
For a quick low carb food guide, check this out.
Tip 4: Track your sugar intake using MyFitPal.
It is recommended that women do not exceed 25 grams (6 tsp) of sugar per day, while men stay below 38 grams of sugar. The only way you can know if you are within or below the recommended limit is to track it! I like using MyFitPal on my iphone to see how much sugar are in the foods I eat. You may be surprised when it all starts to add up!
Tip 5: Eat enough protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Many clients come to me saying they’ve eliminated sugar, but are starving because they aren’t replacing sugary foods with more veggies, proteins, and fat. Fill up on the healthy, whole foods. Do not substitute sugary items for “diet” foods or artificially sweetened food/beverages (like diet soda… RUN!!!!). To learn more about a wholesome eating plan, check this out.
Tip 6: Develop an “If, then” strategy.
Parties, dining out, peer pressure… All of it will come (unless you socially isolate yourself, which is not recommended). If you’re serious about kicking your sweet tooth, develop a few “If, then” plans for when the unexpected happens. Here are a few examples…
- “my friends are getting ice cream, then I will stick to sample size & take coconut charcoal for damage control.”
- “I want a sugary breakfast (mornings are the WORST time to eat sugar… setting up your energy & metabolism for a rough day), then I will make my Bulletproof Coffee first (whatever protein/fat-focused breakfast you like), wait 20 minutes, and see if I still want sugar. If I do, I will have berries or one of the swaps listed above.”
- “I am choosing to have sugar, then I will consume it mindfully at a special event without bringing back leftovers to the house.”
Tip 7: Try these supplements to help with cravings.
Always remember to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements. I recommend any of the following for sugar cravings…
- B Complex
- 5-HTP (Warning: may cause drowsiness)
- Keto Prime
- Tea (Green tea, Pu-Erh, & Yerba Mate are my favorites)