Kicking the Sugar Habit

We’re coming up on the New Year, and many of us have made resolutions to lose weight, or to eat healthier. A great step toward accomplishing both of these goals is the elimination of refined sugars.

That being said, we did not give up the sweet stuff over night.

These are some good steps to follow if you want to cut down (and eventually give it up!):

1. Get started on your beverages first. We switched to diet soda (which really isn’t great–it didn’t raise my blood sugar or upset my stomach, but who know what it WAS doing). Then, it was onto powdered drinks, sweetened with Stevia in the Raw, which is better. Then seltzer, and finally unsweetened iced tea. Make your end goal something unsweetened (or just water!), but be prepared to take some steps on the way.

2. Start reading labels. They sneak sugar into the most unlikely places. For example, fancy tomato sauces usually have it (often as HFCS), but the cheaper, canned brands often do not. Most canned soups have sugar added, so we make our own soup. If you substitute no-sugar-added products, you probably won’t even notice the difference.

3. Then, start making as much as you can from scratch. Even if you do add sugar, you’re probably not adding as much as the commercially-made products contain.

4. Only after you’ve gotten used to consuming less sweetness, switch to the natural sweetener of your choice. I use stevia, but you’ll want to research your options and choose what is best for your family. Just remember that none of these sweeteners were meant to be consumed in that quantities that sugar is consumed in our culture. Cut down first, then substitute.

5. If you find success, work on replacing all the refined carbs (white flour, processed oats, etc.) in your diet with whole grains. Eventually, you won’t even like the taste of processed carbs!

Good luck! Your body will thank you!

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