How to Quit Sugar
Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to various health problems, and many people seek effective ways to cut down their sugar intake. A sugar detox can be a challenging process, which is why 5-Minute Crafts decided to help our readers and share 8 tips that will help them ease sugar cravings and make the transition to a sugar-free diet smoother.
Please keep in mind that it’s always better to consult a doctor before changing your diet in case any unpleasant symptoms or side effects occur.
1. Come up with a meal plan and take it slow.
- Cutting out all sugary products right away may cause unpleasant symptoms like fatigue, irritability, brain fog, and headaches, so it’s better not to go on a diet before any important or stressful events in your life.
- Remember that your body will need some time to adjust to your new diet, so take it slow and listen to your body’s reactions. Don’t expect your body to accept your new lifestyle right away.
If you usually eat a lot of sugar, cutting down its consumption may be pretty difficult because you don’t know what other food options you have. It’s important to stick to your eating plan and have a meal before you get too hungry. Otherwise, it might be more difficult to avoid the temptation to go for a high-sugar snack.
2. Carefully examine the products that are generally considered “healthy.”
Many food products like fruit juices, cereals, and yogurts that are marked as “healthy” may contain a decent amount of sugar. So always read the nutrition label carefully and avoid products that have all types of sugar and artificial sweeteners in their list of ingredients. Remember that honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, and molasses should also be avoided.
3. Determine the main sources of sugar you consume.
Figuring out what products you get most of your sugar from will help you replace them with healthier sugar-free alternatives. For example, you can go for matcha tea, homemade flavored water, coconut water, or vegetable juice made of low-sugar ingredients instead of fruit juices.
4. Discover new tastes.
Going sugar-free may make your new diet seem tasteless and dull. In time, your taste buds will become more responsive and you’ll sense tastes better. But for now, experiment and use different spices and food combinations to make your food taste less boring and ease your sugar cravings. For example, use cinnamon, ginger, or vanilla extract to add more flavor to your dishes.
5. Opt for healthy fats.
To help stabilize blood sugar levels, go with products that contain healthy fats. Nuts, avocados, fish, oils, and olives are great options. These products will keep you satiated and full of energy, making it easier to stick to your diet.
6. Stock up on healthy snacks.
No matter how determined you are, you can sometimes fail to stick to your eating schedule or crave a high-calorie snack. It’s important to prepare for this in advance and have food that will help you treat yourself and feel better. Choose sugar-free products that you like. Here are some healthy options:
- Salted popcorn
- Roasted chickpeas
7. Get enough sleep and don’t forget to exercise.
- A lack of sleep affects hormones that regulate appetite, making you crave foods that are high in sugar. That’s why it’s important to get proper sleep every night if you want to battle the symptoms of sugar withdrawal.
- Exercising helps increase your energy levels and reduce symptoms that are related to cutting sugar, like fatigue and sugar cravings. Even a short period of physical activity, like a 15-minute walk, may help reduce sugar cravings.
8. Adjust your way of thinking.
- We often think of sugary foods as a reward, but in terms of heath, it’s not the case. Try to change your mindset to see a sugar-free diet more like an act of self-care rather than a punishment.
- Try to eat mindfully to truly experience all the tastes and enjoy your food. Focus on the meal you’re having to truly enjoy it without thinking about sugar.
- Be kind to yourself and if you feel like you’re starting to crave sugar too much, think of a food product you can substitute it with. For example, you can add more berries to your meal to make it sweeter without consuming too much sugar.