Eat Less Sugar
Sugar: It's not as sweet as it tastes. Besides leading to weight gain, sugar can harm your teeth, skin, and more. We know many of you want to eat less sugar, but we also know cutting back can be a challenge. We're here to help! We'll teach you how to stop eating sugar (or at least how to eat less) by making small changes and swapping in low-sugar foods.
1. Identify the Sugar Bombs
Before you can cut out sugar, you need to figure out where it's coming from. This list of common foods high in sugar can help. Consuming these regularly can directly increase your sugar intake, but cutting them out can lower it. Identify which items you consume daily (or more), and aim to cut two per week—otherwise continue eating as you would normally.
These super-sweet items barely even try to hide their sugar content.
Regular soda: 11 tsp. (44 g) sugars per 12-oz. serving
Sports drink: 5 tsp. (20 g) sugars per 12-oz. serving
Fruit juice: 5 tsp. (20 g) sugars per 8-oz. serving
Coffee drink: 7 tsp. (28 g) sugars per 12-oz. serving
Candy: 7 tsp. (28 g) sugars per regular-size candy bar
Flavored milk: 6 tsp. (24 g) sugars per 1-cup serving
Cake, pie, cookie, and baked goods: 10 tsp. (40 g) sugars per serving
Flavored yogurt: 5 tsp. (20 g) sugars per 6-oz. serving
Fruit-and-dairy smoothie: 6 tsp. (24 g) sugars per 1-cup serving
Sugary breakfast cereal: 3 tsp. (12 g) sugars per 1-cup serving
2. Evaluate and Keep Going!
Now that you've given up two sugary foods, how do you feel? Think you can do it again? Go another week without consuming that coffee drink and cookie. If you identified any other sugar bombs in your diet, give up another two this week. Eliminate two per week until you're not consuming any. Pretty soon it'll be habit.
3. Attack the Hidden Sugar
These treats are where sugar has been sneaky. While not as obvious (and not quite as high in sugars) as the the Sugar Bombs, these foods still make a difference. Choose three that you eat most often, and eliminate them for a week. Each week, choose three more until you've eliminated all of them.
Even ketchup and canned soup are hiding added sugars. Check this list carefully to see what you're consuming.
Trail mix: 3 tsp. (12 g) sugars per 1-oz. serving
Canned soup: 1.5 tsp. (6 g) sugars per 1-cup serving
Breakfast cereal: 2.5 tsp. (10 g) sugars per 1-cup serving
Salad dressing: 2 tsp. (8 g) sugars per 1-Tbsp. serving
Ketchup: 2 tsp. (8 g) sugars per 2-Tbsp. serving
Barbecue sauce: 4 tsp. (16 g) sugars per 2-Tbsp. serving
Tomato/pasta sauce: 2 tsp. (8 g) sugars per .5-cup serving
Granola bar: 3 tsp. (12 g) sugars per bar
Bread: 1 tsp. (4 g) sugars per 2 slices
Pickles: 1 tsp. (4 g) sugars per serving
Instant flavored oatmeal: 3 tsp. (12 g) sugars per packet
4. Adjust and Don't Give Up
Remember, we're going for a lifestyle change here, not a short-lived diet. It might seem tough to give up sugary items you consume every day, but pretty soon your taste buds will adjust. Eventually, you might begin to think that sugary breakfast cereal is far too sweet. But if you have dessert every now and then, or a coffee drink on a rough morning, it's certainly not the end of the world.