It's no secret that sugar isn't very good for you. It contributes to tooth decay, as well as raises the levels of glucose in your blood, which can lead to a host of health complications as well as weight gain. Despite the known unhealthy aspects of sugar, Americans still consume practically three times more than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. This is because, well, sugar tastes awesome. Here are a few ways to limit your sugar intake, without having to cut it out of your diet completely and still manage to lose weight.
"Don't feel bad about that full-fat cream cheese."
Keep your eye on your beverages
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, drinks are the source of approximately 36 percent of Americans' added sugar consumption. A lot of that comes from sugary coffees and sodas. While it's not necessary to completely deprive yourself of these sweet beverages, limiting your intake to just a couple a week, rather than one or two a day like usual, can make a huge impact on your overall sugar intake, which can help you lose weight. Try infusing your water with fruit, or simply drinking a cup of brewed coffee with a little bit of sugar in it as opposed to a sweet latte or frappe. Some teas, like mint or chai have a sweet flavor to them as well, without added sugar.
Stick with full-fat
You may be reading this in disbelief. After all, when trying to lose weight, why wouldn't you eat low-fat alternatives? However, most processed fat-free or low-fat options at the grocery store make up for that lack of fat and calories with extra sugar. And most of the time, the low-fat versions still don't taste as good as the ones with full-fat. You may think you're coming out on top by consuming fewer calories, but you're actually just loading your body up with sugar. In other words, don't feel bad about putting original cream cheese on your bagel instead of fat-free.
Step up the fruit intake
We all crave a treat once in a while. When you need something sweet, though, try reaching for an apple or some berries instead of cookies. Not only will you still be getting that glucose your body is craving, but you'll also get other important nutrients that processed foods and sugary snacks lack. If you pair that fruit with a protein like some nuts or peanut butter, your hunger will be satiated, as well as your sugar craving.
Buy unsweetened products
From canned fruits to nut butters, there are plenty of added sugars lurking in items you would never expect. When grocery shopping, look for labels that say "no sugar added," and pick those over the pre-sweetened ones. Even if you'd prefer sweetened products, adding your own sweetener at home will allow you to control the amount of sugar included in your meals and snacks.
Don't deprive yourself
If you've just read a magazine article about the dangers of sugar, you may be tempted to go home and toss all of your sweet snacks in the trash. However, that scary article probably won't deter you next week when you're craving a doughnut. It's important to give in to your cravings once in a while to make sure that when you do get the chance to eat the food of your affections, you don't go overboard. That principle is crucial to the Food Lovers Fat Loss system. Rather than depriving yourself of the foods you love, you learn to maximize your metabolism with a mix of fast and slow carbs at each meal.