Sugar. It’s the enemy of your diet, it’s the worst thing that a person can put in their body, and it will make you fat. Although there might be many who will agree and disagree on the validity of these statements, I am one who believes in moderation being the key in any diet or lifestyle. Your life is too short not to partake in consuming a bowl of ice cream or a glazed donut once-in-a-while.
However, if sugar is a major concern for you, my following tips could help you manage your sugar intake, and perhaps help you reach some weight-loss goals you might have set.
Chew sugarless gum.
Sugarless gum is a hack that I used to employ when I was in the opening stages of my lifestyle change. In my opinion, the artificial sweetness of the mint flavor in a stick of sugarless gum mimics the effects of eating a piece of candy or something else that is very sweet, such as mint flavored ice cream. However, there could be a down side to sugarless gum. According to packages of many sugar-free products, it will mention that the over consumption of sugar alcohols could bring on laxative-like effects. So, perhaps one does not want to chew an excessive amount of sugarless gum.
2. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
Many fruits are naturally sweet, so sugar is not the major issue when eating them. However, one might not want to partake in fruit consumption at night. Jody Braverman of Demand Media says, “if one eats a surplus amount of fruit before going to sleep, he or she could have digestive problems caused by the fruit, which could disrupt one’s sleep cycle”. In addition, livestrong.com says “fruits are still high in sugar, so an excessive consumption could raise one’s blood sugar if they are diabetic or pre-diabetic”. On the vegetable side of the coin, they are naturally low in calories, but what makes them sweet without adding sugar to them? You could dip raw, baby carrots or celery in peanut butter. This is a hack that I still use to this day, when I want something sweet, but don’t want to overload on sugar. Peanut butter is packed with protein, so raw vegetables and peanut butter make for a healthy snack.
3. Drink plenty of water.
This next tip is fairly simple, drink water. “Water is great for the body because it is a natural fat burner and it helps to transport any unwanted or unnecessary substance to exit your body” (Cynthia Carpenter of theinsidetrainer.com). However, water was a major resource for me when I decided to become healthier. It was practically the only thing I would drink because soda and sports drinks, such as Gatorade, have too much processed sugars. I understand that it is sometimes hard to turn down a bottle of Gatorade during a workout or an ice-cold can of soda on a hot day, but if you can train your body to like the freshness of water, you won’t miss the sugary, soft drinks as much.
In closing, sugar in moderation is okay. For example, I eat donuts on Sundays, but I can’t eat them everyday. Don’t completely deprive yourself of sugar because when you work hard, it is okay to reward oneself.
Tune into a Community Affair on Monday, August 15th to hear from the author of the new book Sugar Crush, Dr. Richard Jacoby. He has the everything you need to know about the harmful effects that sugar can have on our bodies.