Let’s be real. Sugar tastes great. However, we both know all that added sugar we consume isn’t good for our health. How would you like to stop eating it and change your diet in less than a week? Best of all, how would you like to stop craving candy and sweets and eat healthy, real food instead? You can do it by following this simple step by step plan. Each day you’ll focus on something different and before the week is over you’ll have broken that sugar habit. Let’s start.
Day One – Keep Track of Your Daily Sugar Intake
For the first day, simply keep track of how much sugar you’re consuming. Write down everything you eat and drink and start adding up how many grams of sugar you’re consuming. Add it all up at the end of the day.
Now the gram amount probably won’t mean much to you. Grab your calculator and use this formula to figure out how many teaspoons of sugar you’ve had. Each teaspoon of sugar has about 4 g of sugar in it. Take your total grams and divide them by 4. How many teaspoons of sugar have you had today? If you need a visual aide like me, grab the sugar jar and measure it out into a bowl. If you’re anything like the average American, it will be quite a lot of sugar. Seeing the amount in front of you might be shocking and will help you make it through the next five days and work hard at cutting back on the sugar you consume.
Day Two – Cut the Sugar from Your Favorite Beverages
There’s a lot of sugar hiding in your favorite drinks. Today, I want you to focus on cutting it out of everything you drink. That means no more soda, no sugar or fancy creamer in your coffee, no sugar or honey in your tea and no fruit juices. Pay attention to everything you drink and if it has sugar, skip it. Stick to water, club soda, black coffee (with milk or cream) and unsweetened tea.
Keep up this habit of sugar-free drinks throughout the rest of the week.
Day Three – Change Your Breakfast
Today we’ll change up breakfast. Instead of grabbing a bowl of sugary cereal, a breakfast bar or a donut, go for something without sugar. Fry up some eggs, or fix a bowl of oatmeal sweetened with stevia or a little dry fruit. Unsweetened yogurt is another great choice. I personally can’t get into unsweetened yogurt, but I’ve been told it’s great when you add in fruit. You can also find a couple of sugar-free breakfast treats you like and start having them from here on out instead of your sugary breakfast options.
Day Four – Skip the Sweet Treats and Snacks
It’s time to give up your favorite sweet treats, snacks, and desserts. That also means no more cookies, candy or ice cream. SIGH! This is going to be hard, but you can do it. Instead, focus on eating real food and bigger portions during your main meals. Without the blood sugar spikes and dips that your favorite sugary treats cause, you’ll find you won’t be as hungry in between meals. The first few days will be hard, but it will get easier.
Day Five – Find Healthy Replacements for Your Favorite Treats
When you really crave a something sweet or feel like you must have some sort of dessert, choose a natural option. Have a piece of fruit instead of cake or mix frozen banana slices, cream, and vanilla extract into mock ice cream in the blender. Fruit smoothies are also naturally delicious, sweet treats that don’t have any added sugar.
Find a few things you enjoy. If you’re craving chocolate, grab a bar of dark chocolate with little-added sugar and allow yourself one or two squares a day. Moderation is key with these healthy sweet treats.
Day Six – Watch for Hidden Sugars
Start watching out for hidden sugars on day six. Get into the habit of reading labels and avoiding things like low-fat salad dressing and ketchup because those things have a bunch of added sugar. Words like glucose, fructose, and high fructose corn syrup – pretty much anything ending in -ose will alert you to added sugar sources. Cook what you can from scratch to have control over what goes into your food. Follow this advice and you’ll be free of that sugar habit in less than a week.
DO NOT be discouraged if cutting out sugar takes longer than a week. It’s hard, especially if you’re addicted to it like I am. If you need to repeat a day or two, do so, but eventually, you will be able to remove sugar from your diet.