Day 8: Cut out all sugar for the day except for fruit. You’ll be surprised how sweet fruit can be.
The Blurb: That yummy sweetness we all crave…. today we’re kicking it to the curb! Sugar may not seem like a big deal but it causes cravings that lead to binge eating. It can cause weight gain and a host of other ailments. Too much sugar can increase your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, migraines, poor eyesight, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, gout and osteoporosis.
I’m not fan of any of those things… so, I try to limit my sugar intake. For today’s challenge you’re supposed to cut out sugar for the day. A day might not be so bad, so that’s where we’re starting. But hopefully you take the essence of this exercise to heart and think about continuing it.
The hard part about sugar is that it’s lurking in many things you may not realize. Soft drinks, fruit juices and alcoholic beverages all have high sugar content. Many “low-fat” items decrease the fat but increase the sugar (so you’ll still like their project…). Even things like yogurt and granola bars can masquerade as a “healthy” snack, but can have a lot of sugar. Read your food labels. Learn the lingo that actually means “I-have-lots-of-sugar-in-me.
Sugar is addictive, so cutting it out can be really difficult in the beginning. For today’s challenge, I suggested you limit your sugar intake to fruit, because it’s a healthier version of sweetness. Yes, there’s s still some sugar in fruit but… baby steps. If you’re serious about cutting down your sugar as a lifestyle change, I’m not going to lie- it will be hard at first. But once you get past your ‘withdrawals,’ you’ll find that it won’t really bother you not to have it.
Avoid anything that you already know has sugar. Pie, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream etc. If you’re desperate for sweetener in a meal, try Stevia.
For breakfast skip the yogurt, pastries and bagels and instead have eggs or wheat toast with almond butter.
For lunch, avoid sandwiches with white bread, your soda of choice, salad dressing (yep… huge offender) and instead stick to wheat bread, meat, cheese, nuts, veggies.
For dinner avoid pasta unless it’s whole wheat and use brown rice instead of white rice. I’ve found that you’ll feel more full after eating the wheat/brown version and you won’t get the crash.
Dessert- Try strawberries with some plain greek yogurt. Strawberries are sweet enough to give you that little YUM-YUM when you’re feeling like you can’t do it.
Keeping It Real: I grew up with desserts after most meals. I just didn’t really know any better, and what can I say? I love ice cream. But ask me when the last time I had ice cream is… ? I hardly ever have it now, but I don’t really miss it. Eating healthy with less sugar is something I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older and I feel better for it.
I’m a big believer in ALL THINGS IN MODERATION so take a few minutes to think about your eating habits. If you think you’re consuming too much sugar, I recommend a week’s “detox” so that you can get it under control. After you have a handle on it, it’s ok to indulge every once in a while. You’ll probably find that you can get your sugar-fix with only a few bites of a treat.
Ok guys… let’s do this! We are on our way to a more healthy lifestyle! I hope you’re enjoying these tips. If you missed a day, you can get caught up on the previous posts HERE.
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See you tomorrow!