Sugar, in its molecular form known as glucose, is essential for our brain function. It is the fuel needed by the body to provide energy in order to carry out our activities. However, taking in too much sugar can be detrimental to your health. Many people consume loads to sugar daily through the foods and drinks they eat. They might have become addicted and can’t help but eat something sugary daily. Reducing your added sugar intake is a great way to live a healthier lifestyle. Admittedly, it is not easy, but the benefits are invaluable. If you want to avoid or drastically reduce your sugar intake, this article will show you easy ways to quit sugar.
Why you might need to quit sugar
Excess intake of sugar can cause damage to our body in different ways. For example, excess glucose is converted into fat in the liver, and the liver forms special transport particles — called lipoproteins — to transfer the fat. These particles are made of fat, protein, and cholesterol. After it has been transferred into fat cells, the residues consist of the bad type of cholesterol that is associated with heart disease. Some research studies have linked added sugar intake to increased risk of heart disease, and poor dental health.
Other possible complications include arthritis, diabetes and numerous kinds of cancer. It may be really difficult to cut sugar if it has become a habit, but here are some tips that could help.
8 Easy Ways to Quit Sugar
There are so many people who love to eat sugary things. Now that you have seen the ways eating too much sugar can affect your health, it’s time to learn the easy ways to quit sugar addiction or reduce it’s intake.
1. Make a plan
It would be wise for us to plan ahead before deciding when to cut out intake because being unprepared may make us have unnecessary cravings, thereby, not achieving your aim. Try to start little by little to let the body adjust to your new timetable. The truth is once you quit taking sugar, you will start having withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, nausea, uncontrollable cravings and fatigue. You need to plan ahead on how you will deal with them.
2.Train your taste buds to like bitter
This simply involves having meals and replacing such sugary stuff with bitter ones. For example, you could have plain and unflavoured yoghurt instead of your regular sweetened products. Doing this continuously will help your taste buds adjust and make them feel less bitter, which also reduces your sugar intake.
3. Get enough sleep
Most times, when we find it difficult to sleep, we end up consuming more junk foods than normal. Lack of sleep can make us weak and crave for energy through high-calorie foods. So it is important to try to get plenty of sleep so that the brain could rest and be ready to function the next day, making us vibrant and energized.
4. Avoid dehydration by drinking enough water
It is essential to take enough water so as to allow the body to perform its functions effectively. Staying hydrated can maintain our energy levels and avoid getting hungry easily. It is also important that you opt for water instead of sugary drinks and sodas. If you need a boost of flavor in the water, add some slices of lemon or lime.
5. Exercise frequently
It is known to us all that exercising comes with a lot of benefits. So it is wise to engage in any sport of your choice so as to burn out the excess fat in our body and being fully rejuvenated, keeping us free from certain internal diseases.
6. Make a healthy diet plan
For the last but not least, it is vital for us to set out a healthy meal and snack timetable. This could be done with the help of a dietitian too. Writing down your meals could help you keep track of what you are eating. Write down what you really going to eat for that day, and prepare them. Keep your home free from candies and cookies to avoid being tempted. You could also tell a friend or a family member about your goals so that they can encourage you when you feel you are losing track.
7. Do a ‘no soda challenge’
Many Nigerians take part in the No Soda challenge every month of September organized by celebrity doctor Aproko Doctor. The challenge not only helps you get healthy but also helps fight your craving for sugary drinks. It helps you to gradually overcome the urge to drink a soda and trains your body to avoid sugar. You can participate in such a challenge with friends and strictly adhere to it, trust me, you will reap healthy benefits.
8. Eat healthier snacks
After drinks, the second most guilty way we take in too much added sugar is through our snacks. Instead of consuming ice-cream, or eating chocolate when you feel like snacking, opt for healthier snacks with low sugar. You can eat healthy nuts, boiled eggs, bean cake (akara), corn or apples.
As said earlier, our body needs sugar for better performance, and in almost all the food we consume, sugar is present. So I advise you to be mindful while gorging on those sweets. Try to distract yourself when the urge comes up to snack on sugary foods. You could either take a walk, make a phone call or do some cleaning. Think about whatever goes in your mouth before they do.