#1 Eliminate all the sweets from your house
Since so much of this is mental, first you have to understand that it will get easier.
If you’re used to eating or drinking sweet products daily, cutting down on sugar will feel very difficult. Especially on your first day.
And most people have this false belief that it’s only going to get harder and harder. In reality, as you cut out sugar, your body and brain will adapt.
Even your tongue and palate will become more sensitive to sugar. This will allow you to appreciate the natural sweetness that you get from foods such as fruits.
Basically, you won’t longer feel the need for the processed, high-fructose corn syrup from candy and other junk food.
So the first thing you’re going to want to do is to eliminate all the sweets from your house. If you can’t throw it in the trash, then hide it.
When I say sweets, I’m not only talking about things like ice cream, candy, and pastries. I’m also talking about processed food.
Everyone knows that M&M’s are loaded with sugar. But the sugar found in other processed foods tends to be hidden.
Most people don’t realize that sugar is added to everything, even pasta sauce, and yogurt.
According to studies, up to 90% of the added sugars in our diet come from ultra-processed foods. Just by eliminating these ultra-processed foods, we can have a significant reduction in our daily sugar intake.
Unfortunately, this is going to put a big X over most of your typical grocery list items.
According to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 77% of our grocery store purchases come from processed foods.
A really easy way to avoid this food is by following these three rules when you go shopping for food.
One, stick to the outside perimeter of your grocery store because most processed food is in the inner aisles.
Two, don’t buy anything that’s in a concealing box with a picture of the food you’re buying. Buy the food itself.
Three, only buy foods with one single ingredient like rice, chicken, fish, eggs, broccoli… you get the idea.
If you follow these three rules, you’ll have no problem identifying which foods are processed and which ones are not.
#2 Only drink water or unsweetened tea
In a large meta-analysis, researchers found that having sugar-sweetened beverages promotes weight gain.
Another study showed that this weight is mostly the dangerous visceral fat that sits around your midsection.
When you’re used to having sweetened drinks like soda you don’t even realize that every time you get thirsty you’re taking in a good amount of extra calories.
In just one can of coke there are over 9 teaspoons of sugar and about 150 calories. Just two of these per day will put you over your total daily recommended sugar intake.
Moreover, these sweetened drinks don’t fill you up. So those calories usually add to the total calories you’re already eating.
Water hand has no calories instead. It can also reduce your desire for sugar, as well as other calories.
A systematic review compared the effects of drinking water before a meal against sweetened beverages like soda, milk, and juice.
This study found that drinking water reduced the total amount of calories consumed by up to 15 percent.
The point is that you won’t just save extra calories by not drinking sweetened drinks. You’ll also feel full with fewer calories from your meals, helping you fight your sugar cravings.
#3 Eat more protein and vegetables
Your sugar cravings will be at their highest when you’re hungry.
Over 50 studies showed that diets higher in protein can greatly reduce appetite and increase the feeling of fullness.
Researchers found that if at least 1/3 (roughly 30%) of a meal consists of protein, it’ll have a strong appetite-reducing effect.
Now you may be wondering how much protein you should have daily to reduce hunger. Well, another study showed that having just 1/2 a gram of protein per pound of body weight can be enough.
If you work out multiple times per week, I recommend a little more. Anywhere between 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight should be ideal.
But to reduce appetite alone you just need a minimum of 1/2 a gram.
About vegetables now. Unlike sugar, vegetables fill your stomach up while providing tons of nutrients, all in very few calories.
Conversely, sugar is a very energy-dense food. Meaning it has a high amount of calories for its size and the volume it takes up in your stomach.
A study compared two diets over a one-year period. The results showed that reducing energy-dense foods like sugar and increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables can help managing hunger and body weight.
So eat more protein and veggies to manage your sweet tooth, especially when first starting to cut back on sugar.
#4 Read your nutrition labels
Next, you should get in the habit of reading all your nutrition labels. This will help you distinguish which foods have added sugars and which foods don’t.
I’ve already touched on the hidden sugars found in processed food. But so much food that you would assume is healthy can contain a lot of added sugar.
A perfect example of this is dried fruit. Most people think that dried fruit is a very healthy snack.
Most people also think that ice cream is not the healthiest snack.
However, half a cup of chocolate ice cream has about 17 grams of sugar. Whereas half a cup of Craisins has over 50 grams of sugar.
Another example is oatmeal. You might think that you’re making a good choice by getting instant oatmeal.
But one packet (or half a cup) of maple brown-sugar-flavored oatmeal has 13 grams of added sugar.
Meanwhile, half a cup of vanilla Ice cream has only 1 more gram of added sugar.
You also want to be especially suspicious of the foods that claim to be “low fat”.
Usually, “low fat” just means that they replaced the fat with sugar.
Examples of this include flavored low-fat yogurt, low-fat breakfast cereals, and low-fat salad dressings.
Reading nutrition labels will help you spot these kinds of foods and improve your overall diet.
According to a study involving over 2,000 people, those that read nutrition labels consumed less sugar. They also made much healthier food choices in general.
#5 Limit your use of artificial sweeteners
Most people will try to cut back on sugar by replacing their daily sugar intake with artificial sweeteners, like Splenda.
One problem with this is that you’re still conditioning your palate and taste buds for sweetness.
One of the main points of giving up sugar is to reset your taste buds to lower your sweets tolerance.
When people successfully complete a low-sugar diet they usually can’t stomach something like a candy bar afterward. That’s because it now tastes way too sweet for them.
The problem is that artificial sweeteners taste much sweeter than sugar does. All that sweetness, in combination with zero calories, confuses your brain as well as your metabolic processes.
Ultimately this leaves you craving more sugar.
A systematic review found that regular use of artificial sweeteners can increase your appetite causing you to consume more calories. In turn, this will lead to weight gain.
Another even larger meta-analysis found similar issues. After reviewing 774 studies, researchers concluded that routine intake of artificial sweeteners may be associated with an increased BMI.
Your BMI is your height-to-weight ratio. A BMI increase may push you from the “normal” to the “overweight” category, to obese.
Now, I want to make it clear that having these artificial sweeteners in moderation won’t make you gain weight.
In fact, if you can use artificial sweeteners occasionally, it can help you take in fewer calories and lose weight.
Also, many people that use artificial sweeteners may struggle with weight management to begin with. This may be why they turned to artificial sweeteners.
Interestingly, many people claim that stevia is different. A large review specifically on stevia concluded that it’s a natural plant that can help reduce your caloric intake.
This was achieved without the major side effects associated with other sweeteners.
The bottom line is that you can use an artificial sweetener like stevia, in moderation. But don’t overuse it.
The FDA recommends a maximum of 10 packets of stevia per day. But I recommend having much less. One to two packets should be enough to help curb your sugar cravings.
That’s it, guys. I really hope this article has helped you out.
I realize that a lot of you may be trying to quit sugar to lose some weight. While this is a step in the right direction, losing weight and maintaining it isn’t only about cutting out sugar.
The rest of your diet and workout plan is equally important. That’s why I have a free done-for-you approach. It’s helping my clients drop either 20 pounds or 5 percent of their body fat in just 6 weeks.
With our 6-week challenge, you’ll get plenty of perks and support. These include a 42-day workout plan with a full video exercise library, a customized diet plan with a recipe book.
You will also get and an accountability coach checking in with you weekly to guide you through the entire process.
Follow our plan for 42 days straight, without cheating or quitting, and I’ll give you the whole program for free.
To learn more, you can click the link below.
Government Recommendations For Sugar Intake & How Much Americans Actually Eat.
Sugar consumption According to Euromonitor:
Sugar and Leptin Resistance.
Sugar and Addiction.
Evidence for Sugar Addiction.
Rats Prefer Sugar over Cocaine.
Eliminating Processed Food Can Help Dramatically Reduce Sugar Intake.
Processed Foods Make Up 77% Of Our Grocery List.
Sweetened Beverages and Sugar.
Sweetened Beverages Increase Visceral Fat.
Water, Energy Intake, and Weight Loss/Gain.
Systematic Review of Protein and its effect on satiety.
0.5g of Protein Per LB Is Enough To Reduce Appetite.
Reducing dietary energy density in combination with increasing fruits and vegetables leads to greater weight loss.
Nutrition Label Users Are More Likely To Eat Less Sugar and A Better Diet.
Artificial sweeteners lead to decreased satiety, alter glucose homeostasis, and are associated with increased caloric consumption and weight gain.
Metanalysis of artificial sweeteners and their effect on the heart as well as weight loss.
Stevia shows promise as an artificial sweetener.