Sugar has always been my Kryptonite.
You would think that losing 110+ pounds would mean I’d won “the battle” with fat. Nope. I still struggle with sugar every single day. It’s my go-to comfort food. If I’m sad: chocolate. If I’m sick: ice cream. If I feel happy: cheesecake!
Recently I went to my doctor for something and as a side note I asked her about my insatiable hunger. I explained that I am eating enough calories, that the food I eat is healthy, and the Nutritionist I saw said everything was A-Okay. So why the hunger?
She took one look at my food diary and said I was eating too much sugar. She said that eating refined sugar (i.e. not sugar from things like fruit but from candy) causes a spike in blood sugar and then a crash which causes hunger. What?! I started to do some research. Then I stumbled onto this article: Beat the Sugar Habit.
Sugar can be sneaky, too! Sometimes you don’t even know there’s sugar in something. Example: the latest hype has been all about High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Learn these words and watch out for them on ingredient labels:
- Carob Powder
- Corn Syrup
- Evaporated Cane Juice
- Fruit Juice Concentrate
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup
How to Cut Back on Sugar
1. Stop drinking Soda. Diet is just as bad for you! I thought for a long time that I was okay because I was drinking diet soda. Nope. My body told me it didn’t like the artificial sweeteners, too. I switched to Sparkling water. And I buy unsweetened tea. I’ve grown to love unsweetened tea, too. At first it was a bit bitter, now I love it. And tea is full of good antioxidants!
2. Switch to Greek Yogurt. I stopped buying the traditional yogurts because they have sooo much sugar in them! Now I eat only Greek Yogurt and I prefer the vanilla or plain. Instead of getting the fruit in the Greek yogurt (it’s just a bunch of syrup) I add my own fruit.
3. Add fresh fruit to things like ice cream or yogurt if you want a treat. Real fruit causes a slower rise in blood sugar than sucrose or HFCS.
4. Beware of condiments! Ketchup is loaded with sugar (probably why I love it). Try using mustard and light mayo instead of ketchup.
5. Skip the Candy. It’s hard, I know. Especially if you work in a place where it’s readily available. Try to distract yourself from the Temptations. Chew sugar-free gum. Brush your teeth. Drink a lot of water. Anything to NOT eat the candy.
6. Don’t deny yourself of everything. Having a little bit once in awhile keeps you from going nuts.
7. Eat fruit!
8. Eat more Fiber. It’s more filling and gives us energy a lot like the quickie energy boost sugar does (minus the crash).
9. Beware of Cereal. A lot of cereals are packed with sugar. (One of my favorites? Frosted Mini Wheats. YUM. I haven’t eaten them in 4 years.)
If you’re eating a 2,000 calorie a day diet, your sugar intake should be between 30-50 grams. According to my iPhone app Myfitnesspal, my sugar intake should be 32 grams. Here are a few examples of how much sugar is in certain foods:
12 ounces of Coke: 39 grams
12 ounces of Sprite: 38 grams
Slice of chocolate cake: 30 grams of sugar
1 Pop Tart: 17 grams
1 cup Plain Cheerios: 1 gram
Sweetened Applesauce: 22 grams
Honey BBQ Sauce: 13 grams
Raisins: 30 grams
Powerbar: 23 grams
When I went walking last week I walked by this sign:
It was at PGE Park and the ad is by the Dairy Farmers of Oregon. I took a picture of it because it was so strange. Why would the Dairy Farmers of Oregon want to push EXTRA sugar onto kids? I’m assuming this ad is suppose to appeal to children. The statement is true; but they leave out the part about how the chocolate milk has about 100+ extra calories in it. I drink chocolate milk after long runs only. The poster struck me as strange and just another example of how much extra sugar is added to everything.
QUESTION: How do you try to limit your sugar intake?