How much sugar are you actually eating each day?
Have you ever taken the time to tally up the amount of sugar you eat in a day? I guarantee you will be shocked.
We all eat too much sugar! Even when I was reading labels to ensure I was eating five ingredients or less I was eating too much sugar! The recommended daily allowance for sugar is 25 grams. That is only 6 teaspoons, and it adds up fast. If you drink a small Dunkin Donuts Strawberry Coolatta in the morning on the way to work, you have already taken in more than your daily allowance. That drink alone has 58 grams of sugar! A small French Vanilla Ice Coffee has 24 grams of sugar. Those are examples of beverages we often drink along with our meals. Imagine, between the drink and food, how much sugar you consume in a single meal... It's no wonder we can't lose weight, right?! Sugar isn't merely keeping us fat though, it also plays a large role in the development of many devastating illnesses like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and many more.
Our bodies do require trace, (small), amounts of sugar to function properly, but the average American is consuming close to 130lbs a year of sugar a year! That certainly isn't a small amount. It's time to be more mindful of the sugar in our diet. Here are a few tips to reduce your sugar intake:
- Eat regular meals. Do not skip breakfast! Start your day eating proteins and vegetables. This will help regulate your blood sugar levels so you'll avoid cravings for sweets throughout the day.
- Eat whole foods. That means food in it's natural form, and, ideally, plant based - lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Move your body! We often reach for sugary treats when we feel low on energy. Find your choice of movement to get endorphins flowing for a natural energy and mood boost. This can help reduce your sugar intake.
- Get your sleep. As I mentioned above, one of the most common triggers for sugar cravings is being overtired. When we are sleep deprived, we reach for sugar to gives us energy. Get yourself on a regular sleep schedule, and be sure you are getting 8-9 hours each night, so that you wake up with ample energy for the day ahead.
Changing any one habit takes time. Focus on one thing from this list at a time to ensure these changes become habits that all contribute to your healthier lifestyle. Be kind to yourself and keep it simple!