No matter how healthy I want to become, the moment I decide to eat a sugar-free diet, all I want are sweet delights.
I’ve learned that when I tell myself it is a “low sugar” diet then I can get around it. I let myself have one small sweet daily and it seems to mentally allow me to get over the restrictions.
What Are The Benefits Of A Sugar-Free Diet?
According to Medical News Today, “many adults eat much more sugar than necessary, so reducing added sugar intake is a healthful idea for most people. Some people may wish to take it a step further and cut sugar out of their diet entirely.”
Reducing the amount of sugar in a diet may improve dental hygiene, increase your energy, let you sleep better, have a better functioning gut, reduce cravings, and contribute to weight loss.
What Happens When You Cut Down On Sugar?
According to Healthline, there’s a reason why sugar is hard to shake. “Whether sugar is more addictive than cocaine, researchers and nutritionists suggest that sugar has addictive properties, and we need to be getting less of it.”
Not only is sugar delicious but it also causes your brain to activate. It makes you feel good emotionally even though you may experience negative side effects such as headaches or energy crashes.
It’s not uncommon for people who stop eating sugar to experience exhaustion, headaches, brain fog and irritability.
What’s The Best Way To Cut Sugar From Your Diet?
Knowing sugar is not good for us and can lead to a host of health concerns doesn’t make kicking the habit easier. This is especially true in North America where sugar is hidden in almost all of our food.
Many years ago, I consulted a Naturopath to assist me with a sugar-free diet. Her approach was to provide me with a list of all the things I could not eat. For someone who is not big on cooking and is easily overwhelmed at mealtime, this did not work for me. This instance was an utter fail all around and I gave up before I even started.
Over the years, when I catch the sugar in my diet increasing, I gradually increase my water intake. This helps me get into a healthier mindset and keeps my stomach full. It also keeps my busy in the bathroom so there’s less time to snack.
Before I commit, I spend a few days gradually editing my meals and snacks before it’s a full “go”. By going slowly, it helps me build up to it and it feels less overwhelming.
Finally, as I mentioned before, I mentally prepare myself by telling myself it is a “low sugar diet”. This seems to make the biggest difference to my mindset which results in a much more successful effort.
The American Heart Association has a helpful list of ways to cut down on sugar that include, toss the white and brown table sugar, swap out soda, eat fruit – fresh, frozen, dried or canned that is packed in water, read food labels, eat smaller servings of sweets, and limit artificial sweeteners.
Depending on how much sugar you are eating in your present diet, your experience of weaning yourself into a sugar-free diet will likely vary. It’s best to focus on your goals as to why you want to have less sugar in your diet. Prepare yourself for a difficult few days and constantly think about the future you and how you will feel better after the sugar has been cleared from your system.
If you enjoyed this article, check out 10 Tips To Stay True To Your Health Goals.
This post was updated on October 9, 2020, from the originally published June 15, 2015 article.