Hello! It’s been a really long time since I posted on my blog. I decided to do a little comeback with a topic that gets discussed a lot in the fitness community. Yes, it’s all about how to cut out refined sugars, and how I did it!
Firstly, let me begin by saying that, when I talk about refined sugar I mean processed sugars like your white or brown sugar. I haven’t banned all sugars because that would be unrealistic. I do have natural sugars like honey or agave nectar in moderation. The main point is when I crave sugar, I always try to keep it as natural as possible.
Why I decided to cut refined sugar from my diet?
For me, cutting out refined sugars happened from one day to the other back in April 2016. I felt like I hit a plateau and wasn’t getting any leaner. I thought I had a super healthy diet but when looking at all the foods I was eating, I was having way too much hidden sugars, in things like “healthy cereal”. This made me really sit down and evaluate my diet, I decided that I wanted a diet that consisted of fresh whole foods, which led to cutting out processed foods, automatically abolishing refined sugars from my diet. At first it was super hard but you realise that its achievable, when you keep reminding yourself of your fitness goals and what you are putting into to your body.
Along the way, you also learn to eat and drink foods in their original form. Once your taste buds get used to real foods, eating refined sugars or processed foods becomes quite frankly gross! I distinctly remember after eating 99% dark chocolate for a long time, trying a small piece of a Lindt milk chocolate bar and hating it because I could only taste the sugar, it just felt like creamy sugar. You definitely learn to appreciate food more, and you can differentiate the various tastes.
Everything becomes a habit after some time. Now, when I go shopping for food, I always read the label and check that there are no added refined sugars, if there is I will not buy it, instead I will look for a good alternative. With everyone being more and more health conscious, it really is not that hard to find amazing alternatives for the “bad foods” you cannot live without.
On very rare occasions I do have refined sugars, such as eating a slice of wedding cake at a wedding. You do have to enjoy certain moments to the fullest. BUT I have to say I feel sluggish and not the best the next day, this is because eating healthy has become the norm for me, and when I eat outside of the healthy spectrum it weighs down on my body. Because of that, I am the girl craving an acai bowl over ice cream or a bowl of fruits with milk instead of a slice of cake. It really is all a mind game and before you know it, you have created a habit of saying no to refined sugars.
Over the last two years I came up with the below list that helped me reduce my total sugar intake. Little alterations in your diet can go a long way. I remember these tips every time I shop or essentially put food in my mouth.
10 Tips to cutting out refined sugar from your diet
- Read food labels & limit processed foods
- Drink water & unsweetened beverages
- Switch from low-fat yoghurt to full fat
- Cut out flavoured yoghurt
- Eat more protein & healthy fats
- Use natural sweeteners
- Eat and use 99% dark chocolate in cooking
- Make your own salad dressings and sauces
- Avoid sugar packed cereals and granola
- Use dates in desserts for sweetness
If you are trying to limit or remove refined sugars from your diet, this may help you. These tips are little changes you can easily incorporate to your everyday life. After a few weeks the little changes you made will become a habit and you won’t even notice you made them. BUT you will fully recognise the BIG POSITIVE CHANGE, which is a healthier happy you!