Sugar is the enemy, avoid it at all costs! Just kidding…kind of. It is okay to satisfy your sweet tooth every once and a while. Starting a new nutrition plan can feel like you’re giving up all your favorite things and that can be a motivation killer and we don’t want that. But too much sugar can be detrimental to your weight loss. The FDA recommends getting no more than 10% of your daily calories from added sugars, and defines them as sugars added during processing or packaging.
That’s 200 calories or about 12 teaspoons for a 2000 calorie diet or 48 grams total for the day. I try to keep it under 25 grams for the day. Especially if you are on a serious weight loss program. Once you start reading nutrition labels you’ll begin to learn how much sugar is in packaged foods and sometimes it will surprise you. Sandwich bread, I have my eye on you!
What Foods Have Added Sugars?
Here’s the no-brainer list( you know you shouldn’t be eating a ton of these!):
- Regular sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks
- Fruit drinks, such as fruitades and fruit punch
- Cakes, cookies, and brownies
- Pies and cobblers
- Sweet rolls, pastries, and doughnuts
- Dairy desserts, such as ice cream Read Nutrition Labels:
1. Read Nutrition Labels
Educate yourself on how much sugar you should be eating in a day. I say less than 25 grams for my clients that are aggressively trying to lose weight. Start reading every label on every packaged food you buy. You should become a nutrition label ninja. and read every label. You’ll be shocked how much sugar is in things like bread, or BBQ potato chips.
2. Cut the sugar out of your daily coffee or latte
Adding just one teaspoon of sugar to you coffee daily adds up and can limit your weight loss. Not only that but it will spike your insulin levels and make you feel hungry sooner. If you want a latte or mocha, ask for a non-fat sugar free version. They are delicious and have half the calories of the full sugar version of the drink with 2% milk.
3. Drink Flavored Selzer Water instead of Soda
This is my favorite. I love to have sparkling selzer water around. I stash it in the office and at home and substitute it for any type of soda, even diet. When you feel like having a soda, grab a selzer water and your bubbly drink craving will be smashed!
4. Make your own cocktails
The average margarita mix has 24 grams of sugar in it, just for perspective a teaspoon is 4 grams. That’s 6 teaspoons in one drink(one drink is 25% of your daily intake of sugar), not to mention a days worth of sodium as well. Your favorite “and coke” drink (Jack and Coke, Rum and Coke) can have up to 39 grams of sugar in it. We like to try to avoid alcohol but if you must. Make your own mixes or use diet soda’s. The best drinks use clear liquors and soda water.
5. Eat fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth
Craving an after lunch cookie or a mid-morning muffin? Just stop it and grab an apple. Not only will it satisfy your sweet tooth but you’ll also avoid an insuline spike which just will make you tired and hungry.
Cutting out sugar doesn’t mean your life is going to forever be miserable. It just means you have to be smart about what foods you choose by reading the nutrition labels for everything you buy. The equation is pretty simple. Cut out sugar and lose weight faster(and feel better too). Sure you can have a nice piece of chocolate every now and then but keep the portion small. After you learn about your new sugar free choices you won’t even miss the sugar anymore!
Added sugars go by a lot of different names like: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, trehalose, and turbinado sugar.
Super Chica Pro Tip:
Emergency Craving Stash in the Freezer
I don’t buy pints of ice cream. I buy the little $1.00 Mini Haagen-Dazs 3.6 oz. containers and only keep 2 in my freezer for emergency use only. They are just enough to satisfy a complete sweet tooth melt down but only have 220 calories and 17g of sugar. Eat these only in an emergency. They are more than 10% of your total daily calories!