When you follow a medical weight loss diet, avoiding sugar is in your best interest. Cutting out sweets will reduce unnecessary calories from your daily intake and encourage your weight loss efforts. Unfortunately, cutting out sugar can be hard to do. Our love for sugar is biological. So what can you do to actually stop eating so many sweet treats? It might help to learn exactly why eating sugar is a bad idea.
Eating too much sugar can cause a lot of damage to your body. For example, eating sugar is associated with an increased risk for several serious and chronic conditions, like:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Certain cancers
In addition to increasing your risk for these conditions, sugar can cause your skin to wrinkle, drain you of energy and lead to major dental damage. Sugar is known to weaken your eyesight, and is even associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
When broken down, sugar can impact you mentally and physically. Foods heavy in sugar are often void of other nutrients, which means they provide your body with little to no nutritional benefit while adding calories to your day.
According to the American Heart Association, daily sugar intake should be restricted to 24 grams daily for women and 36 grams for men. The average American eats about 48 grams of sugar daily without even trying. In just one year, this adds up to more than 45 pounds of sugar consumed per person, which is way too much. As you start focusing on ways to improve your health, it is time to think about how to cut more sugar out of your diet.
Here are a few strategies to help you accomplish this:
- Get your sugar from wholesome sources: Fruits, starchy vegetables and even some complex carbohydrates have natural sugars in them. Leave your sugar intake to these healthy foods and avoid simple carbohydrates like table sugar and baked goods.
- Swap out soda for water: Juice can be just as bad as soda, so don’t go there instead. Your body needs water to survive, and as a zero-calorie drink there is no reason not to have it. Try to drink about 64 ounces of water every day.
- Pay attention to how you feel: If you stop thinking about how something tastes and pay more attention to how your body feels while you eat it, you might find more appreciation for healthier foods. Most of the time, sugar will leave you feeling sluggish and even cause mild reactions like headaches, skin rashes or an upset stomach.
When you start paying attention to how prevalent sugar is in the American diet, you might be shocked. From soda to bread and everything in between, sugar is just about everywhere you look. Make an effort to cut sugar from your diet as you lose weight.