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3-Week Plan To Help Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet

3-Week Plan To Help Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet

Lots of people today eat too much added sugar, which can have lots of negative health benefits. For example, eating too much sugar means you have a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and it can also lead to high cholesterol.

However, sugar is an important part of our diet, but not all sugar is created equally. Natural sugars such as fructose are considered healthy, and they have metabolic benefits – but added sugar doesn’t have any benefits. However, there are lots of benefits to cutting added sugar out of your diet; you will feel more awake and alert, and you will have a lower chance of contracting heart disease or diabetes.

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Here is how to cut added sugar out of your diet in three weeks.

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Week One

For most people, the first week is the hardest. As you cut down your sugar intake, you may notice that you are experiencing some withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and tiredness.

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  • Get rid of the sugar in your house. If you open your cupboards and fridge and keep seeing sugary tweets, you are more likely to crave them. Throw away any unhealthy snacks with added sugar so that you don’t have to think about it. If you are in doubt about the item, check the ingredient list rather than the grams of sugar; nutrition labels rarely specify what sugar is natural and what sugar is added.
  • Have dessert once or twice. Cutting out added sugar completely can be really tough, and lots of people struggle to stick with their low sugar diet. Treat yourself to dessert a couple of times during the first week so that you reduce your sugar slowly, which should lessen headaches and tiredness. Make sure you don’t eat dessert every night, though – this will just mean you end up with headaches and tiredness next week!
  • Eat foods that will give you lots of energy. Stock up on food that is filled with energy, such as wholemeal pasta. This will make you feel full and awake, so you are less likely to be tempted by sugary snacks.
  • Use your willpower. The first week is the hardest, but after that you will find that it is much easier to stick to cutting sugar out. Keep going – don’t give up!

Week Two

Congratulations – you have successfully reduced your added sugar intake! This week is focused on cutting out all added sugar, and finding healthier replacements.

  • Drink only water. This week, replace soda, diet soda and fruit juices with water. Water helps your body to flush out toxins, so you will feel healthier and more alert. Enjoy a coffee or tea in the morning if you want, but stick to water in the afternoons and evenings.
  • Replace sugar with other healthier snacks. If you want to stick to this diet for a long time, you will need to replace snacks with added sugar with something healthier. You could try savory snacks such as peanuts or cashews, or you could go for something with natural sugar, like a banana.
  • Learn to look for hidden added sugar. Items that contain added sugar often don’t advertise it; instead they say that they contain syrup, nectar, agave or fruit juice concentrate.
  • Carry an emergency snack with you for cravings. It is likely that at some point during week two you will start craving sugar. Make sure you already have a healthy snack in your bag for when this happens, so you are less likely to give up and eat sugar.

Week Three

Your body is now getting used to a life without added sugars – and it is thanking you for it! By week three your cravings should have lessened, so the hardest part is over now.

  • Half any sugar left in your diet. Lots of people cut out snacks and cold drinks with added sugar, but they still enjoy a spoonful in their coffee. If you are doing this, try halving the amount that of sugar that you put in. A small amount of sugar will go a long way!
  • Put a post-it on anything in your home with sugar in it. You will want to keep items like honey and brown sugar for baking and other recipes, but putting a post-it on them will remind you that they are high in sugar. This will help deter you from using them too frequently.
  • Create an eating schedule. Try to eat all three meals at a similar time each day, and plan what you will eat in advance. If you have a food routine, you are less likely to get accidentally hungry, so you are less likely to buy a sugary snack.
  • Make a long-term plan. If you want to keep added sugar out of your diet, you should plan your food shops in advance, so that you don’t end up accidentally buying something with added sugar. This will help you to stick to your plan in the future.

Good luck!

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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