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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

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

If You’re Staying In

  1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
  2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
  3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
  4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
    • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
    • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
    • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
    • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
      • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
      • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
      • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
        • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

        If You Want to Get Away

        1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
        2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
        3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
          • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
          • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
          • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
          • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
          • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
          • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
            • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
            • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

            New & Exciting Experiences

            1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
            2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
              experience.
              • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
              • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
              • Experience white water rafting.
              • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
              • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                  • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                  • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                  • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                  Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                  Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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