Recent research has revealed that our brains crave a sugar fix because sugar activates two distinct reward centres in the brain, stimulating both a desire to taste something sweet and a desire for calories.
However, leading Nutritionist and author Marilyn Glenville explains ‘In a nutshell refined sugar (which is often added to your food or drink) actually provides empty calories and has no nutritional value whatsoever!
You simply don’t need any added sugar at all’. With this in mind, there is no better time to try and reduce your sugar intake- here are five tips to help get you on your way.
Prepare your food from scratch:
Although it might be slightly more time-consuming than running across the road and grabbing a quick, pre-made lunch, the health benefits from preparing from scratch will seriously outweigh this.
To save time during the week, try putting aside some time on a Sunday evening and preparing lunches or dinners for the rest of the week.
These can easily be popped into the freezer and will be quick and easy to prepare when the time comes.
In doing this, you know exactly what ingredients you are putting into your food, and won’t be fooled by pre-made food.
Avoid fizzy drinks:
Did you know that the average fizzy drink contains around 35g of sugar?
Considering our daily-recommended sugar intake stands at 30g, fizzy drinks make it extremely easy to push this intake over the edge.
It must also be mentioned that fruit juices are also a massive culprit when it comes to sugar consumption.
So why not try swapping out these fizzy drinks and juices for herbal teas or some water with slices of lemon- both still taste great and will still have that sweet taste we all crave.
Consider using sweeteners:
Turning to natural sweeteners will help ease your transition into a lower sugar diet. However, these sweeteners are still recommended to be used in moderation, as excess may cause unwanted side effects such as bloating.
Natvia 100% Natural Sourced Sweetener (Tesco, £5.00) is the perfect sugar alternative to pop in your tea of coffee.
Not only this, it can also be used instead of sugar in baking! Natvia is created from a unique blend of stevia natural plant and erythritol, natural nectar found in plants and amazingly, has zero calories. Start your sugar-free journey with ease.
Snacking is a downfall for a lot of people. Whether you be in an office job, at school or at university, there will always come that time of day, almost like clockwork, where hunger strikes and the sugary cravings take over. In order to combat these cravings, you need to be prepared.
Some ideal snacks to carry around with you are: nuts, rice cakes, protein bars and fruit. These snacks should help keep you full for longer after too, hopefully meaning the cravings won’t return!
Know your sugars
This is probably the main thing to look out for as it catches pretty much everyone out.
Being aware of the different titles that added sugar may be listed as will help you to detect the ‘healthier’ foods which are actually just sugary foods hiding under a healthy name.
Here is a list of sugars to look out for:
· Corn Syrup
· Fruit Juice
Now that you are equipped with the necessary tools to battle your sugar consumption, give it a try and see how much better and more energised you feel.