Lay off sugar. For a happier, healthier you. Undertake the 7-day no-sugar challenge!
Are you tired of trying to get those extra pesky kilos off of your body? Are you extra irritable and unfocused by the end of each day? Do you experience a crazy dip in energy after a particularly sweetened meal?
It’s one food group that’s best left out of our diets which you can do it in two ways;
-Give it up completely. Ok. That seems harsh, no?
-How about swapping plain sugar with healthy alternatives?
On average, the daily sugar allowance for men is 9 teaspoons, 6 teaspoons for women and 3 for children. Even if we follow a standard daily diet of whole foods with no added sugar, we still ingest about 10 percent of our calories from natural sugars. However, once we’ve got the added sugar under control, the occasional chocolate or pastry won’t do any harm.
Here’s how you can slowly wean off sugar in 7 days.
Break-Your-Fast the Right Way
Most of our cereals, granola bars, yogurts, breads, jams and spreads come laden with sugar. The best idea would be to slowly make the shift from processed foods to traditional home-cooked ones. Say for example, swap your cornflakes with a simple vegetable poha. Add fruits like an apple or a banana to make your meal more wholesome.
And Then There was Lunch!
Most of us have a tendency to load up on carb-rich foods such as rice or rotis for lunch. While they’re essential for the body’s proper functioning, always remember to add a good dose of protein in the form of vegetables, legumes, or even lean meat, if you please. That’ll keep you fuller for longer, while ensuring you don’t reach out for sugar treats later.
Also, if you’re one to end a meal on a sweet note, go for small healthy bites of chikki or jaggery. While they have the same calorie content as processed sugar, they pack in some essential nutrients that your body could use.
Making Coffee? Put Down that Teaspoon of Sugar and Back Away Slowly!
Having sugar in your beverages is the worst way to ingest sugar. If you can’t have black tea or coffee, adding a little milk or cream will do the trick since they’re naturally sweet. Since it’s not “added sugar,” it doesn’t overwhelm the liver the same way added sugar does. Also remember, it’s always better to savour a whole orange than reach for a glass of OJ. When you juice the oranges, it gets stripped of essential nutrients and fibres, giving you only fructose water.
Learn to Listen to Your Body
If, on a given day, you feel like having a dessert, treat yourself to one. Rewarding yourself from time to time will ensure that you’re not deprived of your favourite foods. Several factors play a role in making you crave something sweet at times; it’s best to succumb to it every once in a while. However, moderation is key.
After Eight, No Dinner
Skipping dinner is blasphemy. Eating a light dinner is key. However, make sure you don’t reach out for ready-to-eat packets that mostly have added sweet lurking about in them. A vegetable stew or some sauteed mushrooms, or even the super nutritious dal-chawal will ensure that you have stabilised blood sugar levels at night.
Most importantly, enjoy your journey to a healthier, fitter you but cutting out the excess sugar that doesn’t serve you in any way at all. Seven days is all it will take you to adapt to this lifestyle change!
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)