Seven-Day Sugar Swap Challenge
Life is sweet, but sometimes it can be a little too sweet. Consuming too much sugar could lead to unwanted weight gain and spikes in blood glucose levels. The good news is, cutting down on sugar is easier than you think! Follow our Seven-Day Sugar Swap Challenge for easy ways to reduce the amount of sugar you eat.
Day 1: Adjust Your Morning Coffee
If you add cream, sugar or a couple of pumps of flavored syrup to your morning coffee, it can turn into liquid candy bars fast. (This also offsets the inherent benefits of caffeine, such as alertness and a feeling of increased energy.) Reduce the amount of sweetener and/or cream you add to your coffee in half until you can drink your coffee black. You could also replace your morning coffee with High Protein Iced Coffee. Not only is it packed with grams of protein, but it also contains only 2 grams of sugar per serving.
Day 2: Go Natural
Added sugars are everywhere! Many foods, including yogurt, applesauce and plant-based milks (e.g., soy, almond and rice milk), contain a surprising amount of sugar. Luckily, many brands offer unsweetened versions to help you cut back. If you do have a sweet tooth, try adding fresh or dried fruit or other natural sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, agave nectar or monk fruit.
Day 3: Ditch Soda
Sugar-laden sodas are empty calories and have no nutritional benefits. And even though diet sodas don’t contain calories, they’re not much better and are associated with several health conditions. The easiest way to replace your soda habit is with water or even seltzer water. Add slices of fresh fruit or fresh herbs for flavor. Herbal Aloe Concentrate is another delicious way to replace your soda habit. And if you need a caffeine boost, tea can give you the boost you need.
Day 4: Spice Things Up
Instead of browsing the candy aisle, turn to your spice rack or spice drawer! Sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or clove can add sweet notes to fruits, cereals or yogurt in place of sugar.
Day 5: Snack on Fruit
Fruit is mother nature’s candy and makes a pretty sweet substitute for sugary desserts. If snacking on an apple or a bowl of berries doesn’t quite scratch the itch, try cooking your fruit. The texture makes it seem more dessert-like. For example, try running grapefruit or orange halves under the broiler, roasting peaches or pineapple in the oven or cooking sliced apples or plums until tender with a spicy-sweet cinnamon or nutmeg. You could also try freezing bananas and blending them to create a one-ingredient, ice cream-like treat.
Day 6: Load Up on Protein
Believe it or not, protein can help curb your sweet cravings. When you’re craving a candy bar, opt for high-protein snacks instead. Not only can these satisfy your craving for sweets, but it can also control your hunger.
Day 7: Choose Whole Foods Over Processed Foods
Nearly a quarter of the sugar we eat comes from processed foods. Most people may not even be aware of hidden sugars because most of the foods, such as soup or salad dressings, aren’t obviously sweet. Consider limiting or eliminating processed foods from your diet and choose whole foods whenever possible. Unlike processed foods, which contain added sugars, whole foods, natural sugars as well as other nutrients that are good for you.
Tip: Don’t forget to read nutrition labels! You may be surprised by how much sugar your favorite foods contain, even the ones you think are “healthy.”