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Six Top Tips for Giving up Sugar

Updated: Mar 12

sugar being poured into a bowl

Sugar is an 'empty nutrient'. It contains calories but like other sources of food, it has no beneficial vitamins or minerals which help our bodies to function. And as we all know, it can cause many harms including weight gain and tooth decay.

Even though sugar can give us immediate energy, this is followed by a large crash, leading us to want more and then a cycle emerges. So sustaining our energy throughout the day without sugar fixes will lead to a much more even level of energy and less moments of exhaustion. Here are my six top tips for giving up sugar entirely, or at least cutting back:

  1. Eat less processed food. So many processed foods have added sugar in them, and not just the sweet ones. Sugar can also come in many different forms and have names you may not recognise, so cutting back, or cutting out processed foods is a great way of avoiding sugar (and lots of other unnecessary added ingredients too)

  2. Clear out your cupboards. If you have sweet things in the house then you will be more tempted to eat them. Stock up on healthier snacks instead and foods that will give you energy such as fruit, vegetables with hummus, oat cakes with some cheese or make a home baked sugar-free cake.

  3. Eat foods that will give you a slow release of energy: You will crave sugary or carbohydrate laden foods less throughout the day if you eat foods at mealtimes which give you a slower release of energy . These include wholegrains such as brown rice or brown bread, good protein sources such as lean meat, fish or tofu and lots of fibre by including a large helping of vegetables alongside each meal.

  4. Watch those sugary drinks: Sugar consumed in liquid form will not register with your brain in the same way as sugar which is eaten, therefore you will take in more calories without feeling full, leading you to consume more calories over the course of a day. Its not just the typical fizzy drinks to look out for either - so many drinks can have added sugar, so where possible stick to water and herbal teas to keep you hydrated throughout the day.

  5. Resist adding sugar to your food or drinks: Sugar added to food and drinks can really add up. Our recommended daily intake of sugar is 7 cubes (or 30g) and if sugar is added to tea, coffee, cereals and deserts then this can add up quickly. Try halving the sugar in recipes and gradually cutting out sugar added to drinks.

  6. Have a sugar-free month: Part of cutting back, or giving up sugar is retraining your body to go without it. This can be hard initially but over time I promise the cravings will ease, so why not challenge yourself to a month without sugar and see how you feel afterwards? Its likely to have a positive impact on your energy levels too.

If you'd like some support in giving up sugar, and in making changes to your diet and lifestyle then why not book a 30-minute vitality review, where we can look at some simple tips to get you started.

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