how to cut out sugar

April 25 2017 by Jess

Learn how to eat less sugar! Our nutritionist Jess shares her 5 simple ways to reduce your sugar cravings.

Jess PR shot balance energy vibrancy SMILE

So, why do we all love sugar so much, even from an early age?

Did you know we are born with a preference for sweet foods? Humans have a natural sweet tooth because sweet foods usually indicated that they were a good source of energy, while bitterness was considered to be an indication of toxicity to our early ancestors.

Access to sweet foods used to be limited while now it is everywhere! There are so many snacks available that have way too much sugar in them which means when we have our moment of ‘weakness’ (which I like to call being human) and crave something sweet, we have such a spectrum of foods to choose from, available from our workplace, convenience stores, or in our kitchen cupboards.

No foraging required, we can get these sweet foods all year round, irrespective of the season which isn’t always a good thing. If you want to cut out sugar from from your diet or make steps to eat less sugar check out my 5 easy tips for cutting and reducing sugar.

5 simple ways to reduce the sugar in your diet:

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take a deep breath

When you are stressed, you create adrenaline which leads you to use glucose stores and as your glucose fuel tank gets low, you crave something sweet to fill up your fuel tank quickly.

If you don’t practice any forms of deep breathing rituals, like regular meditation or yoga practice, these would be a great addition to your life. Deep breath helps turn your “rest, digest and repair” part of your nervous system ON to help your body learn that it’s not in actual danger and in need of sugar. If you are less stressed you won’t crave sugar as much which will make it much easier to cut back on sugary foods.

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eat more savory food

Did you know your taste buds renew every 10-14 days? Thanks to this short renewal time, we can actually train our taste buds to enjoy food with less sweetness in a relatively short amount of time!

By making a switch from highly refined sugars to natural sweetness you can actually lower the threshold level of sweet food you prefer. For example: if you are used to having a fruit smoothie in the morning made up entirely of fruit, if you start introducing some of the fruit with green leafy vegetables (which are naturally bitter) you will start to get used to the reduced sweetness week by week. Once you become used to having veggie smoothies with only a touch of fruit, you will find 100% fruit based smoothies too sugary or sweet for your taste buds!

mango spinach smoothie recipe!
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cut out caffeine

If you amp yourself up on caffeine, it will cause your body to produce adrenaline. Your body will predominantly burn glucose and as a result, you will crave sugar to replenish your stores. Try switching to herbal teas, which are much more restorative for your health, especially if you’re someone that can’t possibly live without your morning coffee!

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find good quality chocolate

There are so many different types of chocolate on the market today and they all vary in quality. Some offer great benefits to the body while others don’t! The quality of the chocolate all comes down to the way the cocoa bean was processed and is or is not added.

Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. This process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter), while retaining all of the natural health benefits of cocoa beans like being rich in magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese content. Keeping cacao in your pantry is one of the easiest ways to eat less sugar and eventually cut out sugar from your diet. You can easily add cacao to your baking, smoothies, hot chocolate or other chocolate dishes. You’ll know your body is soaking up all the natural goodness while still enjoying your chocolate fix without putting too much sugar into your body.

easy dark chocolate bites
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manage your emotions

Food can numb emotional pain although we may not realize we are using it for this reason. For example, you may crave sugar because you are looking for more sweetness and joy in life and sugar provides that momentary relief.

If this is something you can identify with, then try to figure out the root cause of the problem and spending some time examining and repairing your emotions as a step to cutting back on how much sugar you’ve been eating. Try keeping a journal and write down your emotions, this is much better for your physical and emotional health in the long run than a short term sugar fix!

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By Jess, graze nutritionist.

Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to Jess's blog at jessipes.co.uk for even more.

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