Okay, in my previous blog, “My (Mostly) Healthy Lifestyle,” I mentioned that one of our big lifestyle changes was cutting down on added sugars. Again, we didn’t totally stop eating added sugars like the Keto diet. We just started to realize how much we were really eating, and tried to eliminate as much as we could.
I mean kudos to you if you are on Keto or are able to quit added sugars cold-turkey… but you’re probably a vampire or something. I really liked our approach to removing as much sugar from our diet as we could without being miserable.
I could go into so much detail about why sugar is so terrible for us, but that’s what WebMD is for! Check out this article from WebMD called “How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body?” It’s really quite appalling that we haven’t paid more attention to this delicious poison.
The American Heart Association recommended daily added sugar intake for men is no more than 150 calories (37.5 grams). And 100 calories (25 grams) for women. This really is not that much, unfortunately.
So, how can you cut it down? Here’s a few ways we did it…
1 – Pay Attention to Nutrition Facts
Recognize this nutrition label? It’s from a Clif Bar. One of the protein bars that I used to eat quite frequently for breakfast or a snack. 10 grams of protein is stamped really largely on the front of the package, which is all I used to pay attention to.
Oh, 10 grams of protein in a pretty delicious little granola bar? Let me go ahead and buy this overpriced stick of SYRUP!
Look at the first ingredient… syrup?? And look at the sugar content… 22 grams! Remember the recommendations? One of these Clif Bars is almost my whole daily sugar intake!
So, when we actually started to pay more attention to the labels on the normal foods we were eating everyday… it was time to reevaluation simple things like protein bars.
We found the best of both worlds in these FitCrunch Protein Bars at Costco. You can find them almost anywhere, though. Alex has even bought one while he was traveling at a gas station. They only have 3 grams of sugar per bar and are super delicious!
I made fun of the packaging when we first got them, but I swear they are amazing! It might as well be a candy bar. Plus, 16 grams of protein and only 190 calories! Thank you, Robert Irvine, and your massive arms, for creating this delectable protein bar that I now eat daily.
Now, protein bars are just one example of foods that have a ton of hidden sugar in them. Almost everything you buy at the store has a bit of sugar added. And unfortunately, the products that have “less sugar” usually have artificial sweeteners in them… and don’t even get me started on those.
My point is… read the labels on the foods you’re eating and remember those daily recommendations! I fail almost every day to stay under 25 grams, but I always try, and I know I’m doing way better than I used to.
2 – Pop… just stop!
Pop (or soda if you ain’t from ’round here) is LOADED with sugar! It surprises me every single time I look at the nutrition label. In a can of Sprite (which I used to think had to be better than most pops) there is a whopping 38 grams of sugar!
As far as my adult years go, I have never really been a big pop drinker. I already knew it wasn’t good for me, but it wasn’t until I was pregnant with Lily that I realized just how bad it was.
Socially, I’ve always loved a good mixed drink… any type of alcohol mixed with some kind of pop. And when I was pregnant and couldn’t have the alcohol part, I just sipped on a can of Sprite or Ginger-ale.
I watched a lot of Ellen back then and she was always advertising for Bubly. It’s a brand of sparkling water with zero everything, so I thought I’d give it a try!
I know most people really hate sparkling water, but I personally think it’s delicious for having 0 calories and 0 sugar and no artificial sweeteners. It quenches my craving for carbonation and still has some flavor.
I started drinking these while I was pregnant just to mix it up a bit. Then, after Lily was born, I started adding Vodka to make the perfect low calorie mixed drink!
Now that both my husband and I drink these on a daily basis, we get the Ice Mountain Sparkling Water variety packs at Costco.
I personally think they’re the best tasting that I’ve tried so far.
Sparkling water is an excellent way to replace to pop. I know, I know… it’s not the same. But, don’t you think it’s worth skipping the tons and tons of sugar???
3 – We still eat Desserts!
Yes, we still give in to our sweet tooth… just not with this much.
In fact, most nights, you will find my husband and I sitting on the couch with a cup of ice cream. And when I say cup, I mean a Pampered Chef 1-cup Prep Bowl. And we try not to completely fill it.
I mean, if you look at the nutritional facts on most ice creams… a serving size is a 1/2 cup. And in a 1/2 cup of Blue Bunny Vanilla Ice Cream, there’s 130 calories and 14 grams of sugar.
Now think about how much ice cream you partake in and do the math. Staying under that daily recommendation?
And this goes for all desserts. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having something sweet after a meal. Like I said, we do it on most nights.
The key is both portion control and keeping my “two-cheat rule” in mind. If you had that can of pop today, it’s probably a good idea to skip the ice cream. If you had a cliff bar and creamer in your coffee… maybe say no to the cookie.
But if you were good today, and you have an extra cheat to use… just don’t go overboard on your serving size. A small cup of ice cream, just one cookie, a sliver of cake… portion control. You can do it!
So, again, there’s no reason to completely cut out sugar. Unless you’re a crazy person, then by all means, go for it! Just look at your labels, pick the products that have less sugar, and watch your portion sizes!
Okay, I’m gonna go have a brownie now…
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