For decades people blamed fat intake for the epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. But little did they know that it was not fat but sugar that is the primary culprit behind this uncontrolled outbreak.
Your body contains an organ called the pancreas, that secretes insulin. When you eat any food rich in carbohydrates or sugars, your blood sugar level spikes. The blood sugar spike signals the release of insulin from the pancreatic cells. The hormone insulin acts on the cells and prepares them for the intake of sugar. If there is a need for the sugar to be burnt, it is torched. But if there is excess sugar, it gets converted into fat and stored in the body. This is the reason why, in spite of cutting down that extra fat, you are still piling up weight. This doesn’t stop here. Excess sugar has detrimental effects on your body which in turn affects your mind. A healthy mind and healthy body go together, and you become what you eat.
Here is the moral of the story: If you want to control diabetes or do weight control, going sugar-free is the best option.
What do you need to know about going sugar-free?
Most of the times, you don’t eat sugar because you need it. Rather you consume those carbs because you are addicted to it. Yes, it is an addiction that is so subtle that you miss it altogether. Try this small experiment. Try to stay without sugar for a day. You will experience headaches, irritability, and distress because you are addicted to those sugars.
How do I go sugar-free?
Going sugar-free is a gradual process. You cannot and must not stop immediately. Your body will get upset and will not react well. So the only way is to wean off sugar slowly and replace it with healthier options. You need to set your mind on going sugar-free first. Usually, many people jump on the bandwagon of going sugar-free without considering the effects, only to revert to their old eating patterns with a vengeance. So go slow and steady, but consistently.
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Weaning off sugar
You can start weaning off sugar by understanding the ill effects of excess sugars. This will prepare you mentally to quit sugar. Then try going for a detox program for one day too, at most, three days. This will help you eliminate unwanted toxins from the body. Then put yourself on sugar-free diets to help you stay on course to an excess sugar-free life.
Here are five sugar-free meals that you can incorporate as a part of your plan to quit sugar.
One of the best protein-rich, low-calorie breakfasts is oats. You can prepare some recipes with oats. This is a boon for bodybuilders and those who are battling weight loss. It helps to get that satiety without piling up those empty calories. You must have this in your diet if you are trying to burn that muffin top above your waistline. We have picked few combinations that you can try for breakfast with oats:
- Oats with berries.
- Oats with almond milk.
- Oats with linseed, sunflower, and almonds.
Recommended Read: Diabetic Diet: Food Tips to Prevent & Control Diabetes
Eggs in any form are highly nutritious. It contains a lot of proteins, vitamins, and other essential micronutrients. We would personally recommend hard-boiled eggs if you are looking for weight loss. Take two eggs and immerse them in water and cook them. After boiling, allow the eggs to cool. Add salt and pepper for seasoning. It will satisfy your taste buds as well as the appetite centers in your brain. You can try making an omelet and have it with toasted bread.
Tuna and brown rice
Tuna and brown rice is a healthy low sugar recipe for lunch. Rich in proteins and essential amino acids, tuna makes a perfect combination with low-calorie brown rice.
A must have this recipe in your diet; vegetable salads provide you with loads of micronutrients and fiber. You must ensure that you include a range of vegetables in your diet, such as cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, etc.
Recommended Read: Fruit and Vegetable Salads for a Healthy Dinner
The main culprit behind those love handles and bellies is uncontrolled snacking that piles up empty calories. You need to cut down on those sugary beverages, replacing them with water and green tea. Additionally, go for healthy snacking options like fruits and nuts, protein bars, carrot sticks, smoothies, legumes, etc. For non-vegetarian snacks, try beef jerky.
Take each day seriously and decide what you are going to eat. If there are any sugar-rich foods in your diet, try to replace them with low sugar recipes. Track every calorie going into your body. Don’t gobble anything delicious just because it satisfies your taste buds. Weigh the pros and cons of any food before you eat it. Disciplined eating habits like these will help you break toxic food habits over time. On top of all this, you must make sure that you are getting all the nutrients in the prescribed amounts.