Sugar-free Diet – Which Sugars Should I Eliminate For Weight Loss?
A high amount of sugar in your diet, is not only bad for your teeth, but also poses an increased risk for unhealthy weight gain1. When trying to lose weight and keep it off, it is recommended you keep a close eye on the hidden sugars that can be found in processed foods and drinks. As you may have heard from friends and family, in the media or from a health professional - going sugar-free or reducing your sugar intake is recommended to help improve your health and achieve weight loss. So, where do you start?
Reducing sugar for weight loss
Often when people give up sugar, they try to find an alternative to add sweetness to their beverage or meal. Sometimes they may prefer to choose a product with higher quantities of other macronutrients, so that everything still tastes like it used to or at least is an enjoyable taste. Another thing to consider is whether only added sugars are being eliminated from the diet or the natural ones too? As an example, some people may stop having fruit, milk and yoghurt because they contain natural sugars. But will putting cream in coffee instead help? While cream has half the sugar, it has triple the calories and over six times the saturated fat.
While making a dietary decision, there is much to consider and it’s important to look at all the facts before deciding. If milk is switched for cream in coffee and five cups of coffee are going to be consumed in a day, then it is quite likely it is not going to help with weight loss and may potentially also not be good for heart health. So, while cutting down on your coffee intake will be a good start, it will be wiser to stick to milk than cream.
Tips to reduce sugar intake when trying to lose weight
Deciding to reduce sugar intake in general is a better health decision; however, it may require a bit of practice. This is because you will be surprised to find hidden sugar in most of your snacks and meals.
Embrace a healthy lifestyle
A few simple adjustments can be made to your diet to reduce your intake of sugar in daily meals, without having to eat foods that you may not enjoy. Consulting a qualified health professional to discuss your weight loss goals and plans can help to identify ways to limit increasing intake of other macronutrients high in calories.
- Cut back on sugar added to tea or coffee. If you find it too hard, start by slowly reducing quantities or use alternatives like stevia.
- Drink plenty of water infused with fresh herbs like mint or citrus flavours like lemon. Sugar-sweetened beverages can very easily add to your daily sugar intake, as they contain a very high quantity of sugar. Go slow with the change if you usually have a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages. Set a goal for reducing your weekly intake and then switch to sugar-free alternatives. The Tony Ferguson Green Tea is both low in sugar and calories, a great option when you are craving a sweet beverage.
- Choose plain, natural yoghurt instead of flavoured ones containing high amount of sugar. Add a dash of fresh fruit for flavour if you like. You can also flavour it with limited quantities of stevia and vanilla essence. The Tony Ferguson range offers a healthy chocolate cacao smoothie bowl that is a great low sugar snack option.
- Some flavoured milks contain unhealthy proportions of sugar, fat and calories. Low fat plain milk can be flavoured with stevia along with cocoa powder, vanilla essence or coffee flavoured essence. The Tony Ferguson range offers low sugar flavoured shake options, such as the VLCD Rapid Shakes that also double as a meal replacement.
- Reach for fresh fruit instead of fruit juice. Fruit juice is loaded with sugar and is missing fibre, which makes fresh fruit healthier. Eating fresh fruit will also help with maintaining your intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can be lost when juiced. A daily recommendation of fruit intake of 1-2 pieces allows for including a variety of other foods in your diet.
- Breakfast without sugar is entirely possible. Sugary cereals can be easily cut out from your diet. Wholesome nutritious choices such as oats or untoasted muesli with moderate quantities of dried fruit can help you kick-start your day the healthier way.
- Protein balls and bars, along with easy to prepare nutritious soups and broths from the Tony Ferguson range are rich in protein and fibre helping you feel fuller for longer.
The above are just some swaps that can be made when trying to reduce your overall sugar intake. Cutting out sugar completely from your diet requires you to make mindful food choices. But a weight loss goal and plan must be sustainable in the long-term and accommodating of lifestyle. Remember that you want to switch over to healthier habits rather than jump on the next trendy bandwagon that eventually gets too hard or expensive to maintain. The Tony Ferguson 12 Week Program offers ongoing support to help you eat clean, nutrient-dense foods and provides you with exercise tips to help you lose weight and keep it off.