// Healthy Habits // Cut Out Sugar

Wellness isn’t just about food. It’s about our choices, and how our choices translate into daily habits. Wellness and health center around diet, movement, freedom of self, the soul, the state of our minds, and the peace we feel within.

Because I believe in this so strongly, I’m starting a series to introduce a new healthy habit to focus on each month. We’re going to explore more obvious dietary habits, but also delve inward.

This month’s habit is cutting out sugar.

As a society, we consume too much of it. This video changed my thinking about the impact of sugar. For me, I notice increased cravings and mood swings when my sugar consumption is too high. It’s also a big culprit of modern day disease and weight gain.

So, let’s get real. it’s not as simple as avoiding obvious confections such as donuts, desserts, and soda. There are a bajillion different names for sugar in ingredient lists. Even though I’ve refined my ability to say no to dessert most days, my sugar intake creeps up in things like snack bars, natural sweetener in my hot tea, or a bite of cookie here and there. These little moments throughout the week actually add up to quite a lot of sugar.

To use another example, let’s compare it to a budget. My transportation budget is $150/month. This allows for an unlimited monthly metropass and few uberpool rides. Right? Let’s say I’ve hit my limit, but the train shuts down and I have to take an uberpool home. $6? No problem, that’s pretty much nothing. I stay out a little late drinking the next week, and Asher and I want to split and uberpool home. $3? No problem. It happens a time or two again, with different variations and I assume it’s a negligible amount of money.  Well guess what? After reviewing my transportation budget, I end up about $40 over. Maybe that’s not a lot for you, but that’s a week’s worth of groceries for me. Not the end of the world, but also not nothing.

I truly think a lot of us have this problem with sugar. It creeps in in little ways, but ends up compromising our health more than we imagine it does.

So, here’s my challenge to you. Take 30 days, or 15, or 7 and cut out sugar. I like to reserve one meal a week where I can have dessert. To start, other than this one dessert a week, this means no donuts, desserts, cookies, etc. That’s obvious. It also means no more honey in your tea. None of those ‘all natural’ protein/fruit bars. No cereal with sweetener. Look at the ingredients, and if there’s sugar, don’t eat it.

I know this seems extreme, but think of it as an experiment. If you can do this for 30 days, I promise you’ll notice that you don’t crave sugar anymore. You’ll notice that you’re sleeping better, moving more, and having less mood swings. In other words, this little change will make you feel more like the you you’re supposed to be. Cutting out sugar is the single most crucial habit I suggest to people who want to feel better, or improve their health.

And ya know what? You won’t be a slave to sugar anymore. If you don’t think you have a sugar problem, just try this experiment and notice how much better you feel over the course of 30 days.

Tips for cutting out sugar:

  1. When you’re craving sugar, eat an apple or berries with almond butter. Get some nature’s candy in your stomach with a bit of fat to satiate.

  2. Sub sugar for a serving of vegetables. Not only will you stop craving sugar, you’ll start craving vegetables. It sounds crazy, but this is a real thing.

  3. Drink much more water. Hold yourself accountable.

  4. Start logging your foods, so you can see where sugar, both obvious and hidden, are creeping in without your knowing.

  5. Bring a friend along for accountability.

I know a big group of people will complain or think this is a ridiculous thing to do. Life is short. I eat what I want. I feel fine. I’m good with my weight.

Great! Keep on keepin’ on. My philosophy is similar: Life is too short. This isn’t just about weight, it’s about feeling INCREDIBLE. It’s about having energy and thriving. It’s about getting back to what nature intended for us to crave, and then enjoying a little extra every now and then, too. It’s about appreciating EVERYTHING. Life is too short.

Let me know how it goes, and I’ll keep you posted, too. :D