Eating sugar free for weight loss

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You’re eating well and exercising regularly but the weight still won’t budge? Could the hidden sugars in your food be to blame?

High sugar foods are typically high in kilojoules (energy) and low in nutrients. They’re also usually unsatisfying, leaving you still feeling hungry, and cause blood sugar fluctuations making us more likely to over-indulge. Generally speaking, if we eat more ‘energy’ than our bodies need or can burn off, the energy will be stored as fat for use later on. Eating too much sugar is not the only reason for weight problems, but it does add to the amount of kilojoules in food.1

Sugar unfortunately takes on many guises and can be added to a variety of everyday foods without our knowledge. Many of us may be consuming more sugar than we realise, even if we don’t indulge in overtly sugar-laden treats.

Here are some simple ways to help you cut down on your sugar intake and assist with weight management:

  • Eat whole foods. Focus on foods that are as close to their natural state as possible and limit your intake of packaged foods. Foods such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat and fish are typically higher in vitamins, minerals and fiber than their processed counterparts, they tend to be more satisfying and have a favorable effect on blood sugar levels.
  • Read labels. Added sugar can be found in the most unlikely places such as yoghurt, breakfast cereal, muesli bars, sauces and condiments. As a general rule, if an item’s total sugar content is less than 5g of sugar per 100g, it’s considered to be low in sugar.2
  • Choose healthy snack options that don’t contain added sugar such as vegetable sticks with hummus, an apple with almond butter, protein balls, raw nuts and seeds, or fructose-free muesli bars.
  • Enhance food with spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg or vanilla extract. Limit fruit juice and fruit smoothies. These can contain deceptively high amounts of sugar. If you do have a fruit drink, dilute it with water, 50/50. That way you’ll end up consuming only half the amount of fruit sugar. Another option is to swap the fruit drink for a vegetable one, a tasty and healthy alternative.

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Published February 24, 2015
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