Cut Out Sugar for Weight Loss With These Sneaky Tips

Frosted donuts, hot chocolate chip cookies and chocolate fudge ice cream – oh my! If you have a sweet tooth, you know how hard it can be to go on a diet. Despite their appearance, these sugary foods can be detrimental to your weight loss progress and health.

Let's get one thing straight: Harvard Health Publishing explains that it's great to include natural foods with “natural sugars,” like fruit, in your diet; however, when you're eating more sugar than you should The problem arises when it comes to intake. This is a type of sugar added to food to enhance its flavor and extend its shelf life.

“I strongly believe that the number one problem right now in terms of the health of this country is the insane excess of added sugar in our food supply (and your diet),” Laura Black, MS, RDFounder of GetNaked® Nutrition and Lose Weight With Smoothies Tell Eat this, don't eat that! “It's not your fault you don't even realize how much sugar you're eating. Food companies gloss over ingredients with healthier-sounding words like syrup, brown sugar, dextrose, dextrose, sucanat.”

We chatted with Burak about the sneaky ways you can lose weight by cutting out sugar. Because aside from the more obvious cakes and baked goods, sugar hides in the most unexpected places! Read on to learn all about how to reduce your sugar intake, and next, don't miss the 5 Worst “Empty Calorie” Foods That'll Make You Gain Weight Faster.

Woman chooses healthy food like apples over unhealthy junk food dessert

“Switch to foods that contain natural sugars, nutrients, and antioxidants, such as fruit, rather than added sugars like cookies, candy, and ice cream,” suggests Black.

As mentioned earlier, consuming foods that contain natural sugars is not a problem. According to the American Heart Association, anything that contains fruit or milk contains at least some natural sugar.

RELATED: If You Still Do These 5 Things, You'll Never Lose Weight, Experts Say

A woman adds dates as a sweetener to a smoothie

If you want to sweeten things up a bit, you can still – in a healthy way! Burak recommends adding cocoa or cinnamon to your coffee; adding vanilla extract and fruit to your homemade smoothie; or your favorite nut butter date savory.

“Find ways to use foods with sweet flavors, and over time your taste buds change and you don't like that super sweet taste anymore. It's pretty cool when that happens,” she says .

Say no to soda concept, how to reduce sugar to lose weight

Sugary drinks are full of sugar, so Brack recommends weaning yourself off sports drinks, soda, your favorite coffee shop drink, and even fruit juice.

“You'd be surprised how much added sugar is in a drink, so start by limiting those and sticking to mostly water, soda, and unsweetened tea and coffee,” she explains.

Woman reading food labels while grocery shopping

“You're not going to believe all the sneaky sources of added sugar in your food,” says Brack. She stresses the importance of reading the ingredients on food packages first, “no matter what health claims are on the box.” Watch out for any sneaky words that actually mean sugar, and choose options that don't have any added sugar (or very little sugar) )s brand.

Some other names that translate to added sugar on food labels include brown sugar, honey, raw sugar, molasses, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, corn sweetener, invert sugar, and maltose, according to the American Heart Association.

Comparing the concept of calories, donuts and healthy food

“Focus on adding quality foods,” says Brack. “I'm not talking about gummy bears. Let me explain.”

Imagine 500 calories of a frosted donut and compare that to 500 calories of a nutrient-dense whole food, like a fresh chopped green salad with eggs, avocado, seeds and olive oil.These two ways to consume 500 calories are the most certain no equal. In fact, your body processes them differently, says Brack.

“Donuts are mostly made up of added sugar and saturated fat and don't contain any of the blood-stabilizing proteins that create satiety, which is why one donut can easily turn into three,” she adds. “Not only does this food spike your blood sugar, it doesn't make you feel full or satisfied, which can lead to hunger and cravings.”

Alexa Melado

Alexa is Mind + Body Associate Editor for Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and bringing readers engaging fitness, wellness and self-care topics.Read more about Alexa

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