Back to the Basics: Cut Some Sugar

Back to the BasicsWas anyone else as shocked as me to see November come around on the calendar? I swear, it should still be July. But, time marches on, and it’s time for our next challenge in our Back to the Basics series, where we are working on one healthy habit, one month at a time.

This month we’re focusing on one of the hardest habits, yet one that can make a dramatic change to your health: cut some sugar!

Cut Sugar

I feel like this one is good for two reasons: if you are like me, your house got bombarded with sugar last week, and the crazy holiday season is approaching, where sugar will tempt us around every corner.

Honestly, when I get to this time of year, I have a tendency to say to myself, “Well, it’s the holiday season, might as well throw in the towel! I’ll just indulge and try harder next year for my New Year’s resolution.” It doesn’t have to be that way! We can tame this sugar monster, and we can maintain some healthy habits through the holiday season and even live to tell about it.

Our first two habits in September and October were about adding positive habits (drinking water and moving our bodies). Removing bad habits from our lives can be much, much, much harder. I want you to start small — very small, if you need to!

Here are some ideas:

  • Decide to drop just one treat you routinely have.
  • Avoid eating sugar in your home.
  • Avoid eating sugar at your workplace.
  • Drop the pop. (Or soda, depending on where you live. 😉 )
  • Avoid any sugary food as a snack.
  • Cut the amount of dessert you have in a week.
  • Drop sugar all together for a set number of days. (One, three, five, seven, 30 … whatever you feel challenged to do.)
  • Maybe you’ve thought of our own idea. You know, that thought that popped into your head when you first saw this post. Feel free to make up your own rules!

I’ve written about avoiding sugar in the past, so I’ll link to some other posts at the end, but it’s definitely one of the best things you can do for your health. There is zero nutritional value in sugar. Your body, however, might miss it. You can even suffer from withdrawal symptoms. So, here are some basic tips for you, especially if you are attempting to cut sugar for the first time.

  • Start small, as mentioned above. Your small efforts will eventually snowball into larger ones. Your habits weren’t created in a day, so don’t think you have to remove all the bad ones in one day or even one month.
  • Think ahead and plan for sugar alternatives. For example, if you usually have a pop with a meal, think about what you might have instead. You normally eat a candy bar from the vending machine at 3:00 every afternoon? Have a healthy choice available for that time.
  • Remove temptation from your house as much as possible. You might not be able to take things away if others in your household aren’t participating in your little endeavor, but remove what you can.
  • If you want to attempt cutting out sugar completely, start with a small time frame. You can learn a lot about your habits in just a day or two, and then you can be better prepared for a future longer time frame.
  • Expect that sugar will be everywhere you turn. Someone will bring cookies to the office, your favorite candy bar will show up on your kitchen counter. Gear up for the extra willpower you will need to fight the temptations.
  • Plan ahead for a cheat day or a cheat event. Thanksgiving is coming up, so that might be an opportunity to have a cheat day. Nobody wants to miss pumpkin pie, right? 😉

Want to read more about cutting sugar? Here are some past posts:

No Sugar Month — Wanna Join? (From Feb. 2013)

Gearing Up for a No Sugar {ish} Month (From Feb. 2013)

No Sugar {ish} Recap (And a Recipe) (From April 2013)

As for my plans, I’ve had some sugar already this month, but I’m going to attempt none for the rest of the month, with the exception of Thanksgiving celebrations. How about you?

 

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Cori2Cori is a wife, mom of three, part-time secretary and random writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change. She has a degree in journalism and enjoys doing research and writing.

 

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