Sugar is pure energy, with no other nutritional value.
Food product designers use it in conjunction with other ingredients in order to make foods so highly rewarding, that we don’t want to stop eating them even when we’ve had enough.
The main source of added sugars today, are actually drinks, not food. This is a particular problem as sugar sweetned beverages (SSBs) provide extra calories, but do not sate your appetite or provide any nutritional value.
Cutting them out is the easiest way to reduce your energy intake without feeling hungry.
Cut out all fizzy drinks (even diet ones, as artificial sweeteners have their own problems), fruit juice (eat whole fruits instead) and drink tea and coffee without sugar and preferably black. (If you can’t cope without any milk, add less – Latte>Cappuccino>Flat White>Macchiato)
As far as solid food goes, cut out biscuits, sweets, cakes, chocolate bars and other sugary treats Monday to Friday. (If you’re really struggling try a small bar (<25g) of 85% Dark Chocolate, or some fresh fruit and berries with full fat, no added sugar yoghurt to curb your craving). Also, check your food labels, as sugar is hidden in all sorts of things you wouldn't expect – even savoury foods. Check the nutrition info for grams of sugars – 4g = 1 teaspoon, you may get a shock! In particular, be careful of “low fat” products - Often these are some of the unhealthiest items on the shelves as the fats are simply replaced with processed sugar! There is nothing wrong with treating yourself on the weekend, but try and go for home baked goods that are free from fake processed fats and additives, and don't go overboard and eat a week's worth in two days 😉 Good luck with week 1, and don't forget to keep us posted on Twitter and Facebook!
If you’d like to learn more about the science behind the problems of exess sugar, checkout this website: www.sugarscience.org
1) Harvard School of Health: Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet