Sugar free diet is synonymous with sensible eating habits which means you should follow some simple rules. Know the rules here –

Not fitting in your favorite jeans?

Resist the urge to crash diet – Instead follow a sugar free or sugar “less” diet. Sugars especially in processed forms are harmful and fattening. They are hiding in the way of  additives and added sugar in everyday packaged food products. Here is a quick list of do’s and dont’s to get you started on a sugar free diet and on your way to loosing fat and inches which is what counts the most!  

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Very few people know that sugar free doesn’t mean that you avoid sugar entirely.

While on this diet sugar should be consumed in minimal quantities. Sugar is practically in everything you eat so when you follow a this diet you must gradually lower sugar intake as a sudden reduction could  backfire and affect your health in a negative way namely temporary headaches and fatigue.

The science behind cutting sugar is that both sugar and starch contain kilojoules and one gram of sugar contains 17 kilojoules. Sugar doesn’t have any health benefits so when you’re cutting down on the kilojoules consumption; you cut down on the fat and hence, eliminate those extra calories. 

Sugar free diet is synonymous with sensible eating habits which means you should follow some simple rules like:

1. Checking the word “Sugar” on the ingredients list before buying

Your daily eatables like jams, juices, flavored yogurts and biscuits also constitute major quantities of sugar which add to the extra kilojoules. Remember reduced kilojoles in your diet leads to reduced fat in your body. 

Watch out for added sugar disguised  in packaged foods under  these names: Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Lactose, High fructose corn syrup, Glucose solids, Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Cane juice solids, Cane juice crystals, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Dextran, Barley malt, Beet sugar, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Caramel, Buttered syrup, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Date sugar, Malt syrup, Diatase, Diatastic malt, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Dehydrated fruit juice, Fruit juice crystals, Golden syrup, Turbinado,  Sorghum syrup, Refiner’s syrup, Ethyl maltol, Maple syrup and Yellow sugar. Phew!

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2. Fruits and vegetables should be your best dietary comrades

Because they not only control your weight but also help in maintaining the required level of daily dietary fiber. Eat unprocessed REAL foods. Increase the intake of raw foods. Fresh vegetables – celery, cucumbers, tomatoes and  leafy greens like lettuce, kale and spinach are a must in this diet. Oats, quinoa, brown rice and sweet potatoes are the right carbohydrate source when on this diet. Additionally grains like sorghum (gluten free, non-GMO) and amaranth (high protein and mineral content) also recommended. 

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3.If you are a dessert lover, take really small bites of your favorite dessert to overcome excess sweet cravings.

This is because excess deprivation for a long time may result in binge eating later, which should not happen.

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4. Replace your daily sugar in coffee and tea with natural sugar free substitutes like stevia, raw honey and molasses

Also, ketchup  and store bought sauces (including mayonnaise and salad dressing) contain added sugars so avoid them with your daily foods. Restrict consumption of high sugar food products but include a healthy dose of natural sugars found in fruits. Don’t add artificial sweeteners as they could cause cause bloating and stomach discomfort.

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5. Enjoy home made yogurt  as a snack and  try something super healthy like oats and seeds soaked in almond milk for breakfast.

A side of low-glycemic fruits like black berries, blue berries and strawberry will sweeten the deal. Foods with a low glycemic index take longer to digest (therefore prolonging satiety) they will also maintain blood glucose levels at a relatively constant state. Foods with a high-glycemic index not only digest quickly, but  can cause extreme fluctuations in blood glucose. In response the body starts to store fat.

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6. Totally avoid soft drinks

They are the worst form of sugar consumption and empty calories. Replace them with limewater, or other healthy options. Drink lots of water every day. It helps to break it up into several times a day and not gulping it all down at once. Carry it in the go. 

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7.  Dairy is quite high in sugar 

Lactose is found in all dairy products and it is a form of sugar. The sugar content in dairy is not off the air high but it’s enough to elevate your insulin levels. Being that you want the opposite to occur when you’re trying to lose weight, you want to normalize and regulate insulin. Replace regular milk with almond milk or soy milk

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Regular milk has approximately 4.7% sugar content. And believe it or not reduced fat milk has 5.3% and low fat milk has 6.5%. That means you are better off eating full fat dairy because fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. It is a common misconception that we should eat low fat, but often low fat means the product is full of more sugar.

8. Avoid foods labelled fat free. Fat free = More sugar

 Fat-free versions of food replace fat with sugar, which is no better an option and eventually gets stored in your body as fat anyway. Hence sugar free cookies and salad dressing or jam  should have a  permanent spot in the dumpster. Keep your salad clean and yummy with good old fashioned oil and vinegar!

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When it comes to fat, a little of the real thing (ex. olive oil, coconut oil) is far better than any amount of the fat-free option.

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9.  Recognize emotional hunger from physical hunger to succeed on this diet

Physical hunger comes on gradually, can be satisfied with any food and you can stop eating once you are full. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly and causes specific high sugar cravings like ice cream, chocolate and pizza. You eat more than you normally would and leaves you feeling uncomfortable. 

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Consistency and commitment while on this diet is sure to give you desired results. It’s not easy at first because the sugar withdrawals are real but with time they diminish.  You will feel more energetic, no more afternoon slumps and yes those jeans will start making you look good … really good.

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By: Vidhi Sagar & Richa Kaura

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