Have you ever heard of the term sugar addict? I hadn’t until last year when I started to try and understand why I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my weight and body shape. I started journaling what I ate and drank. I became very disheartened when I realized how much sugar I actually was consuming in a day. Sugar is something that most of us don’t think about on a regular basis. For me, I was surprised to discover that a Vente caramel macchiato had – 350 calories and 42 grams of sugar.
Have a look
I really like speciality coffees. I like the flavor and that comfort food feeling I get when I drink them. For me, I went from rarely having these types of drinks to having 5 or more in a week. Not only is that a lot of extra calories to pack on in a week, but a lot of excess sugar.
How much sugar should you have in a day? The American Heart Association recommends most American women eat no more than 100 calories per day of sugar (six teaspoons or 20 grams) and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about nine teaspoons or 36 grams).
If you go back and look at the Vente caramel macchiato, I have already more than doubled my recommended sugar intake for the day, in one sitting. I knew right then and there that I needed to significantly decrease sugar intake. In this process I discovered how much I truly craved sugar. I went for a month without any processed sugar, but I don’t think a month was long enough as I was still craving sugar. Meals didn’t feel complete without that something sweet to finish it off like a nice glass of wine and a few pieces of chocolate.
This may sound a bit ridiculous, but sugar seems to be everywhere. You think you’re eating healthy with things like granola bars, but if you read the label, for example a nature valley protein bar, has 8 grams of sugar, almost half of the sugar intake for the day (if you’re female).
Sugar can’t be avoided all together as naturally occurring sugars are found in fruits and milk products. The demon to stay away from are FREE SUGARS – sugar added to food and drink, as well as sugar found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. The free sugars!
So now what?
My challenge for this week is in 2 parts. First part of the week, I suggest to observe what FREE SUGARS you’re eating and then decide what one you want remove for the rest of the week. Cutting all free sugar out at once is very difficult. Like exercise, every little bit counts.
So the day-to-day goal: Have a little less sugar than the day before. Hit your target in a comfortable way gradually making healthier choices. Small steps to get to the larger goal.