There are many reasons to reduce added sugar in your diet. Added sugar makes up 16 percent of the total calories in the average American diet —that’s 320 calories for someone on a 2,000-calorie plan! Sugar creates an addictive cycle of hunger, fatigue and moodiness. It initially rises the blood sugar, causing us to feel energized and happy.

Unfortunately, since it’s lacking of real nutrition, blood sugar rapidly falls, which leaves us tired, hungry and moody. In this roller-coaster of mood swings, we reach for a quick and easy solution and what isn’t easier to reach for than a chocolate bar, a soda, cookies or donuts? These rapid changes in the blood sugar causes excess storage of fat: It triggers the body to produce insulin, which tells fat cells to store more. Hence, we put on weight and as mentioned before, we become moody. Research even shows that high intakes of the sweetened foods can be as effective as drugs. Because it stimulate similar areas of the brain, leading to feelings of pleasure.

However, the good news is that it’s possible to start decreasing your sugar intake, by eliminating refined sugar from your diet. That includes most processed foods (because they contain loads of added sugar), condiments, candy, baked goods and sweetened beverages, including those with artificial sweeteners.

I know, that it might mean removing a lot of foods from your regular diet, however, I can promise you that it will be worth it. Something motivating is that it can have a significant impact on your mood, energy levels and success of losing weight.

Easy Tips to Reduce Added Sugar

Discover what works for you 

Moreover, exactly how you should go ahead and start eliminating sugar from your diet, depends on your personality. My suggestion is that you have a look on what has been the most successful for you in the past, when trying to break habits. Then by looking at these previous experiences, no matter if it’s a totally different change of habit, for example to quit smoking or starting a new workout routine, try to use the same strategy when breaking the habits of your added sugar consumption.

Learn how to eliminate sugar cravings

Start by reducing your post-dinner sweets. Instead of ice cream or a sweet pie, go for berries, a handful nuts, a smoothie or a fruit. If you really want a dessert, substitute refined sugars with unrefined sugar source, such as honey, stevia or coconut sugar. Here are a few delicious reduced sugar desserts and snacks: Gluten Free Flourless BrowniesPeanut Butter Ice CreamSugar Free Peanut Butter CookiesGreen Smoothie  and plenty of healthy snack options

Sweetened drinks

Interestingly, liquid calories, in on soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks, makes up 36 percent of the added sugar and 4 percent of the total amount of calories that Americans consume daily. No ifs, ands, or buts: Coke doesn’t have any place in your diet. Energy and sports drinks, however, can be used during or after exercise as a vehicle for fueling and refueling your workouts, but that is it. Therefore, instead of drinking Coke or any other soft drink for dinner, replace it with water. If you don’t like the taste of water, simple start up your water intake by flavoring it with lemon, cucumber, berries or mint. Or drink hot or iced green or herbal tea. Switching to snacks low in sugar and cutting sugar-sweetened beverages out of your diet is a top priority when you want to reduce added sugar in your diet

Read food labels

Next step: become an expert at reading food labels because that is the only way to identify added sugar. If any “added sugar”—is one of the first 3 listed, stop buying and eating that product. One step at a time, give your time change and let it happen over time. If any doubts the BeYou coaches are just a text away. Ready to help you, answer all your questions and guide you through challenges and support you when extra motivation is needed.

You don’t have to be on a diet with no sugar !

Reduce added sugar is good enough! Meaning, if you love your brownies or typically chocolate. Just save it for your treats and—most importantly, make sure you enjoy it, when you have it. Then get back on your reduced- added sugar plan. This way you can enjoy the benefits of sugar every so often.

For more tips and professional coach on how to reduce added sugar, try BeYou for FREE!