Sugar-free diet: 3 tips for beginners

Less sugar: why I changed my diet

Like most people in Germany, I eat too much sugar. Although I am not overweight, I realized that my sugar intake is not healthy. I found it hard to control myself when I ate sugary foods, I ate a lot of excess calories due to cravings, and I felt an increasing desire for sugary foods. I was always aware that excessive consumption of sugar makes you sick. In Germany, every fifth person is now considered obese. One in every thirteenth person already suffers from diabetes. Too much sugar also increases the risk of a heart attack, causes inflammation in the body, makes us age faster, makes us feel tired, depressed and addictive. I finally wanted to break the sugary vicious cycle of unhealthy nutrition with an ever-increasing craving for sugar and decided to change my diet.

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Without sugar with online courses

However, the goal of my dietary change should not explicitly be to go sugar free. For me, living sugar-free means developing a healthy approach to sugar, reducing chronic sugar cravings, and finally being able to mindfully enjoy sugar again. I also wanted my digestion to normalize and my sense of taste to sharpen. If I could also lose a few pounds of belly fat by ditching sugar, my sugar-free experiment would have been a complete success. To do this, I had to change my eating habits and consume significantly less added sugar.

Of course, I educated myself about the dangers of sugar beforehand, tried sugar alternatives in my diet, and avoided particularly unhealthy baked goods or beverages. But I also quickly realized that without professional support, it would be difficult to break my old sugar habits. So I looked for online courses that would give me a framework for my sugar-free diet and offer expert knowledge support. Of the many sugar free courses that can be found online, I decided to take the Finally Sugar Free course. dr Riedl by eatsmarter. The course consists of eight chapters that, in addition to background and supplemental information, provide explicit instructions on how dietary change can be successful. Expert advice from Dr. Hay Riedl for each chapter, and at the end of the eight-week course there’s even a live call with nutrition experts.

tips for beginners

The “sugar-free diet” project initially seemed like a gargantuan task. With the best will in the world, I couldn’t imagine completely changing my diet, constantly having to look at nutrition charts at the supermarket, and cutting any extra sugar out of my life forever. At the beginning of my sugar-free experiment, I quickly realized that such concerns were not only unfounded, but also unrealistic. For people who want to cut back on their sugar intake, I’ve put together three helpful tips for beginners to get past the biggest initial hurdles.

1. Set realistic goals

A sugar-free diet does not have to and should not mean completely eliminating all types of sugar. The change in diet should consist of living healthier and consuming more consciously. So set goals that fit your life, your daily life, and your individual eating habits. If, like me, you eat sweets regularly and find it difficult to walk past bakeries without taking a small piece, the goal of completely eliminating sugar is simply unrealistic. The probability that your sugar-free experiment will fail is then much higher. Set realistic goals that you can actually achieve. For example: I want to consume less added sugar or I want to consume 50 percent less sugar. When setting goals, it also helps beginners formulate small sub-goals. This increases motivation and sometimes makes it easier to achieve an ambitious overall goal.

also interesting: Tips for Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms > >

2. Find out the current status

If you want to change your eating habits, you need concrete starting points. Therefore, beginners should know exactly how much additional sugar they consume each day. Sugar logs help here, where you record in detail for at least three days what you eat, how many calories you eat, and how many grams of sugar are on the daily menu. Only with an exact value of your sugar intake can you implement sensible changes in diet and behavior. The World Health Organization, for example, recommends consuming only five to a maximum of ten percent of daily calories from free sugar. If you find that you are consuming significantly more additional sugar per day, you can take specific countermeasures and have specific numbers that you can use as a guide. Of course, you also need to know your individual daily energy needs in this context. Women use this formula to calculate their basal metabolic rate, that is, the number of calories your body needs to carry out bodily functions when you are at rest:

655.1 + (9.6 x body weight in kilograms) + (1.8 x height in centimeters) – (4.7 x age in years)

For men, this formula is applied to calculate the basal metabolic rate:

66.47 + (13.7 x body weight in kilograms) + (5 x height in centimeters) – (4.7 x age in years)

Individual basal metabolic rate must now be summed with a performance multiplier. Depending on how much you exercise and how often you exercise, multiply your basal metabolic rate by that amount.

  • Factor 1.2 (elderly, frail)
  • Factor 1.45 (very sedentary people, office workers)
  • Factor 1.65 (sedentary people with occasional exercise)
  • Factor 1.85 (mainly walking and standing activities)
  • Factor 2.2 (people who work hard physically and are very active)

Only when you know your current status can you set and pursue realistic goals. Beginners on the path to a sugar-free diet create the basis for the desired change in diet by calculating and recording the current status.

3. Plan for nutritional errors and relapses

Diet changes are always difficult. Eating behavior and sugar cravings, including the release of happiness and reward hormones, have developed over a long period of time and cannot be completely changed overnight. At the beginning of the “sugar-free diet” project, beginners should already be aware that nutritional mishaps or mistakes can happen. Even before I started my first day without sugar, I realized that mistakes and relapses would be part of the transition process. A change of diet does not fail by eating a bar of chocolate or a piece of cake. As long as eating habits change positively in the medium and long term and the end result is a healthier life through less sugar consumption, small steps back and sugary slips are perfectly fine.

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