You can give up sugar and lose weight in midlife.
Sugar tastes so-o-o-o-o good, but midlife women beware. The benefits of eating sugar end right there! Sugar can do much more harm than good in our systems.
After age 50, our metabolism has changed, it’s much harder to lose weight. Giving up sugar can help tremendously.
Giving up sugar (most of the time) worked for me as I dropped 15 pounds in the past six months. Drastically limiting my sugar intake, as well as reducing my carbs, helped me shed weight I thought I’d never be able to lose in midlife. It is a miracle!
Eating too much sugar can negatively impact health. According to the American Heart Association, “Added sugars contribute zero nutrients but many added calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health.”
Doctors at the Iowa Clinic explain “too much sugar can lead to being overweight which can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and can lead to cancer. “
Sugar sneaks into our everyday foods, too. While I was conscious of putting a spoonful of sugar into my coffee in the morning, I didn’t realize how much was in my salad dressing, catsup, and prepared oatmeal. We have to be hyper aware of the ingredients in our foods to reduce our sugar intake.
Like many people, I gained weight in 2020 as we all stayed home.
Six months later, I am still (mostly) sugar-free. While I have an occasional dessert such as my daughter-in-law’s homemade apple pie and a cookie now and then, my regular sugar intake is limited to naturally made sugar in foods. If a craving hits, I have a back up plan – chew sugarless gum. Sugar doesn’t own me anymore!
These tips worked for me to give up sugar and lose weight:
If you want to give up sugar, too, try these ideas and let me know how they work for you.
1. Give up sugar in your coffee – drink it black
Say goodbye to cream and sugar. My morning coffee routine used to be: a cup of steaming hot coffee (or two) with a spoonful of sugar and a healthy shot of half and half. The problem was I started my morning with two spoonfuls of sugar! As someone who always had to watch her weight, I compounded the problem with added calories every morning, making it hard to lose fat.
One day I went cold turkey and started drinking my coffee black – embracing the bitter taste sensation instead of sweet. Once I learned to like coffee this way, I couldn’t drink it sweet anymore. The sweetness and cream overpowered the taste of the coffee to me.
2. Wake up your taste buds
What I found by giving up sugar was my tastebuds were more sensitive — in a good way. The result, normal everyday foods starting tasting better. The crust of my homemade bread brought out a million different flavors so I didn’t need to slather butter on it. The cinnamon and raisins in my oatmeal popped, making brown sugar unnecessary.
Tune into how your food tastes and see if the same thing happens for you. Frankly, I wondered if it was the new recipes I was trying or my tastebuds. Turns out, it may have been a little of both! Either way, enjoying great tasting food makes life a whole lot better (and shall we say sweeter?)
3. Have a “Give Up Sugar” game plan for when cravings hit
Giving up sugar is easier said than done. Like breaking any addiction, to give up sugar, you need a plan. So think this through.
Be prepared: Determine your reason why, go cold turkey and have strategies to deal with struggles and temptations. Have a substitute behavior when you are either craving sugar physically or breaking an ingrained sugar snacking habit.
Try this: A friend of mine used to teach smoking cessation classes in Sacramento, Ca. He shared a tip to break the smoking addiction that works with sugar cravings, too. He said, “When you are craving a cigarette, before you take a puff, tell yourself you can have the cigarette AFTER you walk around the building. After the walk, you rarely want the cigarette. ”
Adapt this winning strategy to cut sugar and lose weight. When craving sugar, tell yourself you can have the treat AFTER you do something instead like:
- get up and stretch
- go outside and get some fresh air
- drink a cup of herbal tea
- drink a cup of tap water or sparkling water
- chew some sugarless gum
- take 5 deep breaths
- do something else – call a friend, play guitar, pet your dog or play with your cat
My sugar cravings hit around 3 pm and about an hour after dinner. In the afternoon, I got up and stretched, went outside for a minute and popped some sugarless gum. At night, I started drinking flavorful caffeine free turmeric and ginger tea.
What do you think will work for you?
4. Read the labels and skip hidden sugar
Dr Becky Gillaspy, D.C. of DrBeckyFitness.com recommends you don’t eat any foods that have sugar as the top three ingredients. On the food label, ingredients are listed with the highest percentage first so if sugar is in the top three watch out! Turns out my favorite salad dressings listed sugar as the #3 ingredient, so I switched. I started using Newman’s Own Oil and Vinegar salad dressing with no sugar added.
5. Plan a splurge day
Give yourself a break. Plan for a day once a month to enjoy treats. On that day, eat birthday cake, apple pie with ice cream or dessert for a special occasion dinner out. The key is to plan ahead to time. This way eating a dessert can be something to look forward to and we won’t feel deprived on sugarless days.
Once the party or the holiday is over, we must go back to our sugar free diet – right away. I found, I savored the dessert, knowing it is a treat instead of mindlessly eating sweets all the time like I used to. Knowing I have a splurge day to look forward to, made giving up sugar and sticking to my lower carb diet a bit easier.
Up your health and wellness game by giving up sugar and losing weight!
There are a whole new world of possibilities out there to improve your health, energy level and weight. Life can still be sweet without all the sugar.