Reduce added sugar consumption to one serving per week.
Yup, one serving…that’s it. You get one splurge this week, and by one splurge I mean one serving. Not an entire day of sugary-goodness. Will it be dessert at the weekend party or a family trip for ice cream? Will it be the glass on sangria or frozen margarita while out with friends? Whatever it is, it’s just one. We are so close to slaying the sugar dragon and I promise it will be worth it! Have you experienced any sugar withdrawal symptoms? I’ve heard lots of people complain about headaches, irritability, decreased focus and concentration, and lethargy. According to webmd.com , Americans consume 19 teaspoons or more of added sugar a day! That’s adds up to more than 285 empty calories. And judging on how much sugar is hiding in our foods I am not surprised. In my most recent paleo pesto post , I talked about how there is actually a decent amount of sugar in ketchup. The website sugarstacks.com is pretty cool for giving a visual of how much sugar is in anything from beverages to candy to vegetables.
Webmd goes on to say that women should aim to consume no more than 6 added teaspoons a day and men no more than 9 added teaspoons. In my opinion, that’s still a lot of added sugar to be throwing down on a daily basis. Not to say that on a splurge day, I wouldn’t consume that between wine, dark chocolate, or sorbet, but as I’ve said in a previous post, when I splurge, I stick to one category. That means that if I am out for dinner and I know I will be having a glass or two of wine, I do not have dessert. If I know I’m going to a party where there will be paleo-friendly desserts, then I won’t drink alcohol. If I know I am going out for Mexican food where there are delicious tortilla chips, then I don’t drink or have dessert. Splurging too frequently, especially with more than one category (booze, desserts, or food) is unfortunately very common. It’s just tough to see people I know who want to improve their health do this so frequently and then act like they have no idea why they aren’t making any progress. There is no free ride, and you can’t have your cake and eat it too (pun intended) if you truly want to improve your health. At some point you need to evaluate your behavior and see if it lines up with what your goals are. Nothing but positive health benefits can come from reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet.