Living in a world full of advertising for fast food chains, life on-the-go, and convenience-based eating doesn’t always lend itself to what’s ultimately best for your body. While healthy eating and living seem to be struggling their way towards the front of our minds, it’s often an easier concept to consider than to put into action. We hear about the value of good nutrition and understand it’s important, yet busy family and personal lives, combined with even busier work schedules, makes it hard for many people to sit down and consider what they consume daily—never mind going out and making drastic nutritional changes.
In order to achieve a healthy goal that is both manageable and effective, it’s often necessary to start with one single factor and work your way forward as you get the hang of it. For example, kicking the sugar habit may sound daunting to many, but it is, in fact, a basic place to start for anybody setting out on a path to healthy living. Sugar is found in a large percentage of foods we consume daily, and has become an unknowing staple of our meal and snacking habits. Here are a few basic steps you can take when learning to kick the sugar habit for good.
Recognize that sugar is NOT the worst thing in the world.
One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve health goals is because they look to eliminate something entirely instead of learning to manage it on a broader scale. If sugar is a big part of your diet, it’s particularly important to make sure to not demonize it, but simply moderate your intake. Bodies that have been conditioned to consume sugar need to be patiently reconditioned to take in less. It’s ok to take your time in the initial phases of kicking your sugar habit, and realize that just because it’s delicious doesn’t mean it’s entirely bad. It simply means you have to reasonably regulate your intake.
Create a plan of attack.
As anybody would before a great challenge, it’s important to create a plan of attack when looking to kick a sugar habit. For those who are natural planners, buying a calendar or notebook to keep track of your sugar intake, and any weight progress you might make, can be a very rewarding activity. For those who are less into planning, it could be enough to simply write a personal mission statement. It’s important to have a nutritional goal that you make visible in order to make it achievable daily.
Friends will keep you motivated.
No man or woman is an island, and the same remains true when it comes to taking a sugar habit to task. Finding a friend, colleague or neighbor who has the same goal as you can help keep you on track. A health buddy will not only keep you motivated to continue making healthy choices, but will often keep you accountable when you start to slip. There’s no need to go to battle with sugar alone—make sure you have a good friend by your side!
Revamp and revise your grocery list.
Quite often, the way sugar sneaks its way into our diets has a lot to do with how we grocery shop. Going into a grocery store hungry or without a list, can lead to product grazing. The result is foods packed with sugar finding their way onto your unsuspecting pantry shelves. Eat a healthy snack before you go shopping. Take the time to create a health-conscience grocery list. And most importantly, stick to it once you’re in the store! If you don’t have temptation on your shelves, you’ll find you’re only reaching for what’s best for you.
Keep it in the family.
Just as you need a friend to keep you on track, your household being on board with a less sugary life can really boost you into healthy living. Make sure to discuss your ideas for meals, snacks and even desserts without sugar with your family, and get their opinions on healthy foods they might want to try. You’ll be surprised at how creative a sugar-free diet can be. With your family participating in your new diet alongside you, it will only be a matter of time before that sugar habit is truly kicked for good.
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