Getting Prepared for the No Sugar Challenge
You’ve taken the first step and pledged to have no added sugar for 30 days (woohoo!) - now what? Here are some of our best pieces of advice to get yourself set up for sugar free success.
1) Find the Sugar in Your Life
Observe your typical food choices. Where are the obvious sources of sugar, like the flavored creamer you use in your coffee or that honey mustard salad dressing you love at lunchtime? Also, where are the sneaky places that hidden sugars exist in your diet? Sugar is added to most packaged foods, so read through the labels of foods in your home and verify that your staple foods don’t have any unexpected hidden sugars. Tip: anything ending in “-ose” or ingredients that feature the words “syrup”, “nectar”, or “cane” indicates a sugary ingredient.
2) Plan Your Substitutions
Thanks to diet trends like Whole 30 and Keto, there are many packaged food options clearly labeled “no added sugar”. Head to the grocery store and seek out new, sugarless staples. Some areas you’ll likely need to find a no added sugar option include:
sauces and condiments/spreads,
protein powders and bars,
frozen and canned foods.
3) Try New Recipes
Rather than being bummed about favorite foods you don’t get to enjoy for 30 days, we encourage you to consider this a time to get curious and creative. What new, exciting recipes can you try? Pinterest has a wealth of recipes without added sugar – just always be sure to double check the ingredients, as some recipes using “natural alternative” sweeteners (such as honey) will claim to have no added sugar (honey still counts as sugar in this challenge, womp womp). Additionally, there are many Whole 30 cookbooks and blogs with great no-added-sugar recipes.
4) Get Invested
Take a few moments to honestly reflect on why you want to reduce sugar in your life. Sugar can affect everything from cognitive functioning and mood to joint pain and inflammation, can cause skin changes, impaired/delayed recovery, GI symptoms, and causes strain on internal organs such as your heart, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Stress is a fact of life and we all know it’s hard to stick to new goals, so having a clear reason why you started this in the first place will make it easier to stick to it on days that feel challenging.
5) Share It
It really is easier to get by with a little help from your friends. Share that you are going sugar free for 30 days with your family and friends so they can help hold you accountable. Review our signed No Sugar pledge list in the lobby and find yourself an accountability buddy. Share your signed pledge to social media. If you aren’t already, follow us at @experiencemomentumnutrition on Instagram and join our private Experience Momentum Nutrition Facebook group. We will be sharing recipes, food swaps, tips and tricks, and it’s a great place to reach out if you need help. We’re in this together.
6) Get Back on that Horse
If you have a day where you aren’t able to or decide not to avoid sugar, you haven’t failed our challenge. The whole goal of this challenge is to try and accumulate as many days as possible, so just keep trying. If you are struggling and could benefit from some support, schedule a free 15-minute Nutrition Goal Assessment with one of our Registered Dietitians.