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10 Simple Ways to Cut Back on Sugar in Your Diet From A Board-Certified HealthCoach

Written by: Jody Dotson, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The importance of health and well-being is at the forefront of many conversations on social media and in the news. In fact, in recent years, reducing sugar-sweetened products has become a focus of public health efforts because consuming these products have been linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

Today, Americans consume around 152 pounds of sugar each year. That's roughly 3 pounds of sugar every week. Having too much added sugar might put American's at risk. Experts agree that added sugar causes tooth decay and contributes to weight issues. These weight issues lead to diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. It's no wonder that conditions such as diabetes and obesity are widespread.

Reasons To Should Cut Back on Sugar

While the average American eats about 17 teaspoons of sugar a day, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends cutting back to 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women and children over 2.

Avoid empty calories. Americans started getting heavier when eating increased amounts of processed foods, refined sugars, and high-fructose corn syrup. It's challenging to maintain a healthy weight if soft drinks and candy are crowding out vegetables and whole grains.

Nearly 8 out of 10 adults are attempting to cut back on sugar in their diets. Reducing sweets can help individuals lose weight and protect them from severe health conditions. Even if Americans have a sweet tooth, following these tips will make it easy to eat healthier.

10 ways to reduce sugar consumption

1. Avoid soda

Soft drinks are the worst beverages to drink. A typical 12-ounce soda contains at least 9 teaspoons of added sugar, which is more than the daily recommendation for women and children. Instead, drink more water and sugar-free options.

2. Limit processed foods

Cakes, cookies, and candy account for a significant amount of our sugar intake, but so do some foods one may not be aware of. Sugar is added to everything from sauces and whole wheat bread to peanut butter.

3. Read food labels

Knowing what food is made with is essential. Suppose the first few ingredients listed are sweeteners like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Then, find something more nutritious to eat. Always check the total grams of sugar, but keep in mind that it will include added sugars and naturally occurring sugars. The new food labels will have the word "includes" before added sugars on the label, indicating that added sugars are included in the number of grams of total sugars in the product.

4. Make healthy substitutions

Americans can still eat delicious meals by choosing better alternatives. Choose a breakfast cereal that's unsweetened or lightly sweetened. Add a pinch of vanilla extract to plain yogurt and skip the fake fruit-flavored yogurts.

5. Make more foods from scratch

Using fresh ingredients gives Americans more control over hidden sugars. For example, making a salad dressing with vinegar, garlic, and olive oil. Not only does a homemade dressing taste better, but it will cost less than the sweetened supermarket salad dressings.

6. Cut back gradually

It's easy to get conditioned to sugar. Wean off slowly. Use half the amount of sugar in coffee, or switch to a natural product like stevia with no calories.

7. Prioritize

Decide how to use your recommended teaspoons of sugar a day. The sugar eliminated from coffee will help.

8. Reduce portion sizes

The key is to eat in moderation. If you are a cookie or candy craver, you can still enjoy your favorite desserts. Eat them in small amounts and only a couple of times a week.

9. Address emotional eating

It's not unusual to reach for sweets when you're feeling anxious or stressed. These foods improve your mood by boosting serotonin production. If you're an emotional eater, find other ways to relax, like reading, meditating, or listening to music.

10. Exercise more

Consistent physical activity stimulates "feel-better" endorphins, which can help improve your mood. Mild exercise triggers metabolic processes that make more blood sugar available to the brain, reducing the craving for sugary foods. Cravings among emotional eaters are also decreased. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 3 days a week.

Additional tip

Replace the empty calories from sugar with healthier treats and a more nutritious diet. Americans may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it becomes to reduce sugar.

For more information about her unique approach to health coaching, schedule an exploratory coaching session today.

Follow Jody on Facebook, Instagram, or visit her website for more info!


Jody Dotson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jody Dotson is a national board-certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC) and author of "A Healthy You! Guided Journal for Food Tracking, Mindfulness, and Self-Care." Jody helps busy women navigate various health concerns, from managing weight to reducing stress through lifestyle changes. Jody creates a custom action plan that empowers women to move toward living their best life. She also guides people to discover the “why” behind their desired health change. Women complete their coaching program with the knowledge and expertise to set and achieve health goals and build new habits.

Jody became a health and wellness coach to deliver transformational change to people. Jody’s philosophy is our body can heal itself, and using lifestyle medicine can help improve the healing process. Jody offers a wide range of coaching programs and services.



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