Jody Dotson is a national board-certified health and wellness coach, speaker, and author of A Healthy You! Guided Journal for Food Tracking, Mindfulness, and Self-Care. Her education and experience have equipped her with extensive, evidence-based knowledge in nutrition, health and wellness coaching, and prevention. By emphasizing each client’s unique life experiences, goals, and dreams, Jody works with clients to create an entirely personalized action plan based on their goals to move them toward their ideal vision of health. Jody’s coaching program is designed to help you manage your weight, gain control of chronic health conditions and discover healthier eating options. Each session will leave you feeling inspired and motivated. Besides providing a deep and meaningful coaching experience, you will talk about things beyond food, seeking to balance essential elements of your life such as spirituality, family, and career. As your Health Coach, she will empower you to take back YOUR health.
Today, Americans consume around 152 pounds of sugar each year. That’s roughly 3 pounds of sugar every week. Having too much added sugar may put your health 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 You Should Cut Back on Sugar
While the average American is eating 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 we began 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 you lose weight and protect you from severe health conditions. Even if you have a sweet tooth, following these tips will make it easy to eat healthier.
10 Simple Ways to Reduce Your 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 you might not be aware of. Sugar is added to everything from sauces and whole wheat bread to peanut butter.
3. Read food labels. Knowing what your food is made with is essential. Suppose the first few ingredients listed are sweeteners like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Then, you may want to find something more nutritious to eat. Always check the total grams of sugar, but keep in mind that it will include both 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. You 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 you more control over hidden sugars. For example, make your own 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 yourself slowly. Use half the amount of sugar in your coffee, or switch to a natural product like stevia with no calories.
7. Prioritize. Decide how you want to use your recommended teaspoons of sugar a day. The sugar you eliminate from your coffee may help you eat a few cookies after dinner.
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.
Tip: Replace the empty calories from sugar with healthier treats and a more nutritious diet. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it becomes to reduce the sugar in your diet.
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 have become a focus of public health efforts because consuming these products have been linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Here’s what you may not realize, Jody shares that just cutting 1- 2 teaspoons isn’t going to change your intake. In this article, Jody Dotson lays out 10 simple practices to cutting sugar that may lead to a healthier lifestyle and anyone can implement. In her coaching program, they go into detail on how to spot hidden sugars and remove them from your diet..
For more information about her unique approach to health coaching, schedule an exploratory coaching session today. https://coachwithjody.as.me/. Follow Jody on social media @IAmJodyDotson.